My Sugar Sabbatical: Part I


Last May I posted about seeing the Katie Couric/Laurie David documentary, Fed Up, which focuses on all that is wrong with the food we use to fuel our bodies, and in particular, the insane amounts of added sugar we consume each day. After seeing this film I contemplated trying the Fed-Up Challenge, a 10-day sabbatical from added sugars, but never really followed through with my intentions, until 10 days ago. I have so much to write about regarding this experience so I’m breaking it into two posts. In this first post you will get a snapshot of what I ate and what I avoided during my sugar sabbatical!

Beverages – The easiest part of this challenge was by far avoiding added sugars in beverages because I don’t drink soda, energy drinks, flavored coffees, or mixed drinks. I had this part aced before the program began!

Snacks – Snacks I frequently have around the house include pretzels, tortilla chips, hummus, fruit, plain Greek yogurt, and cereal. The only thing on that list that needed to go were the pretzels and cereal. Pretzels had corn syrup as an ingredient and my Grape Nuts had malt barley listed.

Breakfast –  I ate a lot of eggs per my usual routine. I eliminated honey from the steel cut oatmeal I make and instead added cinnamon and pure vanilla powder to enhance flavor. I double checked the label on my unsweetened coconut milk before making my favorite buckwheat pancakes. I eliminated Grape Nuts and found that my Daily Bread Bakery bread included honey because it was of the honey whole wheat variety. Instead of using jelly or jam on my PB toast (made from bread without added sugar) I crushed some fresh raspberries and voila, I had a swapportunity on my hands! jam

Lunch – I eat a variety of things for lunch each day and I can say that 90% of the time my lunch is free of added sugars! Here’s what I brought for lunch one day:1510794_783545375035254_7995059347620165829_n

The tortillas I purchase have no sugar. Neither do the tortilla chips, although you do have to watch for the labels because I found some fancy tortilla chip roll-ups with sugar! My peanut butter contains peanuts and salt! I make my own fruit on the bottom yogurts with plain Greek Yogurt.

Dinner – We eat a lot of vegetables and whole grains at our house and very few things come from boxes. I did really want grilled cheese and tomato soup one night until I came upon this:toms

The fourth ingredient is cane sugar. After some perusing I realized there’s sugar in almost every “healthy” soup at the store. I still had the grilled cheese, I just said no to the soup. Another night we made BLT’s but the bacon had, yep, you guessed it, added sugar. I had some kind of a cheese, kale, tomato, turkey breast sandwich instead.

Dining – This was really tough and I can’t say with certainty that I avoided sugar. I had sushi one night and didn’t feel like asking about the added sugars so enjoyed my raw tuna roll and seaweed salad. One of my favorite lunch spots in Des Moines is New World Cafe. I had a delicious bowl of quinoa, vegetables, and tahini. I felt confident this was free of added sugars. I also had a lovely conversation with a stranger, which I should do more often.bowl

You’re probably wondering if I stuck with this for 10 days, right? You will have to stay tuned to my follow-up post to find out! Do you think you could rid your diet of added sugars for even one day?