sugar

Sugar Free for a Year RECAP!

I went a year! 

Yep, without sugar! 

When people asked if it was hard....honestly, after the first couple of months.... "No." I loved the lifestyle, and that's exactly what it was.

I created a life from it.

I didn't deprive myself! I still had sweet indulgences, as you can see from the recipes I share on the blog. I didn't go without, but when I had sweet treats, they were healthier. I developed healthy recipes made without sugar, but instead substitutes, like honey, dates, bananas. And they were wonderful! 

I didn't miss sugar. 

My goal in this was to create a lifestyle that could last. And that's exactly what I did. 

I want my children to grow up still getting to enjoy yummy foods. I don't want them to feel deprived and go on a sugar binge when they leave my house.  However, I don't want them struggling with an addiction to sugar, or sugar affecting their behavior or them struggling with their weight because of sugar. 

Once you get past the detox of letting go of sugar, and your taste buds change, you begin to taste things in a whole new way. 

Fruit and nuts become sweeter.  Natural seasonings like cinnamon are sweet. You being to appreciate the natural sweetness that we get from the earth. Lightly sweetened things become perfect for you, when those who have over sensitive taste buds due to so much sugar intake think it is just bland

Living the sugar free lifestyle is great!

You no longer feel controlled by food and cravings! You no longer HAVE TO HAVE something sweet when the feeling comes on. You no longer come out of a celebratory or holiday weekend feeling miserable because of your over indulgences. You no longer see the scale constantly going up-and-down, up-and-down. 

You do however have more energy. Feel in control of your life. Have more focus. Lose weight fairly naturally. Feel good after a holiday weekend. Get healthier all around! 

If you are wondering if the sugar free lifestyle is for you.....let's chat! I would love to share with you more about my journey! And talk about how this could work for you, how it would impact you and your family's health, and how to make it a lifestyle that works for you!

-Brittany

 

The Truth About Alternative Sweeteners from a Doctor

The Truth About Alternative Sweeteners from a Doctor-2 Hi! I’m Dr. Pragati Gusmano, I’m a Naturopathic Doctor and an expert on natural health and holistic

medicine. As you all know, Brittany lives a sugar free lifestyle so I’m here share some helpful

information on sugar, sugar substitutes and how it all breaks down in your body. You can find more

from me on my blog, Simple Medicine; it’s where you'll find delicious and nutritious ways to eat,

beauty DIYs, and simple ways to be happy and healthy, naturally. You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Pragati Gusmano Headshot

Ever notice how all the freshest foods are on the perimeter of the supermarket? Chances are if you’ve

ever shopped those center aisles you’ve been duped into eating something with hidden sugar in it. So

many processed, low fat, fat free foods are loaded with sugar to improve the taste. The reason? Fat free

and low fat foods don’t taste good to the standard American and sugar improves the palatability.

 

On the flip side of that, many Americans are trying to limit their sugar intake by

substituting sugar with artificial sweeteners. The sad truth? You’re doing just as much harm with the

artificial stuff. Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know about the most popular sweeteners on the

market:

 1. Table Sugar (also known as Sucrose)

Table sugar is what we’re most familiar with. It’s made up of 50% fructose and 50% glucose and is

sourced from beet sugar or sugar cane. When you eat table sugar, it’s used in one of three ways: as fuel

for your brain and red blood cells, stored as glycogen in your liver and muscles (to be used later) or it

can be converted to fatty acids that are stored in fat.

 

When you’re in a situation where you chronically have too much sugar, muscle and fat cells stop using

as much of it for energy and you store it as fat. If you continue to overload your body with sugar, you’ll

stop having the ability to produce insulin and this can lead to chronic health conditions like diabetes or

metabolic syndrome.  

 

2. Turbinado Sugar (also known as Sugar in the Raw)

I know a lot of people look at raw turbinado sugar as the safer alternative to her sister, white

table sugar. That is a false assumption. Turbinado is pure sugar cane extract, which makes it 50%

fructose and 50% glucose, just like table sugar. It has the same effects on blood sugar mentioned above.

 

3. Stevia

Stevia comes from a plant and is super, super sweet. It’s 200-300 times sweeter than table sugar so

you only needs a tiny bit to make whatever you’re eating/drinking sweet. Stevia bypasses normal

absorption, it is metabolized in the gut and heads straight to the liver; this means it doesn’t

affect blood sugar levels. There are some reports that stevia can cause an upset stomach and/or burden

the kidneys because of the way it is excreted. Processed stevia can contain excipients, so look for a pure

form that doesn’t contain bulking ingredients like: dextrose, FOS (fructooligosacharides), erythritol,

xylitol, maltodextrine, lactose or combination of these ingredients.

 

4. Sucralose (also known as Splenda)

Sucralose is 600 times sweeter than table sugar. This is my least favorite sweetener, ever. In fact, it’s at

the top of my list of things that I won’t eat. A study published in 2008 found that 12 weeks of using

Splenda resulted in a reduction in good gut bacteria, which other studies have found can be related to

metabolic disorders. Have you seen the giant baking sized bags of Splenda? Also a terrible idea.

Cooking with sucralose at high temperatures was shown to produce toxic compounds. More importantly, artificial sweeteners like sucralose interact with receptors on the tongue, letting the body know you’ve eaten something sweet and preliminary research shows that this can cause a blood sugar-insulin roller coaster that certainly isn’t good for you.

 

5. Honey

Honey is quite possibly the most well known alternative sweetener. It’s a mix of fructose and glucose:

about 38% fructose to 31% glucose. It also has several vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins,

amino acids, proteins, antioxidants, enzymes and micronutrients. Generally, the sugars in honey are

sweeter that artificial sweeteners. Honey also has a mix of monosaccharides, disaccharides and

trisaccharides which gives you fast and slow burning sugars.

 

One study found that honey reduced blood glucose or was more tolerable that most common sugars or sweeteners in patients with impaired glucose tolerance.

 

When it comes to the sweet stuff there are lots of options – choose the one that is right for you and

your lifestyle. My favorites? Honey or Stevia. Honey, for it’s taste and medicinal properties and Stevia

because it doesn’t spike your blood sugar.

 

I know Brittany's choice throughout the past year of living sugar free has been to use honey. On occasion, for making specialty desserts, etc, she has chosen to use some Stevia.

[bctt tweet="Get the facts about sugar alternatives from @PragatiGusmano and @Brittanysuell #sugarfree #leaveyourlegacy"]

Are you living a sugar free lifestyle? Are you feeling ready to kick the artificial stuff for good?

Children Not Expected to Outlive Their Parents

Okay, so maybe I've been focussing on this No Sugar thing quite a bit lately....but with great reason I might add! I have shared so many times why LEAVING A HEALTHY AND ACTIVE LIFESTYLE LEGACY is important to me, and why it should be important to you as well!   Children are not expected to outlive their parents. This is not okay! Let's take a stand! Make the choice to be different, fight against the lazy, fast food epidemic and choose a healthy and active lifestyle for yourself and the next generation. via @brittanysuell

Recently I listened to a nutritionist speak at a local event and she mentioned that this generation of children...(my child falls into this category), are not expected to outlive their parents!!

CHILDREN ARE NOT EXPECTED TO OUTLIVE THEIR PARENTS!

WHAT?? This shocked me and stuck with me. So I had to do some research on it. 

And now, I'm here to report to you what I've discovered. These things seem shocking, but then again, when you look around at our world, observing how people look, the eating habits we have, or even the way parents are feeding their children. When you notice the decrease of activity in children, even the laziness and lack of work ethic seen in children and teenagers is signs of this, and when you look at these then the findings of my research really aren't that shocking at all. 


 When you become a parent, taking care of your child, providing them with the best possible lifestyle for most parents is top priority! So why is it that as time goes on, we have diminished and neglected, the health and nutrition for our children. I'm not just pointing fingers at parents here either, but at the food industry and our nation as a whole. 

" 'We have figured out ways of farming our fields without having to put in human labour, the same in factories where everything is done for us by robots. In the home, we have gadgets to do almost everything.' " (-Professor Andrew Prentice, a leading nutritionist)

"Over the past few decades, modern agriculture has not only made food more abundant, but also fast and cheap.  In fact, fast food is available to us twenty-four hours of the day. Using both science and technology, the food industry has been busy; developing strategies that enhance the taste of their products, thus boosting sales. Artificially concentrated flavors along with added fats, sugar, and salt have purposefully been added to"seduce our taste buds." The majority of processed and refined foods contain these super concentrated flavors that affect the taste, aroma, texture and appearance of these foods.  These manipulated flavors stimulate our brain's pleasure center, causing us to crave the artificial (hyper-palatable) intense flavors over the natural flavors in whole, unprocessed foods."  (-Linda Carney, MD)

Now, let's just put it like it is. With living in such a busy and fast paced world, it's easy to get stuck in the fast food routine. Even if you are cooking at home, it takes more time to cook things from scratch rather than out easy five minute dinner boxes, or frozen foods. We are all guilty of taking the easy way out. And over the past 4months, through my no sugar journey, I have spent countless hours in the kitchen trying new recipes, and have realized how much time it really does take to cook healthy, real foods. Not to mention the added hours I have put into my grocery shopping to make sure I'm getting good foods at the best deal. (Gotta stay within that budget!) 

Isn't it worth it though! Even at the end of that second quote it addresses what I have focussed on throughout my no sugar journey, and especially in my first podcast. Sugar is addictive, and our American foods are full of sugar.  Even the over use of gluten, which has led to so many gluten intolerances these days. We crave that fluffy bread, so we don't even like a gluten free pastry, or know what it would be like to have one with a normal amount of gluten in it. The food industry does this to keep us coming back. 

The problem is, we are all guilty of choosing the quick, easy, and money-making solutions. But aren't our lives, and the lives of our children more important than that? 

" 'The poor dietary habits of today's children are contributing to their obesity, chronic illness, and ill-health. It is also laying a foundation for poor academic performance, chronic disease later in life, violent behavior, and premature death.' ....'Because of the increasing rates of obesity, unhealthy eating habits and physical inactivity, we may see the first generation that will be less healthy and have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.' "  (-Dr. Fuhrman)

"Parents could soon begin to outlive their children because of an epidemic of obesity afflicting the younger generation. Many youngsters are now so grossly overweight they face premature death caused by a heart attack or stroke. The impending health disaster is blamed on the rise of aggressively-marketed, fat-laden fast food and couch potato lifestyles." (James Chapman)

It is sad to say, but we are all heading down a dangerous path, and taking our innocent children down it with us. And even more sad, some parents just aren't aware and don't know! 

This is why LIVING A LIFESTYLE that radiates being HEALTHY AND ACTIVE is so important to me.

I have made it my responsibility to start my children off right. To create a foundation of making healthy choices, being active and showing them that exercise, and fitness is fun and good for us. 

I have also made it my responsibility to share the #LeaveYourLegacy Lifestyle with others! To help others catch the passion of being healthy and active for the sake of themselves, their family's, and those around them. I want to have an impact on others, and help them make changes that will affect generations to come! 


[bctt tweet="SHOCKING! Children are not expected to outlive their parents! #LeaveYourLegacy @brittanysuell Be the Change!"]
Read More: Quotes taken from the following articles: 
Article 1 & Article 2

@brittanysuell Leaving a Healthy & Active Lifestyle Legacy!

#LeaveYourLegacy

Linking up with Running With Spoons for the Thursday's Are For Thinking Out Loud Party

What's the Big Deal With Sugar? #LeaveYourLegacy Podcast by Brittany Suell

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[audio mp3="http://www.brittanysuell.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/FEB-Podcast.mp3"][/audio]  What's the big deal with sugar? How sugar impacts us, and how much sugar is okay to eat a day. #LeaveYourLegacy Podcast by @brittanysuell

 This month on the Leave Your Legacy Podcast, I'm talking about "What's the Big Deal With Sugar!?" I'm sharing with you the impact that sugar can have on us, plus tips on how to take sugar out of areas of your life. And there's a little challenge tucked in there for you as well! 

Tune in and hear all about my first month's journey to living a SUGAR-FREE life!

Sign-up for my monthly newsletter, FitNotes HERE & get FREE access to my TOP 5 Tips to Kickstart Your Sugar-Free Lifestyle! 

[bctt tweet="Find out What's the Big Deal About Sugar? and how much we should have in the #LeaveYourLegacy Podcast by @brittanysuell"]

REMEMBER: 

  1. LISTEN to the Podcast.
  2. SUBSCRIBE! Go to your podcasts on your phone or in iTunes and SUBSCRIBE, so that you know each time I post a new podcast!
  3. Leave a COMMENT and tell me what you think about sugar, and why it's important for you to #LeaveYourLegacy
  4. SHARE the love! Share my podcast with your friends, on your Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest! & tag @BrittanySuell #LeaveYourLegacy

Leave Your Legacy Podcast Intro by www.BrittanySuell.com

Question of the Day (leave a comment): WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO #LEAVEYOURLEGACY? 

RESOURCES: 

I Love Marketing Podcast feat. JJ Virgin on the Sugar Impact Diet...
The Chalene Show Podcast feat. Sugar Addiction with JJ Virgin
The Virgin Diet by JJ Virgin
I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson

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#LeaveYourLegacy

BYE BYE SUGAR!! Sharing my No-Sugar Menu!

So....if you listened to my Podcast this week, you know that I am starting a 1 year journey of taking SUGAR out of my family's diet! Bye Bye Sugar Menu from www.brittanysuell.com #leaveyourlegacy

WOAH! Did I seriously just commit to that!? Yep I did, and I'm excited about the journey! I know that it will be a challenge, but I am excited to see how no-sugar affects my body, my energy level, and so many other aspects of my life.  Plus, I am excited to explore other options, like how to have sweet treats that are sweetened naturally. Like cooking with dates....which I have never done, but I know many people do as a natural sweetener.

Anyways, so to Kick-Start my year of NO SUGAR, I decided to start with JJ Virgin's the Virgin Diet. It was after listening to a podcast featuring her, that I realized I need to do this.  There had been several things about sugar that had stuck out to me in the week's leading up to that, but once I listened to this podcast I knew it was something I had to do.  So on Sunday, I started a NO SUGAR, SOY, DAIRY, EGGS, CORN, PEANUTS, or GLUTEN diet.  The diet will last three weeks, and then each week after that I will add dairy, gluten, eggs, and soy back in, one at a time.  The basis of this diet is that a lot of time foods can cause food intolerances in our body which can lead to major issues. (FIND out more on my February PODCAST!) So, after you have cleansed your system of these foods you add them back in to see how you body reacts and if you can tolerate those foods.

So...you may be asking...if you are taking ALL of those things out!?! Then WHAT THE HECK IS LEFT! That's why I decided to share my Week 1 Menu with you guys, so that you can see that I am still eating lots of food, and lots of good food.  The hardest part is at night when I want to snack! So far though it has gone well, and I have already seen the scales move, like 5lbs down, which she claims will definitely happen when you do the Virgin Diet.

Bye Bye Sugar Menu from www.brittanysuell.com #leaveyourlegacy

A few notes:

  • I actually started on Sunday, so we ate on the whole chicken throughout the week
  • I made enough for each meal to have leftovers the next day for lunches
  • I know I am eating a lot of the same things, but that is my choice! I love avocado and sweet potatoes! So that works for me! You can also have great salads for lunch.
  • I bought thick turkey slices from a deli for lunches.

Like I mentioned, the hardest part is not having snacks late at night.  I am planning to make some sweet potato chips and kale chips for next week to have as snacks when I'm craving something salty!

[bctt tweet="BYE BYE SUGAR Check out my menu for 1st week of #NoSugar in 2015! @brittanysuell #leaveyourlegacy"]

So why am I doing all this BYE BYE SUGAR stuff!? 

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For me,  I'm doing it to make a better life for me and my family! I know that sugar has huge impacts on us that we aren't aware of, and I believe that if I raise my son, and change my lifestyle to be less sugar, then we will be healthier and feel better overall! So basically, I want to LEAVE A HEALTHY & ACTIVE LIFESTYLE for my family, and I believe this is part of it!! Teaching him to eat healthy and make wise choices and habits that will impact him for the rest of his life! And it really does help to REMEMBER WHY YOU STARTED! In all areas of life! Have a vision, a goal, a purpose in why you are doing it, so that when things get hard, you have motivation to fall back on! This will probably be true over and over again for me in 2015! I will constantly need to come back to this and REMEMBER WHY I STARTED!

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You can get your own "REMEMBER WHY YOU STARTED" shirt from Constantly Varied Gear! The shirt is super comfy, great lightweight material, and a good length! (which I love!) Plus they have so many choices of awesome workout sayings, so check out their website!

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#LeaveYourLegacy

Homemade Applesauce #MommyMonday

Mommy Monday  

As many of you have seen in the past, I am doing Baby-Led Weaning with my son, (learn what that is, and all about the nutritional value of it HERE). Along with that, I am also feeding him only food I cook, (for the most part). So, I am avoiding jar baby food, and as much processed foods as I can.  Mostly I am feeding him whole fruits and vegetables that I steam or bake and then cut into strips.  There are a few items that I puree myself so that he can try out various textures and practice using utensils, and APPLE SAUCE is one of those.

So today I'm going to share my EASY-PEASY HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE with you! 

First, let me start with a little nutrition lesson:

DISCLAIMER: No judgement if you buy this for your children, just want to show you how much sugar and other unnecessary ingredients are added to these types of store bought foods, and how easy it is for you to make this homemade at your house!

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1) Applesauce for a baby does not need ANYTHING added to it! It doesn't have to be sweet for them to eat it.  Remember, as a baby, you are helping them develop their taste pallet, so it's okay for it not to have brown sugar or cinnamon flavoring in it.

If you are making this for older kids or adults, try some flavoring (I'll mention what I did at the end), but still try to avoid added sugars. There is enough natural sugar in fruits that you don't need to add more!

2) True Applesauce doesn't need anything added to it except a little water.

You have probably heard that high fructose corn syrup is one of the worst things you can eat, and one of the main reasons you should avoid processed foods because it is added to everything! I am not a nutrition pro (yet), but I will say after making my own Applesauce, I have NO IDEA why they would need to add all of these things to their ingredients.

*Some recipes tell you to add Apple Juice as your liquid base. Not a big deal if it is ALL NATURAL. BUT, once again, if it is store bought Apple Juice, then it probably has unnecessary sugars added to it as well, so you are just replacing one with the other. The safest way to go is to just use water as your liquid.

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3) Many store bought foods, even foods for kids/babies have tons of sugar added to it! Like a ton...Like WAY TOO MUCH!

Check out how much sugar is in one small cup of this Applesauce. When making my own Applesauce, obviously there is sugar, but it's all natural sugar, so I don't even worry about it.  A lot of the sugar in this brand's sauce probably came from the unnecessary added high fructose corn syrup mentioned above.

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On to the recipe! 

apple sauce

HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE: 

-Take 2 apples 

-Peel them, core them, dice them

-Put on to boil with 1/2 a cup of water

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-Let them cook on med/high heat for about 20 min (apples will be soft and slightly broken a part)

-Pour the apples/liquid into blender & blend until smooth

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-For a baby, divvy it up into containers and freeze. Then when you are ready to serve it, heat slightly so that it melts and serve it to baby. 

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I ate the Homemade Applesauce just like this, and it tasted great! Seriously, with the already natural sugars that apples have, it had plenty of flavors.

For my husband, I wanted to try something a little different, so I added a 1/4 of a teaspoon of cinnamon, and he ate it like that. It was great with the cinnamon flavor as well. Still though, there was no need to add any more sugar to it in my opinion.

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So, instead of taking the easy way out and buying the store bought brands, why not take just a little more time out of your weekend and prep a bunch of yummy Homemade Applesauce for the week!

Applesauce makes a great snack for adults and kids! You can take it for lunch, or eat it in the afternoons, and seriously it takes about 25-30 minutes to make, and most of that time is when it is boiling on the stove so you can be getting other things done. Then you can rest easy, because you know exactly what is in the food that you are feeding yourself and your children. Plus, your just adding to the daily serving of fruits that you are taking in, and that is always a PLUS!

[bctt tweet="You've got to try this yummy Homemade Applesauce recipe from @NFSisters great for a kid-friendly or adult-friendly snack! #MommyMonday"]

So, try the recipe, and be sure to post a picture and tag me when you are loving how yummy it is! @NFSisters #MommyMonday

Keep reading for a GIVEAWAY!

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Don't forget, you can still WIN the awesome Day #10 of the 10 Days of Christmas Giveaway! A 1 Month Subscription to Gigabody.com!! An online workout website, so you can take your workouts with you during the holidays! 

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Day 10

 

How to Make Cookies Healthy

HOW TO MAKE COOKIES HEALTHY, PLUS A LITLE INSIDER ON SUGAR, AND A YOGA MAT WINNER! So....let's just get real for a minute.

The past 2 weeks, Sugar has been on display in my home, community, and thoughts.

Let's start with Sugar in my HOME.

As I mentioned previously, we skipped Halloween this year and went camping as a family.  So I literally had zero candy! WIN for me! But, that week of Halloween, I took my husband grocery shopping with me, and he saw that the ice cream was on sale. So I agreed to buy ice cream and we left the store with not one, but two 1/2 gallons of ice cream, (buy one get one was the sale).

In the past 6 months of my life, my eating habits have been awesome. I can confidently say that I am sticking to an 80/20 diet, and the best part is, it has become a way of life, not just a diet, or a way to "lose weight."  So, even as a person who loves chocolate, cake, candy, sweets, the list goes on, I have found my healthy alternatives for when I am needing something sweet.  My go-to is frozen, Greek Yogurt with Granola and dark chocolate chips.  I love, love, love it, and it really has been just what I need when I'm wanting a sweet snack or dessert.  THEN.....my husband bought ice cream.  And I'm not going to lie, secretly I was okay with it, and kind of excited.  It wouldn't have been bad if I would've just eaten one bowl, but NO...I had one bowl every night for the next week and a half, until the ice cream was GONE!

Sugar in my COMMUNITY.

This past week my husband sent me a link to a podcast about healthy-living.  When I went to listen, it was an author who has written books about sugar.  She wrote about detoxing from sugar, and how it affects people's lives.  Their attitudes, feelings, and energy levels.  It was very intriguing.  On the same day, my sister told me that she bought a sugar detox book.

Also last week, a fellow blogger that I follow wrote about her experience during her month long sugar detox.  Jessica from the Fit Switch confessed to giving in to some fudge, and then talked about the downward spiral that happened after giving in to a little sugar.  Once she rationalized for some sugar, her body seemed to want it more and more, and she continued to rationalize.  It's a great read on how sugar affected her.

Sugar in my THOUGHTS.

After having my downward spiral experience with ice cream, sugar has been haunting me all week long! After eating a meal, not 30minutes later I feel like I need more food! I sincerely feel like that is attributed to the hunger for sugar my body is feeling after I fed it so much with the ice cream I was eating.  I understand that sugar is in more foods that just sweets, but for the most part, I have those other foods under control.  It's those sweets that seem to CONTROL ME when I give in even a little. So when I'm just home, and not staying busy, it seems that all my thoughts are focussed on either trying to find sugar, or trying to fight the urge to get sugar!

Secondly, after listening to the Podcast, finding a common ground with my sister, and reading the Fit Switch's post, I have been juggling with the thought of detoxing from sugar.

WOAH! I know that's a shocker!

I mean if I said I wanted to detox from sweets, that's a different story.  For me though, it would take a lot of research to find out what all has sugar in it.  I am positive there are so many things that I eat on a normal basis that I don't even realize how much sugar are in them.  Like my go-to granola that my husband and I love.  I have found that to be one of my favorite snacks, and a healthy alternative to other sweets, but to detox from sugar would mean no granola for me.

I wonder if I could actually do it. I wonder if  I could be SUCCESSFUL at a SUGAR DETOX!?!? 

Honestly....It Scares Me to Try!

So, I'm not quite going to commit to a sugar detox yet.  But I will commit to being MORE AWARE!

For the next few days/weeks, I commit to being aware of what foods I eat on a daily basis that have sugar in them.  I commit to being aware by limiting the foods I eat that have high sugar levels.  And I commit to being aware by doing more research on sugar detoxes.  Obviously I don't want to commit to a sugar detox just to FAIL! So before I go all-in, I want to do my research, and set myself up for SUCCESS!

Until then...NO MORE ICE CREAM IN MY HOUSE! I've decided if my husband needs to fulfill his craving for Ice Cream in the future, then he can go to Sonic or Dairy Queen, and get a personalized serving.  And I will stick to my frozen Greek Yogurt!

In the mean time, I'm finding better ways to bake some sweet treats in my house and keep them as healthy as possible.  I still need to look into the sugar levels of these cookies, so don't think they are SUGAR FREE, but these are just some substitute tips on how to make cookies healthy!

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-Replace sugar with honey!

For the first cup needed of sugar, use equal amounts of honey to sugar. Beyond the first cup of sugar required, use 2/3 of honey to each cup of sugar.

-Substitute most, if not all of butter with mashed bananas! 

Using butter when baking adds a whopping 1,600 calories and 177 grams of fat per cup used. Don’t use a banana measure-for-measure. Start by adding half a mashed banana, then judge the batter, adding a little more until you get the correct consistency. Some recipes may need a tablespoon or so of butter added back into it to get the best results.

-Use Dark Chocolate over milk chocolate or bittersweet chips

Dark chocolate is just the better choice of chocolate when eating it as candy or baking with it, so just start buying dark chocolate and your tastebuds will get used to it.

Cacao Nibs are an even better alternative! You can buy them HERE online.  I haven’t found them in stores near me yet, but I plan to look at a Natural Grocers soon.  Lot’s of other Fitness Bloggers suggest this for baking and smoothies as well!

-Substitute Coconut Oil for Vegetable Oil

Coconut oil is the oil of choice to use when baking or stir frying.  When baking with it, use equal measurements for the oil amount that it calls for. If it is a solid coconut oil, melt it first, then measure it out.

-Add protein powder or nuts 

Add some extra nutrition by adding some protein powder or nuts to your cookies! I added almonds to these!

I hope this helps.  We had a friend over helping my husband build some stuff today, so I decided I wanted to bake cookies from my favorite Christmas Cookie Cookbook.  So I baked these.  Part of it might have been my need for sugar, still coming off the sugar addiction from the ice cream, so I made some changes to make these a little better for me.

This is also a great way for me to practice healthy alternatives for when my son gets bigger and wants cookies, or needs them for school! I want him to still be able to enjoy some of the yummy foods in moderation, but why not make the healthy versions the NEW NORM for our family!

Now, for the WINNER!

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CONGRATS TO Anna Huynh FOR WINNING YOUR CHOICE OF A YOGA MAT FROM AFFIRMATS!

Take a look at their website, and email me which mat you want and your address to naturalnesters@gmail.com!

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