When I’m feeling a big sluggish and crummy, one of the best things I can do for myself is declare a Sugar-Free Week. Despite having had mostly-sugar-free weeks several times, last week I wanted to fully commit, sans my usual weakness: exceptions [Sugar Free…except Nutella. Or almond milk with added sugar. Or jam. Or cake.]. My body feel terrific in the end, and so did my head – a sugar-free rush of will-power success!
Here’s how I made it happen:
1. Every day I watched an informative video reminding me of the health reasons why I was putting myself through this. Some favourites:
- A TED-Ed video on how sugar effects the brain
- Fed Up – a documentary (available on Netflix) about the diet dilemma in the US – and yes, sugar is a key culprit.
- Jamie Oliver’s TED talk, Teach every child about food, is a reminder to treat our bodies like we want children’s to be treated!
2. I checked in with accountability partners on Facebook. A few friends and I have a group called “semaine sans sucre” because we also happen to speak French (Uh. They do, anyway. I know a few words). Every day I posted an update of my progress, and links to the videos and articles I found.
3. I kept healthy snacks on hand. Like strawberries, instead of ice cream for dessert. The hardest part of cutting out sugar is its sheer abundance – in cereal, almond milk, any kinds of packaged snacks…everywhere! Sometimes I don’t even crave it, but it’s more convenient to grab. Shame.
4. I chose my coffeeshops for their sugar-free options. Starbucks does sugar-free syrups, so when my friend wanted to grab frapuccinos I didn’t have to skip out. I also spent a lot of time at Cafe 39, which offers sugar-free cakes that I think are even tastier. Plus they have surprisingly healthy ingredients, like aubergines! I do like a vegetable in my cake.
As usual, at the end of the week I didn’t feel like eating sugar. It wasn’t as tasty as I remembered. Maybe one day I’ll go completely off it. For now I take pride in my occasional detoxes!
I dare you to take on the challenge too! Stock up on healthy snacks and cut out sugar for a week – you can do it :) I’ll even be your cheerleader – just let me know on Twitter!