I did it! I completed my 30 day No Added Sugar challenge.
That’s right, I went thirty days without any added sugar. I ate out. I was around others eating sugary treats. I changed my eating habits and snacking. In the end, there’s no going back. I look at food a lot differently.
Daily video blogs, documenting my complete journey, start today for 30 days!
Going without added sugar was an eye-opening experience. Bear in mind, I do not eat as much added sugar as most Americans. After my thirty day challenge, I’ll eat even less sugar than I did before. I didn’t miss much and I was stunned by sugars prevalence in all things food. It’s astonishing how many foods have added sugar that, in my opinion, don’t need it at all. Why is sugar added to pretzels? Most pretzels have malt syrup or corn syrup added. Pita chips have added sugar in them too, while white pita bread has none. With each food I keep asking why; why has sugar been added?
I’ve had this discussion with tons of people along my journey, about all different foods and why most have sugar, while some do not. The majority of people believe sugar is added to mass produced food for either taste or as a preservative. Right or not, I can’t help but feel wronged. I’ve always read food labels, but mainly for serving size, fat, and calories. For certain foods, like beverages, I’d read the sugar count, but I never even thought to look for chips. Now I read everything for sugars, a major unhealthy red flag.
I love hot sauce, but never realized how many different varieties have sugar added to them. Sriracha sauce is a personal favorite and it pains me to know that there’s added sugar. Many other hot sauces have sugar, or Xanthan gum, added as well. I love hot sauce for its spicy and salty ways. Little did I know, sugar was making me love it that much more.
Cutting out added sugars for a month has liberated me. I’m now free from sugar in the traditional sense. I don’t feel a need to grab a handful of chocolate chips, nor do I crave them. I don’t need salad dressing on my salad. I don’t need ice cream. I don’t need a handful of sugary cereal. I don’t need a cookie or a piece of cake. But more importantly, my tastes have changed and any cravings are gone. Fruits are sweeter than ever. So are carrots and beans. I wonder what I’d think of a chocolate bar or a scoop of ice cream right now. I doubt I’d even enjoy it.
My eyes are now open to sugar; how we use it and view it as Americans. I wish I could honestly say I’m done with added sugar. That I will eat no added sugar for the rest of my life. But we don’t have enough information on our food to do so without going insane. If we lived in an ideal world where EVERY ingredient was listed out on every single food item, including at restaurants, then I could do it. Right now, too many foods list ‘natural flavors’ and things like ‘tomato juice’ without telling you what those contain. Suffice to say, I will be eating a little added sugar again.
There is no going back; I will forever be aware of what I am eating and the sugars added to it. Do I really want to put that in my body? If I don’t understand or agree with why sugar was added, I won’t be eating it. My eyes are wide open now and I wish I could singlehandedly change how we mass-produce food. The majority of you who regularly eat added sugar need to take this challenge. You’ll see an even greater change than I did; in your energy, your weight, and your physical and mental wellbeing. I definitely felt stronger, slept better, lost five pounds, and generally was more upbeat and positive!
The greatest part of taking this challenge was the awareness I gained. I’m super aware of what I’m eating and how it makes me feel. I’m extremely happy I did this challenge and I encourage all of you to as well. Try ten days, or go the full thirty!
Follow my daily video blogs documenting my complete journey! There are tips and recipes accompanying my video blogs as well. My 30 day No Added Sugar challenge may be over, but the play by play has just begun.
If you plan on taking me up on my challenge, good luck! I know each and every one of you can do it!
Photo credits to http://www.amongmen.com/ &http://dchealthybites.com/