The average American eats, get this, 158 pounds of sugar every year. That’s a lot of sugar! And some of you on the Sugar Free Challenge may be finding just how much you were consuming as you try to take it out of your diet. It’s sobering.
But when we take the sweets out of our diet, it can leave a big gap that we need to fill, and what better to fill it up with then vegetables?
Your kids are going to love that, right? “No, Sweetie, no cake tonight. But look! We have beets!” That may not get the most enthusiastic response.
But, we’ve found that if vegetables are made properly they can be quite tasty and even our three year old will eat it. The most common mistake in serving vegetables is not making them in a tasty way (and you wonder why no one will eat them?). Granted, some will just not eat vegetables no matter what you do, but it makes it a much easier sell if it actually tastes good to start with!
Some of our favorite ways include: Pan Fried Carrots,, Simple Zucchini and Onions , Garlicky Green Beans, Savory Carrot Salad, Sauteed Spinach with Lemon , Butternut Squash Fries, , Japanese Style Avocado , , Cucumber Red Onion Salad
A general rule to follow is to serve your veggies with some type of fat (either cooked with it, or drizzled over it). And, or course, sea salt and pepper. For a delicious recipes search check out Epicurious too. I would encourage you to not just avoid sugar this week, but also to develop some new vegetable recipes!
Today, I will share one more simple recipe that we like. Super simple and easy to get on the table. It’s tangy and rich. Delicious!
Buttery Lemon Broccoli
- 1 pound of broccoli (washed, and cut into florets)
2-4 tablespoons of butter or ghee
Juice from half a lemon
1-Steam the broccoli for 5-6 minutes over boiling water, until tender.
2-Place the broccoli in a serving bowl and add the butter or ghee, allowing it to melt over the broccoli. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the broccoli and then sprinkle sea salt over it. Gently toss and serve.
Questions for Discussions:
1-How do you like your vegetables? Any favorite recipes to share?
2-How is the second day of the Sugar Free Challenge Going?
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My 2nd day has started with a lot of cravings. I just want something sweet!!! Knowing that this feeling will decrease is helping me through. I tried the sliced apples sauted in butter with nutmeg & cinnamon last night & it was really good. My favorite Veggie Recipe right now is:
Green Beans & Bacon:
1. Gallon zip-loc bag of fresh green beans cut into 2″ length.
2. 1/3 a package of bacon or turkey bacon
3. 1 small onion
4. 3 cloves of garlic
5. S & P to taste
6. 2 tbsp of any kind of flour (I use coconut flour).
1. Fill pot with beans & cover with water & sprinkle with salt. Bring to boil, cover with lid & reduce to simmer for 20 min. 2. Cut bacon, onion & garlic into bight size pieces & fry in large/x-large pan. 3. Once bacon is crisply fried, drain beans & add to pan with bacon/onions/garlic. 4. Mix well adding flour & S & P to taste.
*We will be having this for dinner with soaked brown rice. It is a favorite all summer while we are getting free fresh beans from my parents garden.
Glad you liked the apples! Your green bean recipe sounds great. 🙂
While I’m not “officially” participating in your sugar challenge, I wanted to offer encouragement to those who are. I limited my sugar intake by probably 50 to 75% a while back (probably over a year ago). My tastes have certainly changed since then and I no longer “crave” sweets. When I went gluten-free, I naturally began eating fewer baked goods (it was either spend a lot of money or do it yourself) and so less sugar. My main sweetener is Rapadura (I use 2 to 3 tsp daily in my tea and this is also my choice for baking). I also use honey, maple syrup, brown sugar and agave (all sparingly). I find ripe fruit to be perfectly filling as a sweet treat at the end of a meal. Either that or a square of dark chocolate! Good luck to everyone.
Well, I had an unexpected lunch come up…over at the in-laws for take out. We ended up getting burritos, and I am thinking that the only sugar would be in the tortilla, if any. I suppose there could be some sugar in the refried beans of marinade for the meat, but I don’t think so. I am a little disappointed that I wasn’t completely in control of my meal, but when family is unexpectedly in town, sometimes you have to make small compromises. That being said, I am majorly craving something sweet as I type this. It is cool and rainy and just the perfect day for a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks (my biggest weakness…Starbucks!) I am having a reheated cup of coffee with cream and just pretending it is just as good. It is a nice warm drink and picturing how healthy I will be by cutting back on sugar is filling in the gap.
As for my favorite veggie…I love brussel sprouts, trimmed, tossed with some olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted at about 400 for about 45 minutes or until tender. I could seriously eat them every day!
I love roasted brussel sprouts too! So good.
I’m haven’t signed up for the challenge though we don’t eat any refined flour or sugar products. I have been more conscious of how much I LOVE maple syrup though so I’ve been trying to nix that habit!
A favorite trick I have for making any vegetable taste extra yummy is to roast it.
Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, asparagus, turnips…anything.
We love veggies prepared anyway in our home but roasting them brings out a lot of the natural sweetness and we love the crispy bits it produces.
I also love roasted veggies! Yummy, especially in the wintertime.
I’m with Kelly on the brussel sprouts! When I was living in Scotland, some friends invited me for dinner at their house. They had a branch of fresh brussel sprouts from a neighbor’s garden which they steamed and served smothered in butter. It was the first time I ever ate them and I was shocked at how delicious they tasted. It’s a shame they have such a horrible reputation. I make them often now, roasted just as Kelly recommends. Divine!
Hi, I have been learning about & bought a refractometer to measure the minerals in our fruits & veggies. Since there are not any or much minerals there is not any or much vitamins. I was told that just b/c it is organic does not mean it is high in minerals thus having much vitamins. I could not believe it until I started doing my own testing. We have started testing all our fruits & veggies since learning about all this. So far most everything from wholefoods scored near the best possible except for the celery we bought a few weeks ago. It tested the worse possible & it was organic. All the food from our garden that was heirloom & organic scored the worse it could. It is all in the soil so we are working on getting our soil better for next year. I was so sad as I thought we were doing so good planting our own organic veggies but they have no vitamins & minerals & that is actually bad for your body as it can cause digestive issues in you. So, we are learning & trying. The few non organic fruits we buy @ costco scored middle of the road. Thankfully they did not score the worst.
Anyway have you done much with this? It is really fun to test the foods.
I have a friend who owns one. How much do they usually cost? I would be interested in testing my own food. 🙂 Where did you buy yours?
NaturalCheck strives to offer the best prices on refractometers (Brix meters). Models are available for $42.50 and $47 at http://www.naturalcheck.com/brix_nutrient_testing.php
More info on testing of food for nutrients may be found at http://www.crossroads.ws/brixbook/BBook.htm
You can get connected with others who are using Brix on a 500 person listserve at http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/BrixTalk/
Wishing everyone success at finding and promoting high nutrient foods!
My second day of the sugar free challenge is going great. A few of my meals so far have been mussel chowder, Jamacian Beans & Rice (although I substitued millet for this challenge) and Quiche. Today I have Pea Soup planned and leftovers. Last night to accompany my bean meal, I for the first time made braised cabbage. I first looked at your recipe Kimi, but I had a savoy cabbage, and thought that might cook differently than a standard green one, so I found a recipe online. Instead of braising it in wine like the recipe suggested, I used chicken stock. This is now officially my new favourite way to serve cabbage 🙂 It was unbelievably good, to the point where I got up in the middle of the night to finish off the entire pot! Too bad I’m at the end of the winter season now. This recipe had you braise it on the element for about an hour, versus the oven. If any wants the recipe let me know 🙂 Yum yum yum!
Yes – please share the recipe.
Stephanie @ One Big Adventure
My husband’s first experience with Brussels sprouts was in the Navy. A shipmate called them “little green balls of death”! lol! I always remember them cooked to death growing up and my dad was the only one that would eat them. My mom grudgingly made them for him once or twice a year, whether he needed them or not!
Then, early in our marriage we found fresh Brussels sprouts at the Farmers’ market and I was hooked… but dh was not. Now, even our children like them and we grow our own (I wonder if they have any vitamins :*\). They sure have a lot of flavor. We like them steamed with butter or sliced and sauteed til they carmelize a bit. I want to try the roasted ones–that sounds wonderful, Kelly!
BTW, last night at dinner, dh leaned over and said, “those are pretty good ‘LGBDs’!”…lol!
We like most vegetables roasted… or steamed with butter. Lots of veggies (onions, peppers, green beans…) are great sauteed til they carmelize some.
Today has been a little harder than yesterday. I have had a headache and some of the children are a little off too. I was in the pantry looking for something and saw my ‘handful-a-day’ dark chocolate chips. For a brief moment, I thought the bag was going to open up and pour me a handful!!! Yikes! I had to hurry out of the pantry.
Looking forward to some beef and lots of veggies for dinner tonight… We made some of your mounds bars today… we’ll probably all be ready for a sweet treat after supper (except for my moderate to advanced).
I actually started to like unsweetened chocolate after I cut down on sweets! My three year old likes it too…….Pretty shocking to other people!
Do you eat it plain? What do you put it on?
Stephanie @ One Big Adventure
Oops. I meant to say above that we had fresh ham (homegrown), steamed/buttered brussels sprouts and fresh bread (for some) for dinner last night. We have lots of apples from an orchard which tasted sweeter every day.
This morning, we had more sauteed veggies (onions, peppers–should’ve added garlic) with homemade, homegrown Italian pork sausage over brown rice (except for those that were skipping the grain). For lunch we had Carrot Ginger soup from Cheeseslave. Very flavorful, but not really filling for a lunch. Next time, we’ll plan other things to go with it.
The plan for dinner tonight is pot roast. It’s cool and gray and I think we are all ready for some comfort food.
Gotta have that comfort food! Sounds like you are doing great on the challenge, way to go!
For us, food this week has been pretty darn normal! I guess we’ve been used to not having sweets (though I do go through phases of making desserts more often too). Breakfast was scrambled eggs. Raw milk for snack. Leftovers for lunch. Dinner will be millet and meat stuffed red bell peppers.
This has actually been a lot easier than I thought it would be in terms of avoiding sweets (this is coming from a girl who LOVES dark chocolate and making treats that may have healthier ingredients like sucanat, but still with sugar). I said I’d be on the beginner/moderate level but I’m really much more on the moderate level. I was hoping to have some organic flax crackers with cheese but they had evaporated cane juice, so I didn’t. I did make stuffed peppers last night that had organic ketchup in the mix, and so that did have a little sugar, and some leftover veggie stir fry that had some trader joe’s bbq sauce which has some sugar. I had a tiny amount in both, but still, it’s been eye opening realizing even “healthy” bottled and packaged stuff has sugar!
I really love my vegetables very plain, roasted or steamed with some butter and salt. Unfortunately I don’t make them as often as I should-DH likes a lot of vegetables but he only likes raw the ones I like cooked. Of course.
Day 2 going well here, I am still just eating normally. I haven’t had a baking urge yet, but mark my words, it will come. My breakfast and lunch were actually the same as yesterday (why yes, I DO like the same food over and over….) and supper was blended potato leek soup and a little leftover polenta. I dug into some cold cannelini beans as well. It’s going to be a lot of soft foods around here for a while-DH got his wisdom teeth out today. I made him a batch of your chocolate pudding and I might have to have a little myself. The dentist’s office had a coffee machine…well I filled small cup nearly to the top with plain coffee, then decided to put in a splash of ‘mocha’ for some flavor since there was obviously no whole milk. It didn’t strike me until after I drank it that the ‘mocha’ drink would be full of sugar. So I got a little sugar there, and I’m annoyed at myself for not paying attention.
Everybody is doing so well! But I am totally struggling… After being off sugar all summer, I let myself indulge on vacation in early Sept. Now I’m back on the hook, and while intending to go back to Mod/Advanced, I find instead that I’m slipping badly and having actual sugar, not just stevia or fruit… Any thoughts to help with the sugar/carb cravings??
There is well over a hundred people who are doing this challenge, but just a small percentage of them commenting. I am sure that you aren’t the only one having a hard time. 🙂
Here are a few tips I’ve found helpful
Tea with Cream or Coconut cream. Having something to sip keeps my mouth busy and also feels like a treat. 🙂
Having protein with all meals and snacks keeps blood sugar more level.
Some people mentioned that stevia is supposed to help with sugar cravings. If nothing else it gives you a taste of something sweet. 🙂
Fermented foods-Sauerkraut (you should buy live real lacto-fermented versions at health food stores), real yogurt (not sweetened), Kombucha, etc.
And finally, get the mind busy on something else. You’ve done it before, so I know you can do it again!
Anyone else have advice for Melle?
I haven’t signed up officially for this week, but we’ve been at the beginner level since May. My biggest challenge has been snacks – I’m so accustomed to putting snacks in my kids’ lunchboxes or having something to munch on at work. We’ve been falling back to apples and peanut or almond butter, celery with peanut butter and raisins, dried fruit and crispy nuts, veggies and hummos. And a big glass of tea or kombucha to sip on is helpful too.
Good luck everyone!
Here is a link to a great talk by Jerry Brunetti. It’s long, but somewhere buried in there is the best advice I’ve ever gotten on sugar cravings: Eat Fat. When your body is craving sugar, it may actually be telling you it needs fat. Makes sense: as our country has gone “low-fat” it has also gone “high-sugar.” Since our family has added in grass-fed butter, coconut oil, whole raw milk, grass-fed beef, etc, my sugar cravings have darn near disappeared!
I don’t know what level you’re going for, but if you’re on the beginner (i.e. honey, agave, etc.) I recommed Trader Joe’s Honey Sesame Cashews make-over. (There’s the healthy fat peeking out too!) Just get some raw cashews, coat them in a mixture of slightly diluted honey (honey with a teeny bit of water), roll them in sesame seeds, and then roast them in the oven. I use the brolier on low for a few minutes (watching VERY closely so they don’t burn); but I have heard of setting the oven to around 350 F for a few minutes and roasting them that way. I have a splendid reputation for turning things into charcoal, but if they don’t blacken, these taste almost like the real thing 🙂 Good luck on your mission!
I’m having an easy time at the beginner level. I went out and got some whole grain crackers (Back to Nature, I think) to have with cheese for a snack, and they’re surprisingly yummy. We disguised the whole wheat Bionaturae pasta with lots of sauce and cheese and I didn’t mind its fiber-y taste and texture much at all. I took apples, corn chips and Jenny’s-brand coconut macaroons along for a snack when I had an appt. out of town this afternoon, and drank my Irish Breakfast hot tea at Caribou with only half and half, no packet of sugar. It wasn’t quite as much of a treat, but it was fine.
The thing I noticed by yesterday afternoon already, that is totally amazing me, is that my constant headache/stiff neck/stiff jaw/shoulder pain/fibromyalgia-like symptoms and fatigue are almost gone, very close to completely gone, in fact! Can taking out sugar and white flour really do that so quickly?! I did stop drinking wine last week, and I’ve limited my computer time lately to try to decrease the constant pain I’m in, but the sugar/flour elimination has made more difference, more quickly, than anything. I’m shocked! Is it that the sugar and white flour are so toxic a poison to my body that they’re causing that much pain? Well, I’m going to keep trying to find out. I’m not even at the higher levels of this challenge and I’ve had amazing results! It’s so worth it.
That’s amazing! But then again, refined sugar and flour are pretty bad for us. Keep us updated!
I just read the earlier posts concerning refractometers and I am going to buy one tonight ! I want to know what I am eating and how my soil is doing.
Thanks for posting this message.
Also, if you want GREAT veggie recipes just open any french cookbook, but my favorites (kid tested) are in Roger Verger’s Vegetables in the French style. Lots of yummy flans and things with cream/cheese that kids will actually eat.
I went to a class a girl @ church taught & she taught us about refractometers & how they work, why we need to make sure our foods have minerals & so on. It was a great class. As I said just b/c it is organic does not mean it is good for us. I know that sounds strange it did to me too until I started testing the foods. If there are not minerals there are not vitamins. So, the goal also needs to be high in minerals. The refractometer came w the class cost as a bundle package.
I have seen different ones on amazon too.
Day 2 was harder than Day 1. There was a b-day party at work & I couldn’t eat anything. But then my husband asked me at dinner whether or not I really felt badly about it by that point in the day & I realized how fleeting these things are — in the long run – though they don’t feel that way at the time.
I’m feeling better with less sugar & white flour – and not a lot of natural sweeteners either. Also getting more coconut oil which is great. I have tried incorporating more fermented things.
I find the challenge strangely freeing. I don’t want to have refined sugars any time already – however being part of an official challenge – with others is helpful to me. Many other times it’s much more difficult.
Go Team! 🙂
I’m loving all of this discussion, especially all the ideas on what to eat. I had a headache all day yesterday, and a bit today, but I think I’m dealing with a bit of candida die-off, so that’s to be expected. When I feel a headache coming on, I make sure I have a big glass of water and maybe a spoonful of coconut oil, it seems to help a bit.
Last night I made baked sweet potato fries with coconut oil, sea salt, and rosemary! They were sooooooo yummy! I actually enjoyed them just as much today for a snack, cold right from the fridge, especially the ones that turned a bit brown and caramelly! Yum!!!
Tonight I made chicken and veggie soup with brown rice and homemade bone broth, everyone in my family had seconds! My daughter asked if we could have it every day! (Don’t you just love those kind of compliments at dinner.) 🙂 For lunch I’ve been having chicken salad with mayo, cucumbers, celery, and almonds on a bed of spinach.
I am going to make a post at my blog about this challenge at the end of the week and I will link up here but I just wanted to say thank you firstly, because I have been PRAYING about what I should do for my “diet” habits and then sitting around waiting for a miracle “O) Thanks for the miracle.
I have started at the beginner level because sugar plays a massive role in my diet. It is my major weakness and I eat WAY to much of it.
Today is day three for me and I have noticed a few things…. things with sugar taste SWEET already (almost sickly so and that was after only one day of no refined sugars or white flour products), I am in a bad habit of not checking even the labels on products and came home with white pita bread and white lavash bread!!! (I was allowed to exchange them “O)) and three I have a LOT!!! of gas and I am going to the toilet to poo (sorry about the graphics) A LOT!!!!!! Like 10 times in one day! I think my body is excreting all the build up!
It is freeing! I have felt tired (but I am not 100%) but I feel great. I feel full and I don’t have the radical cravings and “starving” feeling at all. My meals are all so FILLING! I am soooo pleased to have done this. It was ABSOLUTELY, beyond a doubt JUST what I needed so I thank the Lord for you! I am seriously on the track to better health.
Will link again to my post at the end of this week. I will have to blog about it as it has had such a radical affect on me already in only 2 days!
Thanks again and blessings to you!!
Sugar plays a big part in my diet too, and even so many whole grain products at the natural food store have white flour in them so I get way too much of it. I’ve had amazing results in just 2 days, too! I feel so much better. I’m glad I’m not alone here!
Cook 4 Seasons
Wow – I am so motivated by all the comments! Lots of great ideas, and truly candid feedback.
So far, this one has been going well for me on the moderate/adv. level. I already eat plenty of veggies, protein and healthy fats, but often crave something sweet first thing in the morning, and after lunch. Instead of my usual smoothie, I started both days eating a whole grain hot cereal with oat milk, applesauce and cinnamon. Both the applesauce and cinnamon work for me when I have the cravings, I even have it for dessert if need be. And now with apples in their full glory, I have been enjoying homemade batches mixed with berries.
Tonite for dinner I made a kale, bean and tomato stew, served with brown rice (and topped with avocado.) Usually I yearn for something sweet to follow but after this stew I was so satiated, I just finished off my Kombucha and left the kitchen (to come back here:) I’m so glad you mentioned Kombucha above, Kimi – I wasn’t sure if the sugars would kick me into a sweet mode again (they didn’t.)
It is great to have such support out there. Continued success to everyone!
I have been doing pretty good…no sugar at all but I did have a few crackers and I am turning to chips of all things. Soooo unhealthful! I need a good flax cracker recipe or something to snack like that.
I am using less than a T a day of agave and usually 1/2 agave and 1/2 vegetable glycerin. I had a glass of 100% cranberry w/seltzer today and I did add in some stevia/truvia.
Good earth original tea is very sweet naturally and I will have it when my fam is having hot cocoa…really helps. I did make a hot cocoa with stevia the other day but didn’t really like it that much. I love the good earth tea. There are also Chocolate teas you can get and add some cream…yum. 🙂
I am really enjoying carrot sticks…all by themselves. So sweet!
I made an impossible broccoli/carrot/onion/garlic pie today…I use Gluten Free flours and no sugar in my biscuitmix…also added flax to it. Yum…comfort food.
I can’t eat even much fruit right now so I miss that a lot. I have pears on my counter and want to eat them! I do have a bite once in awhile when I cut one up for the kids. If I do a green smoothie I add one apple and 1/3 c blue berries, fill blender w/spinach and kale and 10 oz water or so, also 1 T flaxmeal and 1 T coconut oil. I wouldn’t say I enjoy it, but it’s doable and so nutritious and filling. I tried doing green smoothie w/no fruit and couldn’t do it…does anyone do that?
Another broccoli dish I enjoy is to stir fry the broccoli in coconut oil, add in sliced leftover baked potato and serve with scrambled eggs. Yum…but then I want orange juice with it. Oh well…I skipped that.
I made some ketchup with tomato paste and water and spices and just a tiny bit of agave in it. The whole family likes it so I am thrilled with that…no added salt or sugar which regular ketchup has loads of and it was costing us a fortune to keep it in the house…so this is good!
I am not doing much fruit right now but if I was I would slice up some apples and bake them with cinnamon, oats and pecans sprinkled on top…add some raisins at the end of baking time…YUM!
Thanks for the challenge, it’s helping me. Now if I can just kick the chips! And get my hubs to stop bringing home raspberry white choc scones from the store! I WONT eat them! Anyone have a great scone recipe w/o sugar?
Cook 4 Seasons
Great suggestions, Linda! As for green smoothie without fruit: I use beets and carrots with spinach or kale and sometimes add a piece of ginger. Super sweet with a kick.
Cook 4 Seasons
Me again…I realize that I gave you my recipe for fresh JUICE, not smoothie;-)
My holistic nutritionist suggested I eat my corn chips (organic, of course) with hummus so I’d have protein in my snack. That way, less chips satisfy me. Maybe you could try that? Have hummus or bean dip or whatever you like that provides some fat and protein with them, rather than cutting chips out altogether.
Thanks you guys, great ideas. The juice sounds really yummy and the hummus idea is a great one. I love hummus and it is so nourishing too.
Today I made some lemon scones that had only 2 T agave in the batch of 8 scones…made from sorghum and tapioca. They were good with cinnamon and butter on top. 🙂 Here’s the recipe:
I used 2 T agave instead of the 3T sugar. My 5 year old liked them too. 🙂
The sliced apple with cinnnamon and nutmeg sounds interesting, however I can’t find the recipe. Can someone please tell me where to find it? Thanks.
Hi All, I’m a nutritionist and a lot of my clients struggle to give up sugar and refined starch, which are the number-one dietary culprits I encounter in my practice.
I have three kids (12, 7 and 7) and at home we eat a 80% paleo diet that’s very high in vegetables, occasional exceptions being whole grains (generally soaked), sourdough bread and pulses. The kids seem to have no problem with this — they somehow get hold of enough rubbish food outside the home anyway, so they accept that home is a rubbish-free zone. My 7-yr-old daughter actually loves 100% chocolate (I stop at 90%…)! It’s all about what you know and what you’re used to, and if we teach out kids from an early age to like vegetables and dark chocolate (and enjoy these ourselves), they will too!
I wanted to share a few thoughts and ideas from my home life and professional practice.
– Sweetness in vegetables: when you cut back on sugar you notice that many vegetables actually taste quite sweet. Not only the obvious ones like carrots, parsnips, pumpkin and beets (which have relatively high glycemic index ratings but fairly low glycemic load ratings, so they’re fine as long as you don’t eat them three times a day, every day). Other vegetables, like onions, garlic, bell peppers, fennel, green beans, tomatoes, young zucchini and all sorts of cabbage (green, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts etc) can taste incredibly sweet when you cook or roast them slowly. On gentle heat so as not to kill all the nutrients, and with next-to-no water – just letting them ‘stew in their own juice.’ And as Kimi points out, adding a bit of lemon juice or butter not only enhances nutrient uptake, it also brings out their natural sweetness and flavor.
– Nuts & seeds (raw) are also good substitutes for cookies and sweets – they’re starchy, fatty (good fats!) and crunchy, which makes them a very satisfying snack. However, they are very energy-dense (i.e. high in calories), so eat in moderation. I find the perfect mid-morning snack is a seasonal fruit (right now, an apple/pear/plum) with 8-10 almonds, hazelnuts or 5-6 walnut halves. More satisfying than just fruit on its own, as the protein & fat in the nuts help balance blood-sugar levels and keep you sated longer. Ground almonds or hazelnuts are a great flour-substitute in baking, as demonstrated by Kimi here, and by Elana (www.elanaspantry.com).
– Acacia honey: this has become my favorite sweetener for baking, salad dressings etc. It has a very neutral flavor and is clear and runny, so very easy to use for baking, salad dressings etc. Here in France it’s called “the diabetics’ honey” as it has a large fructose component and a glycemic-index rating in the 30s. In addition, it contains all those wonderful health-giving properties of honey and hasn’t undergone *any* processing (unlike agave or xylitol, not to mention completely synthetic sweeteners). It should be used in moderation as fructose, too, has drawbacks; but it’s so sweet, a little goes a long way.
– One trick that works for a lot of my clients is this: to prevent sweet snack-attacks after dinner (when we finally relax and want to nibble on something sweet), brush & floss your teeth thoroughly and have a gargle with some minty mouthwash; once you’ve invested all that time and effort in oral hygiene, no cookie in the world will be worth going through all that work again! The minty taste also generally puts people off eating. I usually sip a herbal infusion afterwards and that’s just enough to provide comfort without sugar.
– Sleep: most of us don’t get enough sleep & rest, so we feel tired a lot of the time. To lift our energy levels, we eat things that push up our blood-sugar levels: sugar and refined starch, and caffeine-containing drinks. Try to get 7-8 hours sleep per night and you will be amazed by how much less you crave strong coffee and sugary/starchy food for breakfast. (Plus, spending more time sleeping means you spend less time roving around your house in search of something sweet!) Studies also show that lack of sleep is correlated with weight gain. See http://www.drbriffa.com — he has lots of great info on sleep studies.
– Lastly, take heart: the first 3-4 weeks of sugar withdrawal are always the hardest; sugar/starch is a drug and kicking the habit is tough – especially as the stuff is *everywhere*! But once you cut back, you quickly notice that sweet foods taste cloyingly sweet, and that you don’t actually crave sugar as much as you used to. For those tough 3-4 weeks, remove sugar & starch from your home so you don’t even get tempted, get support from family, friends & colleagues, keep yourself busy, occupy your mind and get plenty of sleep.
Sorry this got long — hopefully of help to some.
GREAT post – love it !
Thanks for sharing all your tips. I like the seasonal fruit/nut combo for a mid-morning snack.
Great – thanks!
Thank you for this! Today was the first day I really craved something sweet (after lunch), and I thought of your comment here. I realized I was tired, not hungry, so I let myself take a nap on the couch. It felt great!
Day 2 is over here in Denmark
Well by midday I had the worst headache ever 🙁
But later that day after more water and some dinner I felt OK , tired and a little cool enden up with a cup of hot cocoa made with full fat milk , unsweetned cocoa and Erythritol ( not something I normally use- but in that situation is was OK:
When I woke this morning I actually felt pretty good- feel proud that I have stayed sugar and grainfree for 2 whole days with limited fruit as well.
well I like all veggies, just don´t boil them to death- but remember that butter and salt can improve flavour a lot.
If you don´t like steamed veggies- try baked ( especially rootveggies are nice)
raw veggies are also an option.
BUT always buy fresh veggies- I find that most veggies doen´t benfit from being frozen.
I do use frozen peas, green bean and spinach- but try to buy fresh produce in season the rest of the time.
Canned tomates and fermented veggies are good though 😉
I made it through the 2nd day without too many problems. Wednesday night at church will be my biggest challenge.
I love vegetables except turnips and beets. My husband doesn’t like them either so that helps. We grow and eat lots of others though and enjoy them cooked any way. For years I have tried not frying food so most of ours are steamed or sauteed.
Thanks again for the challenge, I’m actually enjoying it.
Kylie of Thin Crust, Deep Dish
I wasn’t originally planning to join in, but everyone has been posting such great insights that I’m going to tag along. I’m always struggling with sugar, and I only recently started having success with cutting down when I started eating a half cup to a cup of sauerkraut each day. I don’t know why, but more than adding protein to my diet, drinking kombucha and yogurt and kefir, it has really helped to reduce my cravings. This challenge is a great way to keep progressing with that. I’m at the beginner level for now. During the day at work, I drink a cup or two of decaf Good Earth Tea, which is really a great (and sweet) treat. I’m also paying attention to getting delicious, high quality fats. I cultured my own butter for the first time last weekend, and I’m really enjoying that. Also, thanks to everyone who talked about brussels sprouts. You reminded me that I have a bunch of them sitting in my fridge! Great job, everyone, and thanks for being so inspiring.
Just wanted to share how I eat my broccoli/asparagus/zucchini
Usually its with lots of butter, then add a dash turmeric, sea salt, cumin powder and then add the veggies and cook till soft not boiled so the green is retained.
drizzle lots of lemon and Parmesan and serve hot!