Circa 2014 I was addicted to sugar. When I was unhappy, stressed, bored, or judgemental of myself I would reach for drugstore candy, vending machine snacks, chocolate – whatever I could get my hands on.
We’ll save the emotional connection to food story for another day, but it became a serious problem. One that escalated into a disordered relationship with food, serious weight gain, health issues, and obsessions around thinness, judgement, and calories.
I attempted to solve my sugar addiction time and time again with failure. It wasn’t until I dedicated myself to change my mindset, behavior, and habits to shift my life for the better!
For me specially, in order for my uncontrollable sugar cravings to stop, I had to eliminate consuming sugar and white flour. The process is uncomfortable – physically, mentally, & emotionally. BUT removing the excessive sugar will halt the cravings, obsessive thoughts, and reduce the bad bacteria in your gut. The longer I stay away the easier it is. Our society was raised with the impression that fat makes you fat – which it does not. There’s plenty of research around it, which you can check out here, here & here.
My first step was ransacking my pantry of all foods with sugar and flour. This includes: most pasta sauces, dried fruit, granola bars, cereal, canned soups, condiments (ketchup, BBQ sauce, some mustards), seasonings, skim milk, pre-made salad dressing, sweetened yogurts, Jif/Skippy peanut butter, and the obvious ones like desserts and sweet treats.
As a caveat, I will say I’m not perfect and I don’t force myself to be. If I’m out with friends and really want something, I’ll have it. I try my best to eat mindfully, recognize that I am allowed to have any food, I just choose to eat a certain way a majority of the time because of all of the amazing benefits.
Speaking of benefits, when I let go of sugar I noticed my skin is on point, stable energy, mental clarity, stable moods, stronger willpower, reduced anxiety, sleeping better, less food cravings, and an overall feeling of being healthier, happier, more vibrant, and my best self.
So – what are my favorites? See below for some of my staples.
REMINDER: The key is, ALWAYS check ingredients, the simpler the better
- Green and colorful vegetables: EVERYTHING! Kale, romaine, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, cucumber, jicima, onions, peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, cauliflower, tomatoes, radishes
- Starchy veggies: green beans, brussels sprouts, beets, squash, sweet potato, yam, yucca, chickpeas, beans
- Proteins: eggs, chicken, buffalo, grass-fed ground beef, pork, carnitas, steak, salmon, cod, turkey breast, rotisserie chicken, shrimp, tofu, chicken sausage, ground turkey, mahi mahi, sashimi, oysters, clams, deli meat
- Fruits: raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, apples
- Miscellaneous: Nuts (almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, pistachios), seeds, cheese (feta, brie, cheddar, cream cheese), plain oats, chia seeds, hummus, olives, pickles, avocado, black sesame seeds, olive oil, coconut oil
- “Processed foods” – : Quest Bars/Powders/Chips. protein powders, potato chips, popcorn, bacon, RX Bar, nut butter, trail mix, beef jerky, seaweed, Flacker crackers, Mary’s Gone Crackers, pork rinds, plain yogurt, Rawxies crackers, Ezekial bread/cereal
- Drinks: Alcohol/Club Soda/Lime (vodka, tequila), Sugar Free Mojito (muddled lime, mint, with rum & soda water), Diet Coke/Vodka/Lime, Red Wine