sugar

Photo Credit: Björn Freiberg via Flicker

Now that I’ve hit the Day 5 mark of my Detox-u-mentary Project, I’ve been reflecting on the positive changes I experience when removing dairy and sugar from my diet. When these are out of the equation, it’s easy to make good choices, because what’s left is all the stuff we should be eating most of the time.

It’s amazing how much sugar is added to the foods we consume on a regular basis. Honey, cane juice, fructose and anything with ose– still sugar. Just by reading a nutrition label, it’s apparent that sugar is prevalent in just about everything we eat, and it’s not just dessert!

If you’re thinking of reaching for artificial sweeteners, think again. Studies have shown that adding artificial sweeteners might even trick the body into thinking it’s sugar anyway. Why load up on nasty chemicals? Choosing natural, whole food sources are out there and easier to find than you think.

The payoff of living without.

After a few days of living without dairy and sugar, I usually experience a distinct difference in how I feel, and my clothes even get a little looser in the process because a simple carbohydrate such as sugar causes the body hold water.

To add even more fuel to the fire, dairy can cause bloating and stomach discomfort. The fact is, we’re all lactose intolerant…unless you’re a baby cow. When you reaad “Vitamin D Fortified” on the side of a milk carton, that means it’s added. Think about it– added. Milk is not a complete source of vitamin D or even calcium. If you want some vitamin D, step outside in the sunlight for 10 minutes per day. If you want to get calcium, opt for more dark leafy greens and learn to enjoy a satisfying bowl of oatmeal in the morning. Delete the sugar and milk and add these delicious alternatives:

For sweetness:

  • blueberries
  • apricots
  • nuts
  • banana — a good trick I use is to mash it up first, and add it to the oatmeal while it is cooking– makes it even sweeter!
  • swirl in cashew butter– this is my favorite.
  • pure vanilla bean powder— not vanilla extract because alcohol is added.

Instead of milk:

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So maybe today you can go without dairy and sugar for a day or two and see how you feel. With a little creativity and searching for alternatives, you may even discover some exciting new foods that you’ll really like. Yes, you can live the sweet life.