Growing up, I wasn’t allowed to have any sugar.
I don’t just mean that we couldn’t have candy, but that if there was even a gram of added sugar listed in the ingredients on a package of seemingly not-junk food cereal, we couldn’t have it.
Which pretty much meant that my mom made everything from scratch. That’s pretty amazing, but there’s no way I have time for that now.
I do try to be mindful of the meals I make, especially for my kids.
The problem is that I have a huge sweet tooth. Is there an event where everyone brings a dish? You know I’ve got dessert covered. Probably multiple desserts because I like to try new things plus bring a requested favorite.
If I want a snack, I tend to reach for something sweet.
But, this is the last year I can call myself a 30-something. My body is changing and I know I need take better care of myself.
While I don’t think I could ever go back to the extreme of my childhood, I can definitely cut back on sugar, starting with the #GoodbyeSugar30 challenge. The goal of the challenge is to give you the tools to make small changes in your lifestyle that can help you reduce added sugars and calories, without sacrificing taste.
*Gulp* Yes, this is for real.
I figured that October would be the perfect time to do this, since it would help me stay away from all the Halloween candy that’s everywhere right now.
Maybe if I stay away from sweets, I’ll fit a little better into the dresses I’m packing for a trip at the end of the month.
And then I delved a little deeper… and actually looked at the labels on some of the foods I eat.
A simple turkey and cheese sandwich? Sugar in both the turkey and the bread.
Reach for some barbecue sauce to put on my chicken? 16 grams of sugar. Per serving. And I probably wouldn’t have just used one serving.
Think I’m making an easy and good-for-me salad, but there’s a ton of added sugar in the salad dressing.
There are more than 60 names for sugar that may appear on the ingredients list of foods and understanding these sugar terms is key to identifying, removing or replacing added sugars in my diet. Though I’m still eating the sugar that is naturally occurring in foods like fruits and milk, just trying to stay away from added sugar.
I’m actually about 2 weeks into my challenge now and it’s both easier and harder than I expected. Harder because I didn’t realize before just how much sugar was in some foods I normally eat and easier because it’s becoming a habit to check labels.
One easy change I’ve made is to sweeten my herbal tea with SPLENDA® Naturals Stevia Sweetener instead of sugar or honey. I’ve also put this out in place of the sugar my husband usually adds to his coffee.
With SPLENDA® Naturals Stevia Sweetener you get great sweet taste with no bitter aftertaste. It’s sweet but without the calories, added flavors or artificial ingredients. SPLENDA® Naturals Stevia Sweetener is available at retail stores nationwide in 40 and 80 count boxes. You can click here or on the picture below to learn more about it.
If I can do this, so can you. It helps that after you sign up, there’s a Facebook group that has tips and recipes. I plan of trying some of the recipes this weekend.
At the end of the challenge, I’ll share how I did and what I learned. Hope you’ll join me!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.