A few days ago I got a surprise package in the mail!
The ever sweet and generous Rhodey Girl sent me a couple of Larabars to try- my first ever! Of course, I ripped open the cashew cookie bar immediately to try it. I am very particular about eating foods with nuts in them, but this bar was delicious. Nice and chewy and with a grand total of 2 ingredients: cashews and dates. This bar was also incredibly filling and it keeps its freshness if you want to save half of the bar for a snack later in the day. I would absolutely have it again.
I am saving the other bar, Pecan Pie (dates, pecans, almonds) for next week’s no-added-sugars challenge if I need a fall-back. I know that a lot of people out there love to eat bars as a quick way to fuel up midday, and Larabars are fantastic for that purpose. These energy-boosters are free of added sugars and incredibly healthy; they’re full of healthy fats, fiber, plenty of vitamins and minerals, and also contain a decent amount of protein. If you are a bar person, buy these rather than any other bar. And with ingredients as simple as this, you can even make your own at home!
What else will I be relying on? We’re back to the basics with really simple ingredients. But that does not mean that the meal plan will be boring! I fully intend to eat a diverse and balanced diet with tastiness in every mouthful. I have a few ideas that I am looking forward to trying and will be digging out some of my favorite cookbooks to assist me. My apple banana bread, rosemary crackers, and whole wheat tortillas will all be perfect for this challenge, too, for when I need a grain fix in sandwich form or for the crunch factor.
Print out this page which lists 100 different names for sugar and take it to the grocery store this weekend when you stock up on added-sugar-free foods! If you have any great recipes, leave them in the comments and I’ll link back to them once the challenge begins.
– We like natural sugars. It’s the added sugars we’re avoiding for the week. Stock up on the fruit; bypass the yogurt sweetened with sugar.
– Sugar (white/brown/cane etc), honey, molasses, stevia, agave, syrup, evaporated cane juice, aspartame, and Splenda all count as added sugars.
– There are added sugars in a shockingly high amount of the foods we eat, even if you do not eat very much in the way of processed foods. Bag Lady explained in our last post that sugar is added in breads because it’s necessary for the chemical reaction to occur with yeast. Check the ingredients list in everything you eat, be it bread, a condiment, meat (especially with pre-cooked food like ham) or even a spice. There are all kinds of unusual ingredients lurking everywhere. Never assume that you know what’s in the food you’re eating- read the ingredients list first.
– Just because the nutrition facts table says there are 0 sugars in the food doesn’t mean that there are really 0 sugars in the food. In Canada, if there is less than 0.5g of sugar per serving in the food product, then the manufacturers are allowed to outright lie and state on the nutrition facts table that there is 0g of sugar. Read the ingredients list; it is far more honest than the nutrition facts table.
Have a wonderful weekend and let us all know what kinds of food you find or have recently found which would be useful in this challenge! Our challenge will kick off on Sunday.
If you’re interested in learning about some fitness while you cut back on sugar, Kelly from Every Gym’s Nightmare was kind enough to grant me an interview with her advice as a personal trainer- you can read all about it in my article, How to get the most out of your workout!