We’re about to take what sounds impossible – quitting sugar – and break it down into something very do-able. I’ve been on this journey for 6+ months and here is the best of the best of what I’ve learned. Let’s go!
Here are your keys for sugar-quitting success:
PROTEIN FOR BREAKFAST is the way to go. I have particularly seen many people, including myself, do really well with eggs for breakfast. You can experiment with different options, but eggs/ spinach/ Applegate Farms sausage links – that seems to be a winner. Egg “muffins” or hard-boiled eggs can also work if you want to make your breakfast in advance.
STEVIA ONLY. In the beginning, until you get your sweet tooth under control, limit your sweeteners to organic stevia. You’ll start to appreciate the natural sweetness of apples, berries, sweet potatoes and even brown rice after a few days on the plan. Eventually you can add a bit of good quality honey or maple syrup.
READ YOUR LABELS. Don’t eat anything that comes in a package, box or bottle with more than 8 grams of sugar per serving. That automatically rules out juice, soda, most protein bars, lots of yogurt, etc.
SNACKS. Having a snack mid-morning and mid-afternoon is a great way to prevent getting hangry and dealing with blood sugar crashes. Nothing fancy needed. You’ll see ideas below.
MINDSET is EVERYTHING! Getting a can-do attitude really helps! Sprinkle in a sense of humor and a willingness to stumble and get back up. Get a friend to be your sugar buddy. Have fun with it.
SHAKEOLOGY is a superfood meal replacement shake designed to help curb your cravings, give you more energy, feel fuller longer, and improve overall health and digestion. I like it because it’s nutrient-dense, high in protein, is easily absorbed by my body, and tastes like a dessert. It’s been key on my sugar-quitting journey, especially in all those moments at the beginning when I wanted Pinkberry or a Frappuchino, I made my cold shake instead.
WATER. Aim to drink ½ your ideal body weight in ounces of water a day! That means if your goal weight is 140 pounds, drink 70 ounces of water each day. You can add a pinch of pink sea salt and/or lemon. Everyone says not to do this, but I actually drink a lot of water at night. I’d rather stumble to the bathroom to pee in the middle of the night than constantly have to pee when I’m out with the kids. But maybe that’s just me!
For your meals, if you want to keep it super simple, I recommend:
Breakfast: Some type of eggs
Snack: see below for ideas
Lunch: Big Salad
Dinner: Protein + Veggies
A sample meal plan – you can mix and match from here if this is helpful!
I personally like to try to go on “autopilot” for a few weeks at a time with my breakfast and lunch, then change things up for snacks and dinners. That way I can get into a good rhythm, there’s some nice consistency, but also some variety too. So if you find a breakfast or lunch or snack that you love, please feel free to go on autopilot! If you get bored after a while, then change it up!
NOTE: Too many recipes to include them all here!! For the recipes, here is your pdf!
- Carrots, celery, cucumber, grape tomatoes or sugar snaps sprinkled with 2 T hummus or guacamole
- Mash an avocado with sea salt and lemon; use as a dip for veggies
- Hummus with carrot sticks or celery for dipping
- ½ can of wild salmon sprinkled with sea salt and lemon for flavor – with gluten-free crackers such as Mary’s Gone Crackers
- Apple slices with almond butter; Justin’s makes individual packets of almond butter
- Hard-boiled egg with sea salt
- 1/4 cup or 1 ounce of walnuts or other unsalted nuts
- 1/4 cup or 1 ounce of pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup whole milk yogurt. Preferably yogurt from grass-fed cows, definitely no artificial sweeteners, and less than 8 grams of sugar.
- 1 cup berries
- Kombucha or LaCroix
- Seaweed snacks: toasted sheets of nori such as “SeaSnax”
- Cheese: choose an organic single-serving string cheese.
- Shakeology, or another high-quality protein shake.
- Epic Bars: pre-packaged bars are not at the top of my list, but Epic bars are full of protein and Omega 3 fats and can be a good option when traveling.
Shakeology Chocolate Smoothie
This is what I have for a snack every day:
- 1 scoop Shakeology
- ½ cup almond milk
- ½ cup water
- 1 small ripe banana
- 1 tsp almond butter
Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender, blend and enjoy!
“Emergency” Tips for the Serious Sugar Cravings!
Coconut oil: Take a teaspoon of coconut oil upon waking, in the afternoon and right before bed; this will serve as a blood sugar safety net throughout the day.
Flavored tea: find a flavored tea with a sweet profile, like a Ginger Peach, Cinnamon, Raspberry or Rooibos tea. Keep a few tea bags with you at all times.
Swedish Bitters: Swedish Bitters on your tongue can curb sugar cravings. You can get bitters in a spray bottle and do a quick spritz on your tongue.
Release opiates: Just a taste of sweetness on your tongue stimulates the release of opiates in the brain which increases dopamine, producing a feeling of pleasure. If you’re in a sweet emergency, have a piece of fruit, or a teaspoon of honey to release those opiates.
Chocolate: In an “emergency,” have a square of Green & Black Organic 85% Dark Chocolate with a dab of almond butter. It’s bitter, but it is chocolate.
Kombucha has been instrumental for me, both when I stopped drinking alcohol several years ago, and again when I stopped eating sugar. Kombucha is a fermented, fizzy drink that completely cuts through my cravings. Do check your labels, because some flavored kombucha has a lot of sugar. GT’s Gingerade kombucha has only 2 grams of sugar per serving.
Add spices. Coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom will naturally sweeten your foods and reduce cravings. Sprinkle over oatmeal, add to a squash soup, a lentil dish, or add cinnamon to smoothies.
Roasted Root Veggies: Preheat the oven to 375, and drizzle your chopped veggies with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. Roast for 30-45 minutes, mixing every 15 minutes. Sweet potato, carrots, squash, parsnips and onion will all be delicious.
Keep sugary snacks out of your house and office. It’s difficult to snack on things that aren’t there!
Take a good quality multivitamin and mineral supplement, omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin D3. Nutrient deficiencies can make cravings worse and the fewer nutrient deficiencies, the fewer cravings. Certain nutrients seem to improve blood sugar control including chromium, vitamin B3 and magnesium. I use Shakeology to cover my bases for vitamins/ minerals. Get your vitamin D levels checked by your doctor, and take an Epsom salt bath for magnesium!
And the secret sauce is … COMMUNITY!
My friends, I am not bs’ing you on this. I’m a bit of an introvert. I’m very independent. If I could be doing this alone – truth is, I would! I have TRIED to do this alone. It didn’t work. I failed and failed again. It is ONLY when I created a community that I started to be truly consistent. There is something powerful that happens when you make a declaration to a group of like-minded peeps, and witness others having success with the same stuff you’re struggling with. We all lift each other up and show each other it’s possible.
On that note, these truly are my very best sugar-quitting tips. However, reading them won’t get you far. Keep showing up in the group to share your progress, struggles, recipes and victories!
Lots of love,