Kicking Sugar

Sugar. I’m so into it, I love sweets. Love love. So when I let it get out of hand, I know I need a personal intervention.

For the last 3 years around this time I’ve done the 21 Day Sugar Detox so that I can kick my sugar habit. (I will link to it at the end of the post).

Here’s the thing: in life I pretty much always have a sweet tooth, and when the holiday season comes around I’m in my happiest happy place. It’s the time of year (usually starting at about mid/end of November😏) when I let chocolates and all the baked goodies into the house. It’s also the time of year when I don’t feel an ounce of guilt or conflicting feelings about it. Friends bring goodies over, I buy some of our favourites, and then I BAKE. I make all kinds of things, squares, cookies, truffles, and I use all the best stuff… butter, sugar, condensed milk, chocolate, you name it!  I save this kind of baking for the Christmas season because when all the treats come around I (we) can’t help but eat it up 😍

The baking…

Outside of December I don’t do this kind of indulgent baking. If I bake, it consists of a batch of cookies or muffins for my kids where I make healthier versions of recipes. I do the ingredient swap, like apple sauce for oils and butter, I use different types of flours like almond flour, spelt or oat flour instead of wheat. I sneak in veggies by grating up zucchini or carrots, I will use raisins or nuts instead of chocolate chips, or go a little lighter on the chocolate chips. I’ve found that as long as my boys can visably see a couple chocolate chips in a cookie, it’s enough to get them super excited about their treat (but I’m not sure how much longer that will last🤔).

For me, 1 or 2 chocolate chips at Christmas time would never give me a thrill, so that’s why I give in and enjoy the Christmas season.

All that said, I don’t want to give you the impression that I am gorging on chocolate and baked goods every minute of everyday, but I do indulge when I want to.  The trouble with my frequent indulging over several weeks is that it leaves me craving more…..and MORE.

shutterstock_278894744

Craving it is the key word there, NOT SO GOOD.  The thing with sugar specifically is that it fuels every cell in the brain.  Your brain also sees sugar as a reward which makes you want more of it.  If you let a lot of sugar into your diet, you’re reinforcing that reward centre which makes the habit a tough one to break🤯

This is why every year (for the last 3 years) I have felt the need to get serious about breaking my sweet tooth habit by doing the The 21 Day Sugar Detox.

In the simplest form, the detox eliminates all forms of sugar from your diet. I’m starting my detox in a couple days and from experience, I know is will be a challenge!

Almost all year round I find ways to sneak something sweet into my diet nearly everyday. So although I’m not totally out of control, I do almost always keep my sugar cycle going. Sooo when the Christmas season rolls around I really exacerbate my cravings.

The 21 Days…

I remember from past years, the first 7 days are the toughest. I find that I really need to keep myself distracted when my cravings hit. For me, mid/late afternoon and every evening are tough.

I’ve also found that if I am tired during the day, I want to reach for sweets so much more. Thankfully before I start my detox I always clean out the cupboards, freezer, desk drawers, and secret stashes so there is nothing I can easily reach for at home.

I find that once I get into the second week, my cravings begin to fade, and by the start of the third week I don’t really feel that strong urge for sugar. In past detoxes I usually coast through the final days not even thinking about sweet treats.

The best part….

The thing I love most about cutting all sugar and refined carbohydrates is that my body feels incredible. I feel lighter, I have more energy, and I have no bloating at all. Ahhh-mazing.

IMG_1127

If you’re interested, some of the main criteria for the 21 Day Sugar Detox is:

  • It’s a 3 week program that starts you off with a short questionnaire. It provides you with 3 different levels to help customize your program (the 3 levels are based on how strong your sugar cravings are).
  • Eliminate ALL sugar from your diet. What exactly does that mean? It means NO: sugary treats and refined grains/gluten containing grains (bagels, crackers, cookies, granola, pasta, etc.), no fruit juices, alcohol or sweet tasting drinks, no artificial sweeteners of any kind.
  • As well, no fruit with the exception of a few: green apples, grapefruit and green tip bananas (not quite ripe). You are allowed 1 serving per day if you would like.
  • YES Foods: a huge list of vegetables/starchy vegetables, protein sources, fats & oils. As well, approved beverage and condiments.

The plan provides you with examples of how to build your plate for all meals and snacks so you will feel satiated and have energy throughout the day.  The detox also comes with a recipe book if you need that.

In a crazy way, the detox has felt more difficult than my competition diets (though the detox is a much shorter time fame) but it’s definitely something I need to do after the holidays.

I recommend giving this a try if you are struggling to cut sugar out of your diet.  Coming off the 21 days you will feel great and you will re-establish some better eating habits. Until next Christmas season, bye-bye sugar!😆

Anyways that’s been my trick for kicking sugar so maybe this can help you too!

Carm

Kettlebells anyone?

The first time I picked up a kettlebell was around 11 years ago.  I didn’t know much about them, and I had absolutely no idea all the things you could do with them, but lucky for me I had some friends who had a few kettlebell certifications under their belt – so naturally I snuck in some good training in with them. Ahhhh friends are the best 🙂

I love kettlebell work. It’s a nice break from my more regular dumbbell and barbell workouts. Sometimes I do focused kettlebell workouts and other times I choose a few kettlebell movements and work them into my workout with other exercises and equipment. It all depends of my mood and what my goals are for the workout. shutterstock_614169584.jpg

Read more

A Little Chest, Triceps & Core

Good morning 🙂  It’s raining here in Vancouver and I have to admit that when you live walking distance from the gym it sometimes feels like the worst thing ever! I sometimes think that if I lived just a bit further away I could warrant driving (only in the rain), but I don’t, so on go the rain boots, and out comes the umbrella.

I have to say that once I get myself to the gym on the rainy days, I tend you stretch out my workouts so I can avoid my rainy walk home. Read more