Week 6 of the whole home detox and it coincidentally falls on the week I’m done with Whole30! So what better week than this to talk about food! We’re all pretty versed on organic versus conventional so I’m not going to bore you with those details today (although perhaps in the future…no promises). What I’d really like to talk about today is sugar. Oh my gosh friends. I love sugar. I really do, but did you know that some scientists have even claimed that it is comparable to cocaine in its addictive properties!? Granted that was a rodent study but we do know sugar is terrible for us and I can vouch for how addictive it is!
Diabetes runs in my family so I knew I needed to get a grip on my love affair with sugar. I’d fallen into a convenience (err survival??) mindset. Having 2 small children has really tested me in my ability to still provide nutritious food while simultaneously making sure no one is eating dog food as I prep said food. I pick up my kids after work and come home worn out already, so at times, cooking a meal from “scratch” is the last thing on my mind. Likewise as I walk out the door in the morning, toddler in one hand, diaper bag in the other, lunch boxes in my teeth because I’m out of arms….setting out something to thaw is not at the forefront of my thoughts either. So I got into the habit of buying things that were “easy” to cook (i.e. prepackaged) which is pretty much the worst when it comes to preservatives and added sugar.
This was one of the many reasons I wanted to start Whole30. I really thought it was just a clean eating lifestyle so I didn’t think it would be THAT hard but do you know what wasn’t hard? Finding added sugar in everything. Really, it’s in everything! I was looking for some quick veggies for dinner the other night, grabbed this out of the freezer and look:
That’s not all, it’s in canned goods, sauces, even seasoning!
So part of Whole30 was really learning to read labels and find alternatives without added sugar. I had to have a “come to Jesus” talk with myself here and realize what I thought was decent food for us was really packed full of preservatives and sugar. Obviously anything pre-packaged is going to be second choice to fresh prepared whole foods but again, #momlife.
If you are like I was, don’t feel guilty! When we know better we can do better. Yes sometimes convenience outweighs homecooked but I’m going to give you some tips and tricks on how you can prepare for those moments when you need something convenient!
To say Whole30 taught me a lot about cooking real food is an understatement. I’ve always considered myself a “healthy eater” in general but I just never looked much past “I need lean protein and veggies”. I never stopped to think about how things were prepared or what preservatives were used in my easy meals for dinner.
Five Ways to Beat Sugar Creep
So here are a five ideas to help you weed out the sugar while still maintaining your sanity!
1. Meal prep
Prepping my meals for Whole30 was a huge relief, there wasn’t any guessing about what we were going to eat. Food didn’t get wasted and it cut down on the time it took to get dinner on the table. A true feat when you toddler won’t let you set her down between coming in the door and actually sitting her in front of the food.
I like having quick easy, toss in recipes. Especially for the crock pot or instant pot. This way if you have a busy weekend and you didn’t have time to meal prep you always have back up in the freezer.
Chop up veggies, put fruit in reusable snack bags, bake some easy veggie chips, or pre-portion nuts for snacks. Whole30 discouraged snacking but I typically need at least one snack to get through my day. I wake up pretty early and we eat rather late so I do like to have a healthy snack option available for the afternoon.
Thrive market has become my go to for ordering easy, healthy snacks, sauces, mixes, and cooking supplies. My last box arrived super fast too! I love that you can get great organic options at a fraction of the cost of some of the fancy markets near us.
This is the pricey way to go but it’s really convenient and makes sense for people who are feeding entire families (you are basically charged per serving). I’m too much of a penny pincher at the moment to run with one of these services but I’ve definitely considered it. It may be a great fit for you!
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What items do you know of that are hiding sugar secrets? Did any of these surprise you?