Week 1 No-Sugar Challenge: what was easy and hard
Week one of my 8-week no sugar challenge has been a success. How did I do it and how did I go? For a self-confessed ‘sweet-tooth’ I think I did remarkably well. Below is a table of my meal plan (note: I didn’t plan much as you can see by the repetition of some meals). So, after one week without sugar what outcomes have I achieved, what did I find easy, what did I find easy difficult and how will I go moving forward to week 2? Well….
What did I achieve?
- I feel leaner: you know that bloated, fluid-like feeling you get? Maybe it’s just me… but I didn’t feel that way at all this week
- My abs are already showing: I exercise daily, but by cutting sugar I think even that incredibly-hard-to-shift-around-the-lower-abdomen part of me has begun to take the hint!
- I ate tasty food: it’s amazing how good fresh, home-cooked food can taste!
What was easy?
- Finding alternatives: I used to add a teaspoon of honey to my oats every morning. Prior to this challenge, someone told me it’s not OK to eat honey ‘because it’s natural’ (I’m definitely still an ‘everything-in-moderation’ kind of girl, but it depends how far you want to take the whole ‘clean eating’ thing) so I replaced the honey with blackberries, which are incredibly sweet! For my morning snack I used to eat nut bars, thinking they were the best of a bad bunch on the supermarket shelf. But they still contain sugar and several other ingredients of which I have no idea what they are, so I swapped them for raw nuts. After making switches like this you begin to really appreciate how sweet foods in their natural form really are.
- Eating: I honestly felt I was dining like a queen all week!
What was hard?
- Thinking about what to eat: it’s easy to find yourself eating the same thing for lunch you had yesterday, because it’s easy and you know it was safe and tasty.
- Eating out: I ate out twice for lunch this week and knew it would be difficult trying to judge the menus. The way I attacked it was to look for something that listed all the ingredients (e.g. Chicken and mushroom pie versus smoked salmon with steamed vegetables – you’re more likely to know what you’re getting with the salmon compared to the pie).
What did I learn?
- Plan meals: think about what you’re going to eat for the week, even if it’s a rough idea, so you don’t have to keep going back to the shops for supplies.
- Eat smaller meals: protein fills you up and my three main meals have been fairly large portions
- Eat more meals: i.e. snack more for sustained energy
- Read: there are plenty of great blogs out there to support you in this lifestyle choice and give you great recipe ideas.
What I ate for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks:
|Poached eggs with pastrami and spinach||Poached eggs with pastrami and spinach +1 cup Girlie Grey tea||Scrambled eggs with grilled tomato and zucchini + 1 cup French Earl Grey tea||Oats with rice milk, cinnamon, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and pecans + 1 cup French Earl Grey tea (more porridge toppers here)||Oats with rice milk, cinnamon, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and pecans + 1 cup blackcurrant tea.||Scrambled eggs with bacon and grilled tomatoes||Scrambled eggs with bacon, grilled tomato and mushroom|
|Soy latte with small handful of almonds||Soy latte with small handful of almonds and 1 banana||Soy latte||Soy latte with small handful of almonds||Soy latte with handful of hazelnuts||Soy latte and two protein balls|
|Smoked salmon with steamed broccoli, carrots, green beans + dressing (½ tsp olive oil, ½ tsp Dijon mustard, 1.5 tsp soy sauce)||Tuna (tinned), baby spinach, tomato, cucumber, red onion and cheese on Helga’s thin bread||Chicken with baby spinach, red onion, cherry tomatoes, avocado, green grapes and cucumber salad +1 soy latte*||Quinoa, smoked salmon, baby spinach, green capsicum salad + dressing (1tsp olive oil, 1 tsp lemon juice, 2 tsp balsamic vinegar||Blue cheese, cashew, apple, mescalin lettuce, cherry tomato, red onion and cucumber salad with red wine vinaigrette*||Quinoa, tuna (tinned), baby spinach, green capsicum, cucumber and tomato salad with balsamic vinegar||Quinoa, tuna (tinned), baby spinach, green capsicum, cucumber and tomato salad with balsamic vinegar|
|200gm Jalna Premium vanilla yoghurt with strawberries and passionfruit||Small handful pistachios||200gm Jalna Premium vanilla yoghurt + 1 plum||100gm Jalna Premium vanilla yoghurt with rockmelon, honeydew melon and passionfruit|
|Leftover Thai green chicken curry with broccoli, green capsicum, green beans, buk choy and white rice||Crumbed cutlets (2) with baked sweet potato and grilled eggplant and zucchini||Pork chop (1) with baby spinach, mung beans, red onion, cherry tomato, cucumber, beetroot and feta salad||Thai green curry with steak, broccoli, zucchini, eggplant, buk choy, green beans, sweet potato and brown rice||Leftovers from night before||Chicken with sweet potato, broccoli, carrot, green beans and a basil pesto dressing||Roast beef with sweet potato, broccoli, carrot and spicy red pepper coconut sauce|
|Rockmelon and honeydew melon||Rockmelon & honeydew melon||Frozen mango, raspberries and lime||50gm Jalna Premium vanilla yoghurt, rockmelon, watermelon and passionfruit|