I gave up sugar for 10 days and it wasn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever done! After watching the documentary called ‘Fed Up‘, I decided to take part in the 10 day Fed Up Challenge that eliminates our overuse of sugar. We as Americans, and humans for that matter, eat so much sugar because sugar is added to almost everything! For 10 days, I avoided it at all cost.
What is the Fed Up Challenge?
The Fed Up Challenge is just that, a challenge! Instead of consuming foods and beverages with added sugar, you would eat real, fresh, whole foods for 10 days. Also eliminating anything with honey, syrups, agave and all artificial sugars too.
Why did I do it?
I’ve mentioned this a few times before, the past 2 months I really fell off the wagon with my vegan diet. I have been eating things with dairy (mainly pancakes) in it here and there over the last couple months so I eliminated both dairy and sugar. For the 2 months that I fell off the wagon, I felt terrible! 2 of the most inflammatory foods are sugar and dairy so it made sense why I felt so bad. I felt bloated, crampy, tired, grumpy and like I was never satisfied. I ignored my bags under my eyes and puffy face for 2 months but couldn’t stand it any longer. Sugar and dairy eliminated!
How did I feel?
Yep, I didn’t feel the greatest for the first few days. My main symptoms were like most detox diets, tired and light headaches. I don’t eat too much sugar, I don’t drink soda, I rarely eat candy and I look at all the ingredients in the food I eat. My symptoms definitely could have been worse than they were. After the first couple days, I felt great! The bags under my eyes were gone and so was the bloated feeling. I could have screamed in frustration that I didn’t do it sooner.
So what did I eat?
One of the hardest things I find with any diet change is the first time going grocery shopping. I planned out a few meals and stuck to those for the 10 days. It was only 10 days so it wasn’t that hard. The Fed Up Challenge allows for you to eat fruits and whole foods that may contain sugar naturally. Here is what I ate for the 10 days:
First, black coffee but then…
My go-to smoothie which is blueberries, half a banana, couple strawberries, kale, a scoop of peanut butter and unsweetened almond milk. The fruits do have sugar but that is ok because it is natural (not added, refined or artificial). But 2 things to watch out for; almond milk with sugar added and peanut butter with sugar added. I found a brand of peanut butter that I really like called “Cream-Nut” from Koeze Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They are the only brand of peanut butter that I found in store that did not have added sugar; just plain peanuts and sea salt. Make sure to check your ingredients and labels.
Avocado and toast with “Everything but the Bagel” seasoning from Trader Joe’s sprinkled on top. When picking out a bread make sure there are no sugars added or dairy (milk). I buy all of my bread in the deli section or at health food stores because they have the freshest and a little amount of ingredients (just flour, water and salt). But again, be sure to check your labels.
Depending on how hungry I was, I would eat one or the other or both together.
I am not a huge lunch person. My breakfast can be considered lunch sometimes and my lunch considered dinner. My lunch is usually somewhere between 2pm and 4pm. But homemade soup helped out this bad habit.
Soup was my lunch go-to! I never realized how hard it was to make soup without sugar. Sugar is added to most vegetable stocks which is really annoying. I found a great organic vegetable stock at Trader Joe’s that doesn’t have any added sugars, just the natural sugars from the vegetables. For the 10 days I would make different versions of my sister’s kale soup recipe which consists of: vegetable stock (with no added sugar), white beans, green pepper, white onion, carrots, celery and potatoes and spices (cumin, paprika, salt and pepper) for flavor.
Salads. Edamame and Corn Salad or just a regular salad. I loaded my salads up with any vegetables I had in the fridge and nuts. For the dressing, I bought a vegan blue cheese dressing that was really good, minimal ingredients and no sugar.
I love cooking dinner! Power Bowls were the majority of my meals but I mixed it up every few days too.
For the power bowls, I would make my Roasted Vegetable and Quinoa Power Bowl. If this recipe is followed, this dish is dairy-free and has no added sugar. I would made a double recipe of this so I had it for 4 days in the refrigerator.
Tacos or fajitas. I love love love Mexican food. I would make my Easy Vegan Fajitas recipe or I would make a version of tacos with this same recipe.
Spaghetti! Spaghetti was actually the most challenging thing to make with no added sugars. Most store bought spaghetti sauces have a ton of sugar added so I decided to make my own with canned tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Make sure to check your ingredients but I found a couple cans of pure tomato sauce that did not have any added sugars. It wasn’t easy but it’s possible! Also most store bought pastas have sugar added. I went straight for the organic noodles and found a couple brands that have minimal ingredients and no added sugar. Add in some green pepper, onion, garlic and spices….voilà, you have a great spaghetti sauce!
My favorite…honeycrisp apples! When I was craving something sweet, I would grab an apple and peanut butter. It did the trick.
Nuts, rice cake with avocado on top, homemade salt and vinegar kale chips and a baked sweet potato with the “Everything but the Bagel” seasoning on top (so good!).
Red wine! Technically, this isn’t allowed but I drank 1/2 a glass of wine a few times. No biggie! It’s all natural sugars anyways…right?!
Drink a lot of water! Half of your body weight in ounces, preferably. It helps to flush out your system and helps with your skin!
Would I do it again?
Absolutely! This is something I will be doing every quarter. I like to detox my body from things I know I shouldn’t have in excess. I am the type of person that needs to check myself too and take back control of my body. It has been 3 days since the Fed Up Challenge was completed and I have barely touched anything with sugar. I think detoxing for 10 days controlled my cravings for it, I don’t need it right now. If I feel like I’m craving sugar again too much, I’ll definitely start this over again. Bonus: I lost 3 pounds too! But the feeling inside my body is seriously priceless.
NOTE: Check and read your labels for all ingredients…companies love to sneak unneeded ingredients in!
I challenge anyone that is feeling tired, worn down or bloated to eliminate TWO things from your diet for 10 days at least. See how you feel, see how your mood changes. It always helps me!
Have you tried the 10 day Fed Up Challenge? Let us know!