This weekend I am doing a 3-day #CutSugarChallenge. No added sugar, bread, rice, or pasta. As I begin planning out my sugar-free weekend, I will need to figure out what to eat. It can be a little overwhelming when you realize how much added sugar is in the foods you already eat, especially if you rely a lot on packaged or processed foods. Planning out your meals is one way to make sure you stay on track. Here are some ideas for simple meals and snacks without a lot of added sugar.
Let’s start with breakfast, as it can be one of the easier ways to avoid sugar or low-sugar meals to your day. If you are doing a gradual sugar detox, just start with breakfast before you worry about your other meals. Breakfast allows you to get healthy calories in for the day so you won't make bad decisions later in the day. To keep it simple, you can just mix up a green smoothie or make a smoothie bowl. Sugar detoxing still allows you to have natural sugars found in fresh fruits and vegetables, just make sure you choose them fresh. If you go for frozen fruits, look on the package to make sure no sugar has been added.
Another idea is to simply have eggs and veggies. Again, veggies should be fresh or frozen with no added sugar. This is a simple and filling meal that won’t make you feel like you are missing out.
Lunch and Dinner
There are many different options for lunch and dinner, depending on your personal dietary guidelines. This will depend if you are a vegetarian or vegan, low-carb, or even gluten-free. Just try to remember that most packaged and processed foods have hidden sugar, as well as a lot of the deli meats you get for sandwiches. Here are a few ideas: Salad with balsamic olive oil dressing – avoid bottled dressing as most of them contain sugar. I typically use the No Crumbs Left recipe for marinaded red onions. The dressing is amazing on just about anything. You can find it here.
Lettuce wrap with your preferred protein source – the lettuce wrap avoids added sugar in bread, but be careful about the meats you include inside. Most deli meat has added sugar, so look on the packaging.
Simple protein, carb, and veggie dinner – this is the simplest way to create a healthy dinner. Choose a lean protein like fish or chicken you have made yourself without marinades that contain sugar, choose fresh veggies over canned, and add in a healthy carb like brown rice or sweet potatoes.
What about snacks? This might be where you struggle the most, since many people look for candy, cookies, crackers, and many other packaged items to be eaten as snacks. Even healthy protein bars are often loaded with added sugar. In this case, the best option is to be simple with fresh fruits or vegetables, cheese sticks with no added sugar, or hard-boiled eggs. I often go for an apple and a natural peanut butter with less than 3 grams of sugar.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of sugar detox, feel free to download my Cut the Sugar Today e-book here.