Did you take the pop quiz?
The question was:
Name this product:
Ingredients: Whole Grain Wheat Flour, Soybean Oil, Sugar, Cornstarch, Maltodextrin, Malt Syrup(from Corn And Barley), Salt, Invert Sugar, Cayenne Pepper Sauce (Cayenne Peppers, Vinegar, Salt, Garlic), Leavening (Calcium Phosphate And/Or Baking Soda), Tomato Powder, Garlic Powder, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor, Yeast Extract, Vegetable Color (Paprika Extract, Annatto Extract, Turmeric Oleoresin), Spice. BHT Added to Packaging Material to Preserve Freshness.
The answers were:
- Buffalo Wing Pretzel Crisps
- Food Should Taste Good Jalapeno Cheddar Chips
- Wheat Thins Buffalo Crackers
If you guessed Wheat Thins Buffalo Flavored Crackers you’re right! I don’t know if I’m the only one who saw the commercial for these crackers and thought “Wheat Thins have officially gone dark side on us!” To take a product brand name like Wheat Thins and add an obscene amount of artificial ingredients, seems wrong. What is invert sugar anyway? (Sugar processed with acid).
Another example would be Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies. You think they’re healthy because they’re organic and make lots of claims making us feel like it’s a great product, however it’s more like the best of the worst. In my MSG post I list many monikers MSG hides under, including “yeast” and “yeast extract.” Turns out Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies are no exception. Reading the ingredients takes time but it is incredibly valuable to be an educated and aware consumer. It’s a valuable tool as well if you are attempting to make more conscious choices but struggle with willpower. If you first learn about the dangers of ingredients like MSG and hydrogenated oils you may be less likely to put it in the cart after picking it up. Making the connection between MSG intake and chronic debilitating headaches was invaluable to me. If removing even that 1 ingredient from your diet is all you do, it will be worth it!
P.S. Hope all is going well sugar free people!! We’re heading into day 5 strong and healthy. So keep it up or start today – your body will be SO happy you did!
I love sweet stuff! I also know that sugar is not a friend to the growth and continuation of healthy cells. I remember doing one (if not the first) sugar-free challenge, since we had been raw vegan, in solidarity for family members with cancer. I’ve been busy researching and sugar just keeps popping up, and not a single thing about it is positive. It has helped reinforce my goal of eliminating processed sugar from my life.
When I’ve done Sugar-Free challenges in the past I always get such shocked reactions.
“Like, you don’t eat ANY sugar?!”
“HOW can you do that?!”
“I could NEVER do that!”
No. I do not eat any processed sugar. Maple syrup, raw unfiltered honey, coconut sugar and coconut nectar, dates/date syrup, blackstrap molasses, and stevia are the only sweeteners I consume.
How can I be sugar-free? How can we eat an entire bag of chips in one sitting? I believe that sugar doesn’t contribute to a person’s health. Being sugar-free is actually easy, once you start!
Whether you say you can’t or you can, you’re right. Henry Ford was wise indeed. I know I can do it because I do my best, and you can too because your best is always good enough.
So what’s my point?
Jon and I will go without processed sugar for
ONE YEAR starting March 31, 2013.
We would love it if anyone would like to join us in the challenge for any period of time they wish!!
- No processed sugar of any kind (corn or sugar cane). This includes brown sugar, sugar in the raw, white/table sugar, turbinado, sucanat, evaporated cane juice (a less processed sugar but still sugar in ‘healthy’ foods), high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup. Check the ingredients list, even in products like bread, yogurt, ketchup and juice. Need some motivation? Here are 25 reasons why you should give it up (check out #15!).
- Do your best! Compliment yourself and your hard work; sugar-free isn’t about admonishing yourself when you do have sugar, it’s about doing your best. Practice practice, each day will bring new challenges and adventures, but you can be strong and succeed!
- Enjoy healthy sweet treats! I make lots of sweet goodies and eat lots of fruit, all without the addition of sugar. Again, it’s not about denial or withholding the sweet joys in life, but rather the elimination of the unhealthy sugar while still indulging your sweet tooth. There are tons of unprocessed sweetener options to satisfy any level of sweet tooth.
Jon and I will be fully accountable to each other, and we will enlist the help of others. We certainly wouldn’t expect you to do this all on your own if you didn’t think you could. You know yourself better than anyone! Give sugar-free a try for one month to see the amazing transformation when you start eating sugar again. You may get headaches, feel bloated, look and feel tired, and act grumpy. Then watch the sugar cravings start to return. In fact, I recommend you DO fall off of the wagon! After falling off of the wagon you will generally notice “problems” return where they had been absent for a few weeks. You may be more tired in the morning and crave things you hadn’t even missed. Every experience differs, but I’ve never met anyone that didn’t notice an improvement in their health and/or attitude when eliminating processed sugar. I’d bet $10,000 on it!
Are you ready? Of course you are! But first, let’s clear something up…
What kind of challenge, exactly, am I ready for? The food kind! Or rather, the kind of food you aren’t eating. I am ready to be gluten- and sugar-free from November 13th to December 1st. Sure it’s over Thanksgiving but that makes saying “No, thank you” so much easier.
The holidays are a time to enjoy the actual holiday, like Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and/or Christmas. The calendar does not say “Eat-Your-Heart-Into-Attack Day.”
The holidays can be an especially trying time for you, and you don’t want the added stress of thoughts of weight gain and/or unpleasant physical feelings mixed with your massive shopping list, right?! So, please feel free to join me in nixing gluten and/or processed sugar from your diet.
Your New Year’s resolutions could actually be things you WANT to do!
Feel free to reference the Gluten-free, sugar free and challenge tags to the right of this post. Also keep posted for refreshed versions of previously posted recipes (try shallots and pepper flakes in the Carrot Apple Soup) as well as new ones. Looking forward to feeling my best with you!