Spring Cleaning Carnival: Get Refined Sugar Out

Chocolate Chips
source: Ayelie

Today we continue our unique take on spring cleaning with Katie from Kitchen Stewardship’s Spring Cleaning Carnival: Get the Junk Out. This week’s topic is about eliminating refined sugar from our diets.

Head on over to Kitchen Stewardship, where Donielle is sharing her own story of battling a sugar addiction, to learn more about why you would even want to reduce or eliminate sugar.

I know, right? Sugar?!

These topics are hitting close to home for me too. While we limit our girls’ sugar intake, I don’t actually practice what I preach and at about 2pm every day I start to really crave sugar treats to get me through the afternoon slump. I think part of the reason I reach for sweets during this time is my body’s addiction to foods that will increase my energy (in the short term) and make me feel good. The other problem is I haven’t taken time to make a list of alternatives and shop according to that list.

I’m not a fan of artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin or sucralose (Splenda) either, though. The last thing I want to do is put more chemicals in my body in an effort to reduce the amount of sugar I eat.

So for my own benefit as well as yours, I thought it would be fun to create a list of snacks that don’t contain refined sugar or artificial sweeteners. I’d love for you to add more to the list as well:

Sugar-Free Snacks

  • Fruits and veggies. Cut up fresh fruit and veggies every couple of days and keep them stocked in your fridge as a grab-and-go snack.
  • Popcorn. You can make your own microwave popcorn by putting 1/3 cup kernels in a paper lunch bag, sealing it closed with tape, a staple or a chip clip, and popping it like normal in your microwave. Over time, unflavored popcorn has grown on me, and I don’t even add salt or butter anymore.
  • Cheese. Cubed cheese, string cheese, sliced cheese…take your pick!
  • Pretzels. I’ll admit that I usually pair my pretzels with chocolate chips or marshmallows, so this one might be hard for me.
  • Smoothies. The best smoothies, in my opinion, are those made with nothing but fruit. Start with a banana and orange juice base and add your choice of strawberries, pineapple, apples, oranges, blueberries, raspberries, etc.
  • Popsicles. Then use your leftover smoothies to make healthy fruit popsicles.
  • Yogurt with fruit. Rather than buying fruit yogurt at the store, which often contains sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, just buy a tub of plain yogurt and mix in your own fruit.

Donielle is sharing tips for lowering your sugar consumption and battling cravings at Naturally Knocked Up. While there, you can link up your own story and enter to win a large can of freeze dried fruit! She also has a ton of great resources, from sugar-free recipes to help for battling sugar cravings, so be sure to read through her archives.

Next week, we’ll talk about parabens and how to find safer personal products with Micaela from Mindful Momma.

Is reducing refined sugar something that’s on your radar? Is it hard for you to even think about giving up your sweets? What methods do you use to reduce your family’s sugar consumption? Share your sugar-free snack ideas as well!

Mandi Ehman at Organizing Your Way