Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Healthy Nut - 21 Day Get Healthy Challenge #1

So if you didn't figure out what the first challenge is from the fact I gave you on Monday...Well, here it is...

I specifically chose sweets for the #1 challenge because that is what is the most difficult for me to give up...and for the fact that sugar is eight times as addictive as cocaine...CRAZY!!!

The average American consumes close to 22 teaspoons a day, about 152 pounds of sugar a year.  And our kids consume about 34 teaspoons every day — that’s more than two 20-ounce sodas. ( The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar a day.  For men that it is 37.5 grams and women 25 grams per day.   This does not include natural forms of sugar like from fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.

Top 4 reasons why you should cut Sweets aka sugar from your diet:
  1. High Blood Pressure - Too much sugar in your diet causes blood vessels to become narrow, which causes high blood pressure and an increased risk for cardiac disease.
  2. High Cholesterol - People who consume too much sugar are more likely to have lower levels of HDL, good cholesterol, higher levels of LDL, bad cholesterol, and high levels of triglycerides,  blood fats. This clogs up arteries and blood vessels which eventually leads to heart disease.
  3. Liver Disease - A diet high in sugar is believed to contribute to fatty liver disease. Too much sugar spikes insulin and drives fat into the liver cells, which causes inflammation and scarring, eventually causing the liver to become cirrhotic.
  4. Insulin Resistance - When sugar enters the body, insulin opens the door to allow sugar into the cells. However, when there are continuous sugar spikes, insulin becomes less effective. Sugar  produces toxic effects that lead to obesity and the threat of diabetes (
Short term side effects of too many sweets:
Moods swings
Acne, rashes
Restless sleep
Muscle fatigue and weakness
Suppressed immune system

Long term side effects of too many sweets:
Depression, Anxiety
Cystic acne, eczema, psoriasis
Adrenal fatigue or dysfunction
Insulin resistance
Alzheimer's disease
Substance abuse
(The Sugar Detox Book)

There are a few ways you can trick your taste buds to eating something sweet! Try adding cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla or allspice to your coffee, cereals and baked goods.
In addition, some of these natural alternative sweeteners may also do the trick.
  • Raw Honey - Unlike white table sugar, honey is a complex food. One teaspoon contains 25 other compounds including proteins, amino acids and trace minerals.
  • Stevia - A low-calorie sweetener that comes from a plant native to Paraguay and Brazil, stevia is 200 times sweeter than table sugar, so a little goes a long way. (
Bottom line, when you eat sweets it needs to be in moderation and balance is key. Enjoy your sweet treat with your weekly cheat meal as your reward or find alternative healthy sweets that are clean and not full of white processed sugar.

For those that want to go all in, cut out ALL sugar, but I figured sweets would be hard enough for most people and that would eliminate a big portion of sugar from ones diet. The 21 Day Sugar Detox book is amazing and explains in detail the negative effects sugar can have on your body! I would highly recommend reading it!

I hope I can inspire a few other people to join me on this 21 day challenge!! Be on the look out over the next 21 days for alternative healthy sweet recipes, nutritional facts, motivation, and more! And make sure to join the facebook challenge group!

    Below is a print out you can use to track and stay accountable with 
    Click the picture to print

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