This week was a game changer!
Week 2 fooled me and made me think eating a no added sugar diet was a piece of cake (pun intended). This week made me realize how limiting this can be. Let me explain...
I strongly believe the healthiest foods on this planet have no added sugar and are high in vitamins and minerals. The perfect example is kale! So naturally I have been getting plenty of these nutritious foods in my diet the past 3 weeks. In this aspect, this diet is not limiting because there are so many nutritious foods to choose from that in their whole form do not have added sugar.
But here is where it is limiting:
Prepared foods, meaning prepacked or made somewhere else not in my kitchen.
An example of this is that being a gluten free vegan I buy Food for Life's gluten free bread about once a week or less. This allows me to make toast, sandwiches and "burgers". For the past 3 weeks I have not have the luxury of eating these foods because the gluten free bread I normally get has added sugar. I also love spring rolls because of all the fresh vegetables and herbs but I can no longer eat these if I buy them elsewhere being that the peanut sauce has added sugar. I recently wanted to make enchiladas for dinner and did not think ahead of time of making my own sauce. I was going to grab a packet of red sauce from Whole Foods, but I couldn't. You guessed it, it had added sugar in it. So I improvised quickly and ended up not loving the sauce I made. You catch my drift, meal planning has become challenging.
So would I say this has been difficult?
NO. It has not been difficult but it has really made me have to rethink meals, snacks and overall what to eat. I'd say it has been challenging in a good way that has opened my eyes more.
So why continue?
Simple. I feel good and I don't need those foods to be healthy and happy.
Even though it feels limiting. This diet is only limiting if you surrender your food responsibilities to restaurants and companies. If you get in the kitchen and utilize fresh foods with a little creativity, you will see that there is nothing you are missing out on. In fact, those consuming diets full of sugar are missing out on nutritious and delicious foods that reverse and prevent disease. This means in the long run or even near future, they will be missing out on life.
I encourage you to choose health every single day. Choose to live a healthy life by surrounding yourself with loving and supportive people. Fuel your body with only the best foods. Nourish your mind with books, games and research. Feed your soul with nature.
Because after all, it's just sugar, and there is way more to life than that.
Dr. Lauren Sanchez, ND