When my friend, Melissa, asked me to take this information (which she easily whipped out in 10 minutes) and throw it into a document in one of my challenge groups, I was like... WAIT! Hold on a sec! LOL
This information is too great to throw in a document that might just get read once or twice. So I got her permission to add this as a guest blog :)
The original article and pictures that Melissa refers to can be found at: http://www.takepart.com/photos/shocking-sugar-stats.
Avoiding Hidden Sugars: 12 "Real Food" Solutions
Melissa is a mom of two and is passionate about clean eating and exercise. A few years ago, she decided to take the plunge and try 100 days of real food... and when she noticed behavior differences in her kiddos and more energy for herself, and her hubs lost some weight from that change alone, they decided to make clean eating part of their family lifestyle.
2. Choose to bake your own desserts with natural sugars (maple syrup, dates, agave, raw sugar). Here is a great recipe for chocolate beet cupcakes that is to die for:
3. Consume plain, whole milk yogurt sweetened with one of the natural sugars (above) and add your own fresh fruit! Or make this super easy and yummy sauce to stir in:
4. Tomato soup is one of the easiest things to make from scratch. All you need are some fresh, ripe tomatoes, and I bet that you have all of the other ingredients in your pantry at home already. See below for a great recipe that I make almost weekly (my kids LOVE it!)
Note: You can substitute another pound of roma tomatoes for the canned tomatoes in the recipe above, and if you don’t have an immersion blender, you can add the soup to your regular blender in batches, to puree
5. I would encourage everyone to make their OWN granola. You only need a few simple ingredients for a pretty large batch, and you will know everything that you have put in it! I am always looking for new recipes, but here are a few tried and true, that I love:
6. EAT FRESH FRUIT. Simple as that. Fresh fruit is sweet already and does NOT need to be soaked in syrup to make it sweeter.
If you are in the mood for a fruit salad and are craving the juiciness that comes along with macerating berries in sugar… try fresh orange juice and zest instead. Just squeeze the juice from one orange into a bowl of fresh berries, along with the zest, and there you go!
7. DON’T DO IT. Check out some reasons here: http://www.rd.com/health/healthy-eating/4-reasons-to-avoid-all-soda-even-diet/ and here http://dietbreakerconfessions.blogspot.com/2013/10/why-i-will-never-ever-again-drink-diet.html, but just pass on it and choose another drink instead. If you are missing the carbonation, try sparkling water!
8. So, sugary cereals… I feel like most of us, as kids, LOVED these. It is no wonder why our Moms wouldn’t let us have them though. They are LOADED with sugar! Check out the links, above, for granola and have your kids try that instead. My daughter LOVES the granola with milk in the morning before school, and it keeps her full until lunchtime. www.mywholefoodlife.com also has lots of recipes for other breakfast staples like oatmeal, and EVEN some healthy breakfast cookies!
9. We all love Starbucks, ok? But, there are better choices to be made besides that Caramel Frappuccino. I am not sure if any of you follow Food Babe, but she just posted this on her blog not too long ago, and I am planning to try it out! It looks yummy, is organic, and should satisfy that Frappuccino craving… if you have one J
10. Like tomato soup, above, tomato sauce is also SUPER-easy to do at home, on your own. I am including a recipe below, but if you do like the convenience of the store-bought sauce, just READ the labels! There are many out there with no added sugars and that are organic. I beg you; choose those instead! And here is a recipe, if you would like to try making your own:
Note: I do not peel my tomatoes (or seed them) when I make this. I puree the ENTIRE tomato in a high powered blender and add it to the sauce that way. Makes it MUCH easier. J
11. So, dressing… fat free dressing is gross, first of all. And, have you ever read the ingredient list on some of those bottles, ick! So, I would encourage you to try making your own. It really is so simple. You can make everything from vinaigrette to blue cheese at home, and I promise you, it will taste better! Here are some links to my favorites:
12. I have to say, I grew up in the south and I LOVE sweet tea. There is no reason (in my opinion) that you cannot still have sweet tea, but there is a better way to get it… If you make it on your own, you can control the amount of sugar that goes into it, and I have found that sweetening tea with Organic Raw Agave is actually pretty yummy.
So, brew your own, and leave the sugar out… that way, everyone can add what they like. Just my two cents. ;)
Another great article to read, if you have time: