Can you live without sugar? {a CLEAN eating update}

photo-8My family and I, along with other families around Kansas City (and maybe the US!) have been eating clean for almost two weeks now as part of a 3o-day clean eating challenge. Here are my main tips and takeaways, two weeks into this month-long journey toward a healthier life:

5. You really can live without sugar.

My husband and I look forward to our evenings together: the kids are in bed, the house is (hopefully) quiet, we are exhausted and we NEED a sweet. Most nights, this is our routine. Clean eating has drastically changed this part of our life! The first few nights when we couldn’t devour sweets after bedtime, we were both in a bad mood. After a few days, though, our bodies – and more importantly, our minds – started to shift. We CAN enjoy our evenings together, even without a sugar binge! We have started drinking decaf coffee together or having natural popcorn instead. After the clean eating challenge, we plan to continue our new ritual and save the sugar binges for extra-special occasions.

4. Some “clean” recipes are so good, they taste dirty.

“This banana bread is clean – but it’s so good, it tastes dirty.” This is a direct quote from my hubs who LOVED the clean banana bread I made last week. While he was less than excited to start this challenge, many of the recipes I’ve found or created have been “husband approved.”

3. Good food tastes good.

Eating fresh fruits and vegetables and good quality proteins actually tastes good! Over the last two weeks, I’ve found myself craving a salad full of fruit and grilled chicken or some roasted Brussels sprouts. A little olive oil and some easy roasting make veggies a delicious addition to any meal.

2. Your kids really don’t need granola bars and fruit snacks.

Other than losing my late-night sugar fix, I was most worried about snacks for my kids. I’m a busy mom (aren’t we all?) with three kids, so I needed some quick go-to’s that don’t cost a fortune! This challenge has helped me find some great options with no added sugar, no GMOs, and no high fructose corn syrup. If you’re looking for suggestions, consider joining our CLEAN for Kids Challenge Facebook group to learn more.

1. Grandparents are impossible to control.

When my kids visit their grandparents or great-grandparents, a sugar high is almost guaranteed. They love going over to their grandparents’ houses for many reasons, one of which is because they are stalked with Tootsie Rolls, fruit snacks and other assorted treats. Who can blame them, when all mom has to offer are LARABARs? My parents have tried their very best to encourage my kids to enjoy their new yummy snacks, and have even helped me to find great options for each of them! But at the end of the day, the grandparents have snuck fruit snacks – and who knows what else when I’m not watching? – to my kids … and I’m okay with that. Grandparents are special, so that makes any visit with them a special occasion. I know that most of the time, my kids are eating healthy, yummy foods – so a sugar high here and there … well, that’s okay with me. Let’s just keep it in moderation, mom. (I know you are reading this.) 😉

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