On Saturday night, I watched the documentary Fed Up.
My yoga studio is starting a new series of film showings followed by community challenges. I have to tell you, I was extremely hesitant to attend this showing.
I knew before watching the film that I eat too much sugar. I knew that accepting the 5-day challenge would be a struggle.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for nightly chocolate and occasionally tossing some m&ms in my overnight oats. But recently, I’ve done things like eat half a jar of cookie butter in under 24 hours. Maybe not so healthy.
I invited a couple friends to the film showing, and let me tell you, it was engaging. I am not into nutrition as a hobby. I like to eat anything I want whenever I want it. I don’t like to think too much about my food choices.
But, I learned a few really eye-opening pieces of information from this documentary. (You can read more facts about sugar here.)
- Do you read food labels? Do you pay attention to the grams of sugar on food labels? Just for kicks, I found this photo of Baked! Ruffles potato chips in a quick Google search.
Okay, so 2 grams of sugar. Eh, not so bad. But do you see what’s missing? Look harder.The recommended daily value % for sugar is not listed. It’s never listed. Do you know why? Because if we saw that our snack of a granola bar was 80% of our daily sugar allotment, we would never buy the crap in the first place.
- Our major food company lobbyists are running our country. They’ve tied the hands of the government to speak out against them. They are allowed to advertise “half the fat” in reduced-fat products without pointing out “double the sugar.” Our school lunch program is atrocious. Fast food vendors make an exorbitant amount of money off our school cafeterias.
- Sugar affects your brain the same way cocaine does. No joke. This is highly distressing news for me and my lifestyle.
- The whole concept that if calories in are less than calories out, you will lose weight, is a lie. That only works with already healthy food. It’s a good reminder to see an obese teenager swimming 4 days a week, walking her dog the other 3, trying to watch what she eats and still feeling stuck. It’s about food education, not just a math equation.
- Unless you read your food labels, you are probably unaware of your sugar consumption. When I went through my pantries, my tub of Greek yogurt contained 26 grams of sugar, while my cookie butter contained only 5. (Granted, I am sure my servings of cookie butter are larger than the recommended size.)
The Fed Up challenge is to go sugar-free for 10 days. This includes all desserts and sugars (minus fruit) but also includes added sugars. You know, like those ingredient names you can’t understand.
My yoga studio is hosting a 5-day sugar-free challenge with the invitation to continue for longer if you feel so compelled.
I cannot adequately express to you my resistance to give up chocolate chips and coffee creamer.
Yesterday was my first day of the challenge. It went fairly well: the breakfast pictured above is a banana smoothie in a bowl with raw pecans. I also drank coffee with butter, because I’ve heard from a lot of people that that’s a new thing. It wasn’t bad.
I also ate this for lunch.
As well as eggs, chicken, a quinoa mix, and a gigantic bowl of homemade popcorn with butter and salt at night.
I can’t tell yet how this is going to go. Yesterday wasn’t nearly as hard as I anticipated. I have realized that my lunches and dinners are usually fairly balanced. I do, however, tend to eat sugar-laden breakfasts of yogurt and breakfast bars and way more than 2 tablespoons of flavored Coffee-mate in my cup o’ joe.
I’ll be back next week with a full recap of how this challenge went.
Tell me: have you ever gone sugar-free?