Tag: #nosugarorflour

  • Ditching Sugar and Refined Flour: How It Revitalized Our Lives

    Have you ever considered giving up sugar and refined flour to see how it makes you feel? The impact on your body and mind might surprise you. Dave and I decided to give them up for Lent this year. It’s not easy because sugar and flour are used in many of the products we buy each week. It requires a lot more planning and it costs a bit more money! Yet, the side-effects are sure worth the added effort.

    By eliminating these ingredients from your diet, you can experience increased energy levels, improved focus, and even weight loss. Weight loss was not a goal for me, but it is for Dave and he is steadily shedding those extra pounds each week. It’s not just about what you’re removing; it’s about the positive changes you’re inviting into your life.

    Making this shift can be challenging at first, but the long-term benefits are worth it. Say goodbye to the highs and lows of sugar crashes and embrace a more stable and vibrant way of living. Join me as we explore the effects of cutting out sugar and refined flour and discover a healthier, more fulfilling lifestyle.

    “Those who think they have no time for healthy eating will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” – Edward Stanley

    Sugar - the silent killer.

    Understanding the Impact of Giving up Sugar and Refined Flour

    Giving up sugar and refined flour can have a profound impact on our overall health and well-being. Let’s examine how eliminating these two ingredients can make you feel better in the long run.

    The Effects of Sugar on the Body

    When you consume sugar, your body experiences a rapid spike in blood sugar levels, providing a sudden burst of energy. However, this energy boost is often short-lived and followed by a crash, leaving you feeling tired and sluggish. The excessive intake of sugar can also lead to weight gain, increased risk of heart disease, and diabetes. By cutting out sugar, you may experience more stable energy levels throughout the day, improved mood, and better long-term health outcomes. It is not an easy process and I experienced symptoms of withdrawal for a few days.

    Exploring the Risks of Refined Flour Consumption

    Refined flour, commonly found in white bread, pasta, and pastries, lacks the essential nutrients and fiber present in whole grains. This refined product can cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels, leading to spikes and crashes in energy. Over time, a diet high in refined flour can contribute to weight gain, inflammation, and an increased risk of chronic diseases. By replacing refined flour with whole grain alternatives, we noticed more stable blood sugar levels, improved digestion, and enhanced overall health.

    Our Journey to Eliminating Sugar and Refined Flour

    Embarking on the journey to eliminate sugar and refined flour from our diet during this Lenten Season was not an easy decision. We talked about doing just sugar, but quickly realized how much sugar is in refined white flour products so why not just eliminate them together?  Initially, the challenges seemed a bit daunting, but the motivation to improve our health and well-being was the driving force behind our commitment. The realization that these ingredients were impacting our energy levels, mental clarity, and overall health pushed us to make a change.

    Initial Challenges and Motivations

    The first step in giving up sugar and refined flour was acknowledging the hold they had on our eating habits. In a routine health check-up, I discovered my cholesterol was a whopping 255, which is unheard of for me. I knew I had to do something to improve my health. Dave’s was high too, but not as bad as mine and since he wanted to lose some weight, we thought there’s no time like the present to make a life-style change.

    Making the decision to cut out these ingredients meant reevaluating our relationship with food. We had fallen into some really bad habits and it required a shift in mindset and a greater understanding of the impact of these substances on our bodies. Learning about the inflammatory effects of sugar and the empty calories provided by refined flour was eye-opening and served as a strong motivator to make a change.

    Eating healthier is simply a matter of choice.

    Transitioning to a Healthier Diet

    Transitioning to a diet free of sugar and refined flour was a process that required patience and commitment. Meal planning and preparation played a crucial role in successfully transitioning to a healthier diet. By having nutritious options readily available, we were less tempted to reach for unhealthy snacks. Experimenting with new recipes and flavors made the transition more exciting and helped us discover a newfound love for wholesome ingredients.

    Embracing this new way of eating has not only improved our physical health but also has had a significant impact on our overall well-being. The increased energy levels, and mental clarity are clear indicators of how eliminating sugar and refined flour positively affected how it makes us feel on a daily basis.

    Navigating Social Situations and Cravings

    Food cravings can be tricky to handle, especially when you’re trying to cut out sugar and refined flour from your diet. Here are some strategies to help you manage those cravings and stick to your healthier eating goals.

    “Water is the most neglected nutrient in your diet, but one of the most vital.” – Julia Child

    Most of us don't drink enough water.

    Strategies for Handling Cravings

    1. Stay Hydrated: Sometimes, our bodies confuse thirst with hunger. Keep a water bottle handy and drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated and keep cravings at bay. I also use sugar-free hydration tablets with a glass of water and that really helps keep me hydrated.
    2. Healthy Substitutions: Instead of reaching for a sugary treat, opt for healthier alternatives like fresh fruits, nuts, sugar-free yogurt with a drizzle of honey, or sugar & gluten-free blueberry muffins. These options can satisfy your sweet tooth without derailing your progress.
    3. Mindful Eating: Take the time to savor and enjoy your meals. Eating mindfully can help you recognize when you’re truly hungry versus just craving something out of boredom or habit.
    4. Plan Ahead: Prepare nutritious snacks and meals in advance so you’re not tempted to grab unhealthy options when cravings strike. I enjoy making sugar-free peanut butter protein balls which come in handy when you just need a little bite of energy. Having healthy options readily available can make a big difference in staying on track.

    “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn

    Nuts are a great choice.

    Eating Healthy in Social Settings

    1. Communicate Your Goals: Let your friends and family know about your dietary preferences and goals. This can help them understand your choices and offer support when you’re in social situations.
    2. Choose Wisely: When dining out, scan the menu for healthier options. Look for dishes that are grilled, steamed, or roasted instead of fried. You can also ask for dressings and sauces on the side to control portions.
    3. Be Assertive: Don’t be afraid to make special requests when ordering at restaurants. I do this all the time anyway because I’m such a picky eater!  I find that most places are willing to accommodate dietary preferences, such as swapping out sides for a salad or requesting sauce-free dishes.
    4. Bring Your Own: If you’re attending a gathering where you’re unsure about the food choices, consider bringing a dish that aligns with your eating plan. This ensures you have a healthy option available and can enjoy the social aspect without compromising your goals. Our family and friends know I always bring a nice fresh vegetable salad to our gatherings.

    Navigating social situations and managing cravings can be challenging, but with the right strategies and mindset, you can stay committed to your sugar and refined flour-free lifestyle. Remember, it’s about progress, not perfection, so be kind to yourself along the way.

    Sustaining Long-Term Health and Happiness

    The decision to give up sugar and refined flour has not only brought immediate benefits but also promises long-term health advantages. We have experienced sustained energy levels throughout the day, free from the energy crashes that used to plague us after consuming sugary snacks or refined carbs.

    We’ve also noticed a significant improvement in our mood and mental clarity. By eliminating these harmful ingredients from our diet, we feel more focused, alert, and overall, happier, not to mention, our cholesterol is down to normal levels again. It’s amazing how something as simple as changing what we eat can have such a profound impact on how it makes us feel both physically and mentally.

    So, now that I’ve decluttered the pantry and we’ve rid ourselves of refined sugar and flour during this Lenten Season, we’ve decided to make this our lifestyle choice moving forward. It just feels so good and I wouldn’t trade this feeling for anything.

    Here is a simple recipe for the Peanut Butter Protein Balls (adapted from ElaVegan). This is easy to make and has been a great go-to, 120 calorie, snack for us. I hope you enjoy!

    This is a great go-to snack


    • 1 1/3 cup rolled oats, gluten-free (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
    • 2 Tbsp chia seeds (you can use hemp seeds or any seed of your choice)
    • 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (feel free to add chopped pecans or almonds too)
    • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter (I use Justin’s Classic) or any nut/seed butter of your choice.
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/4 cup honey or liquid sweetener of your choice (maple syrup, agave, monk fruit, Allulose, etc.)
    • 3 Tbsp sugar-free chocolate chips (I use Hu)


    • First, heat the peanut butter in the microwave until it softens. Set it aside to cool. If the peanut butter is already runny (like natural peanut butter), you can skip this step.
    • Then, combine the oats, coconut, nuts, and chia seeds in a medium bowl. Add the runny peanut butter, sweetener, vanilla, chocolate chips and stir until well combined.
    • Place the mixing bowl in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to help it firm up.
    • Divide and roll the mixture with your hands (oil your hands if needed). I usually have enough dough for about a dozen balls. You can eat one immediately or put them back to the refrigerator to firm up slightly more. A batch lasts us about a week.