SUGAR FREE SEPTEMBER - Just try it
welcome to the muesli SFS challenge
There’s lots of challenges in life, but we think this one’s really worth taking on.
It’s a simple concept that encourages Australians to cut all processed sugar from their diet for one month. Do something positive for you!
All we’re asking is that for the month of September you check anything that you’re going to eat or drink, for its Sugar levels - if they are any higher than 5% (5g/100g) – you then make the decision not to eat or drink it!
Sugar Free September – it’s not a diet…
Tried every diet out there? It’s amazing how many there are isn’t it? That’s because none of them work – if one did there’d be no need for any others!
The SFS One Line Rule – isn’t a diet, it’s just a simple rule to follow.
Read one line on the nutrition panel – Sugars – and if they’re over 5% (5g/100g) - DON’T EAT OR DRINK IT!
Confused by all the different information out there? This is your chance to prove for yourself the effect that sugar in your diet is having on your body. We’re convinced you will see the difference, ongoing!
Stock up, but first stock take!
Check everything in a packet or jar that you already have in your pantry, fridge or freezer – and remove (set aside/throw out – your decision!) everything that has more than 5% Sugars.
There’s prizes to be won right throughout September for the biggest Sugar Shock – starting with the Pantry Pearler - so when you do your stock take, there’s bound to be something that you’re really shocked by – go to the blog and let us know, there’s a the muesli 5kg tub for the winner. Feel free to Instagram or Tweet a photo if you have one, use #SugarFreeSept!
Obviously the easiest way to avoid all of the processed sugar that has found its way into our foods and our diet is to EAT FRESH.
Food processing is where the whole problem with sugar began. Especially anything packaged that’s Fat Free – it’s bound to be loaded with sugar!
There’s no real excuse not to eat fresh – after all, even if you can’t make it to the market there’s a supermarket open 24 hours in most suburbs now! It’s really just as simple to go to the fruit/veg & meat aisle, as it is to go to the freezer or other packaged foods aisles (or the local takeaway) - and for a small extra effort you’re eating FRESH!
Remember – the outside aisles of the supermarket is where you’ll find all you need! (Aside from toilet paper and washing liquids of course.)
Fresh Salad Leaves
Cherry Tomatoes/Vine Tomatoes
Frozen Raspberries & Blueberries (Fresh if you’re richer!)
Lamb fillets or back straps
Beef – Porterhouse or Scotch
Chicken – breast or thighsPork Fillet
Meredith or Yarra Valley Goats Fetta
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (dark bottle)
Raw Almonds & Walnuts
Apple Cider Vinegar
the muesli is the best possible start to a Sugar Free September day.
Not only is it naturally Sugar Free but a small serve will fill you up and sustain you right through the morning. There’s no mid morning slump to lead you astray and searching out a sugary snack!
Check out our serving suggestions and feel free to make some of your own.
Think outside the square.
Salad - It really doesn’t take too much to throw some ingredients together to make a gorgeous salad – put a couple of slices of prosciutto in to the oven on 180 for about 7 or 8 minutes – then just crush it over your salad for a delicious crunch and flavour.
Make your own - Tzatziki – grate some cucumber and squeeze out the juice. Juice a lemon, chop some mint, crush a couple of cloves of garlic, combine in a bowl with a good pinch of sea salt and a lot of white pepper. Add a cup of Greek yoghurt, mix and leave at least ½ an hour in the fridge.
Delicious as a dip with carrot and celery sticks.
Perfect with lamb that’s been marinated in lemon juice, rosemary & oregano, salt & pepper and barbecued – with some salad it’s an instant souvlaki!
Be prepared – take a piece of cheese and some nuts to work in a zip lock bag for anytime you need a snack.
Make extra – there’s nothing like leftovers to make lunch easy! Cook an extra piece of meat for dinner, combine it with some salad and goats fetta for a delicious lunch the next day.
Congratulations on taking part in SUGAR FREE SEPTEMBER – Just try it – where the aim is to help you identify and avoid excessive sugar in your everyday diets. Week 1 will probably take the greatest resolve – sugar has crept into most packaged foods on supermarket shelves and we often don’t even realise we are eating it – but be strong and stay with SFS, as the benefits will be more than worth it.
SFS is all about...
Making you aware of just how much sugar there is in the everyday products that we consume
Giving people a different and simple way to approach their eating, and discovering just how much unnecessary and unwanted SUGAR has crept into everday eating without you even knowing!
This is a massive education piece, we are victim to, one of the single most devastating misinformation campaigns ever inflicted. FAT FREE. We've been conned in to believing that we must avoid Fat at all cost, while an ever more powerful sugar industry has been supplying food manufacturers with the 'perfect' way to replace Fat (flavour) - SUGAR!
Meanwhile Sugar has been cited as the single most addictive substance freely available! (there is scientific neurological evidence of this). So, that's added enormous appeal to those trying to sell lots of their 'fat free' foods!
People are confused by all the 'DIET' messages that they're continually bombarded with. Nothing has worked yet – society is fatter and sicker than ever…
So Sugar Free September is based on the simplicity of applying just one simple RULE – to help you to get a better understanding of the sugar that's in the food you're eating yourself and feeding your family.
When you pick up any pack or bottle, turn it over and read just one line on the nutrition panel – SUGARS – and if they’re above 5g/100g (5%) then don’t eat, use or drink it.
Quite simply, this exercise (we call it - The One Line Rule) will stun you.
Why is sugar so evil?
It’s the FRUCTOSE half of sugar that is causing all of the problems. It makes up 50% of regular table sugar, brown sugar etc, and 40% of honey.
Simply, Fructose – yes, natural fruit sugar – occurred so rarely in nature as we evolved that our systems did not develop the ability to utilize it the way it does other nutrients – fat, protein, glucose. (The local fruit tree bore fruit once a year, the tribe gorged on it and increased their fat stores for the coming year without – no cold storage & 365days a year availability then!)
Fructose can not be utilized by our bodies as energy – it is simply turned immediately in to fat either circulating in the blood stream (think blocked arteries) or stored around the liver (the cause of Fatty Liver Disease – which is being increasingly diagnosed.)
Not only that but it has been found to interfere with the hormones of our appetite control systems – fat, protein & glucose each have a specific hormone that detects their presence and limits (by giving us a feeling of being full) the amount we eat. Fructose mucks around with these functions – it has no such hormone to detect its presence, so the result is that we can keep on eating – not just fructose but everything – without feeling full
Some of the worst food offenders...
Sadly there is sugar to be found in the majority of processed food & drink products that the supermarket shelves are filled with.
Breakfast cereals and especially mueslis are some of the worst offenders - ranging between 8% and 48% sugar. Worse still, the known addictive nature of sugar makes it the perfect additive to get people hooked for good, so breakfast and snack products aimed at children are truly shocking!
Flavoured yoghurts - generally heavily marketed as 'Fat Free' - and as great diet products, again often aimed at kids - are a real trap ranging from 9% - 33% sugar.
Snack Bars, muesli bars - lunchbox fillers - see the theme here! 8% - 53%
Pasta sauce ready made in a jar, simmer sauces, curry sauces - anything that's 'easy' or 'quick' is probably too good to be true! 12% - 38%
Some of the "Pantry Pearlers" picked up by people preparing for Sugar Free September - items in their pantry that shocked them were:
Ketchap Manis - Indonesian Soy sauce - 81% sugar
"Low Fat" Icecream Cookies - 21.5% sugar (remember - that's nearly a 1/4!)
Almond Milk (1 brand) - 44% cane sugar
Balsamic Vinegar - 35%
Honey - Oat or Banana - Oat biscuits for 1-3 year olds - '35% less sugar' - still 19.5%!
Baby Formula - 14% Sugar (found an alternative that was 5.2%)
Weight loss shake - 16g/35g serve - just under 50%
Choc Hazelnut Spread - 51.3% - sugar first on list of ingredients - hazelnuts 3rd?
Raisin Toast - 17.7%
Sesame, Ginger & Soy Marinade - 38.4%
Milo - 46.4% - kids again!
Chai Tea - 65.5%
Oyster Sauce - 22.8%
Barbecue Sauce 48%
Pancake Mix - 43.4%
We're thrilled with all of the support we've had for Sugar Free September, and hope you've made a great start to ‘just try it’.
You might have found the first couple of days a little difficult - that's to be expected - but hopefully this has past and the challenge now seems much more achievable.
With the toughest week behind you, week 2 is all about strengthening your resolve from week 1. Feel good about the success you've had, and recommit to the week ahead.
As we said at the start, this is all about YOU and maybe even your family - you will feel and see the benefits as you take control of sugar in your diet.
For those who haven't started, or might have made a 'false start', don't worry as its not too late to jump on board and reap the benefits over the next three weeks.
Remember a couple of things early:
It’s impossible to go completely Sugar Free – the glucose half of sugar is the building block of all human energy.
On the other hand – the fructose half of sugar is what’s causing all the damage!
There is enough ‘sugar’ occurring naturally in whole fruit & vegetables to count as ‘moderation’ in your diet.
So, any sugar found in manufactured/processed foods & drinks is completely unnecessary and excessive!
This is worth keeping in mind considering that this sugar has been found out to be the main culprit in weight gain and a large variety of different diseases.
4g of sugar = 1 tsp
So, if a sauce you’re using as a marinade has 38g sugar per 100g – that’s 38% and the equivalent of 9.5tsp of sugar.
Dairy is interesting as it contains its own sugar – lactose – this (unless you’re lactose intolerant) is well managed by our system. So with dairy – like yoghurt or milk the rule is to keep it Natural – full fat (don’t forget when they remove the fat they replace the flavour with sugar) and of course Unflavoured (up to 7 or 8g/100g).
Be Careful in Restaurants
When you haven’t got the ability to read the One Line on the nutrition panel – like when you’re eating out – you need to apply a bit of common sense:
Avoid the Desert Menu
Try the Cheeses
Watch out for sauces like ‘balsamic reduction’ – try requesting any sauce on the side – that way by simply dipping your finger in you’ll know – it’s simple – if it’s sweet it’s full of sugar!
Asian foods like Thai - can be full of sugar – Thai Salads are perfect right up until the palm sugar sweetened dressing goes on! Sad but true – see if you can order with dressing on the side and extra lime wedges!
On the other hand a Vietnamese Pho can be fantastic – natural & fresh with no sugar added to the stock – I tend to ask for less or no noodles – which keeps the only processed part of the dish out also!
Processed foods tend to be the main culprits when it comes to lots of sugar – anything in a pack (or ‘man made’) – hence the one line rule. Therefore...
Beware of bread – especially the commercially available varieties – find a good artisan baker – grill him about whether he uses any sugar – that will always be a better alternative – if you have to eat bread at all?!
What if it’s not in a pack – like those cute little cakes and slices at the café where you get your coffee? Just because it doesn’t have a nutrition panel to read doesn’t make it exempt from the SFS rule!
COMMON SENSE is really important – you know that things like that are full of sugar so avoid them.
Don’t be afraid to ask what something has in it. Some delicious looking meatballs with a sticky glaze – might seem like a good savoury alternative, but that sticky glaze is likely to be very sugary!
Tips & Tricks
Freezing Fruit - Try cutting canteloupe, honey dew melon and pineapple into bite size pieces and freezing them flat on a metal tray on some baking paper. When frozen store in zip lock bags . Great for taking advantage of when they are actually in season. Also fresh raspberries freeze brilliantly so take advantage of the peak of raspberry season – Christmas to New Year (in Australia) when you can get them for a good price. This is a good way to control the portions you're having also.
I often just throw a whole one on to the gas burner on my stove – turning it 1/4 rotations for about 7-8 minutes or until all of the outer skin is blackened and bubbling – allow to sit for a couple of minutes and then peel all skin away.
Whole on the grill of a BBQ, turning until blackened.
Whole in a hot oven until skin blackens and blisters.
Slice lengthways and use what you need – store remainder in a container in the fridge with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil/flaxseed oil & apple cider vinegar over it. Great in a salad or alone
Basil Blend – When basil is in season it’s great to buy a nice big bunch, wash it and spin it dry then in a food processor with some extra virgin olive oil drizzled through it, process it into a paste. Store in a glass jar with a layer of extra virgin olive oil to cover the top, in the fridge. Use by the spoonful for any dish needing basil. Lasts weeks if you keep the top covered with the oil.
Sugar Free September seems to be flying along – though if you’re on board and this is a first for you – you’re probably not feeling quite the same way!
Well done for being a part of it and taking up the challenge to ‘Just try it”… Our main purpose with SFS was for YOU to give it a go and find out for YOURSELF just how prevalent Sugar is in YOUR diet.
Even if it’s been a bit tough early, we’d hope by now that you might in some ways be starting to feel the difference.
It really does get easier, and I’m not just saying that!
It becomes a habit – reading that One Line.
So, if you’ve made a start with Sugar Free September – and put yourself through those first 7 or 10 days when you really might have been suffering from the withdrawal – but made it through, then it’s a habit that’s pretty simple to carry on with!
So, what’s changing?
You might be finding your head’s a little clearer?
You’re not in an energy-less haze at 10am, which can only be solved by eating something sugary?
You’re hopefully eating more fresh produce – vegetables, fruit, meat & fish – all of which is going to be doing you way more good than the ‘man made’ processed stuff in the pack with more than 5% Sugar, that might have been your previous choice?
More energy across the day?
Your clothes are fitting better, even loosening up?
The bathroom scales are worth a try?
Keep at it, there’ll be more changes for the good to add to this list, just take one step at a time, do what you can do and feel good about it.
There comes a time, with many things in life, when you realise that you’re just going to be much better off without ‘it’….
That ‘it’ might be a partner who’s strayed, even a friend who constantly lets you down. ‘It’ could be the motorbike that you’ve crashed 3 times and been very lucky to get away uninjured, maybe it’s cigarettes or a nightly bottle of wine all to yourself!
Well, we’re nearly through Sugar Free September and we’re wondering if there’s another ‘it’ to add to the list?
You will have realised, just how hard it is to avoid sugar, simply by following the SFS One Line Rule – it’s in so many things, isn’t it?
But, if you’ve done the best that you can and made even some changes to your normal behaviour, whether it be in the supermarket, at your pantry choosing what to use in your stir-fry or mid afternoon when you’re craving a snack – you will hopefully be seeing and feeling the benefits.
So what do you think? Are you convinced? Have you had the realisation?
YES, I REALLY AM GOING TO BE MUCH BETTER OF WITHOUT ‘IT’?
And, what’s ‘IT’?
SUGAR – of course!