Getting Ready for the 21-Day No Added Sweeteners Challenge
We invite you to join the Healthy Steps 21-Day No Added Sweeteners Challenge, Monday January 9th through the 30th. As part of the challenge, you’ll give up all added sugars and other sweeteners for 21 days (you can do anything for 3 weeks, trust us!). Reread our first blog post on the challenge to remind yourself of all the amazing health benefits you’ll accrue over the next three weeks. By giving up all added sweeteners, you will lose weight, decrease your cravings and lower your risk of chronic disease!
Here are the sweeteners you’ll avoid. During the challenge, don’t add these to your food yourself, and avoid food prepared by others with these, or food products with any of these in the ingredient list:
Anything with the word sugar in it (including but not limited to):
Anything with an -ose ending (including but not limited to):
Other sweeteners, including but not limited to:
Evaporated/Dehydrated Cane Juice
Fruit Juice Concentrate
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Sugar Alcohols, including but not limited to:
Non-caloric sweeteners, including but not limited to:
Aspartame (ie, Equal)
Sucralose (ie, Splenda)
Saccharin (ie, Sweet n’low)
Acesulfame-K/Acesulfame potassium (ie, Sunett)
Stevia, Stevia Leaf Extract (ie, Truvia)
Monk Fruit Extract
The challenge starts next Monday, January 9th. Take some time this weekend to clear out all the foods in your pantry and refrigerator that you’ll be avoiding during the challenge. It’s super important to have an environment free of temptations, especially during the first week. See if you can get a friend or coworker to join too, so you’ll have some added support. In addition to getting the sweetened foods out, spend an hour or two this weekend getting some unsweetened foods ready, so you’ll have them on hand when needed. For instance, many modern American breakfasts are loaded with sugar, so why not whip up our No-Sugar-Added High-Protein Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal so you’ll have something warm and satisfying to start the challenge off right?
Make-Ahead High Protein Oatmeal
1 cup uncooked organic steel cut oats
Cook the oats per package instructions. After the oats are fully cooked, remove from the heat and allow to cool in the pot for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then mix in:
1 cup unsweetened organic applesauce
1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
4 scoops unflavored whey protein powder
Divide into four portions and refrigerate. They will look a little thin, but will thicken overnight. Store in the fridge up to five days. Eat cold or reheat in the microwave.
Note- If you’re really missing sweetness (maybe on day one and two) you can add 1 TBSP of raisins after reheating. Over time you’re palate will become more sensitive to subtle sweetness and you can cut out the raisins.
Want even more advice, recipes and support for healthy weight loss? Call to schedule an appointment with one of our Registered Dietitians or Nutritionists today!
Lindsay Pasdera, MS RDN