Are You Up for the Challenge?

The annual Vegetarian Food Festival is fast approaching and I have decided to take the sugar challenge – well sort of. The original challenge issued on the website for the documentary Fed Up is 10 days long but I ‘m starting with baby steps.

The Fed Up Sugar-Free Challenge

Starting September 1st, I will be doing my own 5 day version of the sugar-free challenge followed later in the month with another 5 day sugar-free challenge. So in total I will have done the full 10 days.

The Veg food fest is not the same without the sugary treats to try. Carnivores have their carnival food (e.g. Krispy Kreme doughnut burger) eaten once a year at the fair and plant eaters have the equivalent in vegan cupcakes and cookies. When eaten in moderation amongst a mostly healthy diet, ethically sourced natural sweeteners aren’t so bad. However, sugar is pervasive and we end up consuming more than we realize.

Obvious Sources
Pop, cakes, cookies, candy, jams/jellies, drinks (juice-natural and artificial, fancy coffees, sports drinks)
Not so obvious Sources
Condiments such as mayonnaise (even the vegan kind) and ketchup; medications; processed and packaged foods (e.g. canned, frozen, cereal etc…)

There are also certain carbohydrates (e.g. white flour and white rice) that quickly turn to sugar when digested. This can quickly raise one’s blood glucose levels. The sugar-free challenge dares you to cut-out all natural and artificial sweeteners, the obvious and not so obvious added sugar in your diet and any refined products that are high on the glycemic index.

Glycemic index – a numerical measure of how quickly food raises blood sugar once eaten

With sugar so ubiquitous in our diet it is a huge undertaking to quit all forms of it cold turkey. (Hence, my split into a two-part 10-day challenge.) Realistically, it is not feasible for some – medication must still be taken (unless you can find an equivalent alternative) and wasting food (either throwing it out or spoilage as you ignore it for 10 days) is just, well, wasteful. Whether you go hard-core with this challenge or not I think what’s important is to take stock of what you are eating, how much sugar you actually consume on a daily basis and realize that you would be much healthier and better off consuming considerably less of the sweet stuff.

 What’s wrong with sugar?
Check out the documentary film Fed Up – Official Trailer
A list of several links on a Google Search (search “the problem with sugar”)
A list of links on a Google Search – Sugar and slavery

The question is:
Are you up for the challenge?


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