Though I’m not officially starting the Spent program yet – I need to plan some meals and stock my kitchen accordingly – I’m still trying to keep sugar out of my diet as much as possible. I managed to keep my diet pretty healthy while on vacation in Florida – I bought fruit, plus some gluten-free Kind fruit and nut bars (my new favorite!) to keep in the hotel room for breakfast, and I mostly stuck to things like fish with vegetables while dining out. I even ate my leftover fish and veggies for breakfast on Saturday morning, which the other girls may have found a bit strange, but I thought it was a great way to give myself some healthy energy before heading out to do lots of walking at the Universal Studios theme park. (And yes, we went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!)
Cutting out sugar is the first rule of the Spent program, and it isn’t easy. Aside from the obvious foods like cakes, cookies, and sweets, this also means avoiding foods that are converted into sugar by the body, including bread, bagels, pastries, cereals, pasta, baked goods, and white rice. It also means no sweeteners such as cane sugar, brown sugar, date sugar, glucose, sucrose, maltrose, dextrose, corn syrup, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, fruit juice, fruit juice concentrate, barley malt, caramel, carob syrup, or sorghum syrup.
Dr. Lipman, author of Revive: Stop Feeling Spent and Start Living Again, says that sugar is highly addictive and that most of his patients are addicted to sugar without even realizing it. Sugar also suppresses the immune system, so it’s no wonder that eliminating it is the first step in Dr. Lipman’s total wellness plan.
Instead of starting your day with typical starchy breakfast foods – toast, bagels, waffles, muffins, cereal, etc. – Dr. Lipman recommends smoothies containing protein, fat, and phytonutrients – naturally occurring nutritive compounds found in plants. I’ve cut back on bananas ever since reading in Clean that they are mucous forming, so my new go-to breakfast smoothie is one made primarily with blueberries and almond milk. I’ve adapted a Clean recipe to make it a little greener:
1 cup blueberries
1 1/2 cup almond milk
2 teaspoons unsweetened cacao powder
1 tablespoon peanut butter or almond butter
2 handfuls spinach
Blend together until smooth and enjoy!
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