Swap and Go!

(If you didn’t read the post “FED UP”check that out first!)

I’m a cold turkey kind of girl. I never see the need to ween myself off of something. If I’m not supposed to have it, then I quit. In October I quit caffeine. I was drinking an iced tea when I decided to quit, so I dumped it out and that was that. When it was time for my babies to quit their binkies, I took them all away- never to be seen again. Years ago when I realized my stomach was not prone to tolerating dairy, I switched to soy and gave up cheese.

After watching Fed Up, I was immediately ready for my family to eliminate sugar, but I’m also frugal. The cold turkey approach didn't work. My advice to anyone wanting to majorly cut back their sugar intake:
  1. Wait until you use up the food currently hanging out in your pantry. I am not a waster, so it took me a couple weeks until the yucky stuff was weeded out.
  2. In the meantime, during your next grocery store visit only purchase the good stuff. Eventually, you’ll weed out all the yucky stuff.
There is no official yucky stuff vs. good stuff list. For me, I try to base my eating habits off what the good Lord has created for us. Keep in mind: I STILL EAT SUGAR! This past weekend we had friends over, I attended a bridal shower, and went to a teen event. Each of these occasions offered sugary treats, so of course I enjoyed some of them! The key for me is to drastically eliminate my sugar intake. Here are some of the tricks I use to do this. We’ll call this Swap and Go!

Instead of drinking sweet tea, soda, juice, or any other sugary drink, swap it with sparkling water. Add a lemon or lime wedge for an extra kick! La Croix is also a great swap. My favorite is the coconut flavor with a lime- a tropical treat! Also, brew your own UNsweet iced tea- it’s super cheap and super easy. Don’t use sugar substitutes. I can’t say this enough: no diet soda, no Splenda, no Sweet and Low, etc. It all turns to sugar, and is bad for the body.

Instead of a granola bars, crackers, cookies, muffins or whatever your normal go-to snack is, swap with nuts! Cashews, almonds, pistachio’s, and sunflower seeds make a great mix. Put them in a zip lock bag, throw them in your purse and they’ll be accessible wherever you go.  Or swap for plain or whole grain rice cakes with some nut butter.

Instead of the insanely-sugary cereals (which is almost ALL cereals- check those sugar labels), swap with PLAIN oatmeal, plus raisins or fresh fruit. It’s really hard to find a sugarless cereal, but plain Cheerios or Cornflakes do have a much lower amount of sugar. I buy a whole grain “Puff Cereal” at our local health food store, and it has zero sugar in it. At first our kids didn’t want to go near these cereals with a 10-foot pole, but now they’re totally fine with it. It took many weeks for them to adjust, but it’s so worth it.

Ditch those yogurt squeezies for kids- they are chocked full of sugar. Swap it with plain yogurt and fresh fruit, or an UNsweet apple sauce squeezie.

Swap out flavored coffee creamer with a small amount of half and half. Add a little almond extract for a yummy aroma!

Instead of baking with white flour and sugar, swap it with Spelt flour and UNsweet applesauce. Chuck makes the most divine homemade, spelt flour and apple sauce fresh bread!

Instead of store-bought, sugary red sauces and salsa’s, swap by making your own sugar-free versions. I promise it’s very easy to do! I do not like cooking or baking, and even I can make these swaps.

The last swap, and one of my favorites, is to give up those nighttime desserts. Instead, use coconut oil and fix some popcorn on the stove top! It takes care of the munchies and tastes really yummy! I am not a popcorn person, but I really enjoy this swap.

So there you have it, some basic Swap and Go’s! Please share any of your own personal Swap and Go’s. I would love to expand my horizons! In the next post, I’ll share some meals ideas for anyone interested. 


Julia said...

Hi, Abigail. It's nice to receive posts from your blog again. Would it be possible to post Chuck's spelt/applesauce bread?

Congratulations on all the healthy swaps you've made for your family.

Melissa Schlies said...

Such a great post, Abigail! I love the ideas you shared and have to say coconut oil popcorn is one of our favorite treats too! Looking forward to seeing you soon!