Sugar Detox Details

How is my sugar detox going you may be wondering? Wellll…. Take this tip from me and actually throw out all the sugar in your house before you start like I said I was going to- or you may find yourself headfirst in it on a stressful day 2. So yeah, I lasted about a day. BUT I just kept on keeping on so I’m still going for my week straight and doing my best each day!

A few people after hearing me talk about sugar in hidden sources have asked what does cutting out sugar actually entail? Well, you can start with just cutting out the obvious sources like cookies, ice-cream, sweets, sugar in your coffee and all that.

I’m (attempting) to take it one step further by eliminating all added sugars in any foods- even the ones you least suspect! For example, I went to a dinner at my parents on Monday night and there was sugar in the Spring Rolls & Chips that my mom put out as a snack, as well as in the salad dressing. Basically- you need to become a food label detective and check every label:

Anything that has a food label and has “Sugars” in it- that is an added sugar.

The only exception to this rule is the natural sugar lactose that will be in Milk products- PROVIDED they are plain (vanilla is not plain) with no flavouring. Check the ingredients to ensure there are no hidden sugars. Here is the list of names sugar goes by:

Cane juice, Dehydrated cane juice, Cane juice solids, Cane juice crystals, Dextrin, Maltodextrin, Dextran, Barley malt, Beet sugar, Corn syrup, Corn syrup solids, Caramel, Buttered syrup, Carob syrup, Brown sugar, Date sugar, Malt syrup, Diatase, Diatastic malt, Fruit juice, Fruit juice concentrate, Dehydrated fruit juice, Fruit juice crystals, Golden syrup, Turbinado,  Sorghum syrup, Refiner’s syrup, Ethyl maltol, Maple syrup, Yellow sugar

Anything ending is “-ose”: Sucrose, Maltose, Dextrose, Fructose, Glucose, Galactose, Lactose, High fructose corn syrup, Glucose solids.

If any of these appear in the ingredients- the item has sugar in it! I’m also talking about honey, and agave, and any other natural sweetener or fake sweetener (even Stevia). Now as you check around your house and see that there is probably sugar in everything you are eating- what the heck do you EAT!?

Well, there is actually a TON of stuff, but you are gonna have to get your booty in the kitchen! Making your own fresh meals, & snacks is key. I love Whole30 recipes, paleo recipes, or 21 Day Sugar Detox recipes to start. You have to be vigilant about checking labels and then going from there. I highly recommending even just starting to check labels and keep your sugar intake under 25g per day (this is the minimum we should ALL be at). It can also be added to breads, savoury items, fat free items, and basically anything processed.

This can be a super eye-opening experiment but can be awesome when you start feeling the effects of weaning off sugar.

As for me, I had a glass of wine last night at my boyfriends birthday dinner, but aside from that I’m continuing on my sugar free journey for at least a week. It’s forcing me to examine my anxiety as well since I can’t cover it up with food.
The best tip I’ve started doing this week is whenever I have that niggly anxiety I open up the notes app on my phone and quickly type out whatever is bothering me in the moment. I do find this quite soothing to identify where the anxiety is coming from and realize that there is something I CAN do to abate it- or even that there’s nothing I can do and there is no point in being anxious. It’s key for me to recognize those thoughts and feelings to lead to binging- this sugar experiment has already been super helpful.

Anyone else noticing anything a few days in? Let me know if you want to do the sugar free thing with me for a week and we can support each other via facebook or text!




The Great Sugar Detox

I have to admit something to do you all… I am addicted to sugar!
I love eating healthy but I also LOVE chocolate, desserts, ice-cream, and anything and everything that will give me a little sugar high when I’m feeling down. I’m much better at not binge eating these days, but it still happens.
In the last 2 weeks I’ve eaten 6 litres of ice-cream (yes, 6) an entire box of 50 halloween candies, 3 bags of chocolate chips, a bottle of maple syrup, chocolate macaroons, and various other treats like a blizzard from DQ, desserts out a restaurants and nanaimo bars from bakeries. You know what’s crazy is I didn’t realize how bad it was until I wrote that all out and I feel pretty disgusted with myself. I am tempted to delete that 6L of ice-cream so that I don’t have to admit it to myself or any of you that I truly am not always the epitome of health.
Yes, I love to meal prep and workout and I am at a healthy weight, but I still struggle with binge eating to soothe myself when the going gets tough. I want to be completely REAL with all of you because people can look so perfect from the outside- but everyone struggles. I am always working hard to improve myself but when a binge happens- it REALLY happens as you can tell from above. 
I’m working hard to reduce binge eating by ensuring I am journalling daily, going to counselling weekly, and trying to reduce stress in my life by knowing that I am enough right now. Just please know that even fitness “experts” and nutritionists can struggle with sugar addiction and it’s certainly not easy to reduce or eliminate your intake!

That is why I am going on a sugar “detox” this week. 7 days of eliminating sugar from my diet.
I would like to preface this whole post by reminding you all that I whole heartedly believe in intuitive eating and allowing yourself all foods; so it seems contrary to attempt to eliminate sugar from my diet. I thought about this long and hard this morning and this is why I feel like it’s a good idea for myself personally.
-When I’m really struggling with binge eating- I get into a cycle where it’s all too easy for me to ignore my feelings and binge eat instead of examine what’s really going on in my head. When I’m always allowing myself that ice-cream when I want it and eating any treat that looks good- I tend to easily let those feelings get pushed down and reassure myself that I’m “intuitively eating”. Although intuitive eating is great- it has to go hand in hand with self-awareness. I find when I make a goal to actually eliminate sugar from my diet I am forced to examine my thoughts and feelings when I’m craving it instead of just giving in right away. This allows me to really get to the bottom of whats bothering me in a much more helpful way than masking it with sugar.
-My energy has been lacklustre and I’ve been unmotivated to cook and instead grabbing crappy items on the go. I know within a few days I’ll feel lighter, more focussed and clear headed and this is so important to me and my productivity. When truly eliminating sugar and processed foods- you are forced to get creative in the kitchen and put effort into what you are putting in your body which is always a great thing!
-Lastly, sugar is addictive. The more I have it around the house and eat some everyday the harder it gets to skip a day. I’m always reaching for something sweet and delicious when I’m feeling tired (which only perpetuates the tired cycle). The more sugar you consume, the more you NEED to get that same “high”.
I think that by taking a week break to stop the cycle, detox from my sugar addiction, and focus on what my body and mind truly needs- I’ll be ready to go back to intuitive eating in a week and enjoy some dark chocolate instead of a litre of ice-cream and feel the same satisfaction.

What do you guys think? Want to join on the sugar detox with me? I will be posting my daily struggles, journey and everything I eat this week on my instagram “snap” story so follow me there @trainingbytarabrunet! Now, time to throw out all the sugar in my house, eek!

Love you all and thanks for the support (and sorry to my boyfriend if I’m a cranky bitch this week haha).


Why the “basics” are EVERYTHING!

I was listening to a podcast on productivity this morning on my hike (Here is the link to the podcast if you want to give it a listen!) and I was inspired by at the end, what it all came down to is so basic, yet SO incredibly powerful. There are three things that we all “know” we should do, but hardly any of us actually do them. By introducing these powerful tools in your life you can become highly productive, successful, and achieve everything you set your mind to- but you need to lay the foundation first.

Have you ever heard of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs?

Basically it states that we need to take care of each level before we can fully reach the next step. You must reach your physiological needs before you can work on love and & belonging.

Think of these following as “Tara’s Hierarchy of Health”. These are the basics- the bottom of the pyramid- that once you master, you can do ANYTHING.

I find this idea fascinating because I hear so many excuses in a day. You’re too tired, you don’t have enough time, you don’t know what you do, you can’t find the motivation… If you find that you are reaching roadblocks on the way to a healthy lifestyle- you need to take it back to the basics and get the bottom of your pyramid in order before you can dial everything together. This idea extends to your entire life too- once you have these things mastered- you’ll have more energy, time, focus, happiness, purpose- and no more excuses. After I list our basics I’ll come back to your excuses and tell you WHY mastering the basics will eliminate excuses.

Are you ready?

1.) Sleep.
I can go on and on about sleep and its importance. The fact is, that you cannot function properly and at an optimum level without enough sleep. This is the first thing I recommend examining when aiming for healthier lifestyle. Are you getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep? How can you remedy this?
If you are tired you are automatically going to crave sugar, lack motivation and energy, your workouts will suffer, your mood will not be at it’s best, your productivity will suffer and the list goes on. Who wants to go through their days feeling like a zombie?
Examine your sleep patterns. You want to aim to sleep between 10-6am as this results in optimal REM sleep. If you go to bed at 2am, and wake up at 10am- you aren’t getting your optimal rest and rejuvenation. I understand that many people are night owls so I won’t argue too much on this fact. First step: Ensure you are getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night, and if you still find you are tired throughout the day- then see if you can change your sleep patterns.

2.) Exercise.
Whoa! Bet you didn’t see that one coming…. 😉
Exercise is key for increasing motivation in all aspects of life. When people tell me they don’t have enough time to exercise- I would look at your time management, and how you can condense other activities. In fact- you know when you sometimes put off a project that you had a month to do- and finish it in a single day? The LESS time you dedicate to some things, the FASTER and more focussed you will be. This sounds counterintuitive, but throw some time towards exercise and less time towards your to-do list and you’ll actually get MORE done in the end.
The fact is, I do not care who you are or what your job is- there is a way to fit in exercise, period. If you want to feel better, look better, have more energy, look younger, increase stamina, focus and memory; then you will make time. If you are constantly using some sort of excuse then it is just not important enough to you- and it should be! Taking the time to exercise does not take AWAY from everything else in your day. It actually INCREASES the amount you can get done, it helps with studying, memory, learning and increases mood and overall wellness. Instead of looking at it as taking up time in your day- consider it something that is going to boost your entire day into a mode where you can get more done and also feel better while you do it.

3.) Eat Well.
Your body is made up of the foods you eat, your energy and brain power comes from the food you eat. Why do you fill it with processed ingredients, chemicals and things that are going to make you tired, sluggish, overweight and unhealthy?
If you want to have even MORE energy to get things done, feel amazing, sleep well, and look your best- you need to take a good hard look at what you are eating. I know nutrition can be a hard topic for a lot of people so here is the easiest way to improve it:
-Drink LOTS of water
-Eat whole foods (nothing from a package, can, pre-made, microwaveable)
-Learn to cook
-Avoid the sugar, fast food, restaurant meals, and all the grab and go. Cook with whole foods and make your own meals and it doesn’t need to be complicated. Eat when you are hungry. Stop when you are full.

There you have it! The BASICS that will truly change your life when you apply them day in and day out.

So now I’m going take all the excuses I hear and let you know how once you apply the basics- these excuses disappear.

#1: “I don’t have time to eat healthy & workout” 
This comes down to a) increasing your energy and your productivity so you can get more done in a day, b) time management, and c) motivation. Guess what! When you are getting enough sleep, eating right and exercising – all of these things are going to take care of themselves. You need to schedule the time. Cut out Netflix. Take a look at your days. If you had an absolute emergency and needed to do something for someone you would make time for it somehow, someway. Consider your health an emergency! Make time to make habits, to create the snowball effect that the basics will bring.

#2: I have kids and… insert reason here
I know plenty of people with children that still manage to eat healthy and exercise. My best friend has her 4th on the way and she still managed to exercise, work, eat Whole 30 and be an amazing supermom prior to pregnancy (and whilst pregnant). She would work out during nap-time, or early in the morning- she would spend the time preparing fresh healthy foods to fuel her and her children because she understands how vital it is. That was a priority for her and it can be a priority for you too. Now, sleep- I totally get and understand that once you have kids there is not a lot you can do about the sleep situation. So this is where Exercise and Eat Well take on ALL of the importance! You are going to have to do the best you can with sleep when you have children and I don’t think I know a single mother that gets 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night. Do your best, and put your focus into nutrition and exercise!

#3: I hate exercise
You haven’t found the right type of exercise for you, OR you haven’t given it enough of a chance to really feel the benefits. Once you get that feeling and endorphins- you would never stop exercising! You need to create the habit, seek the benefits- and then exercise will never again feel like a chore, but a blessing.

#4: I’m too stressed, and or I don’t have support
If you are too stressed, this means you NEED to take care of yourself better. Exercising reduces stress, as does eating well and sleep. These are just the basics for creating a more calm and fulfilling life! If you are feeling stressed- chances are you are missing one of the basics. Regarding support- yeah it’s great, but you need to do this for YOU. You cannot be your best possible mom, business person, teacher, leader without taking care of these basics. You have the potential for so much more once you combine these three things all together. So, despite having support or not- you need to dig deep and do this for yourself. You can do it, trust me.

You can have results, or you can have excuses- you choose! People who are successful in their health and weight loss journey ditch the excuses and find ways to make it happen. So which one do you want to be?

I hope you found this blog post helpful and motivating! Thanks for reading 🙂