Home Q&A Wednesday Q&A Wednesday: Clean Eating Challenge Style

Q&A Wednesday: Clean Eating Challenge Style

by Erika Nicole Kendall

Got lots of questions about clearing up clean eating… let’s go!

Q: Are there any natural alternatives to sugar?

You know, I know everyone’s all gaga over truvia/purevia, but I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t deal with stevia unless it was the actual organic leaf in my hand. And to be bluntly honest, I don’t know much about stevia outside of the fact that it’s been used in Latin America for a relatively long time.

Now, why is that? Neither Purevia nor Truvia are pure or true stevia. Additional chemicals (that, in my mind, haven’t been vetted enough but you can draw your own conclusions) that leave the product less pure or true can be found in both. I think this three part series does a better job of discussing stevia and it’s commercial versions than I could in a Q&A.

Q: I need more detail! Like, what can be frozen, and what cannot? Can I freeze fruit? How long can items be frozen? And that sounds good for snacks and cooking meals, but what about those who don’t like to cook? Clean eating = cooking? What ways can time be cut down via cooking?

I’ve always gone by what I’ve seen frozen in the grocery store frozen veggies section. So onions, peppers, cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, corn, similar items that don’t tend to have juicy insides… those are things I freeze. If you’re looking for a good example of a frozen foods list, check out What Vegetables Can I Freeze?

Clean eating definitely involves cooking! It’s about cooking what you eat on your own! Learning how to cook it, learning what your tongue likes, and learning what your body embraces and rejects are key to embracing a clean eating lifestyle, if only for 7 days.

As far as cutting down time, between freezing and simplifying your dishes? Those are your best bets. Remember, processed foods might’ve allowed you to do more with less money and less time; but clean eating allows you to eat more with less calories, eat more vitamins and minerals with less food and enjoy more health benefits with less drawbacks. Spend some time digging around for clean eating recipes, get a feel for what real clean eating looks/feels/tastes like, and you’re on your way!

Q: How do you get your body to stop or even lower the craving for sugar? I find that as I start to attempt to detox from sugar, my body tend to crave it more.

When I started working to rid myself of my sugar craving, I – and I know this sounds almost insulting – kept myself busy. If I felt like I was getting that “tick” that said I needed sugar, and I knew I’d probably binge on it? I’d jump in the shower. I’d go for a walk. I’d jump on the phone. (Seriously, my friends could tell you – they’ve sat through many a pointless conversation or angry debate just to keep me from regressing back into my sugar habit.) Anything to occupy my time and my mind.

Trying to not slip into sugar withdrawals is serious business. If sugar activates the same receptors in the brain as cocaine, don’t be surprised if you start feeling like a sugar fiend. You have to remain conscious, focused, and alert. At all times. It sounds like advice-so-simple-it-can’t-be-right, but it is.

And if all else fails, throw the offending food in the trash (or, if you can handle it, donate it.) This is my favorite solution.

Q: Can you recommend any tricks to help me stay motivated and on track?

There was an awesome answer offered up on the facebook page for BGG2WL, that I’m opting to share here:

A friend gave me a good tip. She put a reminder in her phone to go off hourly to remind her to “clean eat” and stay away from vending machines at work…she did that for about 3 weeks and in doing so she said it helped program her brain to stay focused. She’s lost 23 pounds in 9 weeks. Good luck!

My last question… is actually a question for you! Are you game for some BGG2WL swag?

Keep those questions coming, and I’ll have ‘em ready for next week! Have thoughts? Let me hear ‘em in the comments!

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JoAnna April 28, 2010 - 12:56 PM

I’ve tasted a stevia leaf right off of the plant. It’s sweet with a slight mint/green flavor to it. The seller told me to strip the mature green leaves and dry them to use as sweetener. I may try that this summer. Right now I’m substituting raw honey for sugar in all my beverages and jellies. Cinnamon infused raw honey (1 part cinnamon, 9 parts honey) is addicitve spread on a whole grain toast! And it doesn’t spike my blood sugar.

Tomeka April 30, 2010 - 11:21 AM

What about agave nectar?

Erika April 30, 2010 - 11:59 AM

I don’t use it – never have – and can’t really stand behind it.

I am doing research on it regarding this, though: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/agave-this-sweetener-is-f_b_537936.html

tara smith April 24, 2013 - 11:11 PM

This had helped alot. I liked the reminder to eat clean option to put in my phone and the fact that i thought truvia was healthy and its not is an eye opener

Elle October 16, 2013 - 12:30 PM

I love agave nectar.

Teshawn October 16, 2013 - 1:37 PM

Thanks for the tip on freezing vegetables. I want to try more veggies but not in all one recipe.

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