I’m so excited you’ve decided to join us for the DeStress Your Life Clutter Clean Out. We’re starting with a Pantry Clean Out – where we’ll focus each day on one item in your pantry to dig deeper into why it’s important and how to make the healthiest decision possible. Today, we’re going to be talking all about sugar.

If you have healthy food, you’ll eat healthy food. If your pantry is filled to the brim with sugary foods, you’re going to eat those sugary foods. On the flip side, if your pantry is filled with healthy foods, that’s what will be on your plate.  That’s the goal here. We’re cleaning out the sugar today so you can stop eating it. It’s as simple as that.

As you clean out your pantry, be sure to set aside anything that is non-perishable and unopened. These items can be donated to a local food pantry.

To kick off the pantry clean-out party, we’re ditching sugar! We all know that sugar isn’t good for us, right? We’ve heard all kinds of things about sugar and how it’s unhealthy, and that’s precisely why we’re getting rid of it.

Think about some of the bad things you might have heard about sugar. Why have you thought about ditching sugar in the past? Is sugar something you struggle with avoiding? Leave a comment in our Facebook group to share with everyone.

Why do we need to get rid of sugar?  To put it simply – when you consume sugar, the pancreas releases insulin. Overeating sugar means that our bodies can’t process all of it, which over time, can lead to a variety of health issues. 

When we have too much sugar in our system, it’s stored as fat, which results in weight gain, which often leads to an ongoing weight issue.  Obesity is prevalent in our society, which can result in a host of other detrimental health issues such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other health issues.  All in all, the things we want to avoid!

Here are some other reasons to ditch sugar:

  • It’s addictive.
  • It damages your immune system which is something we’re especially aware of right now with the outbreak of covid-19.
  • It can lead to some types of diseases you certainly want to avoid.
  • It causes premature aging.
  • Too much sugar can harm your liver.

All of these are pretty good reasons to ditch sugar. Overall, too much of the wrong type of sugar isn’t good for our bodies, and we can definitely live without it. We should especially be concerned about getting rid of processed sugary foods.

After hearing this, I hope you’ll consider getting rid of any sugar in your pantry and giving yourself a chance to see what it’s like to live without it.

I’m going to help you figure out what to ditch from your pantry as we clean out the sugar today. First, let’s take that bag of white sugar and toss it.

You’ll also want to get rid of things like processed cookies, candy, and other packaged, unhealthy snacks. Packets of oatmeal and cereals often have added sugars and flavors (so check the labeling). Cakes, icings, muffins — all of those pre-packaged sugar-filled snacks need to go.

I realize with food hoarding happening all around us, it’s going to be difficult to just throw things away. There’s always going to be an emotional component to making changes and it may be exacerbated by what we’re dealing with on a daily basis right now. Do your best. The sooner you can release whatever emotions are keeping you tied to your sugar habit, the better you’re going to feel overall.

If you have any soda, juice, or sugary beverages, those are a good thing to eliminate too. You probably know this, but just as a reminder: A can of regular cola has about 40 grams of sugar in it. While I know it’s hard, if ever there was a time to think about kicking the soda habit to the curb and finding a healthier alternative, it’s now. 

Peanut butter and spreads can contain a lot of added sugars, in some cases. Take a look at yours, and you may be surprised by the sugar content you find on your nutrition label. There are a number of brands that taste delicious and are made up of peanuts, sea salt and oil. Check the labels next time your shopping and upgrade your PB (fyi – PB2 is not a good alternative).

After you clean out all of the sugar from your pantry, you want to make sure that you don’t buy any more foods that contain refined sugar. We’re starting from scratch and avoiding those foods. You just went through all of this work, and you probably don’t want to do it again.

I know it can be hard to get rid of all of this food. Even if it isn’t healthy, the cost can add up. Try donating it so it doesn’t go to waste and then start fresh and avoid all of those refined sugars. You may be thinking: “Why would I donate it? Wouldn’t I be adding to someone else’s health issues?” This is a decision you need to make whether to donate or toss. There are folks out there who aren’t ready to let go of sugar just yet and they’re going to buy it anyway. You may not be saving their health, but you will help them save money. In the end, we’re all responsible for only one person when it comes to eating — ourselves.

Now that we’ve talked a little about the emotional component of what sugar means to us, you might be wondering what you can use instead of sugar. Luckily, there are plenty of easy swaps you can make to reduce your sugar intake so you can live a healthier life. Since you don’t have sugar in your pantry, what can you use?

Here’s what you might buy: Raw honey, stevia, dates, brown rice syrup, and pure maple syrup. When I say maple syrup, I don’t mean the artificially flavored kind with a ton of sugar. Look for the most natural maple syrup you can find. It’s carried at your local health food store as well as major chains.

If you want to drink soda, buy plain or flavored sparkling water without sweeteners. Another way to transition is to buy Zevia. It’s a stevia sweetened soda and has natural ingredients. This is just to help you on your way. Try not to let it become your new fav because we still want to reduce the amount of sweeteners (even healthy unless from food) in our diet. Another way to spruce up your beverage options is to add cucumber slices, lemon, fruit or mint leaves to your water at home.

Instead of adding sugar to your tea or coffee, add natural flavors like cinnamon, cacao, or mint.

When you get rid of sugar, you’ll probably notice a drop in weight soon after, and you’ll also start to have more energy throughout the day. You might not have even realized how sugar was affecting how you feel every single day until it’s gone. After learning about sugar and how bad it is for your health, you won’t feel like adding it back into your diet.  Especially after seeing how simple it is to replace sugar with healthier options!

As we wrap up, leave a comment in our Facebook group about how you feel about getting rid of all of this sugary food. Let’s share about how it feels (both positive and negative feelings). How do you feel about the changes this is going to make in your life?

Join me again tomorrow so we can clean out the salt in your pantry! Great job today!