Today is all about talking and eating! Two of my favourite things. I had the privilege of speaking at a corporate event yesterday. It was so much fun!! We did a Lunch & Learn where each attendee received a signed copy of my book and I suggested that I cook recipes from the 28 Day Kick The Sugar Challenge for the group. Today I am sharing my Top Tips with you, as well.
We had the Tasty Chickpea Salad, the Quinoa “Pasta” Salad (an adapted Detoxinista recipe), the Yummy Deviled eggs, Healthy 7Up, organic Pink Crisp apples for dessert and a new recipe I recently developed for Lemon Pepper Boneless Chicken “Wings”.
The food was a hit!
I wanted to share the recipe for the chicken with you today because I feel like it’s been a while since we talked food!! Scroll to the end for the recipe.
I also share the Top Tips I suggested to the group as ways to improve their health, starting right away. I hope these tips also resonate with you, as well.
And I share my interview with Steve Wofford of Recovery Squared Podcast. We deep dive into my story and talk addiction, sugar and more. Check out the interview here.
Top Tips To Avoid Sugar & Live Well
THINGS TO AVOID:
Soft drinks: They have absolutely zero redeeming qualities and lots of negative ones.
Fruit juices: This may surprise you, but fruit juices actually contain the same amount of sugar as soft drinks! And 10 oranges in one glass?! We aren’t supposed to eat 10 oranges in one sitting! When we lose the fiber in the whole fruit, the sugar in juice hits the blood stream the same way pop or candy does. Avoid juice and opt for water with lemon and lime.
Fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt: It has as many grams of sugar as a candy bar! 24-36 grams!!! Swap it for plain, organic Greek yogurt with fresh berries.
Candy and sweets. We can mindlessly munch on this stuff and eat a whole bag without realizing it. Keep candy dishes away from your desk and avoid these aisles at grocery stores. Eat fruit for sweetness. Your body will thank you!
Baked goods: Cookies, breads, cakes, bagels, brownies… These tend to be very high in sugar and refined carbohydrates.
Fruits Cups: We can believe these are healthy choices for us and our kids, but fruit canned in syrup are LOADED with sugar! Choose fresh fruits instead.
Low-Fat or Diet Foods: In my book and at the Lunch & Learn, we discuss the low-fat trend being at the heart of the obesity epidemic. When fat was vilified in the 1960’s, food producers replaced the fat with sugar to make it palatable. There is a reason why cases of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and obesity have continued to rise even though we keep removing fat!
Dried fruits: We can think dried fruit is as good for us as fresh, but when a fruit is dried, all of its moisture is lost and the sugar becomes concentrated. We can eat far more of a dried fruit than we would fresh. Limit dried fruits as much as possible.
Other Names: Beware! There are many different names for sugar such as sucrose, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), glucose-fructose (THIS IS CODE FOR HFCS), corn syrup, cane sugar, dehydrated cane juice, dextrose, raw sugar and more. So, read your ingredients labels!
READ YOUR LABELS! I call the Nutrition labels “liars” and the Ingredients labels “truth tellers”. Why? Because serving sizes are often unrealistic, so the “nutrition” we are getting isn’t accurate. Instead, read the INGREDIENTS label. If a packaged food contains more than one type of sugar in the ingredients list, or if sugar is listed as one of the first three ingredients, avoid it.
Grams of Sugar: The one thing I DO want you to read from a Nutrition Label is the grams of sugar. And then, do math (because the sugar industry hides the daily value % from us—–because ONE can of ginger ale would have over 100% of our daily value of sugar in it!!!)
Here’s the calculation: Take the number of grams of sugar and divide it by 4. This will give you the number of teaspoons of sugar in a product. In a 12-ounce can of pop, we get 32 grams of sugar.
32/4 = 8
Which is 8 teaspoons of sugar. A man’s daily maximum is 9 teaspoons. A woman’s is 6 teaspoons. A child’s is 4 teaspoons. Of ADDED sugar. Start doing this calculation with every packaged food you eat. NOTE: If a food doesn’t have a label, you don’t need to calculate the grams of sugar!!! Meaning, we aren’t talking about the sugar in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. We are talking ADDED sugar. We can enjoy fresh berries and a salad with sweet potato and chicken and not be (overly) concerned with the grams of sugar. But, grab a bag of M&M’s, a pop or a cookie? That’s when we need to start doing the math.
Avoid/Limit “Healthy Sweeteners”: Be aware that other sweeteners labelled as healthy like agave syrup, honey, maple syrup, brown rice syrup , organic cane sugar and coconut sugar are STILL sugar! Yes, some of these sweeteners contain healthy properties, but we can over-inflate their benefits and downplay their negative effects…because our bodies see all sugar the same way…including the sugar it gets from refined carbohydrates in chips, popcorn, cereal, and crackers.
TIP TIPS TO ADD TO YOUR DAY
- SHOP THE PERIMETER!!! Try to avoid as many packaged foods as possible, and avoiding the middle aisles will get you more than half way there. Be sure to shop on a full stomach and always carry a bag of nuts with you or a snack that you can eat in case of emergency!
- Drink water as your go-to instead of soda or juice and don’t add sugar to your coffee or tea. Enjoy sparkling water with lots of lemon and lime—healthy sprite!
- Enjoy one cup of coffee, but try to have it only in the morning. While coffee alone doesn’t contain sugar, it does create a sugar response in the body. Plus, caffeine stays with us for much longer than we think and when we sleep better, we don’t crave carbohydrates (sugar).
- Eat a high protein breakfast rather than a carb-heavy one. Think eggs, plain Greek yogurt with berries (not a fruit-on-the bottom yogurt!); one of the breakfast sausage recipes in the book; leftover chicken dinner! Or try the Challenger smoothie—I offer lots of ideas in the book.
- Plan ahead and prepare in bulk one day a week. Make as many meals as you can so you avoid fast food and takeout as much as possible. There is an entire meal plan in my book to help you.
- If you must have a sweet treat, enjoy a piece of fruit or one of the delicious recipes in the book like the Banana Bread or the Chocolate Peanut Butter Milkshake!!! AMAZING!
- Remember that loving ourselves is at the heart of caring for our bodies. In my book, I offer many ways for us to learn to respect, trust and love bodies. Because we don’t hate our bodies to good health….we love them there.
I also want to share this interview I did for Steve Wofford’s Recovery Squared Podcast. If you’d like to learn more of my story and delve deep into addiction, sugar, the law of attraction and more, then I’d love for you to give it a listen….maybe while you whip up the chicken recipe!
Click here to listen to the podcast.
Now, on to the recipe. I hope you make it soon because it is super yummy, way better for your body than deep fried chicken wings and whips up in no time with ingredients you already have on hand.
I hope you enjoy!
Because I want you to love your life one bite at a time.
LEMON PEPPER BONELESS "WINGS"
Makes 20-25 pieces
Why I Make These: Chicken wings are so tasty, but we lose all the benefits of this healthy protein when we deep fry it and smother it in a sugary sauce. Enter this lighter, tastier version that I think you will love!
- 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 6 tablespoons of avocado oil
- ¼ cup finely grated lemon zest (about 3 medium sized lemons). Use a metal rasp or the small grate on a box grater.
- 1 ¼ Tablespoons Himalayan salt
- 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425°F and line a pan with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients except the chicken.
- In a large Ziploc bag add the chicken and pour the sauce over top.
- Shake the bag until chicken is evenly coated. Or, use a bowl and a spatula or your hands to evenly coat the chicken.
- Arrange the chicken thighs on the pan, forming them back into the rounds the way they were packaged (meaning, don’t unroll them and flatten them out).
- Bake at 425°F for 30 mins. Turn the chicken pieces using tongs and bake for 5 more minutes.
Serve with roasted veggies or a big salad on the side. Enjoy!
P.S To learn more about my story while also kicking a sugar habit, check out my new book, The 28 Day Kick The Sugar Challenge, where I share more of myself and how I used health and fitness to overcome my addictions to alcohol and sugar, while also developing a greater sense of self-trust, self-respect and self-love. I would be honoured to help you do the same.
P.P.S. If we aren't already friends on Facebook , let's connect! We can also connect on Twitter and Instagram. Plus, if you haven’t already subscribed to my blog, you should! That way, you won’t miss anything. For joining, you get my personal meal plan, shopping list, and a week’s worth of easy, tasty recipes. http://sarahtalksfood.com/