Truth be told, when we were growing up, the idea of healthy eating seemed completely daunting and unattainable. If you told us we would be involved with sugar-free blogging, we would have probably run the other direction (with our donuts and cupcakes in hand). Truth is, we’ve made changes slowly over the past several years. We’ve even made changes since starting this blog just 2 years ago. As we keep learning more about nutrition, our amazing bodies and health from a variety of sources, our knowledge has impacted how we want to live, eat and share.
So what has our journey been like? We are real people with busy, full lives. We’ve had to figure out what is best for us, our families and our individual health. Healthy eating means something different to each of us but we have come to learn a few key factors for lasting health.
In our research, we have been guided to different sources
that keep saying the same thing – Eat whole foods. Eat a plant based diet. Reduce processed foods and eat living foods. Avoid sugars and unhealthy fats. We have always known sugar is detrimental to our health, but how can we grow past just sugar-free and improve our diets as a whole? What is a plant based diet and what does that mean for us?
The term “plant based diet” is a broad term. It can mean eating a diet that is mostly plants (seeds, veggies, fruits & grains) with other products thrown in, to eating a strict raw vegan diet with absolutely no animal products. There are variations in between and what works for one person may not work for another. As we have discovered this research about plant based foods, it supports our research about sugars and the impact these foods have on our bodies. As we explored this way of eating, we found it helped us in our pursuit to reduce sugar and we began choosing better, healthier foods.
You will see there is a bit of diversity between the three of us in how we eat. We are striving for balance and health regardless of our schedules or lifestyles. We believe that a diet filled with whole foods and live produce should be the foundation of our diets – no matter if you are eating sugar-free or not.
Chelsea was greatly inspired by the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and the information shared in the book, The China Study. She loves the concept of raw foods and the healing powers of fruits and veggies. She loves the studies out there that show greater health, healing and energy associated with plant based diets. Nutrient filled foods with enzymes and vitamins motivate her to eat as many raw foods as she can.
When Annie first heard the concept of a plant based diet, she was already eating a vegetarian diet. This diet had real impact on her when she learned of the health problems that can be caused by hormone, chemical, and antibiotic filled meat and dairy (plus other problems related to those industries). This inspired her to try a literal plant based diet and began a vegan lifestyle. She keeps finding benefits to eating a vegan diet but she has not maintained a strict diet since. She eats a vegetarian diet filled with lots of produce and continues her goal of eating sugar-free. The more healthier (delicious) alternatives that she finds, the more excited she gets about a sugar-free, plant-based lifestyle.
Holly has been trying to incorporate more whole foods and raw produce into her diet as well. Although she has a meat-loving husband and cheese-addicted kids, she strives to limit both to dinner only. The trick for her has been to switch menu planning from highlighting meat to now highlighting vegetables and high-protein grain sources. She believes that any kind of diet should be packed with fresh, organic produce (especially dark leafy greens) and organic sources of protein. She strives for balance in every meal and works on creatively making unpopular foods delicious. Her family has seen improvements in energy levels and reductions in blood-sugar induced tantrums as she incorporates more fresh, raw produce.
Of course, we have days that are not sugar-free and other days that we are really proud of how we ate. The point is to make healthy eating the goal, but not an obsession or a punishment. Food should be fun and enjoyable and lead us to personal health and happiness.
We are excited by the opportunity to change our health through the foods we eat. We want to help you in this goal by sharing sugar-free dishes that are even more healthy! We hope you’ll continue to join us for all the deliciousness along the way.