Sugar-Free September Challenge
Written by Angelica Pupil
Those of you who know me will know how interested I am in the effects that sugar has on our bodies. My eyeballs popped out of my head this morning when I read that on average, Australians consume 53kg of sugar each year, which equates to around 29 teaspoons of sugar (both added and natural) each day!! That is crazy considering that most of us are UNAWARE of how much sugar we are consuming.
I am not here to preach about our sugar consumption, BUT I do have an incentive that might just be the little nudge you need to cut down on the sweet stuff. This month if you take up the Sugar-Free September Challenge you will be helping so many people that are dealing with the devastating effects of Muscular Dystrophy.
Muscular Dystrophy is a neuromuscular disorder which weakens and wastes the muscles with the most common being Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy affecting predominately boys. The onset of this condition is between 3 and 5 years old and progresses astronomically fast with most boys being entirely dependent on an electric wheelchair by their early teens. The boys usually live to their early twenties. This campaign aims to improve the quality of life for all people affected by Muscular Dystrophy.
“There is no treatment, there is no cure, and no boy survives.” – Sugar-Free September Campaign.
The funds that are raised support the Muscular Dystrophy NSW Kids for Life Program which provides life changing support and assistance to the young people that are living with Muscular Dystrophy. The money will go towards children’s camps, getting critical medical equipment, assist with accessibility and communication needs of those affected, provide counselling and health therapies and also provide access to sport and special interest programs.
Here are the top 10 things to give up this September to go sugar-free (these have been suggested by the campaign to cut out a good chunk of the nasties):
1. Sweetened soft drink
2. Fruit juices
3. Sugar we add to tea/coffee/cereal or use in cooking
4. Jam and spreads
5. Biscuits, cakes and muffins
8. Ice cream and desserts
9. Flavoured milks
10. Low fibre, high sugar cereals
Okay I know that is a lot of stuff to give up, so I have teamed up with the fabulous Suzanne Caligari (one of our incredible food bloggers) to bring you a sugar-free recipe to delight your taste buds without the refined sugar!
SUPER EASY AND DELICIOUS RAW CARROT CAKE BLISS BALLS
· 1 cup of desiccated coconut and extra for rolling
· 1 cup of raw carrot (grated)
· ¾ cup of almond meal
· 12 – 15 Medjool dates(chopped)
· ½ cup of pecan nuts (chopped)
· ¼ cup of almond butter
· ½ cup of honey
· ½ tsp of cinnamon
· ½ tsp of nutmeg
· Pinch of salt
Combine the grated carrot and coconut in a bowl, add the Medjool dates, almond meal, cinnamon, nutmeg, pinch of salt, almond butter and honey. Roll, place in the fridge to set.
(Suzanne brings these to our Pilates classes and they are delicious - Caz).
The challenge begins on Friday 1 September and will finish on Saturday 30 September at midnight and is totally free to sign up!
What do I do if I have an event on in September? There is a ONE DAY OPT OUT for a donation that you nominate.
5 tips to get you started:
1. Swap soft drink and juice for water.
2. Try adding raw manuka honey to your tea and coffee instead of sugar.
3. Try snacking on a handful of nuts (I roast mine with a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of organic maple syrup for that salty sweet taste).
4. Read the back of food packaging to make sure there are no hidden nasties in the ingredients section.
5. Make sure you are getting enough sleep because it will help to reduce the sugar cravings.
Remember to be KIND to yourself. Giving up sugar is HARD. But trust me once you give it up you will see how SWEET life can be without it!
To register head on over to https://sugarfreeseptember.gofundraise.com.au
If you want to learn more about sugar check out the article on Cazinc - The Hidden Ingredients Of Mass Destruction.
We would love for you to leave a comment below on how you went with your challenge for the month of September. Good luck and remember to please share to others.