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Surviving Without Sugar: Week 1

Surviving Without Sugar: Week 1

Could sugar be as addictive as cocaine?

It just might be. A study from Connecticut College found that rats behave towards Oreos the same way they behave towards cocaine. Scary. Foods packed with sugar seem to stimulate the nucleus accumbens, or the brain’s “pleasure center” – the same part of the brain that drugs stimulate. Another study showed that foods with higher glycemic indexes – meaning that they raise your blood sugar more quickly – activate the pleasure center as well. While we want to deny it, we’ve got to face the facts: sugar is biologically addictive.

But sugar is also a college student’s best friend. When we’re stressed, frustrated or sad, sometimes nothing makes us feel better than digging through a box of chocolates or grabbing a handful of M&M’s. Since sugar is addictive, it’s no wonder that we find it so hard to resist our favorite treats. Unless your parents brought you up on a strict diet of fruits, veggies and protein, you – and the rest of us – have been bred to love sugar. See the conflict here? And the worst part is, when we eat sugar we just crave more and more of it. We’re trapped in a vicious sugar cycle.

I like sugar, but I don’t like addictions. Until last fall, I was a bona fide coffee drinker. When I felt like I had started to rely too heavily on my java, I weaned myself off of it. Now, I want to see if I can survive without sugar, too.

My parents have been going sugar-free for nearly three weeks, and they’ve noticed improvements in their lifestyle. They’re more energetic, less hungry and literally don’t crave sweets anymore. That got me thinking: Could a low-sugar regimen work wonders for a student? Imagine getting an extra jolt of energy to sustain you without having to worry about crashing later. I want to see whether I’ll feel different with very little sugar in my diet.

For a few weeks now, I’ve been eating foods with five grams of sugar or less. That means no cookies, no ice cream, no candy and no mac and cheese. It was hard at first, but my cravings are starting to disappear. I’ve mostly been eating fruits and veggies, with tofu, eggs and chickpeas for protein and millet for grain. I often add in hummus and olive oil for flavor. Plus, I’ve become more aware of certain deceiving foods that I didn’t know contained so much sugar, like my healthful-sounding Nature’s Path organic oatmeal, which contains six grams in a single packet.

I haven’t noticed a huge difference in how I feel yet, but stay posted over the next several weeks as I give updates about my progress. I’ll share photos of my food creations and even give tips for low-sugar dining.

For now, here are some of the high-sugar foods that I’ve swapped for more healthful options:

1. Swapping Nature’s Valley granola bars (12 grams of sugar) for millet (virtually no sugar)

Photo by Christine Chang

Photo by Christine Chang

2. Swapping Nature’s Path organic oatmeal (6 grams of sugar) for hard-boiled eggs (0.5 grams of sugar)

Photo by Christine Chang

Photo by Christine Chang

3. Swapping desserts (processed sugar) for fresh fruit (natural sugar)

Photo by Christine Chang

Photo by Christine Chang

Keep checking in as I continue to in my quest to survive without sugar! I don’t plan on letting you, or myself, down.

The post Surviving Without Sugar: Week 1 appeared first on Spoon University.


The 7-day meal plan to help kick your sugar habit

Stubborn sweet tooth? Relieve some of your dependency on sugar by following this week-long plan. There's a printable PDF you can use too!

Desiree Nielsen, RD Updated February 17, 2015

This week-long low sugar diet aims to keep your energy levels high and your mood regulated by balancing blood sugar with the right combination of foods at each meal and naturally sweet foods that let you indulge in a healthy way. After the first few days, your sugar cravings should reduce, and by the end of the week, they’ll be much lower.

Many of these dishes are filled with leafy green vegetables, and every meal has protein, which diminishes cravings by helping keep blood sugar constant. We’ve cut out almost all added sugar, as well as hyper-processed starchy foods, like bread, bagels and crackers, which are quickly digested and contribute to sugar cravings.

Try to eat something every 3 to 4 hours to keep your blood sugar levels relatively stable and stave off cravings. If you’re used to eating a lot of sugar, it may have dulled your taste buds to the flavours of natural foods. Don’t worry — just as you learned to love all that extra sugar, you can learn to unlove it. You may even find you start to dislike overly sweetened foods.

After the week is over, carry your healthy habits forward by following the 80:20 rule. This means making 80 percent of what you eat similar to this plan, and the other 20 percent can include sweet treats like dark chocolate.

Customize it
This meal plan is intended for the average woman with a sedentary job who is working out 3 to 4 times per week. If you do endurance training, add in larger servings of whole-grain foods like sprouted-grain breads, whole wheat pasta, brown rice and quinoa. If the plan feels like too much food, simply cut portion size.

MONDAY
Breakfast
2 poached eggs over a bed of wilted spinach (start with about 6 cups fresh) sautéed with olive oil, salt and fresh pepper. Serve with one piece of sprouted-grain toast spread with a little bit of butter.

Snack
1 apple with 1/4 cup raw almonds.

Lunch
1 cup Mexican lentil soup with 3 hard rye crackers spread with olive tapenade and topped with 1/4 cup crumbled feta.

Snack
1/2 cup golden hummus with 1 cup sliced veggies.

TUESDAY
Breakfast
Green smoothie.

Snack
1 apple, spread with 2 tbsp natural, unsweetened peanut butter.

Lunch
Leftover chili served with carrot sticks.
Side: 2 slices aged white cheddar and 2 hard rye crackers (like Ryvita) and a pear.

Dinner
Grilled chicken with cauliflower-garlic sauté.

WEDNESDAY
Breakfast
Avocado toast: Top two slices of toasted sprouted-grain bread with 1/4 ripe avocado each. Top with salt, fresh pepper and some pumpkin seeds for crunch.

Snack
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with 1/4 chopped walnuts and 1 diced date.

Lunch
Leftover grilled chicken with cauliflower-garlic sauté.

Snack
1/3 cup trail mix with pecans, unsweetened dried tart cherries, pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs and flaked unsweetened coconut.

Dinner
Spring tofu scramble with a green salad on the side.

THURSDAY
Breakfast
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt in a parfait, layered with 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, 1 cup thawed or fresh blueberries, 1 tbsp dried tart cherries, 1 tbsp hemp hearts and sprinkled with cinnamon and cardamom.

Snack
1 pear with 1/4 cup raw almonds.

Lunch
1 cup Mexican lentil soup with 3 hard rye crackers spread with olive tapenade and topped with 1/4 cup crumbled feta.

Crispy madras chickpeas.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Seared halibut with tomato salsa.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

FRIDAY
Breakfast
Green smoothie.

Snack
1/2 cup organic cottage cheese topped with 1/2 cup thawed blueberries and 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds.

Lunch
Green goodness basil-pesto salad with 1/2 can wild salmon or light tuna.

Green goddess basil pesto salad.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Snack
1 apple spread with 2 tbsp natural, unsweetened peanut butter.

Beef barley soup.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

SATURDAY
Breakfast
2 poached eggs over a bed of wilted spinach (start with about 6 cups fresh), sautéed with olive oil, salt and fresh pepper and served with 1 piece of sprouted-grain toast spread with a little bit of butter.

Snack
1 apple.

Lunch
1/2 cup golden hummus, 4 hard rye crackers, 2 slices aged white cheddar, 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes and 1/2 cup sliced bell peppers.

Snack
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with 1/4 chopped walnuts and 1 diced date.

Dinner
Spring tofu scramble with a green salad on the side.

SUNDAY
Breakfast
Gluten-free buckwheat pancakes
Top with tropical fruit purée: Blend 1/2 banana with 1/2 cup mango and 1 tsp grated ginger, then thin with coconut milk to desired texture. Top with shaved unsweetened coconut.

Gluten-free buckwheat pancakes.
Photo, Michael Alberstat.

Snack
1/2 cup organic cottage cheese topped with 1/2 cup thawed blueberries and 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds.

Apple & walnut super-crunch salad.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Dinner
Grilled side of salmon, served with roasted vegetables and brown rice.

To download a printable PDF of the full meal plan click here.

This meal plan was compiled by registered dietician Desiree Nielsen using Chatelaine recipes.


The 7-day meal plan to help kick your sugar habit

Stubborn sweet tooth? Relieve some of your dependency on sugar by following this week-long plan. There's a printable PDF you can use too!

Desiree Nielsen, RD Updated February 17, 2015

This week-long low sugar diet aims to keep your energy levels high and your mood regulated by balancing blood sugar with the right combination of foods at each meal and naturally sweet foods that let you indulge in a healthy way. After the first few days, your sugar cravings should reduce, and by the end of the week, they’ll be much lower.

Many of these dishes are filled with leafy green vegetables, and every meal has protein, which diminishes cravings by helping keep blood sugar constant. We’ve cut out almost all added sugar, as well as hyper-processed starchy foods, like bread, bagels and crackers, which are quickly digested and contribute to sugar cravings.

Try to eat something every 3 to 4 hours to keep your blood sugar levels relatively stable and stave off cravings. If you’re used to eating a lot of sugar, it may have dulled your taste buds to the flavours of natural foods. Don’t worry — just as you learned to love all that extra sugar, you can learn to unlove it. You may even find you start to dislike overly sweetened foods.

After the week is over, carry your healthy habits forward by following the 80:20 rule. This means making 80 percent of what you eat similar to this plan, and the other 20 percent can include sweet treats like dark chocolate.

Customize it
This meal plan is intended for the average woman with a sedentary job who is working out 3 to 4 times per week. If you do endurance training, add in larger servings of whole-grain foods like sprouted-grain breads, whole wheat pasta, brown rice and quinoa. If the plan feels like too much food, simply cut portion size.

MONDAY
Breakfast
2 poached eggs over a bed of wilted spinach (start with about 6 cups fresh) sautéed with olive oil, salt and fresh pepper. Serve with one piece of sprouted-grain toast spread with a little bit of butter.

Snack
1 apple with 1/4 cup raw almonds.

Lunch
1 cup Mexican lentil soup with 3 hard rye crackers spread with olive tapenade and topped with 1/4 cup crumbled feta.

Snack
1/2 cup golden hummus with 1 cup sliced veggies.

TUESDAY
Breakfast
Green smoothie.

Snack
1 apple, spread with 2 tbsp natural, unsweetened peanut butter.

Lunch
Leftover chili served with carrot sticks.
Side: 2 slices aged white cheddar and 2 hard rye crackers (like Ryvita) and a pear.

Dinner
Grilled chicken with cauliflower-garlic sauté.

WEDNESDAY
Breakfast
Avocado toast: Top two slices of toasted sprouted-grain bread with 1/4 ripe avocado each. Top with salt, fresh pepper and some pumpkin seeds for crunch.

Snack
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with 1/4 chopped walnuts and 1 diced date.

Lunch
Leftover grilled chicken with cauliflower-garlic sauté.

Snack
1/3 cup trail mix with pecans, unsweetened dried tart cherries, pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs and flaked unsweetened coconut.

Dinner
Spring tofu scramble with a green salad on the side.

THURSDAY
Breakfast
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt in a parfait, layered with 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, 1 cup thawed or fresh blueberries, 1 tbsp dried tart cherries, 1 tbsp hemp hearts and sprinkled with cinnamon and cardamom.

Snack
1 pear with 1/4 cup raw almonds.

Lunch
1 cup Mexican lentil soup with 3 hard rye crackers spread with olive tapenade and topped with 1/4 cup crumbled feta.

Crispy madras chickpeas.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Seared halibut with tomato salsa.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

FRIDAY
Breakfast
Green smoothie.

Snack
1/2 cup organic cottage cheese topped with 1/2 cup thawed blueberries and 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds.

Lunch
Green goodness basil-pesto salad with 1/2 can wild salmon or light tuna.

Green goddess basil pesto salad.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Snack
1 apple spread with 2 tbsp natural, unsweetened peanut butter.

Beef barley soup.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

SATURDAY
Breakfast
2 poached eggs over a bed of wilted spinach (start with about 6 cups fresh), sautéed with olive oil, salt and fresh pepper and served with 1 piece of sprouted-grain toast spread with a little bit of butter.

Snack
1 apple.

Lunch
1/2 cup golden hummus, 4 hard rye crackers, 2 slices aged white cheddar, 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes and 1/2 cup sliced bell peppers.

Snack
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with 1/4 chopped walnuts and 1 diced date.

Dinner
Spring tofu scramble with a green salad on the side.

SUNDAY
Breakfast
Gluten-free buckwheat pancakes
Top with tropical fruit purée: Blend 1/2 banana with 1/2 cup mango and 1 tsp grated ginger, then thin with coconut milk to desired texture. Top with shaved unsweetened coconut.

Gluten-free buckwheat pancakes.
Photo, Michael Alberstat.

Snack
1/2 cup organic cottage cheese topped with 1/2 cup thawed blueberries and 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds.

Apple & walnut super-crunch salad.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Dinner
Grilled side of salmon, served with roasted vegetables and brown rice.

To download a printable PDF of the full meal plan click here.

This meal plan was compiled by registered dietician Desiree Nielsen using Chatelaine recipes.


The 7-day meal plan to help kick your sugar habit

Stubborn sweet tooth? Relieve some of your dependency on sugar by following this week-long plan. There's a printable PDF you can use too!

Desiree Nielsen, RD Updated February 17, 2015

This week-long low sugar diet aims to keep your energy levels high and your mood regulated by balancing blood sugar with the right combination of foods at each meal and naturally sweet foods that let you indulge in a healthy way. After the first few days, your sugar cravings should reduce, and by the end of the week, they’ll be much lower.

Many of these dishes are filled with leafy green vegetables, and every meal has protein, which diminishes cravings by helping keep blood sugar constant. We’ve cut out almost all added sugar, as well as hyper-processed starchy foods, like bread, bagels and crackers, which are quickly digested and contribute to sugar cravings.

Try to eat something every 3 to 4 hours to keep your blood sugar levels relatively stable and stave off cravings. If you’re used to eating a lot of sugar, it may have dulled your taste buds to the flavours of natural foods. Don’t worry — just as you learned to love all that extra sugar, you can learn to unlove it. You may even find you start to dislike overly sweetened foods.

After the week is over, carry your healthy habits forward by following the 80:20 rule. This means making 80 percent of what you eat similar to this plan, and the other 20 percent can include sweet treats like dark chocolate.

Customize it
This meal plan is intended for the average woman with a sedentary job who is working out 3 to 4 times per week. If you do endurance training, add in larger servings of whole-grain foods like sprouted-grain breads, whole wheat pasta, brown rice and quinoa. If the plan feels like too much food, simply cut portion size.

MONDAY
Breakfast
2 poached eggs over a bed of wilted spinach (start with about 6 cups fresh) sautéed with olive oil, salt and fresh pepper. Serve with one piece of sprouted-grain toast spread with a little bit of butter.

Snack
1 apple with 1/4 cup raw almonds.

Lunch
1 cup Mexican lentil soup with 3 hard rye crackers spread with olive tapenade and topped with 1/4 cup crumbled feta.

Snack
1/2 cup golden hummus with 1 cup sliced veggies.

TUESDAY
Breakfast
Green smoothie.

Snack
1 apple, spread with 2 tbsp natural, unsweetened peanut butter.

Lunch
Leftover chili served with carrot sticks.
Side: 2 slices aged white cheddar and 2 hard rye crackers (like Ryvita) and a pear.

Dinner
Grilled chicken with cauliflower-garlic sauté.

WEDNESDAY
Breakfast
Avocado toast: Top two slices of toasted sprouted-grain bread with 1/4 ripe avocado each. Top with salt, fresh pepper and some pumpkin seeds for crunch.

Snack
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with 1/4 chopped walnuts and 1 diced date.

Lunch
Leftover grilled chicken with cauliflower-garlic sauté.

Snack
1/3 cup trail mix with pecans, unsweetened dried tart cherries, pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs and flaked unsweetened coconut.

Dinner
Spring tofu scramble with a green salad on the side.

THURSDAY
Breakfast
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt in a parfait, layered with 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, 1 cup thawed or fresh blueberries, 1 tbsp dried tart cherries, 1 tbsp hemp hearts and sprinkled with cinnamon and cardamom.

Snack
1 pear with 1/4 cup raw almonds.

Lunch
1 cup Mexican lentil soup with 3 hard rye crackers spread with olive tapenade and topped with 1/4 cup crumbled feta.

Crispy madras chickpeas.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Seared halibut with tomato salsa.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

FRIDAY
Breakfast
Green smoothie.

Snack
1/2 cup organic cottage cheese topped with 1/2 cup thawed blueberries and 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds.

Lunch
Green goodness basil-pesto salad with 1/2 can wild salmon or light tuna.

Green goddess basil pesto salad.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Snack
1 apple spread with 2 tbsp natural, unsweetened peanut butter.

Beef barley soup.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

SATURDAY
Breakfast
2 poached eggs over a bed of wilted spinach (start with about 6 cups fresh), sautéed with olive oil, salt and fresh pepper and served with 1 piece of sprouted-grain toast spread with a little bit of butter.

Snack
1 apple.

Lunch
1/2 cup golden hummus, 4 hard rye crackers, 2 slices aged white cheddar, 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes and 1/2 cup sliced bell peppers.

Snack
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with 1/4 chopped walnuts and 1 diced date.

Dinner
Spring tofu scramble with a green salad on the side.

SUNDAY
Breakfast
Gluten-free buckwheat pancakes
Top with tropical fruit purée: Blend 1/2 banana with 1/2 cup mango and 1 tsp grated ginger, then thin with coconut milk to desired texture. Top with shaved unsweetened coconut.

Gluten-free buckwheat pancakes.
Photo, Michael Alberstat.

Snack
1/2 cup organic cottage cheese topped with 1/2 cup thawed blueberries and 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds.

Apple & walnut super-crunch salad.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Dinner
Grilled side of salmon, served with roasted vegetables and brown rice.

To download a printable PDF of the full meal plan click here.

This meal plan was compiled by registered dietician Desiree Nielsen using Chatelaine recipes.


The 7-day meal plan to help kick your sugar habit

Stubborn sweet tooth? Relieve some of your dependency on sugar by following this week-long plan. There's a printable PDF you can use too!

Desiree Nielsen, RD Updated February 17, 2015

This week-long low sugar diet aims to keep your energy levels high and your mood regulated by balancing blood sugar with the right combination of foods at each meal and naturally sweet foods that let you indulge in a healthy way. After the first few days, your sugar cravings should reduce, and by the end of the week, they’ll be much lower.

Many of these dishes are filled with leafy green vegetables, and every meal has protein, which diminishes cravings by helping keep blood sugar constant. We’ve cut out almost all added sugar, as well as hyper-processed starchy foods, like bread, bagels and crackers, which are quickly digested and contribute to sugar cravings.

Try to eat something every 3 to 4 hours to keep your blood sugar levels relatively stable and stave off cravings. If you’re used to eating a lot of sugar, it may have dulled your taste buds to the flavours of natural foods. Don’t worry — just as you learned to love all that extra sugar, you can learn to unlove it. You may even find you start to dislike overly sweetened foods.

After the week is over, carry your healthy habits forward by following the 80:20 rule. This means making 80 percent of what you eat similar to this plan, and the other 20 percent can include sweet treats like dark chocolate.

Customize it
This meal plan is intended for the average woman with a sedentary job who is working out 3 to 4 times per week. If you do endurance training, add in larger servings of whole-grain foods like sprouted-grain breads, whole wheat pasta, brown rice and quinoa. If the plan feels like too much food, simply cut portion size.

MONDAY
Breakfast
2 poached eggs over a bed of wilted spinach (start with about 6 cups fresh) sautéed with olive oil, salt and fresh pepper. Serve with one piece of sprouted-grain toast spread with a little bit of butter.

Snack
1 apple with 1/4 cup raw almonds.

Lunch
1 cup Mexican lentil soup with 3 hard rye crackers spread with olive tapenade and topped with 1/4 cup crumbled feta.

Snack
1/2 cup golden hummus with 1 cup sliced veggies.

TUESDAY
Breakfast
Green smoothie.

Snack
1 apple, spread with 2 tbsp natural, unsweetened peanut butter.

Lunch
Leftover chili served with carrot sticks.
Side: 2 slices aged white cheddar and 2 hard rye crackers (like Ryvita) and a pear.

Dinner
Grilled chicken with cauliflower-garlic sauté.

WEDNESDAY
Breakfast
Avocado toast: Top two slices of toasted sprouted-grain bread with 1/4 ripe avocado each. Top with salt, fresh pepper and some pumpkin seeds for crunch.

Snack
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with 1/4 chopped walnuts and 1 diced date.

Lunch
Leftover grilled chicken with cauliflower-garlic sauté.

Snack
1/3 cup trail mix with pecans, unsweetened dried tart cherries, pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs and flaked unsweetened coconut.

Dinner
Spring tofu scramble with a green salad on the side.

THURSDAY
Breakfast
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt in a parfait, layered with 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, 1 cup thawed or fresh blueberries, 1 tbsp dried tart cherries, 1 tbsp hemp hearts and sprinkled with cinnamon and cardamom.

Snack
1 pear with 1/4 cup raw almonds.

Lunch
1 cup Mexican lentil soup with 3 hard rye crackers spread with olive tapenade and topped with 1/4 cup crumbled feta.

Crispy madras chickpeas.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Seared halibut with tomato salsa.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

FRIDAY
Breakfast
Green smoothie.

Snack
1/2 cup organic cottage cheese topped with 1/2 cup thawed blueberries and 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds.

Lunch
Green goodness basil-pesto salad with 1/2 can wild salmon or light tuna.

Green goddess basil pesto salad.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Snack
1 apple spread with 2 tbsp natural, unsweetened peanut butter.

Beef barley soup.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

SATURDAY
Breakfast
2 poached eggs over a bed of wilted spinach (start with about 6 cups fresh), sautéed with olive oil, salt and fresh pepper and served with 1 piece of sprouted-grain toast spread with a little bit of butter.

Snack
1 apple.

Lunch
1/2 cup golden hummus, 4 hard rye crackers, 2 slices aged white cheddar, 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes and 1/2 cup sliced bell peppers.

Snack
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with 1/4 chopped walnuts and 1 diced date.

Dinner
Spring tofu scramble with a green salad on the side.

SUNDAY
Breakfast
Gluten-free buckwheat pancakes
Top with tropical fruit purée: Blend 1/2 banana with 1/2 cup mango and 1 tsp grated ginger, then thin with coconut milk to desired texture. Top with shaved unsweetened coconut.

Gluten-free buckwheat pancakes.
Photo, Michael Alberstat.

Snack
1/2 cup organic cottage cheese topped with 1/2 cup thawed blueberries and 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds.

Apple & walnut super-crunch salad.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Dinner
Grilled side of salmon, served with roasted vegetables and brown rice.

To download a printable PDF of the full meal plan click here.

This meal plan was compiled by registered dietician Desiree Nielsen using Chatelaine recipes.


The 7-day meal plan to help kick your sugar habit

Stubborn sweet tooth? Relieve some of your dependency on sugar by following this week-long plan. There's a printable PDF you can use too!

Desiree Nielsen, RD Updated February 17, 2015

This week-long low sugar diet aims to keep your energy levels high and your mood regulated by balancing blood sugar with the right combination of foods at each meal and naturally sweet foods that let you indulge in a healthy way. After the first few days, your sugar cravings should reduce, and by the end of the week, they’ll be much lower.

Many of these dishes are filled with leafy green vegetables, and every meal has protein, which diminishes cravings by helping keep blood sugar constant. We’ve cut out almost all added sugar, as well as hyper-processed starchy foods, like bread, bagels and crackers, which are quickly digested and contribute to sugar cravings.

Try to eat something every 3 to 4 hours to keep your blood sugar levels relatively stable and stave off cravings. If you’re used to eating a lot of sugar, it may have dulled your taste buds to the flavours of natural foods. Don’t worry — just as you learned to love all that extra sugar, you can learn to unlove it. You may even find you start to dislike overly sweetened foods.

After the week is over, carry your healthy habits forward by following the 80:20 rule. This means making 80 percent of what you eat similar to this plan, and the other 20 percent can include sweet treats like dark chocolate.

Customize it
This meal plan is intended for the average woman with a sedentary job who is working out 3 to 4 times per week. If you do endurance training, add in larger servings of whole-grain foods like sprouted-grain breads, whole wheat pasta, brown rice and quinoa. If the plan feels like too much food, simply cut portion size.

MONDAY
Breakfast
2 poached eggs over a bed of wilted spinach (start with about 6 cups fresh) sautéed with olive oil, salt and fresh pepper. Serve with one piece of sprouted-grain toast spread with a little bit of butter.

Snack
1 apple with 1/4 cup raw almonds.

Lunch
1 cup Mexican lentil soup with 3 hard rye crackers spread with olive tapenade and topped with 1/4 cup crumbled feta.

Snack
1/2 cup golden hummus with 1 cup sliced veggies.

TUESDAY
Breakfast
Green smoothie.

Snack
1 apple, spread with 2 tbsp natural, unsweetened peanut butter.

Lunch
Leftover chili served with carrot sticks.
Side: 2 slices aged white cheddar and 2 hard rye crackers (like Ryvita) and a pear.

Dinner
Grilled chicken with cauliflower-garlic sauté.

WEDNESDAY
Breakfast
Avocado toast: Top two slices of toasted sprouted-grain bread with 1/4 ripe avocado each. Top with salt, fresh pepper and some pumpkin seeds for crunch.

Snack
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with 1/4 chopped walnuts and 1 diced date.

Lunch
Leftover grilled chicken with cauliflower-garlic sauté.

Snack
1/3 cup trail mix with pecans, unsweetened dried tart cherries, pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs and flaked unsweetened coconut.

Dinner
Spring tofu scramble with a green salad on the side.

THURSDAY
Breakfast
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt in a parfait, layered with 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, 1 cup thawed or fresh blueberries, 1 tbsp dried tart cherries, 1 tbsp hemp hearts and sprinkled with cinnamon and cardamom.

Snack
1 pear with 1/4 cup raw almonds.

Lunch
1 cup Mexican lentil soup with 3 hard rye crackers spread with olive tapenade and topped with 1/4 cup crumbled feta.

Crispy madras chickpeas.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Seared halibut with tomato salsa.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

FRIDAY
Breakfast
Green smoothie.

Snack
1/2 cup organic cottage cheese topped with 1/2 cup thawed blueberries and 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds.

Lunch
Green goodness basil-pesto salad with 1/2 can wild salmon or light tuna.

Green goddess basil pesto salad.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Snack
1 apple spread with 2 tbsp natural, unsweetened peanut butter.

Beef barley soup.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

SATURDAY
Breakfast
2 poached eggs over a bed of wilted spinach (start with about 6 cups fresh), sautéed with olive oil, salt and fresh pepper and served with 1 piece of sprouted-grain toast spread with a little bit of butter.

Snack
1 apple.

Lunch
1/2 cup golden hummus, 4 hard rye crackers, 2 slices aged white cheddar, 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes and 1/2 cup sliced bell peppers.

Snack
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with 1/4 chopped walnuts and 1 diced date.

Dinner
Spring tofu scramble with a green salad on the side.

SUNDAY
Breakfast
Gluten-free buckwheat pancakes
Top with tropical fruit purée: Blend 1/2 banana with 1/2 cup mango and 1 tsp grated ginger, then thin with coconut milk to desired texture. Top with shaved unsweetened coconut.

Gluten-free buckwheat pancakes.
Photo, Michael Alberstat.

Snack
1/2 cup organic cottage cheese topped with 1/2 cup thawed blueberries and 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds.

Apple & walnut super-crunch salad.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Dinner
Grilled side of salmon, served with roasted vegetables and brown rice.

To download a printable PDF of the full meal plan click here.

This meal plan was compiled by registered dietician Desiree Nielsen using Chatelaine recipes.


The 7-day meal plan to help kick your sugar habit

Stubborn sweet tooth? Relieve some of your dependency on sugar by following this week-long plan. There's a printable PDF you can use too!

Desiree Nielsen, RD Updated February 17, 2015

This week-long low sugar diet aims to keep your energy levels high and your mood regulated by balancing blood sugar with the right combination of foods at each meal and naturally sweet foods that let you indulge in a healthy way. After the first few days, your sugar cravings should reduce, and by the end of the week, they’ll be much lower.

Many of these dishes are filled with leafy green vegetables, and every meal has protein, which diminishes cravings by helping keep blood sugar constant. We’ve cut out almost all added sugar, as well as hyper-processed starchy foods, like bread, bagels and crackers, which are quickly digested and contribute to sugar cravings.

Try to eat something every 3 to 4 hours to keep your blood sugar levels relatively stable and stave off cravings. If you’re used to eating a lot of sugar, it may have dulled your taste buds to the flavours of natural foods. Don’t worry — just as you learned to love all that extra sugar, you can learn to unlove it. You may even find you start to dislike overly sweetened foods.

After the week is over, carry your healthy habits forward by following the 80:20 rule. This means making 80 percent of what you eat similar to this plan, and the other 20 percent can include sweet treats like dark chocolate.

Customize it
This meal plan is intended for the average woman with a sedentary job who is working out 3 to 4 times per week. If you do endurance training, add in larger servings of whole-grain foods like sprouted-grain breads, whole wheat pasta, brown rice and quinoa. If the plan feels like too much food, simply cut portion size.

MONDAY
Breakfast
2 poached eggs over a bed of wilted spinach (start with about 6 cups fresh) sautéed with olive oil, salt and fresh pepper. Serve with one piece of sprouted-grain toast spread with a little bit of butter.

Snack
1 apple with 1/4 cup raw almonds.

Lunch
1 cup Mexican lentil soup with 3 hard rye crackers spread with olive tapenade and topped with 1/4 cup crumbled feta.

Snack
1/2 cup golden hummus with 1 cup sliced veggies.

TUESDAY
Breakfast
Green smoothie.

Snack
1 apple, spread with 2 tbsp natural, unsweetened peanut butter.

Lunch
Leftover chili served with carrot sticks.
Side: 2 slices aged white cheddar and 2 hard rye crackers (like Ryvita) and a pear.

Dinner
Grilled chicken with cauliflower-garlic sauté.

WEDNESDAY
Breakfast
Avocado toast: Top two slices of toasted sprouted-grain bread with 1/4 ripe avocado each. Top with salt, fresh pepper and some pumpkin seeds for crunch.

Snack
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with 1/4 chopped walnuts and 1 diced date.

Lunch
Leftover grilled chicken with cauliflower-garlic sauté.

Snack
1/3 cup trail mix with pecans, unsweetened dried tart cherries, pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs and flaked unsweetened coconut.

Dinner
Spring tofu scramble with a green salad on the side.

THURSDAY
Breakfast
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt in a parfait, layered with 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, 1 cup thawed or fresh blueberries, 1 tbsp dried tart cherries, 1 tbsp hemp hearts and sprinkled with cinnamon and cardamom.

Snack
1 pear with 1/4 cup raw almonds.

Lunch
1 cup Mexican lentil soup with 3 hard rye crackers spread with olive tapenade and topped with 1/4 cup crumbled feta.

Crispy madras chickpeas.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Seared halibut with tomato salsa.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

FRIDAY
Breakfast
Green smoothie.

Snack
1/2 cup organic cottage cheese topped with 1/2 cup thawed blueberries and 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds.

Lunch
Green goodness basil-pesto salad with 1/2 can wild salmon or light tuna.

Green goddess basil pesto salad.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Snack
1 apple spread with 2 tbsp natural, unsweetened peanut butter.

Beef barley soup.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

SATURDAY
Breakfast
2 poached eggs over a bed of wilted spinach (start with about 6 cups fresh), sautéed with olive oil, salt and fresh pepper and served with 1 piece of sprouted-grain toast spread with a little bit of butter.

Snack
1 apple.

Lunch
1/2 cup golden hummus, 4 hard rye crackers, 2 slices aged white cheddar, 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes and 1/2 cup sliced bell peppers.

Snack
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with 1/4 chopped walnuts and 1 diced date.

Dinner
Spring tofu scramble with a green salad on the side.

SUNDAY
Breakfast
Gluten-free buckwheat pancakes
Top with tropical fruit purée: Blend 1/2 banana with 1/2 cup mango and 1 tsp grated ginger, then thin with coconut milk to desired texture. Top with shaved unsweetened coconut.

Gluten-free buckwheat pancakes.
Photo, Michael Alberstat.

Snack
1/2 cup organic cottage cheese topped with 1/2 cup thawed blueberries and 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds.

Apple & walnut super-crunch salad.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Dinner
Grilled side of salmon, served with roasted vegetables and brown rice.

To download a printable PDF of the full meal plan click here.

This meal plan was compiled by registered dietician Desiree Nielsen using Chatelaine recipes.


The 7-day meal plan to help kick your sugar habit

Stubborn sweet tooth? Relieve some of your dependency on sugar by following this week-long plan. There's a printable PDF you can use too!

Desiree Nielsen, RD Updated February 17, 2015

This week-long low sugar diet aims to keep your energy levels high and your mood regulated by balancing blood sugar with the right combination of foods at each meal and naturally sweet foods that let you indulge in a healthy way. After the first few days, your sugar cravings should reduce, and by the end of the week, they’ll be much lower.

Many of these dishes are filled with leafy green vegetables, and every meal has protein, which diminishes cravings by helping keep blood sugar constant. We’ve cut out almost all added sugar, as well as hyper-processed starchy foods, like bread, bagels and crackers, which are quickly digested and contribute to sugar cravings.

Try to eat something every 3 to 4 hours to keep your blood sugar levels relatively stable and stave off cravings. If you’re used to eating a lot of sugar, it may have dulled your taste buds to the flavours of natural foods. Don’t worry — just as you learned to love all that extra sugar, you can learn to unlove it. You may even find you start to dislike overly sweetened foods.

After the week is over, carry your healthy habits forward by following the 80:20 rule. This means making 80 percent of what you eat similar to this plan, and the other 20 percent can include sweet treats like dark chocolate.

Customize it
This meal plan is intended for the average woman with a sedentary job who is working out 3 to 4 times per week. If you do endurance training, add in larger servings of whole-grain foods like sprouted-grain breads, whole wheat pasta, brown rice and quinoa. If the plan feels like too much food, simply cut portion size.

MONDAY
Breakfast
2 poached eggs over a bed of wilted spinach (start with about 6 cups fresh) sautéed with olive oil, salt and fresh pepper. Serve with one piece of sprouted-grain toast spread with a little bit of butter.

Snack
1 apple with 1/4 cup raw almonds.

Lunch
1 cup Mexican lentil soup with 3 hard rye crackers spread with olive tapenade and topped with 1/4 cup crumbled feta.

Snack
1/2 cup golden hummus with 1 cup sliced veggies.

TUESDAY
Breakfast
Green smoothie.

Snack
1 apple, spread with 2 tbsp natural, unsweetened peanut butter.

Lunch
Leftover chili served with carrot sticks.
Side: 2 slices aged white cheddar and 2 hard rye crackers (like Ryvita) and a pear.

Dinner
Grilled chicken with cauliflower-garlic sauté.

WEDNESDAY
Breakfast
Avocado toast: Top two slices of toasted sprouted-grain bread with 1/4 ripe avocado each. Top with salt, fresh pepper and some pumpkin seeds for crunch.

Snack
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with 1/4 chopped walnuts and 1 diced date.

Lunch
Leftover grilled chicken with cauliflower-garlic sauté.

Snack
1/3 cup trail mix with pecans, unsweetened dried tart cherries, pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs and flaked unsweetened coconut.

Dinner
Spring tofu scramble with a green salad on the side.

THURSDAY
Breakfast
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt in a parfait, layered with 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, 1 cup thawed or fresh blueberries, 1 tbsp dried tart cherries, 1 tbsp hemp hearts and sprinkled with cinnamon and cardamom.

Snack
1 pear with 1/4 cup raw almonds.

Lunch
1 cup Mexican lentil soup with 3 hard rye crackers spread with olive tapenade and topped with 1/4 cup crumbled feta.

Crispy madras chickpeas.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Seared halibut with tomato salsa.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

FRIDAY
Breakfast
Green smoothie.

Snack
1/2 cup organic cottage cheese topped with 1/2 cup thawed blueberries and 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds.

Lunch
Green goodness basil-pesto salad with 1/2 can wild salmon or light tuna.

Green goddess basil pesto salad.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Snack
1 apple spread with 2 tbsp natural, unsweetened peanut butter.

Beef barley soup.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

SATURDAY
Breakfast
2 poached eggs over a bed of wilted spinach (start with about 6 cups fresh), sautéed with olive oil, salt and fresh pepper and served with 1 piece of sprouted-grain toast spread with a little bit of butter.

Snack
1 apple.

Lunch
1/2 cup golden hummus, 4 hard rye crackers, 2 slices aged white cheddar, 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes and 1/2 cup sliced bell peppers.

Snack
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with 1/4 chopped walnuts and 1 diced date.

Dinner
Spring tofu scramble with a green salad on the side.

SUNDAY
Breakfast
Gluten-free buckwheat pancakes
Top with tropical fruit purée: Blend 1/2 banana with 1/2 cup mango and 1 tsp grated ginger, then thin with coconut milk to desired texture. Top with shaved unsweetened coconut.

Gluten-free buckwheat pancakes.
Photo, Michael Alberstat.

Snack
1/2 cup organic cottage cheese topped with 1/2 cup thawed blueberries and 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds.

Apple & walnut super-crunch salad.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Dinner
Grilled side of salmon, served with roasted vegetables and brown rice.

To download a printable PDF of the full meal plan click here.

This meal plan was compiled by registered dietician Desiree Nielsen using Chatelaine recipes.


The 7-day meal plan to help kick your sugar habit

Stubborn sweet tooth? Relieve some of your dependency on sugar by following this week-long plan. There's a printable PDF you can use too!

Desiree Nielsen, RD Updated February 17, 2015

This week-long low sugar diet aims to keep your energy levels high and your mood regulated by balancing blood sugar with the right combination of foods at each meal and naturally sweet foods that let you indulge in a healthy way. After the first few days, your sugar cravings should reduce, and by the end of the week, they’ll be much lower.

Many of these dishes are filled with leafy green vegetables, and every meal has protein, which diminishes cravings by helping keep blood sugar constant. We’ve cut out almost all added sugar, as well as hyper-processed starchy foods, like bread, bagels and crackers, which are quickly digested and contribute to sugar cravings.

Try to eat something every 3 to 4 hours to keep your blood sugar levels relatively stable and stave off cravings. If you’re used to eating a lot of sugar, it may have dulled your taste buds to the flavours of natural foods. Don’t worry — just as you learned to love all that extra sugar, you can learn to unlove it. You may even find you start to dislike overly sweetened foods.

After the week is over, carry your healthy habits forward by following the 80:20 rule. This means making 80 percent of what you eat similar to this plan, and the other 20 percent can include sweet treats like dark chocolate.

Customize it
This meal plan is intended for the average woman with a sedentary job who is working out 3 to 4 times per week. If you do endurance training, add in larger servings of whole-grain foods like sprouted-grain breads, whole wheat pasta, brown rice and quinoa. If the plan feels like too much food, simply cut portion size.

MONDAY
Breakfast
2 poached eggs over a bed of wilted spinach (start with about 6 cups fresh) sautéed with olive oil, salt and fresh pepper. Serve with one piece of sprouted-grain toast spread with a little bit of butter.

Snack
1 apple with 1/4 cup raw almonds.

Lunch
1 cup Mexican lentil soup with 3 hard rye crackers spread with olive tapenade and topped with 1/4 cup crumbled feta.

Snack
1/2 cup golden hummus with 1 cup sliced veggies.

TUESDAY
Breakfast
Green smoothie.

Snack
1 apple, spread with 2 tbsp natural, unsweetened peanut butter.

Lunch
Leftover chili served with carrot sticks.
Side: 2 slices aged white cheddar and 2 hard rye crackers (like Ryvita) and a pear.

Dinner
Grilled chicken with cauliflower-garlic sauté.

WEDNESDAY
Breakfast
Avocado toast: Top two slices of toasted sprouted-grain bread with 1/4 ripe avocado each. Top with salt, fresh pepper and some pumpkin seeds for crunch.

Snack
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with 1/4 chopped walnuts and 1 diced date.

Lunch
Leftover grilled chicken with cauliflower-garlic sauté.

Snack
1/3 cup trail mix with pecans, unsweetened dried tart cherries, pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs and flaked unsweetened coconut.

Dinner
Spring tofu scramble with a green salad on the side.

THURSDAY
Breakfast
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt in a parfait, layered with 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, 1 cup thawed or fresh blueberries, 1 tbsp dried tart cherries, 1 tbsp hemp hearts and sprinkled with cinnamon and cardamom.

Snack
1 pear with 1/4 cup raw almonds.

Lunch
1 cup Mexican lentil soup with 3 hard rye crackers spread with olive tapenade and topped with 1/4 cup crumbled feta.

Crispy madras chickpeas.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Seared halibut with tomato salsa.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

FRIDAY
Breakfast
Green smoothie.

Snack
1/2 cup organic cottage cheese topped with 1/2 cup thawed blueberries and 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds.

Lunch
Green goodness basil-pesto salad with 1/2 can wild salmon or light tuna.

Green goddess basil pesto salad.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Snack
1 apple spread with 2 tbsp natural, unsweetened peanut butter.

Beef barley soup.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

SATURDAY
Breakfast
2 poached eggs over a bed of wilted spinach (start with about 6 cups fresh), sautéed with olive oil, salt and fresh pepper and served with 1 piece of sprouted-grain toast spread with a little bit of butter.

Snack
1 apple.

Lunch
1/2 cup golden hummus, 4 hard rye crackers, 2 slices aged white cheddar, 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes and 1/2 cup sliced bell peppers.

Snack
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with 1/4 chopped walnuts and 1 diced date.

Dinner
Spring tofu scramble with a green salad on the side.

SUNDAY
Breakfast
Gluten-free buckwheat pancakes
Top with tropical fruit purée: Blend 1/2 banana with 1/2 cup mango and 1 tsp grated ginger, then thin with coconut milk to desired texture. Top with shaved unsweetened coconut.

Gluten-free buckwheat pancakes.
Photo, Michael Alberstat.

Snack
1/2 cup organic cottage cheese topped with 1/2 cup thawed blueberries and 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds.

Apple & walnut super-crunch salad.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Dinner
Grilled side of salmon, served with roasted vegetables and brown rice.

To download a printable PDF of the full meal plan click here.

This meal plan was compiled by registered dietician Desiree Nielsen using Chatelaine recipes.


The 7-day meal plan to help kick your sugar habit

Stubborn sweet tooth? Relieve some of your dependency on sugar by following this week-long plan. There's a printable PDF you can use too!

Desiree Nielsen, RD Updated February 17, 2015

This week-long low sugar diet aims to keep your energy levels high and your mood regulated by balancing blood sugar with the right combination of foods at each meal and naturally sweet foods that let you indulge in a healthy way. After the first few days, your sugar cravings should reduce, and by the end of the week, they’ll be much lower.

Many of these dishes are filled with leafy green vegetables, and every meal has protein, which diminishes cravings by helping keep blood sugar constant. We’ve cut out almost all added sugar, as well as hyper-processed starchy foods, like bread, bagels and crackers, which are quickly digested and contribute to sugar cravings.

Try to eat something every 3 to 4 hours to keep your blood sugar levels relatively stable and stave off cravings. If you’re used to eating a lot of sugar, it may have dulled your taste buds to the flavours of natural foods. Don’t worry — just as you learned to love all that extra sugar, you can learn to unlove it. You may even find you start to dislike overly sweetened foods.

After the week is over, carry your healthy habits forward by following the 80:20 rule. This means making 80 percent of what you eat similar to this plan, and the other 20 percent can include sweet treats like dark chocolate.

Customize it
This meal plan is intended for the average woman with a sedentary job who is working out 3 to 4 times per week. If you do endurance training, add in larger servings of whole-grain foods like sprouted-grain breads, whole wheat pasta, brown rice and quinoa. If the plan feels like too much food, simply cut portion size.

MONDAY
Breakfast
2 poached eggs over a bed of wilted spinach (start with about 6 cups fresh) sautéed with olive oil, salt and fresh pepper. Serve with one piece of sprouted-grain toast spread with a little bit of butter.

Snack
1 apple with 1/4 cup raw almonds.

Lunch
1 cup Mexican lentil soup with 3 hard rye crackers spread with olive tapenade and topped with 1/4 cup crumbled feta.

Snack
1/2 cup golden hummus with 1 cup sliced veggies.

TUESDAY
Breakfast
Green smoothie.

Snack
1 apple, spread with 2 tbsp natural, unsweetened peanut butter.

Lunch
Leftover chili served with carrot sticks.
Side: 2 slices aged white cheddar and 2 hard rye crackers (like Ryvita) and a pear.

Dinner
Grilled chicken with cauliflower-garlic sauté.

WEDNESDAY
Breakfast
Avocado toast: Top two slices of toasted sprouted-grain bread with 1/4 ripe avocado each. Top with salt, fresh pepper and some pumpkin seeds for crunch.

Snack
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with 1/4 chopped walnuts and 1 diced date.

Lunch
Leftover grilled chicken with cauliflower-garlic sauté.

Snack
1/3 cup trail mix with pecans, unsweetened dried tart cherries, pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs and flaked unsweetened coconut.

Dinner
Spring tofu scramble with a green salad on the side.

THURSDAY
Breakfast
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt in a parfait, layered with 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, 1 cup thawed or fresh blueberries, 1 tbsp dried tart cherries, 1 tbsp hemp hearts and sprinkled with cinnamon and cardamom.

Snack
1 pear with 1/4 cup raw almonds.

Lunch
1 cup Mexican lentil soup with 3 hard rye crackers spread with olive tapenade and topped with 1/4 cup crumbled feta.

Crispy madras chickpeas.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Seared halibut with tomato salsa.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

FRIDAY
Breakfast
Green smoothie.

Snack
1/2 cup organic cottage cheese topped with 1/2 cup thawed blueberries and 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds.

Lunch
Green goodness basil-pesto salad with 1/2 can wild salmon or light tuna.

Green goddess basil pesto salad.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Snack
1 apple spread with 2 tbsp natural, unsweetened peanut butter.

Beef barley soup.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

SATURDAY
Breakfast
2 poached eggs over a bed of wilted spinach (start with about 6 cups fresh), sautéed with olive oil, salt and fresh pepper and served with 1 piece of sprouted-grain toast spread with a little bit of butter.

Snack
1 apple.

Lunch
1/2 cup golden hummus, 4 hard rye crackers, 2 slices aged white cheddar, 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes and 1/2 cup sliced bell peppers.

Snack
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with 1/4 chopped walnuts and 1 diced date.

Dinner
Spring tofu scramble with a green salad on the side.

SUNDAY
Breakfast
Gluten-free buckwheat pancakes
Top with tropical fruit purée: Blend 1/2 banana with 1/2 cup mango and 1 tsp grated ginger, then thin with coconut milk to desired texture. Top with shaved unsweetened coconut.

Gluten-free buckwheat pancakes.
Photo, Michael Alberstat.

Snack
1/2 cup organic cottage cheese topped with 1/2 cup thawed blueberries and 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds.

Apple & walnut super-crunch salad.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Dinner
Grilled side of salmon, served with roasted vegetables and brown rice.

To download a printable PDF of the full meal plan click here.

This meal plan was compiled by registered dietician Desiree Nielsen using Chatelaine recipes.


The 7-day meal plan to help kick your sugar habit

Stubborn sweet tooth? Relieve some of your dependency on sugar by following this week-long plan. There's a printable PDF you can use too!

Desiree Nielsen, RD Updated February 17, 2015

This week-long low sugar diet aims to keep your energy levels high and your mood regulated by balancing blood sugar with the right combination of foods at each meal and naturally sweet foods that let you indulge in a healthy way. After the first few days, your sugar cravings should reduce, and by the end of the week, they’ll be much lower.

Many of these dishes are filled with leafy green vegetables, and every meal has protein, which diminishes cravings by helping keep blood sugar constant. We’ve cut out almost all added sugar, as well as hyper-processed starchy foods, like bread, bagels and crackers, which are quickly digested and contribute to sugar cravings.

Try to eat something every 3 to 4 hours to keep your blood sugar levels relatively stable and stave off cravings. If you’re used to eating a lot of sugar, it may have dulled your taste buds to the flavours of natural foods. Don’t worry — just as you learned to love all that extra sugar, you can learn to unlove it. You may even find you start to dislike overly sweetened foods.

After the week is over, carry your healthy habits forward by following the 80:20 rule. This means making 80 percent of what you eat similar to this plan, and the other 20 percent can include sweet treats like dark chocolate.

Customize it
This meal plan is intended for the average woman with a sedentary job who is working out 3 to 4 times per week. If you do endurance training, add in larger servings of whole-grain foods like sprouted-grain breads, whole wheat pasta, brown rice and quinoa. If the plan feels like too much food, simply cut portion size.

MONDAY
Breakfast
2 poached eggs over a bed of wilted spinach (start with about 6 cups fresh) sautéed with olive oil, salt and fresh pepper. Serve with one piece of sprouted-grain toast spread with a little bit of butter.

Snack
1 apple with 1/4 cup raw almonds.

Lunch
1 cup Mexican lentil soup with 3 hard rye crackers spread with olive tapenade and topped with 1/4 cup crumbled feta.

Snack
1/2 cup golden hummus with 1 cup sliced veggies.

TUESDAY
Breakfast
Green smoothie.

Snack
1 apple, spread with 2 tbsp natural, unsweetened peanut butter.

Lunch
Leftover chili served with carrot sticks.
Side: 2 slices aged white cheddar and 2 hard rye crackers (like Ryvita) and a pear.

Dinner
Grilled chicken with cauliflower-garlic sauté.

WEDNESDAY
Breakfast
Avocado toast: Top two slices of toasted sprouted-grain bread with 1/4 ripe avocado each. Top with salt, fresh pepper and some pumpkin seeds for crunch.

Snack
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with 1/4 chopped walnuts and 1 diced date.

Lunch
Leftover grilled chicken with cauliflower-garlic sauté.

Snack
1/3 cup trail mix with pecans, unsweetened dried tart cherries, pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs and flaked unsweetened coconut.

Dinner
Spring tofu scramble with a green salad on the side.

THURSDAY
Breakfast
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt in a parfait, layered with 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, 1 cup thawed or fresh blueberries, 1 tbsp dried tart cherries, 1 tbsp hemp hearts and sprinkled with cinnamon and cardamom.

Snack
1 pear with 1/4 cup raw almonds.

Lunch
1 cup Mexican lentil soup with 3 hard rye crackers spread with olive tapenade and topped with 1/4 cup crumbled feta.

Crispy madras chickpeas.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Seared halibut with tomato salsa.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

FRIDAY
Breakfast
Green smoothie.

Snack
1/2 cup organic cottage cheese topped with 1/2 cup thawed blueberries and 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds.

Lunch
Green goodness basil-pesto salad with 1/2 can wild salmon or light tuna.

Green goddess basil pesto salad.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Snack
1 apple spread with 2 tbsp natural, unsweetened peanut butter.

Beef barley soup.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

SATURDAY
Breakfast
2 poached eggs over a bed of wilted spinach (start with about 6 cups fresh), sautéed with olive oil, salt and fresh pepper and served with 1 piece of sprouted-grain toast spread with a little bit of butter.

Snack
1 apple.

Lunch
1/2 cup golden hummus, 4 hard rye crackers, 2 slices aged white cheddar, 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes and 1/2 cup sliced bell peppers.

Snack
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with 1/4 chopped walnuts and 1 diced date.

Dinner
Spring tofu scramble with a green salad on the side.

SUNDAY
Breakfast
Gluten-free buckwheat pancakes
Top with tropical fruit purée: Blend 1/2 banana with 1/2 cup mango and 1 tsp grated ginger, then thin with coconut milk to desired texture. Top with shaved unsweetened coconut.

Gluten-free buckwheat pancakes.
Photo, Michael Alberstat.

Snack
1/2 cup organic cottage cheese topped with 1/2 cup thawed blueberries and 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds.

Apple & walnut super-crunch salad.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Dinner
Grilled side of salmon, served with roasted vegetables and brown rice.

To download a printable PDF of the full meal plan click here.

This meal plan was compiled by registered dietician Desiree Nielsen using Chatelaine recipes.