clean eating, sugar

Clean Eating Summer School – Gimme Some Sugar!

Hey Clean Eaters!

On my facebook page I asked you to tell me what is most challenging about Clean Eating. I received a lot of responses and I am happy to announce that all of your questions will be answered in my Clean Eating Summer School edition!

Looking for more Clean Eating Summer School posts? Check this one out!

Let’s talk sugar, shall we?

Sugar: so good yet so evil.

Did you know that the average American consumes 100 pounds of sugar and sweetener per year? That breaks down to 30 teaspoons per year. Nearly half of this consumption comes from soda and fruit drinks. These drinks are the number 1 source of calories in the American diet!

While this post is not about soda, it is a good visual for you to see. We eat A LOT of sugar! TOO MUCH SUGAR!

As clean eaters, we need to be aware of hidden sugars and sugar substitutes in our food. Why? Because we need to stop poisoning our beautiful bodies!

I avoid anything with sugar. I know that when I consume sugar my levels go into a spiral and I start craving sugar almost instantly. This is the same with breads and gluten. My body cannot handle them. And I feel so much better without it! I have turned to eating raw desserts which still satisfies my sweet tooth yet does my body wonders!

Here are some excellent clean sweeteners that are safe for you. But remember: we still need to be aware of what we are consuming and we still need to limit sweets.

Maple Syrup

Pure maple syrup comes from maple trees and it’s pure goodness. It is my sweetener of choice because it provides and excellent source of magnesium and a good source of zinc. I buy Grade B maple syrup as it has a richer flavor and more minerals than Grade A. You can find pure maple syrup in most stores, too. And while it is more expensive than the toxic fake maple syrup, you don’t need nearly as much. I use maple syrup on my homemade pancakes, on oats, in my sweet potatoes, homemade Asian marinades, and sometimes I will put a splash in my coffee with almond milk!

Dates are natures candy! They are gooey, soft and super sweet! Dates are a very popular fruit with an amazing nutritional kick. They are virtually fat free, provide wonderful sources of iron, potassium, dietary fiber and give an excellent source of natural energy. I eat them as a snack with nut butter when I am craving something sweet. I also put a date or two in my smoothies, homemade almond milk and chopped up with an apple. Kids love them, too! Since they are so sweet, they make an excellent snack for kids!

Raw Honey
Honey is straight up an amazing super food. However, I do have rules when it comes to honey. It must be raw, locally produced and bought straight from the farmer. Honey from the store has been processed and pasteurized, killing the important enzymes and minerals raw honey has.  Honey is believed to be the worlds oldest sweetener. Honey is very versatile and can be used in several ways. Just like maple syrup, you can put it in your morning oats, use it in recipes, sweeten hot tea and it also helps with your seasonal allergies.


Raw, Organic Sugar  {in moderation}
raw sugar

I do not bake anymore. But I know that many of you do and I wanted to give an option that is better than white sugar. Even though it is raw, organic sugar, it is still sugar, folks. Which means it still has no nutritional value and should be avoided. It is better than white sugar which has been heated, bleached and processed. But again, your baking should be limited. Yet, I know home amazing fresh baked cookies smell… oh yes!  

Sweeteners that didn’t make the list:

Agave – there are too many conflicting options and facts with agave, and most state agave is not good for you. I would avoid it if I were you. Here is a great article that has great information regarding agave.

Stevia – I use liquid stevia from time to time. But I never really cared for the taste. It tastes… chemically. I read Dr. Mercola and trust his advice. Stevia is his sweetener of choice. But I am just not a fan.

White Sugar – Duh.

Corn Syrup – Duh x 2

Artificial Sweeteners – AVOID!!!

Tips for limiting your sugar intake

  • Use ripe bananas or plain apple sauce in baked goods to help reduce sugar
  • If you are craving sugar, try a 3 day sugar detox! Refined sugar is highly addictive and your body is experiencing withdrawals. The longer you can go without consuming any sugar, the better you will feel.
  • Avoid artificial sweeteners! AT ALL COSTS!
  • Drink plenty of water

As always, limit your sugar intake and stick to whole fruits. The more you avoid sugar, the less your cravings will be and the better you will look and feel!



Sources: Maple Syrup, Dates , Honey ,

clean eating

Clean Eating Summer School: Know the rules!

For those that have been reading my blog know that clean eating is a way of life. It’s not a quick fix diet, it’s not an intense program for you to lose 10 pounds in a week and it’s not temporary. It’s a lifestyle.

The pros of eating clean? You will start to feel better, lose weight naturally, your skin will glow, you will have sustained energy and you will start to love your life again! Who wouldn’t want that?!

Even though the concept of clean eating is very simple, taking the steps to start can be very intimidating to those that are new to the idea and concept. Here are my top rules that I live by for clean eating.


1 – Clean Eating is a way of life! 

No Diet. No Miracle Pill. No starvation.

My motto is: Eat from the Earth. This translates to eating whole foods in their most natural state. Start slow and evaluate one meal at a time. Start with breakfast. Make a habit of eating a very “earthy” breakfast. Fresh smoothies, oats with a splash of pure maple syrup and nut butter, eggs with spinach or sprouted toast with nut butter and an apple are great choices. Eating foods in their most natural state not only taste better but they ARE better for you.

And remember: this is NOT a diet! Changing the way you eat can take some time. However, once you are used to a certain way you will never go back to your old eating habits again! 

2 – Be a veghead! 

I use the 80/20 rule – 80% produce and 20% other. Out of that 80% I eat mostly raw fruits and vegetables, too. The “other” could be plant based protein, grains, beans and legumes, oats, eggs or organic dairy. If you eat meat then your meat would fall under this 20% rule as well.

Why 80% produce? Fruits and vegetables are very nutrient dense and full of natural, soluble fiber. Not only are they best food for your body, they help reduce free-radicals and protect you from disease. Besides, fresh produce tastes amazing! 

3 – Shop the outer circle at your grocery store

Have you ever noticed that the inside of the store is filled with processed foods that are shelf stable? While every store is different, it’s safe to say that the outside of the aisles is where you want to do majority of your grocery shopping. This is where you will find all of that wonderful produce, bulk bin items (nuts, grains, dried fruits), meat and seafood and other fresh specialty items, like hummus and dairy.

I still venture in to the middle of the store. This is where my coconut and olive oil is, dried herbs, grains, beans and legumes are. I also frequent the frozen food department because this is where I stock up on my frozen fruit for smoothies and some frozen vegetables.  

4 – Bad Sugar! Get out of my food!

Eating clean isn’t about avoiding anything in particular. It’s about choosing simple, unrefined foods and enjoying them. I am a “glass is half full” kind of gal! Don’t think of what you CAN’T eat, think of what you CAN eat! 

I will be the first to admit that I have a HUGE sweet tooth. And when I start to consume too much of refined sugar then I start to CRAVE sugar even more! It is highly addictive and toxic. But this does not mean that I do not enjoy my sweets. I choose sweeteners that are fully natural and raw: dates, pure maple syrup, raw local honey and fresh ripe fruit.  

WARNING: most processed foods contain sugar, which equal cravings and addictions. If you want something sweet, eat cold raw dates (natures candy!), dark chocolate, plain Greek yogurt with honey or fresh cold fruit.  

5 – Hydrate Yo’ Self!

Staying hydrated is important whether you eat clean or not. It’s essential for proper body function and feeling healthy. I tend to find water a bit boring so I am always adding fresh fruit to my water, AKA Spa Water. Also, green tea is a staple in my kitchen. And if I am craving carbonation I pick up a bottle of sparkling water. (This is great for those that are trying to kick the soda habit!) 

6 –  Say what?! Only buy food with ingredients you can pronounce! 

A good general rule: If you can’t pronounce the name of a particular ingredient in the food you’re eating, say Buh-Bye! Highly processed foods are crammed full of chemicals and man-made ingredients that should not be consumed by humans, or any creature for that matter.

A Better rule: only eat what you know! Which takes me back to my entire concept on clean eating – Eat from the Earth!

Thank you for reading the first lesson in my Clean Eating Summer School.

Next time: Ok, so NOW what do I eat?

What are your questions regarding Clean Eating? Post a comment letting me know and I will try to incorporate it into my post!

XxOo  Tasha