From time – to – time on More2Explore we talk about health and fitness. Mostly because we are more than a one-dimensional, traveling family. We also enjoy workouts at the gym, mountain bike rides (despite our circa 1997 Yeti), road rides (on a bike newer than the Yeti), runs, hikes and a little CrossFit just to spice things up.

Hiking

In addition, I also spent a year studying nutrition in New York City, so the topic of nutrition is very dear to my heart. I firmly believe what we put into our mouths has a huge impact on the way we feel, think and our overall health.  Despite consuming mostly organic foods and doing our best to feed our family healthy treats, there are times we allow a bit more junk into our diets and we need a little revision. We are currently in revision mode.

This week, we are doing a little experiment in our house to cut out all sugar. An important aspect of that, however, is that we are not filling our bodies with sugar substitutes made in a lab. No Splenda, Equal, Truvia, Sweet n Low, Sweet Leaf, etc. I have strong opinions on artificial sweeteners and for the sake of keeping this blog relatively simple, I will just say, artificial sweeteners have NO place in the human body, so do yourself a favor and steer clear of them!

Now that we have covered that topic, we are eliminating sugar for a week, if not a lot longer.  Goodbye Swiss chocolate, sugar in our coffee, honey (we will keep the honey for the children though), maple syrup, jam and all those hidden grams of sugar that make their way into our mouth each and every day and weaken our hardworking immune systems.

Instead of feeling deprived, however, we are feeling a lot healthier. In place of sweet snacks, we are juicing a lot more. In fact, we just whipped up some delicious juices you might want to try at home if you have a juicer.

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Celery/Apple

Orange/Carrot/Ginger

Cucumber/Lemon/Ginger/Apple

If you don’t have a juicer, no problem, dust off your blender and get busy. Throw in bananas, avocados, orange juice, rice milk, ice and chia seeds. Blend until smooth and enjoy for breakfast or lunch.

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Need some inspiration over dinner. Well, Robert has just mastered the veggie burger, full of broccoli, carrots, ginger, onion, garlic, cilantro, kidney beans, and couscous, which goes great with pesto on a roll. Throw in a little spinach salad with cranberries and walnuts and a healthy dinner has been served.

When that pang for something sweet hits hard, we run for the dates. Oh dear, those little gems are perfect to satisfy any sweet tooth, and oh, boy do I have a sweet tooth. To whip up a “candy bar” simply split your date in half, spread on almond or peanut butter and sprinkle with coconut. Delicious and there is no guilt in feeding these snacks to your children!

If you are looking to make changes to your current diet, don’t become overwhelmed by all the fad diets out there. Here are a few helpful tips to help you jump on the health wagon and feel amazing.

  1. Drink more water
  2. Get fresh air and exercise
  3. Eat whole foods – what are whole foods you might ask? Great question. Whole foods come from the earth, are not created in a lab and do not naturally arrive at our tables in shiny packages and plastic coverings. Whole foods are nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables; some would say dairy, eggs and meat.  Vegan, vegetarian, meat – eater, whatever, eat more of the real stuff!
  4. Start somewhere. If you elect to drink more water, eat a salad each day, or commit to juicing everyday day you are doing it and that is awesome!  Remember all changes start with a “single step.” Get stepping and implement that change.

Here’s to feeling great, living large and being healthy!

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