Also, don't forget to pre-order your Winter Mantra Box®! We are shipping later this month and you definitely want to get your hands on this one!
I am loving creating these Programs for our YBC® App. Last month we did a 30 Day Meditation Program (it will always be available on the App, so you can start at any time if you would like to do it), and this month we are doing the Namaslay® 30 Day No Sugar, Strength Challenge. Each month, as a perk for being an App Subscriber, you will receive a monthly program. Unfortunately, the App is currently only available for iOS users, but we are working on raising the $25,000 it will cost to start Version 2, which will support Android users. If you’d like to donate, all the proceeds will go to our developers. But not to worry! We are making this program available for purchase for our Android users. Everyone else can find the program when they opt-in to the App.
Ok so let’s get to the program.
What’s the deal with no sugar?
The long story short is that I’ve been doing an anti-parasite cleanse which requires that in addition to a bunch of herbal supplements, I follow a diet without added sugars and without simple carbs. Now, because I am kind of crazy about what I eat, I wasn’t about to replace the sugary foods with processed, sugar-free alternatives. For example, I love granola, but I’m not going to eat packaged “sugar-free” granola, because if you look closely, they companies have usually replaced the real sugar with chemical alternatives that are just as bad, if not worse. Instead, I’m aiming to eat whole, real foods. This whole, real, foods diet has ample high quality fats. Now, if you’re a vegan or vegetarian, this diet will not work for you because it is heavily rooted in healing, ancestral foods like bone broth, meats, and cheeses. If you’re okay eating meat, then you’re good to go. So why do we eliminate added sugar for a short time? From inflammation to compromised immune systems, let me count the ways. Sugar is disguised in many different names, so make sure you’re checking your labels. It’s in ketchup, pasta sauce, trail mix, nearly every bacon package I come across, and so much more, so truly - pay attention to your labels - you will be so surprised when you take a look at what’s inside. But! As with anything, there’s a catch. When you are looking at your label, determine whether the food has naturally occurring sugars or added sugars. Naturally occurring sugars are not a problem. For example, milk contains a naturally occurring sugar called lactose. Lactose is a good way to support the growth of beneficial gut bacteria such as acidophilus. Provided you’re not lactose intolerant, the body breaks lactose down into glucose and galactose. This process is important because glucose is the primary source of energy in the body and the sole energy source for the brain. As part of their nutrient-rich makeup, foods like plain yogurt or whole milk or fruit will have naturally occurring sugars. These are generally considered healthy foods to include in your diet. By contract, added sugars, like the sugar added to pasta sauce, bacon, and almond milk has no nutritional benefit. This helps to explain it a bit more. The best tip I can give? Check your ingredient labels, rather than focusing on the sugar listed in the nutritional value table on the label. The ingredient label will show whether there is added sugar.
There’s a lot of fat in here!
Yep, there is. That’s because healthy fat is a great source of fuel for the body, and when you decrease the amount of carbs for a body that is used to running on carbs for fuel, you’ve got to replace it with something else. Healthy fats, you may be surprised to learn, don’t make you fat. In fact, on this diet, I have lost weight. You will have to tinker with the serving sizes though. You don’t want to be going through your day feeling hungry. If you do, first ask yourself if you’ve been hydrating enough that day (often times we may feel hungry but we are actually thirsty). If you’re hydrating enough, just add more whole, real foods to your day.
Speaking of serving sizes…
You’re definitely going to need to be okay giving yourself permission to tweak this meal plan because it is pretty much what I eat. I’m 34, 5’1, around 120lbs, and have a very, very active lifestyle. Whether you’re a 210lb dude who lifts or you’re a petite 45 year old mom, you’re going to need to take the liberty of tweaking it to work for you. This is about self-trust. If you’re hungry, you probably need to eat bigger serving sizes or add in a second lunch. This program is not intended as a one size fits all plan. You will need to tweak it to work for your needs.
This is a lot of cooking!
Like I mentioned, this is a whole, real foods diet, which means there is very little packaged, grab and go options. I’ve noticed a few areas where you can sort of cut corners, though, because I realize that not everyone has the time I have. I work from home, I don’t have kids, it’s relatively easy for me to manage my time to food prep, and I understand that everyone lives very different lives. So here’s where I think you can cut down:
Short on time and can’t prep the meal for that day or the next? Some quick protein ideas: Buy a cooked rotisserie chicken, instead of a whole, raw chicken. You can use the meat for your food, and use the carcass to make your bone broth. Wild tuna or smoked salmon or hardboiled eggs always an option if you need a quick protein. When you do have time to cook, my recommendation is to make more than is necessary. You can either freeze the leftovers for days when you have zero time/energy, or you can eat them for lunch/dinner the following day.
Snack Ideas: You may be shocked to realize how much sugar is in your grab and go snacks like granola, bars, etc. I’d recommend stocking up on the following: Nuts are a good, easy snack to have on hand. Just double check the label, especially if you’re trying to avoid sugar. Olives are another good snack to have on hand. Homemade kale chips, zucchini chips and sweet potato chips are all good grab and go snacks (if you buy at the store, double check the labels - a lot of chips have sweeteners!)
Tips for Success:
If you start finding yourself feeling like you don’t have enough time, replace, “I don’t have enough time to…” with “It’s not a priority to….” and see if that helps. Sometimes we just need to reprioritize. Sometimes that means asking for help with the kids, or popping them in front of the tv for 30 minutes while you food prep. Sometimes that means getting up earlier, or packing your lunch the night before. Just try your best, and let that be enough, but make sure you’re really trying your best.
Understand that this program is simply sharing what a typical meal plan looks like for me. If one night it calls for pot roast, and you don’t feel like making a pot roast, don’t! Make something else from the program that will work better for you. What if you have a birthday party to attend and you want a piece of cake? If it’s going to ruin your day to not have the cake, then dang it, eat a piece and enjoy it. The stress and anxiety from “not being able to have it” is probably worse for you than just having it and enjoying it. So if you choose to “cheat”, do it and enjoy it. No one’s winning any medals from being super strict about it. It’s not that serious, ya know?
Get someone to do it with you! Grab a friend and do it together. Share texts or snaps of your meals/workouts and encourage each other along the way.
What’s up with the strength portion?
The strength portion of the program contains HIIT workouts and yoga flows. The program is designed to help yogis build strength that will complement their practice. It will best serve yogis who are relatively new to working out. You will need a little equipment (resistance bands, for example), but every workout has modifications you can do it even if you don’t have the equipment.
How do I participate?
Simple! If you have an iOS device, download our App and opt-in for the $3.99/mo subscription. The program will appear in the Exclusive Section of the App first thing February 1, 2019. If you have an Android device, you can purchase it for $3.99. Then, post on Instagram with #YBCnosugar and Follow the hashtag, so you can link up with others who participate. In addition, you can join other community members on the YBC® App Program Facebook Group too.