Death to Sugar!
I am going to share with you how I finally kicked that sweet seductive habit and lost 25 pounds along the way! First lets talk about the "where". Every single FBO (stands for fixed base operation. Kind of like a private terminal for fancy folks), is stocked to the gills with sweet treats, muffins, fancy coffees, ice cream, cookie trays, soda pop-machines and a few other sneaky culprits coyly sitting on every counter you pass between the bathrooms, the front desk and the door to the tarmac. Lets be honest with ourselves; even a four a.m. show to catch your airliner leaves you crawling to the nearest coffee shop full of syrups and sweet pastries. What in the actual WORLD can a traveler do to both avoid sugar and still enjoy sweet tasting treats? Oh goodness please stay away from the dreaded aspartame and artificial sweeteners. "Why though? I thought - low fat, no fat, sugar free, good for me - was the way to be healthy?" FALSE!
Those artificial sweeteners stimulate your appetite! BIG time! It has been scientifically proven that you eat twice as much after consuming these sneaky sweet monsters. Watch out for names like:
Theres a few more but for me, these are the most common ones I run into. Most of these are comprised of a version of sugar-alcohol, artificially made and leave you wanting more. So we have covered WHERE these bandit hides, and WHY seemingly "healthy" choices are also in cahoots with our nemesis sugar, so now lets explore the WHAT. Like, WHET THE HECK DO WE DO THEN? Black coffee? Yuck. Suffer through starvation and no sweet treats ever? NO-WAY! I know you have heard about my sidekick Stevia, yeah? My natural, plant based friend has made a big impact on my everyday consumption choices.
Stevia is a genus of about 240 species of herbs and shrubs in the sunflower family, native to subtropical and tropical regions in North and South America. Stevia is grown for its sweet leaves and is far sweeter than cane sugar or any other synthetic sweetener produced. It was approved a few years ago by the FDA, has not been linked to any known health risks, and can be metabolized by the body safely. Stevia has little effect on blood glucose and can enhance glucose tolerance, making it a safe natural sweetener option for diabetics and others on carbohydrate-controlled diets. (BINGO - we will talk about carb-control later)
I have strategically found some awesome travel buddies that helped me kick soda, coffee creamer, sugar, sweet tea, flavored yogurts, smoothies, cookies, gosh... the list goes on. It just takes some minor creativity and remembering to pack one more tiny item when you travel. While you can find typical packets of the dry granular stevia, I much prefer the liquid version. So many flavor options and endless opportunities.
My top favorite flavors are:
English Toffee - always in my coffee! I drizzle some over sliced apples with sea salt for a sweet and salty snack.
Coconut - a few drops in plain non-fat greek yogurt and I have a cool, smooth tropical treat. I also switch this one up in my coffee too in the summer. This is also an added bonus in fruit smoothies with just fruit, water and ice! SO healthy!
Peppermint cookie - ummm... cookies. yes! So fall/winter coffee flavor with this one but also, a few drops on some protein pretzels and they taste JUST like a thin mint!
lemon - pretty much for unsweet tea and I make a good lemonade with ice water, a few drops of this one, and a fresh squeezed lemon.
There are a TON more flavors that I cannot wait to try. at 2 oz, these babies travel seemlessly in my flight bag. No more creamer, no more artificial sweeteners, no more cravings!!!
JUST A FEW RECOMMENDED FLAVORS
(CLICK ON THE PHOTO TO TRY)
TIPICAL COFFEE FLAVORS
Oh I am not done! When I say I cut out ALL OTHER sweeteners, I even mean GUM! I found an aspartame-free gum in so many flavors as well. its called PUR gum and my two favorites are the bubble gum and the mint chocolate. Without fail, immediately after a meal, I pop two pieces in my mouth and I have zero desire for dessert. I will say, the flavor only lasts about 10 minutes but its enough to kick the sweets-table to the curb.
(CLICK ON THE PHOTO TO TRY ME)
Again, another small and easy piece of ammo for my sugar-ass-kicking arsenal. Last but not least is my final game changer: ZEVIA!!! It is a carbonated flavored stevia drink that the hubs and I keep stocked at the house at all times in lots of flavors. We don't drink it every day, but when we are craving a pool side beverage or just need a fizzy pick-me-up, these sodas are our go to. My most favorite flavor is cream soda (duh). Orange, citrus and strawberry are pretty bomb-tasting as well. I could NOT stand the "cherry coke" version though, it was like cough syrup to me! If you throw a can of the citrus with a few drops of liquid lemon stevia with ice in a blender, I swear to the high heavens it tastes like a lemonchello like you get at the ball park! I have not gotten to try the root beer because its always sold out but that just tells me its popular and I cant wait to get my hands on some. Oh yeah, you want a moscow mule without the sugar and calories (well, with the exeption of whats in the liquor)? THEY. HAVE. GINGER BEER TOO!
(CLICK ON THE PHOTO TO TRY ME)
In terms of "pricing", I have actually saved money by purchasing these items. I only get a black coffee on the road because a few drops of the liquid stevia goes a long way and black coffee is cheaper than the fluffy coffee. and using the gum right after meals has saved me from buying mounds of deserts at dinners out with the crew. The soda keeps me from buying all the snacks at the gas station during road trips. The only bummer is the soda can't airline with me but the others can!
All in all, these products really have helped me maintain my sanity and continue to lose weight and get rid of sugar in our household and out of my flight bag. I hope this helps you with your sugar addiction as it did mine!