Hello Challengers!

I hope your Christmas was well spent and you're looking towards a great 2022 (I know I am). I will be sending daily emails until Jan. 1 to help you get prepped and better understand the philosophy and approach to partaking in a 31-day challenge. I don't want this to create any undue stress so whatever this challenge brings about -- breathe and smile. Everyone's on a different level, so by Feb 1 if you've learned ANYTHING new that you didn't know before (either about yourself or about food) than congrats...you've succeeded.

If you missed the first email from last week re: Nourishing Shopping List, please click HERE to read.

WHY PARTICIPATE? Quite simply to just give your body and your brain a break. The food industry has modified our eating and drinking habits to the point we cannot discern the simplicity of feeding ourselves. We rely on SO MANY food products that are loaded with too much sugar, too many alternative sweeteners, and too many synthetic ingredients. This reliance has, in consequence, forced our bodies to compensate in ways it wasn't designed. This is why we don't feel our best -- we don't sleep well, we have excess weight, we have horrible bathroom habits, and we cannot control our cravings or feed ourselves properly. By pushing "reset" for a mere 31-days we can discover the simplicities of eating real food and enjoying added sweetener in the most natural and moderate ways it was intended.

Added Sweetener - Big Deal? There is NOTHING wrong with added sugar -- it's just our consumption and our substitutions that are hindering our health. Table sugar, honey, molasses, maple syrup -- absolutely fabulous REAL sweeteners that we can enjoy in moderation. Problem? We're not enjoying them in moderation as they're LOADED in food products and sweetened beverages. Additionally, instead of curbing our appetite for the sweet stuff we've just swapped in synthetic substitutes assuming that's a healthier alternative. This is causing it's own list of issues because 1) they can be upwards of 200-700x sweeter than their natural varieties; 2) our WANT for sweet stuff actually increases because our taste buds become accustomed; 3) inflammation is the root of all disease and synthetics are causing inflammation. By abstaining from ALL added sweeteners (real and fake) for 31-days you're allowing your taste buds to get back to normal while also cooling down any inflammation you have. Then, come Feb 1 you can add back in added sugar in its natural variety and keep it in moderation. Find more information about added sweetener and how to recognize HERE.

Food vs. Food Product? When we think about our patterns of eating, it's important to discern between eating real food or eating food product. And, we are eating WAAAAAAAY too much food product and our bodies are suffering without us understanding why. Remember that food is our foundation -- we cannot live without it. In fact, food truly is medicine as it contains the nutrients necessary for life. That said, food also rots -- and much of what we're eating is loaded with ingredients the body doesn't recognize so that food product can be shipped, stored, bought, stored again, etc. and be palatable and safe by the time it reaches our mouths. And, unless you're eating at farm-to-table eateries, the same is true of foods being shipped to restaurants, cafeterias, etc. So, how do you know? The ingredient list will tell you all you need to know. If you could get all the ingredients listed to make the food yourself -- it's food. If there are ingredients you cannot get yourself (as they're only available to food scientists and manufacturers) then it's a food product. And, while there's room for both food and food product -- the latter should NOT be part the largest part of your overall eating pattern because your body (and brain) suffers both without nutrients and too many unrecognizable synthetics. Learn more about nourishing food HERE.

So what can you eat? All real, nourishing foods are on the table (literally and figuratively). Fresh or frozen fruits and veggies, quality sources of meat and non-meat proteins, minimally processed whole grains and all dairy products (that aren't full of sugar or synthetics). But, it's the identification of real, nourishing foods that will be the most important. If you don't have access to an ingredient list -- be WARY.

Your body just wants FOOD -- so however you feed it (snacking, basic meals, etc.) that's OK! No need to diet or worry about carbs, fat, etc. for January. Just feed it real, nourishing food while saying 'no' to added sweetener, alcohol and synthetics.

Let's connect on Social Media! I'll be posting in the private FB group. Visit St. Peter's Sugar Challenge | Facebook to join. You can also join my personal food pages on Instagram (@thefoodstoeat) or on FB at https://www.facebook.com/thefoodstoeat

Happy Tuesday!