I am challenging myself to eliminate all added sugar for 30 days. This means no refined sugar or artificial sweeteners. Naturally occurring sugars in fruits and other whole foods are acceptable and encouraged.

To keep me motivated I will be watching one of these documentaries every week: The Secrets of Sugar, That Sugar Film, Fed Up and lastly Sugar Coated.

Artificial sweeteners possess some positive characteristics. They are very low calorie-wise and much less is needed than conventional sugar due to the higher concentration of sweetness. Unlike regular sugar, artificial sweeteners do not lead to dental cavities.

However, despite a few benefits, some scientists argue that artificial sweeteners are more damaging to one’s body than refined sugars.

Aspartame is a commonly used artificial sweetener. It is approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar and has little to no calories. Composed of 40% aspartic acid, 50% phenylalanine and 10% methanol; aspartame is FDA-approved.

The most common adverse reaction to aspartame is a headache, but other side effects include mood changes, depression, panic attacks, dizziness, nervousness, memory impairment, nausea, temper outbursts, seizures, numbness, fatigue, and insomnia, to name a few.

The best way to avoid aspartame is eating a whole foods diet and avoiding diet sodas.

How do I plan on suppressing the cravings?
Fruit. I plan on eating fruit daily, particularly a lot of apples. If fruit does not satisfy the cravings I will have another plant-based meal to feel completely satiated. (Fatty foods have the weakest effects on satiation)

What if I slip up?
I plan on pushing forward with the plan. The past can’t be changed so keep with the challenge, no excuses.

Are dried fruits cool to eat?
If there is no added sugar on the nutrition label, then yes.

Everything that happens in your life—what you’re thrilled with and what you’re challenged by—began with a decision. Your life is the outcome of the decisions you’ve made and the actions you’ve taken as a result of those decisions. Different decisions produce different results.

If you want to control the direction of your life, you must consistently make good decisions. It’s not what you do once in a while that has an impact on the direction of your life—it’s what you do consistently. Make decisions today about how you are going to live in the years to come. – Tony Robbins