A Week in the Life – 6 Spoons in June

I’m addicted to sugar. Sugar addiction is real, as real as an addiction to cigarettes or cocaine, and it effects your brain by tripping off the same pleasure centres. That Sugar Film has launched the 6 Spoons in June campaign to challenge its followers to limit their sugar intake to just 6 teaspoons (added or refined sugar) per day, or about 24g. I’ve always been pretty certain that I’m completely and totally addicted to sugar, and by embarking on this challenge this week, I’ve confirmed it. After just one day of no refined sugar, I began experiencing headaches, irritability, and severe cravings for cookies and ice-cream. I want ice-cream right now. I allowed myself fruit, and as much as I despise it, it became my saviour when my sugar cravings hit their peak. This challenge has also motivated me to pay closer attention to ingredient labels on packaged foods. Sugar is hiding everywhere, in the form of organic evaporated cane juice and organic brown rice syrup. It is hiding in your salt and vinegar chips, your whole-wheat sandwich bread, and in your low-fat vegetable crackers.

This week has been challenging, but I got through it, and I’m eager to make even better food choices next week. Towards the end of the week you’ll notice that I’ve done a lot of snacking, and that is because I hiked over 20km through the Bruce Peninsula and I desperately needed the energy. I am extremely out of shape, so my body is really aching, and I can’t even eat a stack of cookies to ease the pain in my sore muscles. Sigh. Anyway, read on to see what delicious food I’ve been eating this week!

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Cupcakes I can’t eat

Monday, June 5th

Breakfast

  • Coffee with almond milk
  • 2 slices Pizza Nova Focaccia Barese

Snack

  • Green smoothie with almond milk, date, spinach, banana, tropical fruit, flax seeds
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Healthy green smoothie

Dinner

  • Gobi malai mutter (Cauliflower in cream sauce) – (recipe by Vegan Richa)
  • Chana masala (recipe by Vegan Richa)
  • Brown basmati rice
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Gobi Malai Mutter, Chana Masala, Basmati Rice

Tuesday, June 6th

Breakfast

  • Green smoothie
  • 4 Brazil nuts
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If you don’t have a Blendtec or Vitamix blender, I strongly recommend one

Lunch

  • Leftover pizza

Dinner

  • Leftover chana masala and gobi malai mutter

Snack

  • Chocolate tropical fruit smoothie
  • Giant bowl of popcorn with nutritional yeast

Wednesday, June 7th

Lunch

  • Green smoothie with spinach, banana, blueberries, flax, and almond milk
  • Avocado toast on sugar-free whole-wheat bread topped with nutritional yeast, lime juice, and crushed red pepper flakes

Snack

  • Cup of blackberries
  • 2 Brazil nuts
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One of few fruits I actually enjoy

Dinner

  • Pan-fried tempeh steaks with fresh chimichurri (recipe from Vegan for Everybody)
  • Wheat berries with spinach, orange, red onion, and navy beans topped with paprika mustard vinaigrette (recipe from Vegan for Everybody)
  • Grilled asparagus
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Tempeh steaks with chimichurri, wheat berry salad, grilled asparagus

Thursday, June 8th

Breakfast

  • Green smoothie with spinach, banana, blueberries, flax, and almond milk
  • Avocado toast on sugar-free whole-wheat bread topped with nutritional yeast, lime juice, nigella seeds, and crushed red pepper flakes
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Avocado toast is the bomb

Lunch

  • Leftover chana masala and gobi malai mutter

Snack

  • Cup of blackberries
  • Iced almond milk latte
  • 1 slice leftover focaccia barese

Friday, June 9th

Breakfast

  • Green smoothie with spinach, banana, blueberries, flax, and almond milk
  • Avocado toast on sugar-free whole-wheat bread topped with nutritional yeast, lime juice, and crushed red pepper flakes
  • Soy latte

Lunch

  • Grilled vegetable and tempeh wrap
  • Tortilla chips and salsa

Snack

  • 2 packages organic roasted seaweed
  • Date-nut bar

Dinner

  • Mixed vegetable curry
  • Mushroom bhaji
  • Peas pulau
  • Pappadum

Saturday, June 10th

Breakfast

  • Original Triscuits
  • Tutti almond cocoa crisps

Lunch

  • Veggie burger and fries
  • Soy latte

Snack

  • 1 orange
  • Organic roasted seaweed
  • Original Snappea crisps

Dinner

  • Vegetable spring roll
  • Vegetable fried rice
  • Broccoli in garlic sauce
  • Vegetables and tofu in black bean sauce
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Extra salty Chinese food – just the way I like it

Saturday, June 11th

Breakfast

  • Original Triscuits
  • Date-nut bar

Snack

  • Original kettle chips
  • Chocolate blueberry, banana, spinach, pineapple smoothie

Dinner

  • Chana aloo, pumpkin, baigan choka, fried bhaji veggie platter
  • Paratha roti

Before I leave you, I just wanted to make a few notes. Firstly, tempeh is a gift from the vegan gods. For those of you who don’t know, tempeh is like tofu’s way cooler and better looking cousin. It is a hard-packed block of whole fermented soy beans with a firm, chewy texture that loves to soak up flavours. So far in Toronto I’ve only found the original blocks at Whole Foods and Ambrosia, but pretty much every major grocery store carries a pre-cut, pre-seasoned version. With tempeh around, I really don’t understand why even bother with tofu, though I do eat it occasionally just to switch things up. For those of you who’ve tried tempeh and don’t like it, you just haven’t had it seasoned or cooked properly. I’ve created a kick-ass tempeh marinade that will win anyone over and I will share it with you in a later post.

Secondly, nutritional yeast is a vegan pantry staple. Don’t be turned off by the name. Nutritional yeast (aka nooch) is sold in bags or plastic tubs and comes in the form of yellow flakes. It has a funky kind of taste so vegans often use it to recreate cheesy flavours, but it can be added to pretty much anything you want to lend some depth and body to. Used in conjunction with miso paste, it’s a real winner. I use it in my nacho cheese dip, I put it in my creamy pasta sauce, I sprinkle it on popcorn and toast. You can get nooch at most major groceries (usually in the health food section) or at any health food store (some even sell it in bulk).

And that’s all for this week! Check back again next week to see how I’ve been doing with my sugar challenge. If you want to try to limit your sugar intake too, click here for more info, and tag your posts with #6spoonsinjune.

 

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