Michael and Bryan are now 1 week into their commitment of not eating added sugar and lowering carb intake for 90 days. You can read all about their experiment here: https://thefeed.com/blog/2015/02/18/90-day-test-training-to-burn-fat/ We've received quite a few questions about their 90 day test, but the most frequent question is "What are you eating, when are you eating it, and why...?" Bryan checks in here with some of the products he's relying on this spring:
When we first started our 90 day sugar free test, I knew that it would probably be a bad idea to completely eliminate sugar from our diets...after all natural sugars in fruits taste great and they are really healthy in moderation. Additionally, Michael and I are both active people who participate in high intensity sports like running, nordic skiing or cross fit. High intensity + prolonged no sugar / low carbohydrate diet will lead to a dramatic decrease in performance at high intensity
. With that in mind, here's a quick list of things that I'm relying on for healthy snacks and workout fuel during the next 90 days:
It took me a little while to warm up to Wild Zora's bars, but I must say that they are some of the best tasting bars that we carry at The Feed. Zora's story makes sense: "We all deserve a healthy alternative to all the sugary, high carb snacks on the market. I believe we can be in control of our diet and energy levels, eat healthier, and be happier." I'm now addicted to Wild Zora's BBQ Hickory Tomato flavor and have been using the product as both an afternoon snack, or during low intensity longer workouts. Part of the process we're going through is trusting that we can fuel workouts without added sugar, so I'm relying on stuff like Wild Zora to get the job done.
Breakfast is tough on a sugar free diet, especially when you don't have time to cook the perfect omelet. I like to eat granola on the days when I don't have time to cook, and I've found Steve's Paleo Krunch to be a good alternative. My favorite flavor (and ingredient list) is Cinnamon: raw almonds, shredded coconut, raw pumpkin seeds, raw walnuts, raw pecans, raw sunflower seeds, coconut oil, honey, and cinnamon. When I don't have an early morning workout, I'll add 2/3-1 cup of Steve's Paleo Krunch to whole milk yogurt with blueberries. It is super quick, and tastes great.
WB Kitchen Honey Nut Bars:
There's a developing theme that I see with the products I'm loving...nuts, coconut, honey, seeds...and those are all fantastic ingredients if you make sure to keep calories in check. As I'm removing wasted sugar calories, I'm adding calories in fat, protein and veggies, but I'm not increasing my daily intake unless activity warrants it. WB Kitchen Bars taste great and can be a huge asset to you if you use them in moderation. 300+ calories in one bar is no joking matter, be sure to use these on days with high training volume or as a meal replacement.
I really like sweet snacks. It's just a bad habit...3pm comes around and I'm wondering why it's not dinner yet, and immediately searching for chocolate or sugary candy. Barnana has helped me stop my cravings while still getting a sweet snack that tastes great. I'm not eating the peanut butter and chocolate flavors, but I love the coconut and original flavor. Although this product definitely bends the "no added sugar" rules a little bit, I think I'll rely on Barnana a lot this spring, especially before / during / after high intensity workouts.
Vega Pre-workout Energizer Sugar Free:
For short intense workouts, I've been using Vega's Sugar Free Pre-workout Energizer for a small boost 15 minutes prior to my workout. Vega uses a blend of plant-based performance enhancing ingredients that give you energy and focus while combating fatigue and dehydration. Specifically they use caffeine from green tea and yerba mate to pump you up, and then provide slow steady energy from coconut oil and rhodiola. If you're thinking about trying a low sugar or no sugar diet, this is a great pre-workout product for you to try.
Clif Bar Organic Energy Food:
This is good stuff. Really good stuff. I wrote a review about the product
earlier this month, but the short story is that these pouches taste great, have fantastic ingredients and should replace any gels that you have in your pantry. I prefer the sweet flavors to the savory flavors, especially the Banana Mango with Coconut. It's super refreshing and easy to eat during workouts, or even before workouts.
Late last year I wrote a "how to use" Untapped Maple
after having used the product for 4-6 weeks. The same holds true today, although I will say that Untapped has worked pretty well for me as a recovery product. I frequently workout "fasted" on an empty stomach, and when that workout is intense, my body is craving some quick energy. If there was ever a time to eat pure sugar, that's probably it. With that said, I'm using Untapped pretty carefully and less than I otherwise would. It's an amazing product, but don't over do it, it's still pure sugar.
I wrote an in depth product review of SFH Recovery Whey
a few months ago, and I continue to use it almost daily. SFH sources their whey from A2 grass fed beef and adds other essential amino acids to aid recovery. It also uses a multi-component mixture of vitamins and nutrients, including Co-Q10, ribose, and carnitine which boost energy and increase the body’s mitochondria productivity and help put energy back into muscle cells. This is a high quality product that you can benefit from when used a supplement to your regular diet. If you have any questions, or want to learn more about our sugar free experiment, please email me! firstname.lastname@example.org