Nutrition

How to Start the New Year Sugar Free

Kick sugar in the lumps for good

It's easy to mindlessly scoff down a candy cane or guzzle a ginger beer during the festive season – but, when the New Year dawns it’s time to hit reset, break up with the sweet stuff and reap the rewards of a nutritious diet. 

Before you flashback and get the guilts for having that second serving of grandma’s cake – you’re not alone in this sugar battle. The most recent stats from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show shockingly, Aussies on average consume 14 teaspoons of sugar a day. Yup, we're all hooked. 

In the early days, it can feel like mission impossible saying cya to your go-to sugar bomb (hello, 3pm Freddo). However, Nutritionist and Remedy Ambassador Jacqueline Alwill says the benefit of quitting sugar is too good to dismiss and not give a try. 

People often see the results far sooner than they think - clearer skin, increased energy levels, weight loss and mental clarity are a few benefits worth mentioning to help you muster up the motivation to reduce your sugar intake.” 

To help you ditch your sugar habit for good this year – follow foodie expert Alwill’s guide to going sugar-free. 

Call on your community

"Like anything, it's easier to do a challenge with a friend, family member or partner - build a support network to help keep you motivated for the first couple of months of going sugar-free."

Be mindful of withdrawls

It's true, the more sugar you eat, the more you crave. Many studies have shown sugar stimulates certain areas of the brain in the same way as drug and alcohol addictions. It's highly addictive and challenging to quit, but with the right mindset, anything is achievable. 

During the first few days, be mindful of your emotions and try minimising stress as going cold turkey can be tricky. Everyone's experience differs, but you may find intense waves of cravings, mood swings, dizziness and nausea - stay strong as the benefits will soon outweigh the withdrawal symptoms.” 

Plan for your meals

"Plan your meals for the first week and try to avoid eating out in those early days as you’ll find sugar is added to so many take away, restaurant prepared meals and found in all those "extra" foods and snacks on the go."

Exercise on the daily

"Reduce your stress levels by exercising each morning - do something you love and keep it low-impact in the first few weeks. Think brisk walking, yoga or pilates.

Interestingly, a 2015 study found short bouts of physical exercise may reduce the craving for sugary snacks. (win). 

Eat more protein

To avoid reaching for a sugary snack, fill up on protein to keep your hunger levels at bay and boost your energy. 

"Try to eat protein with every meal on your sugar-detox whether it's an animal protein such as fish, chicken, red meat, dairy and eggs. Or if you’re a plant-based pro, fill up on legumes, tofu, tempeh, quinoa, nuts, seeds and whole grains."

Increase your fibre intake

"Take control your blood sugar levels by loading up on fibre-rich foods such as vegetables, legumes and seeds; they will also ease your sugar withdrawal symptoms."

Keep hydrated

Thirst is often confused with hunger, so reach for the good stuff to keep hydrated. 

“Beat sugar cravings by increasing your water intake and ensuring you reach the minimum 2-3 litres per day. If you’re craving sparkling, switch up your fizzy drink to a naturally sugar-free alternative like Remedy Kombucha.”

Stay focused

The good news once you've passed the withdrawals you will feel the benefits of quitting sugar, but Alwill explains your sugar habits won’t change overnight for good. 

“Change is powerful, but you have to practise to make it a habit. You need to revisit the change-factor frequently before it all clicks. Things don’t click overnight, it all takes time, patience and practise. Congratulate yourself for making a change for the better and stay focused.”

Mango, Haloumi & Asparagus Salad

Entertaining this festive season?! Not sure what to make? Remedy nutritionist Jacqueline Alwill from The Brown Paper Bag shares her go-to salad for the silly season to sort you right out. 

Mango, Haloumi and Asparagus Salad by Jacqueline Alwill

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 mangoes
  • 2 bunches asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 250g haloumi, sliced approx 5mm thick
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups baby rocket leaves

Dressing

  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Remedy Peach Kombucha
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Sea salt and black pepper

Method

1. Heat a frypan on medium heat, add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Cook asparagus on the pan for 3-4 minutes, turning half way. Once cooked, transfer to a plate, add another small amount of extra virgin olive oil, spread around the pan then add haloumi slices and cook 1-2 minutes each side or until golden.

2. Whilst they are cooking whisk together ingredients for the dressing and pop the rocket leaves on a large serving platter.

3. Once asparagus and haloumi are cooked arrange over the rocket, drizzle with dressing, season with sea salt and black pepper and serve.

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Say boo to sugar this Halloween!

It's that spooky time of year again - Halloween has arrived!

Rooted in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain, Halloween originally began as a way to scare off ghosts and spirits before morphing into the candy laden festival of witches and wizards we know today!

We’re down with dressing up and getting into the spirit (HA! Geddit?) of things but we know some parents find the amount of sugary treats on offer a little overwhelming. (Especially if you spend a bit of time trying to teach your sprogs about a balanced, healthy diet!).

As always, Remedy’s here to help with some healthy Halloween hacks! We’re not total buzz killers though, we know it’s fun to trick and/or treat so we’re all about making small tweaks and balanced choices…here’s our hot tips to making it through Halloween without the sugar crash ‘n’ burn!

Focus on the fun as well as the food!

Spend time talking with your kids about the origins and history of Halloween. Enjoy workshopping the costume possibilities and house decorations rather than the sweets and lollies on offer. One of the beauties of Halloween is the chance for children to wander around their neighbourhood after hours and get to know their community. Why not make this the focus rather than all the sugary loot?!

Eat something healthy before heading out

Have an early dinner before heading out. Filling up with something wholesome and healthy will help minimise the temptation of gorging on lollies.

Healthier handouts

Consider gifting popcorn, fruit kebabs, cheese-sticks or small packets of sultanas or raisins instead of sugary sweets. You could even go for mini-cans of Remedy Kombucha. They’re the perfect treat without the sweet and just the right size for little hands!

Nix food treats altogether

There’s no hard and fast rule regarding what you hand out to the kids in your neighbourhood and you can bet your bottom dollar some parents will be relieved to see some non-food treats in the trick or treat stash their little ones bring home. Try spooky Halloween themed stickers, bubbles, novelty erasers or even glow sticks to hand out on the night.

There you go – four healthy hacks that’ll have you saying ‘BOO’ to sugar this Halloween!

Healthy Halloween Hacks

No doubt about it, Halloween has well and truly taken off here in the Southern Hemisphere.

Rooted in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain, Halloween originally began as a way to scare off ghosts and spirits before morphing into the candy laden festival of witches and wizards we know today!

We’re down with dressing up and getting into the spirit (HA! Geddit?) of things but we know some parents find the amount of sugary treats on offer a little overwhelming. (Especially if you spend a bit of time trying to teach your sprogs about a balanced, healthy diet!).

As always, Remedy’s here to help with some healthy Halloween hacks! We’re not total buzz killers though, we know it’s fun to trick and/or treat so we’re all about making small tweaks and balanced choices…here’s our hot tips to making it through Halloween without the sugar crash ‘n’ burn!

Focus on the fun as well as the food!

Spend time talking with your kids about the origins and history of Halloween. Enjoy workshopping the costume possibilities and house decorations rather than the sweets and lollies on offer. One of the beauties of Halloween is the chance for children to wander around their neighbourhood after hours and get to know their community. Why not make this the focus rather than all the sugary loot?!

Eat something healthy before heading out

Have an early dinner before heading out. Filling up with something wholesome and healthy will help minimise the temptation of gorging on lollies.

Healthier handouts

Consider gifting popcorn, fruit kebabs, cheese-sticks or small packets of sultanas or raisins instead of sugary sweets. You could even go for ‘on theme’ mini-cans of Remedy Switchel Blood Orange. They’re the perfect treat without the sweet and just the right size for little hands!

Nix food treats altogether

There’s no hard and fast rule regarding what you hand out to the kids in your neighbourhood and you can bet your bottom dollar some parents will be relieved to see some non-food treats in the trick or treat stash their little ones bring home. Try spooky Halloween themed stickers, bubbles, novelty erasers or even glow sticks to hand out on the night.

There you go – four healthy hacks that’ll have you saying ‘BOO’ to sugar this Halloween!

5 hacks for a healthier kids' party

by Jacqueline Alwill

Most parents would agree that planning a kids’ party with the (inevitable) sugar highs that come with party food and treats is a tad exhausting even before the party starts. So to save you from your next kids’ party headache, dive into these 5 hacks for a healthier kids’ party.

1. FIND FAMILY FAVES

Plan the party WITH your kids when it comes to activities and food. Understand what makes them completely stoked and then be clever in the way you balance the party and health-ify it. If a piñata is on the cards, pop in some cool treats to balance the sweet ones exploding out of it. If your family loves a chocolate cake then make that the hero and leave the extra sugary cupcakes or dense brownies out of the plan. And, if lolly bags to take home are a non-negotiable then top up with some items that maybe aren’t related to food, but still super fun – try packs of cards, cool pencils or mini joke books instead. 

2. ENJOY THE SWEET

But be savvy in how you peel it back, so it doesn’t become a sugar rave. Kids actually don’t care if it’s lollypops on a table or watermelon cut and presented with a stick like a lollypop. It’s the novelty that counts for them and they’ll eat whatever is there. Remember that, because in the midst of wanting to make each party epic for your kids, it can be lost. Simple go to treats without the refined sugar hit might include:

3. SAY HEY TO SAVOURY

To balance the sweet, make it a 2:1 ratio of savoury to sweet on the table and you’ll have a much happier bunch of kids in your company. Remember you don’t have to be making everything yourself, hunt down good quality party food from your local baker, pizzeria or sushi store to top things up and get some quick, little person loving, savoury action on the food table. Consider these crowd favourites:

  • pizza slices - many great pizza shops will happily make up a large slab of pizza with a simple margherita topping if you order in advance
  • mix of brown and white rice vegetable sushi
  • veggie dip boats
  • mini frittata
  • sweet potato wedges
  • vegetarian sausage rolls
  • lavosh or pita bread chips with (no spice) guacamole

4. SWAP THE SODAS

There are always better options and Remedy Drinks has just made the healthiest yet with their NEW fermented soda range. Whilst the idea of juice boxes and some sneaky sugar laden soft drinks might be tempting to keep the small peeps happy this party season, rethink your choices for a HAPPIER and HEALTHIER event. Remedy Drinks has just introduced five new fermented sodas to the Remedy stable including crowd favourites such as Cola, Lemon Lime and Bitters, Lemonade, Ginger Beer and Oranja which means there is a flavour for everyone big and little alike. What’s the difference between Remedy and the ‘usual’ soft drinks or sodas you ask? Well … Remedy Sodas are made with organic fruit juices brewed with Remedy’s live culture to ferment out all of the sugar before adding all natural ingredients including spices and botanicals. Remedy Drinks are making sodas right, with no sugar, naturally. A healthier, tasty fizzy? Yes please!

5. RUN THEM RAGGED

Finally, rather than leave the cake til last, sneak it in half way, get the savoury food out and run kids around before parents come to pick up. Tap into all your old favourite party games and tricks you loved growing up and bring them to life again - pin the tail on the donkey (maybe a minion?), three legged or egg and spoon races, tag, tip you name it. A party planned around great games, healthy food and drinks and family faves are fun filled, healthy kids’ parties done right. 

Recipe: Choc Dipped Pineapple Triangles

Makes approximately 24 slices

Dairy Free: Gluten Free: Refined Sugar Free: Vegan

  • 1 small pineapple, sliced into 1cm thick triangles, skin left intact
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Toppings: finely chopped pepitas, pistachios, coconut flakes, cranberries, or any other dried fruits and nuts you wish

Whisk together coconut oil, raw cacao powder, maple syrup and vanilla.

Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Dip 3/4 pineapple piece into melted chocolate, allow a little to drip off the end, lay onto tray and repeat.

Place in fridge to set for 10 minutes then repeat with remaining chocolate this time adding the dried fruit, seeds and nuts (optional) on the top of the pineapple and chocolate.

Pop back in fridge or freezer to set and serve straight from fridge or freezer (chocolate will melt quickly if it’s a hot day!).

This post originally appeared on Remedy Nutritionist Jacqueline Alwill's Brown Paper Bag blog.