Day 1 – Fed Up Challenge

Hello! And happy Tuesday. :)

Hope you had a fantastic weekend and a lovely Mother’s Day (if that’s your thing of course!).

Yesterday marked the beginning of the 10-day Fed Up Challenge. What is the Fed Up Challenge you ask? To go 10 days without eating sugar. 10 days!

So what is Fed Up?

Fed Up is a new movie that highlights the obesity epidemic and how it is linked to sugar. Sugar is in almost EVERYTHING, and contributes to a lot of illnesses. Research shows that sugar can be physically addicting, and acts almost like a drug within our body. Being companies use so much sugar in their products, our government subsidizes sugar (as in, gives farmers financial incentives to grow it). Instead of giving subsidies to, say, organic vegetable farmers. The stuff we really should be eating more of!

As a teacher, I see a lot of sugar in our students’ school breakfasts and lunches. We have become so concerned with fat over the past decade (or so!) that we have loaded our food up with sugar to compensate (and have meanwhile turned to highly processed low-fat or no-fat products). We are now finding that fat wasn’t such a problem after all. It’s sugar that is doing the real damage, spiking our blood sugar and leaving us wanting more.

If you’re curious in learning more, I encourage you to go see the movie (I have yet to see it – but am hoping to soon!) or educate yourself more on the effects of sugar on the body. You can read any of the following articles or posts to start:

And although I believe it’s too late to officially sign-up, feel free to start your own 10-day challenge! You could even start with one day and work your way up from there. Even a little sugar reduction will go a long way!

As the challenge progresses, I’ll be posting what I have been eating every day, what challenges I encounter, and what resources I find helpful.

First off, what is sugar?

According to sugar has the following definitions:

1 a :  a sweet crystallizable material that consists wholly or essentially of sucrose, is colorless or white when pure tending to brown when less refined, is obtained commercially from sugarcane or sugar beet and less extensively from sorghum, maples, and palms, and is important as a source of dietary carbohydrate and as a sweetener and preservative of other foods
b :  any of various water-soluble compounds that vary widely in sweetness, include the monosaccharides and oligosaccharides, and typically are optically active
2 :  a unit (as a spoonful, cube, or lump) of sugar
3 :  a sugar bowl

Most of us know what sugar is. However, did you know that there are roughly 56 different names for sugar?! Craziness!

Day 1 Fed Up Challenge I Courtesy of Fed Up

Now not all sugar is created equal. The highly processed kind is obviously the worst for us (just like anything highly processed). Other sugars, such as raw honey, have antioxidants and other nutrients that do provide health benefits. And then there is fruit, which is about as close to natural sugar as you can get.

There are also types of food and drink that turn into sugars in our bodies (i.e.  carbohydrates). I’m not saying that carbohydrates are bad (especially not complex carbohydrates), but as a nation we eat a lot of refined carbohydrates (such as white flour) which turn into sugar very quickly in the body.

The Bottom Line

In this 10-day Challenge, I am vowing to not eat any refined or added sugars. I am allowing myself to eat whole fruit (although I typically only eat 1 piece a day for health reasons anyway). And although I typically eat a relatively gluten-free diet, I am also trying to restrict the number of refined “gluten-free” products I consume (most have sugar in them anyway!).

What did my first day of sugar-free look like? Read on…

day_1_fed_up_challenge I

Breakfast (7:30 a.m.): My new favorite smoothie. Chocolate Banana Protein Smoothie. OK, you’re thinking chocolate has sugar in it, right? Well this isn’t exactly chocolate. This smoothie contains cacoa nibs, which are pieces of raw cacao beans that have been roasted. When you make chocolate you combine these with cacao butter, sugar, milk, and other ingredients.

Lunch (11:15 a.m.): Spring mix lettuce with avocado, cojito cheese, and cucumbers. I had to top it with roasted tomato salsa that I had in the fridge as all the other salad dressings at work have sugar in them. Wasn’t the most appealing combination, but it worked!

Snack (3:00 p.m.): Small bag of original kettle chips and an unflavored black iced tea (with lemon) from local cafe.

Snack (6:00 p.m.): Handful plain roasted almonds.

Dinner (7:30 p.m.): Caprese salad with burrata cheese, tomatoes, basil, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Sauteed shrimp in butter, lemon, and garlic. Served over gluten-free linguine. This linguine has no added sugar, and is made locally in Wisconsin. It’s obviously a bit refined, but is better than some other options!

Biggest Obstacle of the Day

That would have to be condiments. Boy are they loaded with sugar! Salad dressings, mayonnaise, ketchup, barbeque sauce, the list goes on! I had to buy special salad dressing for work (usually I have small bottles of olive oil and vinegar, but I’m out). I bought the Annie’s Organic Olive Oil and Vinegar, which contains no sugar. Woo-hoo!

Alright, that’s it for today. See you tomorrow for Day 2 and #WIAW!

If you have any questions/comments for me, drop me a message below – I’d love to hear from you!


  1. Day 1 Fed up Challenge – We used pure honey today. Is it okay to add pure honey to coffee, peanut butter sandwiches, etc?

    • Nicholsonk says:

      Hi Max! Honey is technically still a sugar, however, I would say it is the least processed, closest to nature, and healthiest version. Especially if you are using raw honey. It’s also got great health benefits! According to the National Institutes of Health, honey is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. The Fed Up Challenge recommends eliminating all sugars, but of course, you’ve got to do what’s best for you. Check out this article for more info on honey: Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Katie – what about cheese???

    • Nicholsonk says:

      Hi Megan! Typically sugar is not included in the cheese making process. As far as processed American cheese and the likes, I’m not sure what additives are all in there (and thus I stay far far away!). I typically only eat high-quality organic cheese when possible. Does this help? Hope so! Let me know if you have any other questions, and thanks for stopping by!


  1. […] Woo hoo! Day 2 Fed Up Challenge down. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out my post from yesterday. […]

  2. […] made from cacao beans (or cocoa beans as more commonly referred). I explain more about these in Day 1. They have 11 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein per serving (and no […]

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