Week 1 of the #StrikeSugarChallenge has come and gone and I have to say I can’t believe the overwhelming interest there has been, not just in North America, but all over the world. Folks are participating from as far away as South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, England, France and Germany as well as Canada and the United States. It seems striking sugar matters to you! This is so exciting!!! Your interest in Striking Sugar from your diet falls in line with health and wellness goals many of you have, including eating more fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly, eating less processed foods and cooking more at home (Source: Mintel, January 2014). You have asked for ways to accomplish these targets and the Strike Sugar Challenge is helping.

As I visited my local market purchasing greens, salad vegetables, grass fed meats and other healthy goods in preparation for the challenge, I got a few stares from people who no doubt wondered what I was going to do with all those greens – there were a lot of greens – some gorgeous red and green speckled lettuces, dandelion greens, Asian turnips and more. Between myself, Chelsea and Kelsey we eat at least 5 heads of kale per week! Between my garden, which is coming in now and local farm markets, I have no trouble sourcing fresh, clean foods. Parsley, basil and other herbs are literally exploding out of the earth in my garden thanks to the frequent rainfall and long days of sunshine. And a special thank you to my friend Pia’s horses, Patty and Prissy, who contributed their well composted fertilizer too!

The first week of Striking Sugar is one filled with change, good change and some difficulties, to be honest. You are learning new habits and breaking old ones. Change is painful but gives birth to something beautiful and new. Lots of you are doing the challenge with your entire family. I love that! Together we are choosing a new way of eating that has already made changes, even if you can’t see them.

One of these changes is that your immune system begins to function more fully. When you eat sugar, even just a teaspoon, your immune system is depressed for three hours afterwards. Imagine what is happening inside you now that you are eating NO sugar! The brakes are off and your immune system is raring to go. In your gut, sugar, the stuff you used to eat (doesn’t it feel great to say that?), feeds bad bacteria causing all kinds of trouble including candida or yeast. No sugar, no yeast. No bloat, no trouble. It’s magical how quickly things can turn around with your health once you stop the sugar madness.

Now I know some of you were hesitant to commit to the challenge because there were holidays you wished to celebrate – for Canadians it was July 1st and for Americans, July 4th. These are big celebrations with loads of traditional foods and beverages. It may have been daunting to even consider striking sugar when you knew there was going to be a lot of sweet celebrating going on.

Don’t hesitate any longer though. Now is the ideal time to start. All you need is the program and you are off. The #StrikeSugarChallenge is a four week health program you can choose to do any time of the year, with our without your family. I happen to be doing the challenge now along with everyone who has joined but you can choose to do it any time suitable to you. It is a complete unit of time fully programmed with food, menus, recipes and advice so once you have it, it’s yours for a lifetime and you can repeat it every year, once, twice or as often as you like.

Don’t forget to listen to our Strike Sugar Check-In Videos. The first of these will be posted shortly and I have to say, I had a blast filming with my daughter and amazing naturopathic doctor, Rachel. They offer answers and advice to your questions in a loving and genuine manner.

I am feeling fantastic and I hope you are too. I am with you all the way. Here comes Week #2 of the #StrikeSugarChallenge.

Love and health, Tosca