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Diet Reboot: Defeating Sugar

Words of advice from the creator of The Newport Beach Cleanse

Morning smoothies consist of fruit, veggies, protein and fiber.

"New Year, new me.” We’ve heard it before. But what does getting healthy in the New Year really mean? The January issue of Coast defines it as “seeking balance.” It means finding health, and feeling great.

In a mission to find balance, three staff members of Coast—artistic director Karen Kelso, managing editor Jenn Tanaka and social media writer Samantha Esquivel volunteered to reboot their diets by taking part in The Newport Beach Cleanse: two weeks of no sugar, no processed food, no dairy, no gluten, no soy  and no alcohol.

One thing we have learned so far: sugar is the enemy. Samantha Esquivel sat down with creator of the Newport Beach Cleanse creator Risa Groux, a holistic nutritonist,  to find out about what damage sugars can wreak on the body.


Q. Why is sugar so bad?

 A. Sugar is not good for us for many reasons, but here are a few: There is no nutritional value in sugar, no vitamins or minerals. Sugar depletes our good gut bacteria and feeds fungus and yeast in the gut. Sugar breaks down our immune system as it eats our white blood cells. Sugar makes us fat and tired.   


Q. How can we defeat sugar? 

A. Unfortunately sugar is found everywhere. That is why I recommend cooking your own food from scratch and eating more from the farm and less from the factory. It takes about 5-14 days to stop sugar cravings, but it is well worth the pain! Most people cannot eat sugar in moderation, so it is best to avoid it altogether. People don’t realize how much sugar they consume in a day. It is recommended not to exceed 25 grams of sugar per day, but people easily consumer twice that without noticing. 

A key reccomendation from Groux: "Don’t replace sugar with artificial sweeteners because they pose a greater health risk."

Q. How can we stay motivated to be healthy? 

A. Write down your health goals on a piece of paper and either share it with someone close to you or place it on your bathroom mirror or somewhere you can see it everyday. Read health books or blogs, watch health related movies and commit to an exercise routine with a partner so you have accountability. Keeping a food log really helps keep you on track with what you eat.   

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