*Disclaimer: This blog post is written in partnership with the Canadian Sugar Institute and its team of Registered Dietitians. The author has received compensation for her time and content developed for this post. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and are not influenced by the Canadian Sugar Institute.
A few weeks ago I took part in The Sweet Spot Workshop with Chef Claire Tansey hosted by the Canadian Sugar Institute. It inspired me to take on the #SweetSpotChallenge myself.
I developed a one-day menu based on Health Canada’s new guidelines on sugar consumption which has been set to 100g of sugar per day based on a 2000 calorie diet. I also shared my meals in snacks in my Instagram stories as a What I eat in a day. You can find it in the highlight named #SweetSpot.
I said it in my blog post about my experience at the #SweetSpotWorkshop and I will say it again now. The new %DV for sugar is based on the consumption of 2000 calorie per day, of which 100g would come from sugar. Some people need less than 2000 calories per day. Others need a lot more and that is completely okay! Overall, Health Canada’s guidelines state that a diet consisting of 20% of sugars is consistent with a healthy eating pattern.
Moreover, this menu is just a sample of what I eat on a given day. My appetite fluctuates and I might eat more on some days, less on some others, eat out for a whole day, and make homemade meals all day for the other. Any way of feeding yourself is valid, as long as you honour your body!
What’s on the menu?
I wanted to make sure this one-day menu was realistic. So, I included some homemade meals and snacks, but also some processed foods and even candy! Yes, dietitians can love M&M’s!
Before we get started, I also to put a disclaimer here that I will present nutrition facts such as the number of calories and total sugars included in these meals and snacks for analysis purposes. I used the Canadian Nutrient File to determine the nutritional values of the food items presented in the following menu.
Breakfast – Egg on toast, grapes and chai tea
When I wake up in the morning, I am usually not hungry at all or starving – there is no in between. That morning, I was the latter. I had a slice of whole wheat toast topped with 1 tbsp of cream cheese, a scrambled egg, and sprinkled some everything bagel seasoning on it. I had this with 3/4 cup of green grapes and a chai tea with milk and sweetened with 1/2 tbsp of honey.
363 calories | 31g of total sugars
Morning snack – Double Chocolate Zucchini Cookie
I love zucchini bread, especially when it’s double chocolate zucchini bread. Zucchini makes it so moist (yes, I said it) and fudgy! I wanted to make this classic in cookie form for easier transportation. I had one of these cookies as a morning snack. Click here for the full recipe.
193 calories | 12 g of total sugars
This sandwich is an amazing way to re-use leftover grilled or roasted vegetables! The hummus, cheese and ciabatta bread make this sandwich a satisfying and filling lunch. Find the full recipe here on Monday, May 10.
387 calories | 6g of total sugars
Afternoon snack – Cheese, crackers and Asian pear slices
This snack is a classic combo for me. I am all about that sweet and salty life! Plus, with this snack, I got some protein from the cheese and carbohydrates (or “carbs”) and fibre from the crackers and the Asian pear slices. The combination of protein and carbs makes you feel satiated for a long time.
To be exact, this snack is composed of:
- 2 whole-wheat crackers
- 1/4 cup cheddar cheese
- 1/2 Asian pear
212 calories | 6 g of total sugars
Dinner – Roasted Chicken and Potatoes, served with a Caesar salad
Dinner can be busy! In those times, pan meals really are the best. I made some roasted chicken with my creamy honey dijon marinade (recipe will be posted on Wednesday, May 12) and my garlic & parmesan potatoes (recipe will be posted on Friday, May 14). I served it with a Caesar salad – and yes, I used store-bought dressing and added croutons to it!
To be exact, this meal was composed of:
- 1 roasted chicken thigh
- 1/2 cup of roasted potatoes
- 1 cup of romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1/8 cup of croutons
- 1 tbsp parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp of Caesar dressing
490 calories | 9 g of total sugars
Evening snack- Popcorn with almond M&M’s and herbal tea
Popcorn is a must-have in my house as my partner and I love movie nights. Am I the only one who adds M&M’s to her popcorn? Please don’t tell me I’m the only one! If you haven’t tried it before, you should give it a shot. It’s like a cool and fun movie trail mix. Precisely, I added 1/4 cup of M&M’s to 1 1/2 of microwaved popcorn. After that, I had a cup of herbal tea sweetened with honey, to relax after this long day!
406 calories | 34g of total sugars
Let’s break it down
Here’s what my day looked like in terms of calories and total sugars intake:
|Meals||Calories (kcal)||Total sugars (g)|
|Total||2053 calories||98 g total sugars|
As someone who doesn’t count her calories and doesn’t monitor her macronutrients, I was surprised to see how little total sugars I consumed. This really goes to show that sugar isn’t an enemy and that you can have m&m’s, a chocolate chip cookie made with white sugar, and you can add honey to your tea without feeling any guilt.