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Healthy Recipes

The 7-day meal plan to help kick your sugar habit

Stubborn sweet tooth? Relieve some of your dependency on sugar by following this week-long plan. There's a printable PDF you can use too!
By Desiree Nielsen, RD
Low sugar diet Photo, Roberto Caruso.

This week-long low sugar diet aims to keep your energy levels high and your mood regulated by balancing blood sugar with the right combination of foods at each meal and naturally sweet foods that let you indulge in a healthy way. After the first few days, your sugar cravings should reduce, and by the end of the week, they’ll be much lower.

Many of these dishes are filled with leafy green vegetables, and every meal has protein, which diminishes cravings by helping keep blood sugar constant. We’ve cut out almost all added sugar, as well as hyper-processed starchy foods, like bread, bagels and crackers, which are quickly digested and contribute to sugar cravings.

Try to eat something every 3 to 4 hours to keep your blood sugar levels relatively stable and stave off cravings. If you're used to eating a lot of sugar, it may have dulled your taste buds to the flavours of natural foods. Don’t worry — just as you learned to love all that extra sugar, you can learn to unlove it. You may even find you start to dislike overly sweetened foods.


Related: Going Paleo? Here’s the truth about the latest fad diets


After the week is over, carry your healthy habits forward by following the 80:20 rule. This means making 80 percent of what you eat similar to this plan, and the other 20 percent can include sweet treats like dark chocolate.

Customize it This meal plan is intended for the average woman with a sedentary job who is working out 3 to 4 times per week. If you do endurance training, add in larger servings of whole-grain foods like sprouted-grain breads, whole wheat pasta, brown rice and quinoa. If the plan feels like too much food, simply cut portion size.

MONDAY
Breakfast
2 poached eggs over a bed of wilted spinach (start with about 6 cups fresh) sautéed with olive oil, salt and fresh pepper. Serve with one piece of sprouted-grain toast spread with a little bit of butter.

Snack 1 apple with 1/4 cup raw almonds.

Lunch 1 cup Mexican lentil soup with 3 hard rye crackers spread with olive tapenade and topped with 1/4 cup crumbled feta.

Snack 1/2 cup golden hummus with 1 cup sliced veggies.

This is an easy way to add nutrients to a dip. Start with a container of store-bought hummus, then give it a healthy glow with vibrant sweet potato. Golden hummus.

Dinner
Smoky white-bean chili.

Smoky white-bean chili Smoky white-bean chili.

TUESDAY Breakfast Green smoothie.

Green smoothie, cucumber, glass Photo, Masterfile.

Snack 1 apple, spread with 2 tbsp natural, unsweetened peanut butter.

Lunch Leftover chili served with carrot sticks. Side: 2 slices aged white cheddar and 2 hard rye crackers (like Ryvita) and a pear.

Dinner Grilled chicken with cauliflower-garlic sauté.

WEDNESDAY
Breakfast Avocado toast: Top two slices of toasted sprouted-grain bread with 1/4 ripe avocado each. Top with salt, fresh pepper and some pumpkin seeds for crunch.

Snack 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with 1/4 chopped walnuts and 1 diced date.

Lunch Leftover grilled chicken with cauliflower-garlic sauté.

A flavourful side dish with this vitamin-rich cruciferous vegetable. Cook to the preferred tenderness-crispness. Cauliflower-garlic sauté.

Snack 1/3 cup trail mix with pecans, unsweetened dried tart cherries, pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs and flaked unsweetened coconut.

Dinner Spring tofu scramble with a green salad on the side.

THURSDAY Breakfast 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt in a parfait, layered with 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, 1 cup thawed or fresh blueberries, 1 tbsp dried tart cherries, 1 tbsp hemp hearts and sprinkled with cinnamon and cardamom.

Snack 1 pear with 1/4 cup raw almonds.

Lunch 1 cup Mexican lentil soup with 3 hard rye crackers spread with olive tapenade and topped with 1/4 cup crumbled feta.

vegetarian, vegan, soup, appetizer, lentil Mexican lentil soup.

Snack 1/2 cup crispy madras chickpeas.

Crispy-madras-chickpeas-0-l Crispy madras chickpeas.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Dinner "Fish and Chips": Seared halibut with cilantro salsa and rosemary sweet potatoes.

Seared halibut with tomato salsa recipePhoto by Roberto Caruso Seared halibut with tomato salsa.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

FRIDAY Breakfast Green smoothie.

Snack 1/2 cup organic cottage cheese topped with 1/2 cup thawed blueberries and 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds.

Lunch Green goodness basil-pesto salad with 1/2 can wild salmon or light tuna.

pesto and bibb lettuce salad Green goddess basil pesto salad.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Snack 1 apple spread with 2 tbsp natural, unsweetened peanut butter.

Dinner Beef barley soup.

Beef barley soup recipe Photo by Roberto Caruso Beef barley soup.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

SATURDAY Breakfast poached eggs over a bed of wilted spinach (start with about 6 cups fresh), sautéed with olive oil, salt and fresh pepper and served with 1 piece of sprouted-grain toast spread with a little bit of butter.

Snack 1 apple.

Lunch 1/2 cup golden hummus, 4 hard rye crackers, 2 slices aged white cheddar, 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes and 1/2 cup sliced bell peppers.

Snack 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with 1/4 chopped walnuts and 1 diced date.

Dinner
Spring tofu scramble with a green salad on the side.

SUNDAY Breakfast Gluten-free buckwheat pancakes Top with tropical fruit purée: Blend 1/2 banana with 1/2 cup mango and 1 tsp grated ginger, then thin with coconut milk to desired texture. Top with shaved unsweetened coconut.

Gluten-free-buckwheat-pancakes-0-l Gluten-free buckwheat pancakes.
Photo, Michael Alberstat.

Snack 1/2 cup organic cottage cheese topped with 1/2 cup thawed blueberries and 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds.

Lunch
Apple and walnut super-crunch salad.

Apple and walnut super-crunch salad Photo, Roberto Caruso. Apple & walnut super-crunch salad.
Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Snack 1/2 cup crispy madras chickpeas.

Dinner
Grilled side of salmon, served with roasted vegetables and brown rice.

grilled salmon recipe Grilled side of salmon.

To download a printable PDF of the full meal plan click here.

This meal plan was compiled by registered dietician Desiree Nielsen using Chatelaine recipes. 

Looking for health breakfast ideas? Try these recipes:

Healthy breakfast (rethink July 2015)

Overnight Chia Oatmeal

Get the Overnight Chia Oatmeal recipe. Photo, Erik Putz.

Overnight Chia OatmealOvernight Chia Oatmeal

Quick quinoa porridge

Get the quick quinoa porridge recipe. Photo, George Whiteside.

The 7-day meal plan to help kick your sugar habitQuick quinoa porridge
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Fresh-vegetable omelette with lentils

Get the fresh vegetable omelette with lentils recipe. Photo, John Cullen.

The 7-day meal plan to help kick your sugar habitVegetable omelette with lentils

The best breakfast sandwich

Get the best-ever breakfast sandwich recipe. Photo, Roberto Caruso.

The 7-day meal plan to help kick your sugar habitBest-ever breakfast sandwich

Yogurt parfait with toasted muesli

Get the toasted muesli fruit and yogurt parfait recipe. Photo, Erik Putz.

Toasted muesli fruit and yogurt parfaitYogurt parfait with toasted muesli
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Homemade instant oatmeal

Get the homemade apple-cinnamon instant oatmeal recipe. Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Homemade apple cinnamon instant oatmeal recipeHomemade instant oatmeal

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