Day 14

Today is all about numbers. We are constantly examining the numbers that quantify our food. The number of calories. The number of pieces in one serving. The milligrams of sodium. The number of carbs. Well I’m only concerned with one number: grams of sugar.

Take a look at the following meal plan.


  • coffee with a splash of non-fat milk
  • 1 blueberry flavored non-fat Chobani yogurt


  • 1 cranberry almond + antioxidants KIND bar


  • Spinach salad with chicken, feta, strawberries, and pecans
  • 2 tbs Lite Raspberry & Walnut Vinaigrette dressingStarbucks-coffee-cup

To Drink:

  • 1 Tall Caffè Latte from Starbucks with Non-Fat Milk


  • whole grain pasta
  • light-smart-traditional-pasta-sauce1/2 cup of Prego Smart Light pasta sauce


  • one 80-calorie Special K Divine Fudge Brownie 169300

Now, if you ask me, this sounds like the meal plan of a young woman on a diet. Her meals are all pretty small, and sound fairly healthy. She’s choosing all non-fat milk, eating yogurt, a gluten-free granola bar that’s packed with antioxidants, she’s got her vegetables, having whole-grains for dinner and light pasta sauce, and her dessert is only 80 calories. Sounds like a smart woman.

In fact, all of her meals combined today only cost her 1,380 calories.

For women who are trying to lose weight, this falls right in the range of the 1,000 – 1,600 calorie daily allowance. However, this number is much lower than the 2,000 calorie diet that The National Institues of Health recommends, who also says that the least amount of calories consumed should be 1,600, and that’s by a sedentary woman ages 51 and older. It’s hard to say how many calories are too much or too little since body types and sizes differ, but the bottom line is, 1,380 calories is not a lot for a woman in one day – In fact, it sounds like this woman would probably lose weight.

It really doesn’t seem like this woman had that much to eat, though. If I were her, I would have probably been pretty hungry at multiple times throughout the day.

So, she didn’t eat a lot, and would probably lose weight based on the calories she consumed.

The problem is, this woman consumed at least 64 grams of sugar.

Guys. That’s 16 teaspoons of sugar. That’s about 14 oreos. or 42 swedish fish. or 27 Hershey’s Kisses.

it all really starts to stack up.

The American Heart Association allows 6 – 9 teaspoons a day.

Our example woman has eaten about double the allotted amount in a day. Now eat like that for a week. Then a month. See where I’m going?

Now that was for someone who seemed to be “dieting.” Let’s think about what someone who’s not as calorie conscious might eat. Let’s take a teenage boy. (Don’t mean to discriminate, I just don’t know too many teenage boys who eat Chobani and salad.)

Lets say for breakfast they have a big bowl of Golden Grahams and a glass of orange juice.hero_bacon-mc-double

For lunch, maybe they pop into McDonalds because their metabolisms are ridiculous at this age and the golden arches don’t scare them one bit. They get a bacon McDouble, fries, and a Sprite. Extra ketchup.

When they get home from school, they’re real hungry, so they grab a pack of Lance peanut butter snack crackers. Ahh looks like Mom picked up the new whole grain kind…maybe this will counteract the burger they ate for lunch? Gonna need a tall glass of milk tohome-style-meatloaf wash those crackers down.

41483001023-Skim-Milk-Half-GalYou and your siblings are on a tight sports practice schedule, so mom has to whip up something quick for dinner: looks like it’s meatloaf, mashed potatoes, gravy, and corn. Plus more milk.

All late night snacks aside, this boy has consumed at least 173 grams of sugar.

That’s a little over 43 teaspoons of sugar. That is WELL over five times your daily allowance.

That’s 37 oreos. That’s one more than a full package of oreos.

That’s 6.4 Snickers bars.

Thats 74 Hershey’s kisses.

If you’re wondering where most of the sugar in this boy’s diet came from, let me tell you, the soda was the biggest culprit by a mile. A regular, 12-oz can of coke is 39 grams of sugar. That’s 9.75 teaspoons. One can of coke, and you’ve already maxed out your daily allowance for sugar. You get a large soda with your value meal? You’re done for.

And where did the the sugar come from for our “healthy woman?” The non-fat milk, the Chobani yogurt, the granola bar, the salad dressing, the pasta, the Prego sauce, all of the processed foods. 

I’m gonna give you a great Day 14 meal plan, and do some math for you at the end, Cheers!

DRINK 8 oz. of water when you wake up


  • 8 oz. water
  • 2 eggs
  • half an avocado


  • An apple
  • 2 tbs of almond butter

DRINK 16 oz. of water before lunch


  • Chicken breast
  • Sautéd spinach and onions
  • steamed baby carrots sprinkled with cinnamon

-if you’re still hungry at all throughout the day, have some red pepper slices, or a handful of raw almonds, walnuts, or pecans


  • 8 oz. water
  • pesto spaghetti squash
  • oven roasted tomatoes
  • pine nuts

8 oz. of water before bed

All of these meals together had 25.4 grams of sugar.

That’s 6.35 teaspoons.

But where did the sugar come from?

  • half avocado = 0.6 grams
  • pink lady apple = 14 grams
  • 2 tbs almond butter = 3 grams
  • 1/3 c. white onion = 2 grams
  • baby carrots = 0.5 grams
  • 1 cup spaghetti squash = 2.8 grams
  • roasted tomatoes = 2.5 grams

And the sugar that you’re eating in these meals? It’s natural sugar, the kind found in whole fruits and vegetables that our bodies need for energy, not the refined stuff that we get out of the can or box.

Sometimes, when you can’t figure out the costs and benefits of something, you need to break it down into the raw numbers – it’s a good way to compare quantities and really understand exactly what you’re paying for.



3 thoughts on “Day 14

  1. Great info but I have a problem: I hate spaghetti squash, almond butter, pesto, pine nuts, onions, bell peppers, avocados, and spinach. As a matter of fact, the only veggies I can eat are carrots, corn, green beans, tomatoes, beets, and broccoli. Everything else makes me gag, literally. No salad dressings (vinegar is nasty), no feta cheese, no “mixed greens”, no swiss chard or fennel, arrugula..nope, nope nope. Help?


    • Hey Tena!
      Unfortunately, corn and green beans aren’t paleo – that being said, I don’t think green beans will kill ya. If you are really trying to be paleo, you really need to stay away from corn. Not only is corn a grain (there’s a lot of debate about whether it’s a grain or vegetable) it is also one of the most genetically engineered crops (about 88% of corn has GMOs in the US). I hope you like fruits, because you can eat as much fruit as you want! I make smoothies almost every day, you could just not include the spinach! Also, since you mentioned you like tomatoes, paleos love to use tomatoes as hamburger buns! How do you feel about butternut squash, yams, or cauliflower? These are all very satisfying and filling paleo foods that you can do a lot with. Also, since you don’t like spinach, I have a great broccoli salad recipe that you should check out:
      It’s got broccoli, carrots, apple, walnuts, and dried cranberries!!
      Hope this helped a little!

      Liked by 1 person

      • And I almost forgot, I’m not sure if you just don’t like almond butter specifically, but you can also buy cashew butter or sun butter – both are great peanut butter substitutes.

        Liked by 1 person

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