We've all been there, almost the end of January and your so-called New Year's Resolutions are out the window. But, here come Nat & Dhani to the rescue with an podcast and challenge that will make you feel sweet & not sour. 

We're here to UNcomplicate the very complicated world of nutrition, fitness & life-hacking. And we like to think very very small. So we're launching a little series of 1-week challenges that are simple to understand, but create POWERFUL ripple effects in your life. 

So, we're starting with.... Sugar.

Yep, our brains love it and it's super tough resit. We get to the bottom of why you are programmed to crave sugar and how to work with your body and NOT against it. 

Listen to the episode and read Nat's post about the specifics of the #SugarSquad 



As Academy Staff writer, Ashley Dier, so beautifully articulated in her article a couple of weeks ago, Resolutions absolutely are Bullshit,.

For the most part they amount to what one professor of psychology at Carelton University refers to as "cultural procrastination" - How interesting. So at Academy we have come up with a plan to help you overcome the hurdles of change, we've come up the “I WILL” challenge, and this week’s podcast is all about it.

We know how you set your goals has everything to do with how successful you will be at achieving them.  Broken down, the path to success looks something like this:

  1. Set a specific goal: I want to “give up added sugar” for a week.
  2. Make sure that number one is realistic and specific.
  3. Figure out your why, this needs to be meaningful to you, because "I am tired of being sore” or “I am tired of being a slave to my cravings” or “I want to know that I can”.
  4. Break it down, small actionable steps to get you to your bigger goal is the key to success.
  5. Write it down, log your progress or take pictures, success and failure, it all counts. Buy a notebook, download an app whatever it takes to keep yourself accountable to you.
  6. Find a community of people to join you in your endeavour
  7. Know and accept that this will be hard at times and you will stumble, be kind to yourself, brush yourself off, have a laugh and let it go.
  8. Reward yourself for your small successes, no not with a Snickers bar, consider a about a Float session, massage with Erin, or cup of steaming 3 Cinnamon Tea by Pukka.

Here is the challenge:

Starting next week, Monday January 25th, we invite you to kick processed and added sugars to the curb, repeat after me: I WILL ditch all added sugars for one week.

Post your progress (or lack thereof) to Instagram tag us and use hashtags: @academyoflions @nathalieniddam #2016goals #sugarsquad #academyoflions

First prize will go to the best Instagram post from anyone who successfully completed the challenge- i.e.  avoided added/processed sugars for a whole week. Be creative, funny and have fun with it - our staff will pick the most engaging post. 

Second prize will go to the best post about FAILING the challenge.  it doesn’t mean you failed completely but let’s just say you were doing just fine and then mysteriously found yourself with a mouthful of Jelly Belly’s (no idea how they got there) take a photo and post it. This is all about creating a conversation around the challenges of change and how we can learn together as a community. 

Be creative, have fun, talk to me, talk to each other, send me your questions and look for recipes on Instagram using the same hashtags which I will post starting Monday morning.

A few tips to help you along:

  1. Berries are ok, but only fresh or frozen, dried fruit is out, even dried berries
  2. If you must sweeten something look for Xylitol (Wood Xylitol not corn derived) or Luo Han Guo (aka Monk Fruit Sweetener) or Lucuma , these all add sweetness without any of the negative effects of sugar, Stevia is ok too but I find that the others taste better.
  3. Coffee is ok but not too much, you know the rules, cream is cool, approved sweeteners are fine, anything else, not so much.
  4. Booze is not your friend but if you must, a vodka with soda and lime (one) is ok but only if you must.
  5. Avoid all condiments, prepared sauces, fast food, almost anything out of a box or a bag.
  6. Need a treat? Go back a few newsletters and dig up the ice cream recipe I posted - trust me, it is delicious and as long as you don’t have a problem with eggs it is the bomb…you may never go back to Haagen Dazs.
  7. If you know you are a sugar addict and you cannot imagine your life without it, then you may want to buy some L- Glutamine a nifty amino acid powder that, when stirred into water (1 tsp) can literally stop sugar cravings in their tracks plus it tastes sweet.
  8. Eat more good fats like avocados, coconut milk, coconut oil, nut butters, grass fed butter, ghee, fat helps to make your brain happy and may help you feel more satiated.
  9. Eat enough protein - same as fat - stay fuller longer.
  10. Nutrient density is key so that you are well nourished, stay away from the empty carbs, instead:  sweet potatoes, winter squashes, some rice is ok, quinoa is fine.

That’s it, just one more thing: when you post to Instagram also let us know if you will be sticking with this or not after the week is up, see you at the gym and on Instagram!