Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
SUBSCRIBE
By Mika Brzezinski

It’s been about two weeks since I’ve given up added sugar, something I’ve struggled with for decades. It’s been really difficult, but I can already feel the difference in my energy and productivity levels!

While I miss my Snickers, Double Bubble and Blow Pops (just to name a few), I’ve been turning to my favorite smoothie to help satisfy my sweet tooth.

One of the best parts about this smoothie, which I’ve been drinking for years, is it has only two ingredients: mango and collard greens. No ice, no water. Just put the collard greens into a blender (I use a Vitamix) and add mango until you get the desired sweetness. That’s it!

At first, it tastes a little weird. But it’s filling, gives me energy and makes my skin glow.

Mika Brzezinski, Know Your Value founder and "Morning Joe" co-host, says her addiction to sugar has affected her productivity.Miller Hawkins

I recently told Dr. Madelyn Fernstrom, NBC News’ Health and Diet editor, about my smoothie and no added-sugar challenge, and she called my concoction a “nutritional powerhouse.”

“Mangos are full of fiber, vitamins and minerals and can help satisfy a sweet tooth. Fruit is nature’s candy,” she told me. “And as a dark leafy green, collard greens are also a good source of vitamins plus fiber. Skipping the add-ins (like proteins and fats) keep this a simple boost of fruits and vegetables that most of us don’t get enough of.”

I’ve even gotten Joe drinking these smoothies too — although he rarely finishes his!

I know this journey won’t be easy, but I’m committed to it. In fact, I recently asked the Know Your Value community about tips and tricks you use to help combat your sugar cravings. The response was great. Here’s a few I loved:

Sami Lea makes a smoothie with one scoop Greens Vibrance, two scoops collagen peptides, one tablespoon organic raw apple cider vinegar, half a banana, half a cup of frozen blueberries, one-fourth cup frozen raspberries, one tablespoon of raw ginger, one tablespoon raw turmeric, and one cup of water. She says, “This smoothie recipe makes enough for a quick and hearty on-the-go breakfast for my husband and I each morning. It begins our day with a healthy dose of protein, fruits and veggies, while sneaking in anti-inflammatory and digestion-friendly ingredients (which are particularly great for me right now as I am pregnant)”.

Daniela Pierre-Bravo, who is the co-author of my new book, “Earn It,” makes a green juice with kale, green apple, parsley, ginger and celery. It’s “so helpful with my sugar cravings, helps with digestion and is a great energy booster,” she says.

Kim Ripley says she makes a protein shake with Arbonne’s Chai protein powder, spinach, Dandy Blend, flax milk and cloves. “Delicious and so good for you,” she says.

Conchita Royster-Smith makes her smoothie with frozen acai, frozen peaches, fresh kale or spinach and blueberries.

Terry Cleveland uses this trick: “Love yogurt but hate the sugar content? I buy kids yogurt. Smaller helpings and lower sugar. All are not created equal, so check the label.”

Sherry Carver says, “I switched to honey in my tea, I stopped the bread habit, I drink water first when I feel hungry. I got my blood work back and realized I have the power to live to 100 if I’m aware of what I’m eating …”