No Sugar Challenge - Week 1

I've decided that while I'm ruminating over other dietary changes, we'll start with the ones I know we need to do. Up first, sugar. We only eat natural sugars around here - sucanat, honey, maple syrup and some molasses - but even so I've gotten pretty lax about quantity. I also love to bake and have a major sweet tooth so you'll often find cookies and muffins around the house. That's not bad in moderation but it had slowly crept up until it was too much. This isn't a resolution, but a challenge for January specifically. Once I break some habits, I'll loosen up a bit. January happens to be conveniently located between the holidays and my birthday so I think it will work out well.

The challenge:
  • No outside hfcs or white sugar at all. No sugary snacks or desserts except fruit. And for me, no adding sweeteners to things (tea, oatmeal, etc.) I'm currently out of honey so I won't buy more until February. This challenge is for me although the kids are mostly along for the ride since if I'm not buying it or making it, I'm not sure where they will get it. I will put maple syrup on their pancakes/oatmeal still, just not mine.
  • Cheats #1 - I have 1/2 cup sucanat to play with for those odd times where I need to add 1/2 teaspoon to start yeast or 1 Tablespoon into a big batch of spaghetti sauce. 
  • Cheat #2 - I used sucanat (normally honey but I'm out) to make bread but since I'm cutting down my bread intake at lunch, those 5 loaves should last us all month. If they don't, I'll make more but won't eat any.
  • Cheat #3 - My anniversary is January 13th. If Craig happens to buy me a dessert, I won't be rude and reject it. But if he doesn't, then I'll thank him for being considerate of my sugar challenge - win/win for the husband!
Day 1 - Did fine until naptime which is not surprising because that is normally when I would grab a treat or a piece of chocolate. I ate a clementine and a handful of nuts which were tastey but not what my body wanted. I stood firm though - I can't give in on Day 1! After the kids went to bed was rough too because some of the Christmas treats are still around (Craig will take them to work later on) but a cup of tea with raw milk helped and I survived!

Day 2 - Oops. Put maple syrup on my pancakes and didn't even think about it until I was putting the jug away. At least it wasn't willful sugaring? My resolve is strong but my memory is weak.

Day 3 - Remembered to leave the sucanat out of our baked oatmeal. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup on top and 1/2 cup mixed in (9x13) but I have always left off the topping and reduced the mixed in amount to ~1/4 cup. This time I left it all out and it still tasted really good so that is now a permanent change. Fruit for afternoon snacks is something I've warmed up to quickly but evenings - those are rough.

Day 4 - Left the sugar out of the brown rice pudding and didn't even miss it. I think the creaminess mixed with vanilla and cinnamon just tricked me into thinking I've having sugar. Also, we should have rice pudding for breakfast more often, we all love it but I never remember to make it.

Day 5 - Snowed in all day with Craig stuck at work for 24 hrs. We had a fun day of preschool but I forgot that our treat was date/nute "snowballs." I used coconut flakes instead of powdered sugar for the outer coating which the kids liked. Although I never really declared dried fruit to be forbidden, these are a sweet snack and I should have refrained but Jonah took an extra 1.5 half to fall asleep without his daddy and I needed a bit of chocolate so I caved. :-(

Day 6 - Used 1 Tablespoon of sucanat for Naan (as allowed in Cheat #1) but left the sugar out of the curry recipe and it wasn't missed. But now it's 9:30 pm, Craig is out shoveling (aka - not around to distract me) and my body wants sugar! Luckily, we really don't have anything for me to eat. I think I'll go make a cup of tea.

First week results - So far I've used 1T (Naan) +1/4 t (carmelized onions for french onion soup) Sucanat to cook with. Not bad. I consider both of those to be good choices for splurging. 1/4 teaspoon to make a large batch of grass fed beef broth based french onion soup of which Jonah at 4 bowls - worth it! I've also messed up twice already which is kinda lame of me.  Pressing on though, tomorrow's another day with no mistakes in it!


  1. Can you share your rice pudding and baked oatmeal recipes?

  2. Sure, let me track them down. After several years of trying I think I've finally gotten us out of the cold cereal habit and into all real food breakfasts - it helps that I know Lucy will be wanting a big snack within an hour if I don't give her protein so it isn't worth it to try and skimp.