A Sugar Free January is a great way to reset after the holidays!
Christmas is my favorite holiday. It holds so much nostalgia for me.
But, to be honest, I’m usually happy after it’s all over. Don’t get me wrong: it’s super awesome to have time off to spend with family. But I’m a person that thrives on routine. So it feels good to get back to day-to-day life.
Over the holidays I definitely don’t restrict myself food-wise. I try to make good choices, but ultimately I eat what I want. And I definitely consume more sugar than I usually do. Everyone is different when it comes to how food makes them feel, but I can feel a difference when I eat too much sugar. I just don’t feel as good.
So when I saw Dana of Minimalist Baker and Lindsay of Pinch of Yum talk about doing a Sugar Free January, I thought it would be an awesome way to kickstart the new year!
What Are the Rules for a Sugar Free January?
I really like Lindsay’s take on the rules here. She suggests being committed, but not so strict that you beat yourself up if you make a mistake. Give yourself the grace to make a mistake, but get right back into the challenge afterwards.
So my personal ground rules are:
- Cut out all sugar that doesn’t come in a whole food form (AKA white sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, sucanat, stevia, etc.). Basically, only eat things that are naturally sweet such as fruit. Dried fruit is also out since the sugar is more concentrated than what you would naturally get from eating a whole apple or a bunch of grapes.
- The challenge starts on January 2nd and ends on February 1st.
If you want to join in, you can totally make your own rules! For example, you may want to cut out only the super processed forms of sugar such as white sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, etc. Even if you still consume honey or maple syrup you’ll probably be eating a lot healthier since you’ll have to cook the majority of the food yourself (instead of buying prepackaged cookies, for example). Or you could cut out half of the sugar in every recipe you make. Or, if you already eat a really low sugar diet, you might want to try cutting out the more sugary fruits such as bananas for 30 days. Make this challenge your own!
A word of warning: This is not for the faint of heart. If you’re going super strict and cutting out honey, maple syrup, and dried fruit, you might have sugar withdrawals. I know I did back when I did my Whole30. But it was so worth it since it showed me how addicted to sugar I was and how it’s in EVERYTHING. Just be prepared for it to be HARD for the first week. It gets better, I promise!
As an added challenge, I’m also going to cut out grains 4 days of the week during January. Why 4 days? Reuben doesn’t enjoy a grain-free diet, so I feel like I need to throw an indulgence meal into the mix during the work week. Weekends are pretty unpredictable, so I don’t want to set myself up for failure. So 4 days sounds about right to me.
I can post a list of the meals I’m planning to make if that would be helpful to you guys.
If you’re interested in participating in a Sugar Free January or if you have any questions, make sure to leave me a comment!
You can do this. You’re stronger than you know.
PS: Here are some sugar free recipes here on Buttered Side Up:
- Savory Dutch Baby Puff Pancake
- Roasted Veggie Breakfast Bowls
- Savory Waffles
- Creamy Roasted Garlic Mushroom Soup
- One-Pot Sausage and Veggie Rice
- How to Cook a Roast Beef Dinner
- Caramelized Onion, Bacon, and Arugula Mac & Cheese
- Stuffed Pepper Casserole
- Salmon En Papillote
- Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Soup
- Chicken and Biscuit Pot Pie
- Creamy Potato and Bacon Soup
- Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- Creamy Leek, Bacon, and Asparagus Tagliatelle
- Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese from Scratch
- Pizza Stuffed Mushrooms
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Sunday 31st of December 2017
YAY! So glad to see you joining in on the Sugar Free January action Erica! I love your blog, and a low sugar family lifestyle is what we are all about! So happy to see so many of my favourite bloggers taking part in this. We first gave up sugar almost 3 years ago and haven't looked back. We are low sugar 80% of the time, relax a little on weekends and holidays, and have found our tastebuds have changed more and more the longer we are off sugar so that we now crave sugar less and shop-bought or even homemade sugary treats are often not particularly appealing as they taste far far too sweet! We naturally end up cooking more and enjoying real food more. So take heart, the longer you stick with it, the easier it gets! :)
Monday 1st of January 2018
I'm all about a low sugar lifestyle as well! Education is really helpful. I used to feed Helen dried fruit thinking it was a healthy snack. Then I realized how much sugar is concentrated in dried fruit! Definitely not as bad as candy, but still not the best choice. And I'm totally with you on the 80/20 rule. Weekends are just so hard to stay completely healthy, especially when you're eating at someone else's house. :) YES - I'm more sensitive to sugar now that I've been low sugar for about 6 months. I've always disliked super sugary desserts, and now they're almost unbearable. Haha!
Thursday 28th of December 2017
Sounds like a great plan! I'm going to,give it a whirl. Seeing your meal plans would be very helpful. Thanks for the great idea!
Thursday 28th of December 2017
Hooray! So glad you'll be joining me, Jill! I'll have to do a post about my meal plan. :)