Today marks the beginning of my first 30-day habit experiment. For the month of May, I’ll be removing added sugars from my diet. Going sugar-free. Yikes!
The apprehension and anxiety I was feeling when first deciding on this month’s challenge is subsiding. Kristian’s on board, and many of you have told me you’re going to take on this challenge with me, which makes it all feel more possible. So thank you.
What do you mean by sugar-free?
30 days without added sugar. By added sugar, I mean any sugar that’s not natural to the food itself. Apples are in, pancakes are out.
Why are you going sugar-free?
For a few reasons:
- To feel more energetic — sugar crashes are the worst.
- To strengthen my ability to make good food choices.
- To be able to enjoy sugar occasionally without going overboard — I think this is my top goal.
What about natural sweeteners, like honey and maple syrup?
I’m considering these to be added sugars, and I’m looking forward to the challenge of making snacks for my family using alternative sweeteners like dates, bananas and applesauce. I just tried these 5-Ingredient Banana Muffins by Pinch Of Yum over the weekend, and they’re surprisingly fluffy and yummy.
Are you also cutting out refined grains, like white bread, pasta, rice etc?
Yes and no. I’m not cutting them out completely, but I am going to opt for whole grain whenever possible.
Could I keep XYZ in my diet?
This experiment is all about balance and making your own decisions, about bringing awareness to what you’re eating without blame, shame or judgement. My third “parameter” for the month allows me to make my own choices. That huge jar of peanut butter we just bought? It has a little added sugar, and we decided we’d rather let the occasional gram slide by rather than spend $$ on another jar. Also, I’m keeping dark chocolate in the mix — not every day, but every once in a while. If I find it derails me or increases sugar cravings, I’ll let it go too.
What are you doing with all the food in your pantry and fridge that has sugar in it?
Anything that would expire before the 30 days are done, we’ll finish up. Waste not! Things that wouldn’t expire will hang out until we’re through the month.
What happens when the month is up?
We’ll reflect on what we liked and didn’t like about the experiment, and how we felt both physically and mentally without all the added sugars. Then we’ll likely let it back in — but hopefully in a more moderate way.
Is going sugar-free expensive?
I hope not. We’ve got a good thing going with our budget as it currently stands, and I’d like to keep our weekly grocery bill level or even reduce it a bit if possible. I’ll just have to keep an eye on the items that can get expensive like nuts and dried fruits.
What grab-and-go snacks are sugar-free?
If you’re wondering about this — you and me, we’re the same. I eat on a toddler schedule, pregnant or not, so snacks are very important to me. But so many of my go-to snacks were packed with added sugar: fruity yogurts, granola bars, homemade muffins. Below are a few low-prep, grab-and-go snack ideas to get you started:
- Whole fruit
- Dried fruits (check the ingredients, some are dusted in sugar)
- Nuts + nut butter
- Hummus + veggies or pita chips
- Crackers + cheese
- Hard boiled eggs (I can’t be the only one who likes these)
How can I keep up with your experiment?
So glad you asked! Follow Another Root on Facebook and Instagram where I’ll be sharing my progress and pitfalls throughout the month. And if you’re joining in, be sure to tag @anotherroot so I can follow your journey, too.
That’s it! If you have more questions, let me know in the comments. And so begins my sugar free experiment. Wish me luck!