Updated: Oct 21, 2018
I've noticed lately that my family has been eating more sweets over time. Nothing totally out of control or obsessive, but nonetheless we seem to be reaching for sweet things more often, such as sweet homemade baked goods and snacks. I don't think sugar is the root of all evil (been there, done that), but I do think that moderation is key to lifelong health. With sweets-heavy Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas just around the corner, I decided to take a Sugar Fast for the next few weeks up until Thanksgiving.
When I mentioned to my kids that I intended to do a Sugar Fast, they enthusiastically decided to join me, and then invited their Dad to come along, too. So now it's a full-family affair. Over the next few days, we'll be finishing off a few perishable sweets (such as homemade cookies and granola), and then we'll be ready to begin.
Sugar Fast Goals and Schedule
The main goal of our Sugar Fast is to hit the reboot button on our sugar cravings. In the past, when I (overly) controlled our sugar intake, I found that many sweet foods tasted too sweet, and we could easily be satisfied with much less sweetness. Through doing a Sugar Fast, we're intending to reset our internal sugar meters so that we can once again be satisfied with a lesser amount of sweets.
Our Sugar Fast will also give me the opportunity to be a bit more creative with our breakfast and snack options. We frequently eat muffins, sourdough pancakes, and soaked oatmeal porridge for breakfast, and all of these are sweet. With the absence of sugar, we'll all get to enjoy more savory breakfast and snack foods.
Our sugar fast is intended to last up until Thanksgiving, and will hopefully leave us ready to make healthy choices over the holiday season.
What We'll Avoid and What We'll Leave Unrestricted
For our Sugar Fast, we'll be avoiding foods with the following:
any other types of added sweeteners (including those we always avoid such as xylitol, agave nectar, corn syrup, and high-fructose corn syrup)
I'm not planning to go overboard with the sugar restrictions such that I have to start making every.single.thing from scratch (been there, done that, too). So, we'll be free to enjoy the following without restrictions:
condiments which have trace amounts of sugar (such as mayonnaise)
sausages and bacon with trace amounts of sugar
Given that my kids LOVE trick-or-treating on Halloween, we're not going to stress about eating a piece or two of candy on Halloween. The rest of the candy will either go to my husband's co-workers, or to a local dentist who pays for Halloween candy.
Recipes I'll Be Resurrecting
Back in 2010-11 when we were on the GAPS Diet, I developed sugar-free, grain-free recipes for my family to enjoy. I'll be resurrecting some of those old recipes, including:
I'm also looking forward to experimenting with using bananas and applesauce as sweeteners in baked goods over the next few weeks.
Want to Join Us?
I've created a Facebook group for everyone who wants to implement some dietary changes over the next few weeks. You'd don't have to follow the same rules that my family will, as only you know what would be most beneficial to you right now. Perhaps you may want to just curb your refined sugar intake, or focus on adding more healthy fats into your diet. Whatever you'd like to try in your own diet, you're welcome to join in the conversation here: Sugar Fast 2018.