Why I’m Kicking Sugar to the Curb

{photo by Gouble Dus}

When Mandi first approached me about joining her Break the Sugar Habit Challenge, I did not hesitate. Our family consumes way too much sugar and I knew this was the kick in the tooshie we needed. I mean, what more accountability could you have then having to post multiple times a month about it?!

So, why would anyone want to give up sugar?

Despite having odd cravings of Kit Kats and Dr. Pepper (neither of which I consumed before this pregnancy!), I don’t regularly eat tons of sugar. I like sweet tea and homemade iced lattes, and Shane likes creamer in his coffee. The girls, on the other hand, will eat as many sweets as I would let them!

I personally know how much better I feel when I don’t consume sugar. I remember the early days in our marriage when our preferred meal was a Sunkist soda and nachos. I could drink several Sunkists in one day if I wanted. It was like I couldn’t get enough. Sugar was an addiction that I did not even know I had.

In addition to knowing I will feel better, pretty much every. single. sugar-laden product is full of yucky, artificial ingredients that are extremely harmful to our bodies. By not consuming these processed foods, I will be eliminating sugar AND fake stuff from our diets.

What are we doing to prepare for this challenge?

We already read labels and try to be very careful about the products we consume, but I’m certainly not perfect. And there are a few things (like Frosted Mini Wheats) that my girls ask for on a regular basis. Obviously, that will go, but sugar hides in a surprisingly large amount of foods. Some aren’t quite as obvious as a frosted cereal, so I will have to be extra-vigilant at times.

The girls are totally on board with this. We are already eliminating some foods and they are discussing amongst themselves the foods that will be “off-limits” for the duration of the challenge. For example, my middle daughter loves chocolate milk, but even at age 6, she is giving this up without complaint. I’m crossing my fingers that she won’t miss it by the time July gets here!

I am stocked up on good, healthy fats like grassfed beef and butter, raw milk, coconut oil, and farm eggs. By consuming more of these healthy fats, our need for “comfort food” will be better satisfied, and our sugar cravings will hopefully be less intense.

For this challenge, our family is going to follow the 4 steps from The Healthy Home Economist’s Slay the Sugar Monster. At this point, we are between steps 2 and 3, and hopefully by the end of the challenge, we will be well on our way to step 4. I am also reading the ebooks Real Food Basics and Healthy Pregnancy Super Foods by Kate Tietje (aka, Modern Alternative Mama) for ideas, tips, and recipes.

The challenge doesn’t officially begin until June 4, which just happens to be three days after my birthday. So, I will be indulging in the Angel Food cake (guilt-free, I might add!) my mom will bake me. I will also enjoy my free birthday drink from Starbucks!

What will we use instead?

We already sweeten our green tea with raw honey (as opposed to sugar), and will continue to do so. Local, raw honey is an extremely good allergy fighter, as well as, being great for you. I will also use honey to make homemade bread.

Mandi mentioned that she has been using liquid stevia to sweeten her ACV drink. I have not personally used this, but Shane has compromised with me on his coffee and will change from his (artificially flavored!) creamer to milk and some sort of natural sweetener, so we may try the liquid stevia. I kind of sprung this on him, and he is good to go with the challenge… save for his precious coffee!

We will also still consume locally grown fruits and enjoy smoothies and popsicles (made with homemade yogurt or kefir).

Will we make exceptions?

Unfortunately, June is one of those months where we have something every day. Soccer camp is every evening the first week, but we don’t do sports drinks in our house anyway, so luckily that isn’t a big deal. Water is king where sports are concerned. VBS is in the mornings the next week, and I will allow my girls to have whatever snacks they will provide. Swim lessons are in the evenings the same week as VBS, and the instructor gives each child a Dum-Dum sucker (aren’t those aptly named?) after each lesson. I won’t refuse them this one little treat.

Shane will be at a leadership retreat with his youth the next week, so who knows what kind of food they will feed him there! He is already making a list of healthier snacks like peanut butter and honey, and fruit that he can pack. The last week in June is our only “free” week. I don’t have any exceptions planned for myself (although if coconut milk isn’t a tasty option for turbinado sugar in my iced latte, I may give in to a bit of liquid stevia!), but if I cave, I will be sure to confess it!

Are you on board for the Kick the Sugar Habit Challenge?

Written by: Amy Norton
Amy is a youth pastor’s wife and homeschooling mom to three girls, ages 8, 6, and 3, and has a baby boy on the way. When she’s not writing at Kingdom First Mom, you can find her cooking, getting crunchier by the day, and trying to stay on top of the laundry. She enjoys writing about her homelife adventures at Amy Loves It.

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Comments

  1. Mandi @ Life Your Way says:

    So thankful to be doing this together and excited to see what happens this month (okay, and a little terrified, LOL!).
    Mandi @ Life Your Way´s last blog post ..Amazon Deals: Kindle Freebies, Diaper Deals + More

  2. Excited about this challenge! I’m on Day 20 of no-sugar healing foods diet and I can agree w/what you said about good fats helping you out–coconut oil, almond butter, pastured butter and more!

    Can’t wait to hear your journey!
    a
    oh amanda´s last blog post ..My Blog Story

  3. Challice says:

    Kudos! Its a hard workout but with rewarding efforts. :-)

    You mentioned using honey or liquid Stevia. Excellent choices but I also have another suggestion, if I may, Agave. Agave actually has less of a sugar spike than stevia and honey. My diabetic niece of 12 uses this above all others because she notices her blood sugar remains more level than anything else which tells me it might even be more of a healthier option than the others.

    It was just another option thrown out there. I actually cant stand Stevia. Even with just a drop or two in my oatmeal, I can still taste the sweet bitterness.

  4. @Challice, Thank you so much for your input! We are going to be doing a lot of research this month, so I definitely appreciate hearing other’s experiences!

    -Amy

  5. @oh amanda, I’m excited too! Crazily enough, our whole family is, as well. I guess they are considering it an adventure! Thanks for your comment!

    -Amy

  6. Ha! I was thinking the very same thing. I’m very thankful to be doing this with friends!

  7. Kristin S. says:

    Have you seen the new coffee mate that is more natural? it’s just milk, cream and sugar, and while it is sugar, it’s not corn syrup or other crazy stuff. I’ve switched to that.

  8. @Kristin S., No, I haven’t seen that. My husband will definitely be intrigued by it :D Thank you for the suggestion!

    -Amy

Trackbacks

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