2018 Sugar Free

2018 Year of Living Sugar Freely: January Report

I promised to keep you posted (and myself accountable) for my 2018 resolution to give up sugar in this post. So, I thought I’d pop in and tell you how January went.

First, I did get some questions on exactly what I meant by “sugar-free.” I meant no added sugar as opposed to naturally occurring sugar, such as in fruit. Basically, I’m using the Whole 30 definition of sugar:

  • Do not consume added sugar, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, date syrup, stevia, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.

So, how did it go?

Overall, I think I did pretty darn well. It was actually easier than I expected it to be too. All my life, I’ve thought I could enjoy things in moderation when it turns out I’m actually what Gretchen Rubin calls an abstainer. It’s easier for me to give something up entirely than it is to just have a bit.

It wasn’t a perfect month. I got an almond milk latte at Starbucks, only to discover three days later that Starbucks uses sweetened almond milk. I ordered Brussel sprouts instead of fries in a restaurant, only to discover they were coated in maple syrup before being roasted. And my office is sugar central so it’s hard to resist there. Twice, I didn’t bring quite enough of my own food to work and ended up giving in to the temptation to have a fistful of jelly beans and one chocolate covered pretzel. Even that was an improvement though. A vast improvement.

I mostly follow a paleo or modified whole 30 way of eating anyway, especially at home. So that wasn’t too tough. But, over the fall, I’d gotten addicted to my PSL (Pumpkin Spice Lattes) and Peppermint Mochas. That was where most of my sugar intake was coming from before 2018 plus some holiday treats too.

I read two books about quitting sugar this month. One was a memoir called Year of No Sugar by Eve Schaub. She and her family, including her two young daughters, gave up sugar for a year. She did bake with dextrose though (corn sugar) so I’m not sure how much help that was. It was well written and interesting though.

I also read The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes. It’s very dense and meandering. I’d recommend just reading the article it’s based on instead. Still, it’s interesting to think of the parallels between tobacco use and sugar addiction. Also, it’s helpful to me to think of sugar as a toxin when I’m trying to avoid it.

My jeans feel just a bit looser. But the real improvement has been that my joints aren’t aching anymore and I’m sleeping better. So, overall, I declare it a win for January and onward to February. 11 more months to slay my sugar dragon 🙂