Sugar LESS

Happy New Year! I initially thought about titling this post, "Sugar-FREE in '23" but I'm just not that corny, plus it's not entirely factual. I'm not planning to go totally off of sugar, except for the month of January (more on that in a minute), so it's more about consuming less sugar in the coming year, in all its various forms. 

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

I've seen numbers quoted by various sources in the U.S. that claim the average American eats 42.5 teaspoons of sugar every day. That's a lot of sugar! From sugary drinks to candy to donuts to the added sugars in condiments and even the fake sugar in "sugar-free" products, we consume far more than is good for us or our bodies. 

I'm far from being a health nut. But as I have been re-reading the Little House series of books to my kids, I have been struck once again by the fact that the only candy consumed by the Ingalls girls were the small bags of a few pieces (or one stick) found in a stocking on Christmas, or the occasional maple syrup candy made when it snowed. Otherwise, sugar was saved for the tea when company came, and honey was a treat when a hive was found. That's a far cry from our sugar-saturated lives of the 21st century.

This Christmas I was noticing the number of times I popped a candy in my mouth, sipped on a Diet Coke, or made an excuse to stop by our local Mennonite doughnut truck. Stockings were filled with sugary delights, and the month was doubly saturated as I drove around town collecting my free birthday cake slice, personal pie, and Venti coffee drink of my choice. On Christmas day, as I sat at my parent's house feeling absolutely stuffed, I uttered a sigh of frustration and shot off a text to a couple of friends, asking why I had so little (essentially none at all) self-control when it came to what I stuffed in my mouth. 

A day or two later, I jokingly said to a friend, "I'm thinking about doing a sugar fast for the month of January...I will if you will!" And when she wrote back and said, "How serious are you?" I immediately knew it was time. Time to break some sugary holds, cleanse the palate, and practice what I preach to my kids - namely, "have some self-control why don't you??" 

So, here's my public announcement, and my declaration of intent: For the month of January - 31 days - I will be avoiding (as much as possible) obvious sources of sugar. This includes candy, sugary coffee and coffee ingredients (which means I'm drinking tea all month because I hate black coffee!), desserts, sugar-laden sauces, etc. I'll also be steering clear of white bread (which will be a real challenge as I have been making homemade bread in our bread machine several times a week for the family), white rice, and pasta. I'll be checking labels, and plan to substitute my water "add-ins" (which contain sugar substitutes) with plain ol' fizzy water, just to give it a little kick. 

This should be in addition to some of my other "small victory" goals for the year, including walking (or moving) more, and while continuing the intermittent fasting that I've been doing for the last month. I'm both nervous and excited to see how this goes, and hopeful that I can report back in a month with a positive outcome. Here goes nothing...


  1. You. can. do.this. I was raised on sugar, cheap, artificial flavors and processed foods because they were affordable for a small berg country pastor's family. Getting off sugar and low nutritional foods was hard because it's literally all I knew, but now I wouldn't give you a dime for sugary snacks and treats. If I have anything sweet and my coffee I might drink a quarter of it. I can't even drink more than a half cup of hot cocoa anymore. I couldn't tell you the last time I had a piece of cake and my last donut was probably 5 years ago. Seriously, I know that you have it in you to get this done. Anytime you need encouragement text me. 616-581-8321.

    1. Wow! Thanks for sharing your story, Jane. That's very encouraging!

  2. Cheering you on and praying for you, friend! You can do this!!


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