On the 17th May my best friend and I started a month without sugar, we have done so before but I thought this time I can actually write about it and tell you all my experience about it.
So firstly, why we started it.
To be totally honest with you it was when Krissi and I were at a flat party, sitting on a sofa people-watching and talking about the most random things. I don’t think I need to address that we have been a bit tipsy at this point as well. Either way, we talked about January when we last did the ‘no sugar month’ and for some odd reasons we decided we start it again.
So we’re quite strict about it, so you’re not allowed any artificial sugar or any type of sweetener, also including honey, agave syrup, maple syrup coconut sugar or any other type of sweetener which isn’t from fruit. I actually know people who do that from time to time as well and usually it’s that you only cut out sugar or the very light version is that you don’t eat any sweets for a month. But we thought we go to town with it this time.
I also wanted to add that we haven’t done it with the intention to loose weight. We set ourself this goal because firstly you realize a difference of you body after like a week or so. Your body is more energetic, your skin gets better and also you feel quite good over all. This comes not only from cutting out sugar but also because of the fact that you are basically bond to eat healthily.
When you first decide to cut out all kinds of sweetener you don’t really realize in what is some sort of sweetener. You just think ‘Oh yeah I’m stop eating sweets and stuff like this and it should be fine’ but that’s actually not the case. When you seriously think about the foods and drinks which contains any type of sweetener you realize that you’re very limited in the things you’re allowed to consume. Start with your breakfast, what do you usually eat? Granola with a yoghurt with a fruit flavour? Not allowed because Granola and yoghurt which isn’t natural yoghurt contains added sweetener. Cereal? Not allowed. Shop bought bread with jam or honey? (Technically) Not allowed (to be fair we ate shop bought bread anyway because otherwise we would have eaten only one thing for one moth for breakfast), Weetabix? Not allowed. Porridge with honey and fruit? Not allowed. What I ate pretty much the whole time during the week was either oats with natural yoghurt or bread with cheese.
I need to address there that for me breakfast was the hardest meal to come up with ideas. At the weekend when I had more time in the mornings I also did things like semolina pudding, rice pudding with fruit, breakfast cookies made out of banana and oats, banana sugared pancakes without the sugar part, porridge, omelettes, nice creams, banana pancakes, baked oatmeal or other delicious things that took more than 5 minutes in the morning. But a food that was essential for me during this time: banana and peaches/nectarines. Both are high in natural sweetness so it made everything taste just as I would have put sweetener in it (you also could use any fruit which is sweet and in season but these two fruits we always had at home anyways).
At this point I also need to do a shout-out to my dear friend Selina. She invited me and some other friends over for breakfast and she did a brilliant job with coming up with breakfast ideas which don’t contain any sweeteners. Make sure to check out her Instagram or even blog when you can read German so you can find more delicious looking pictures where you want to recreate everything yourself immediately. (If she’s super nice and she gives me the missing recipes and if I can find some time I might translate all of them and post them, because the food was honestly out of this world!)
When I had Uni in the afternoon I usually took a packed lunch with me, which usually contained either of overnight oats with banana, chia seeds and raisins (fun fact I always did them in the morning because of course I always forgot to prepare it in advance but it works perfectly fine!), I made myself a bread with cheese in the morning or I took some food from my lunch/dinner the previous day. I always make a bit more so it would still be enough for the next day.
For dinner it also was quite easy to come up with something because again I either ate something what I had already described what I made for lunch, had a semolina pudding, rice pudding, banana sugared pancakes again without the sugared part, nice cream, a soup, a salad or whatever I fancied.
For lunch or dinner it wasn’t hard to come up with ideas because I eat something savoury anyway and the only thing I couldn’t eat was basically instant t soups, some other instant products or shop bought pasta sauce because they usually contain sugar. But there I would look at the packaging and you’ll know if you’re allowed to eat it or not. Plus I’m not the biggest fan of these products anyway so it was fine by me that I wasn’t allowed to eat these things.
But not only food contains sugar, also drinks do so. Here you’re very limited again. No sodas, sweetened teas or coffees, shop bought smoothies also contain sweeteners a lot of the time, so do juices. Every time you want to drink something which isn’t water you first have to have a look if it contains any sweetener but once you found it out you’ll get used to what you’re allowed and what not. And if you can making your own smoothies, milkshakes, juices or whatever is actually quite fun plus more healthy anyway.
I know from my best friend that she always finds it the hardest to stop eating sweets or cake or whatever she isn’t allowed to eat, but for me I never really have problems with it. Because I know I’m not allowed to eat it I don’t really crave it and also usually you stop craving something after like 3 or 4 weeks so once you started eating like this you’re body isn’t craving these foods after this month. For me the hardest thing is coming up with ideas. I like to eat fresh and differently so eating the same thing over and over again because you’re limited is actually the worst for me. Although I have done the ‘no sugar month’ twice and I know that I will do it again some time soon. I personally like that you can mind-over-matter your body and you learn to appreciate your body in this month. Because once you found out how much crap you actually give your body to deal with you will be more aware of what to eat after this month.
Where to find Selina: