(No) Sugar January

I broke up with sugar on January 5th.

dessert

Of course I waited until 1.) a Monday/start of the week and 2.) the holidays were over.

Much like every other person I know, I did my fair share of indulging in November and December. When my parents were here for Christmas, my mom and I would buy a boxful of desserts from our favorite bakery, Maison Kayser, and demolish sample our purchase daily.

dessert

The start of 2015 naturally brought on a desire to start anew, so I decided to ditch dessert and focus on eliminating the pesky sugar addiction I developed during the holidays. This experiment wasn’t rooted in some deep desire to lose weight or create excuses to skip sweets daily. It was all about bettering myself for the new year.

dessert

I must clarify that I didn’t cut out all sugars from my diet. Fruits, small amounts of honey, occasional jam (fruit-sweetened), dried fruits, and foods with some quantities of sugar were all fair game. It felt highly restrictive and incredibly unreasonable to deprive myself to an extent where I couldn’t eat an apple or toast with jam. Nor did I want to get into crazy label-reading mode where I couldn’t eat ketchup because it had a tiny bit of sugar added. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

fruits

I had minor slip-ups here and there – a few Quest Bars, some squares of 85% dark chocolate, and a pint of Arctic Zero might’ve crossed my lips this month #sorrynotsory But I’ve been successful overall. While I continued to occasionally crave some sweet lovin’, I discovered that the temptation of dessert dwindled down after a week or two. I simply stopped missing it, probably because I never ate a ton of dessert to begin with.

All in all, I don’t feel like this made a significant impact on my life, nor did it inconvenience me to any great extent. Truth be told, I feel exactly the same as I did at the start of this year, but it’s great to no longer have those extreme cravings for sugar. And yet, mentally I do feel better. I’m happier knowing that I’m filling up my stomach with nutrient-dense foods. I’m enjoying getting more creative with raw & vegan desserts sweetened only with fruits and/or honey ← my preference for desserts anyway! And I’m sleeping much better (*knock on wood* please universe don’t jinx this), but I doubt that’s a side-effect of this sugar detox.

I have no plans to stop since this doesn’t feel like a challenge, but that doesn’t mean I’ll skip out on a froyo run or a freshly baked chocolate tart in the near future! The only difference is that when I miss dessert, I’ll have it. A girl needs to occasionally celebrate with some sweet decadence amIright?!?

♥ Irina

8 Comments

  1. February 5, 2015 / 8:53 am

    I’ve given up dessert/sweets for Lent for the past couple of years, and it always surprises me how quickly I stop missing it once I get out of the habit of eating dessert. It’s crazy to me because when I AM in that habit, it’s like i can’t finish a meal without sugar. It’s nice to know moderation is possible 🙂

    • February 7, 2015 / 6:42 pm

      That’s how I am too! When I’m in the daily dessert habit, it’s a full-on addiction. I couldn’t agree more – it IS nice to know that moderation is possible!

  2. February 5, 2015 / 2:58 pm

    I second what Bethany said!!! It’s more of a habit for me, the more I get in the habit, the worse the cravings are!

    • February 7, 2015 / 6:44 pm

      Agreed! I’m the same way. It’s sometimes a struggle to break the habit, but I feel so much better when the habit is broken.

  3. February 5, 2015 / 3:52 pm

    Wow—those desserts look deserving of every single bite though! I don’t think I have a crazy sweet tooth, but I do get fanatic about particular foods (yogurt and PB/some kind of spread, Quest bars), but I also have a preference for veggies over fruit so I think it all balances out 😛

    • February 7, 2015 / 6:46 pm

      Oh trust me, we savored every bite! Dessert is so wonderful when it’s well-made, and this was no exception. I totally get obsessed with foods too – right now I can’t seem to get enough of sweet potatoes and yogurt. I guess there are worse things to be addicted too, right?!?

  4. February 9, 2015 / 6:20 pm

    Talk about a timely post. Honestly, I’ve been considering a little ‘sugar detox’ for a while already. I know that – both given my recovery and, oh well, that lingering thought that rough times need some sugar – I’d never do a serious no-sugar-whatsoever challenge. But I feel embarking on a few reduced sugar weeks would probably do me – and my wallet … – well. Only I still haven’t commited to it because I really ‘needed’ chocolate after work these past weeks. I wouldn’t call myself a sugar addict but ideally, I’d sub some of the refined treats for homemade [raw?] ones. If only those Lindt bars weren’t so convenient … and delicious.
    It’s amazing to see how well it went for you and great you didn’t make anything absolutely off-limits. Those crazy sugar detoxes that don’t allow for any added sugar at all tick off defensiveness in me.

    • February 11, 2015 / 8:41 am

      Oh absolutely, I think the key to any elimination or “detox” is not jumping into it cold turkey with an all-or-nothing mentality. Don’t let it stress you out too much or alter your daily life to the point where sugar is all you’re thinking about! Personally, I’ve never been able to give up sugar completely. One time I attempted it for Lent but still permitted myself to eat dark chocolate (at least 85% cacao content) so it didn’t feel miserable and restrictive. Perhaps you can take the same approach! Raw desserts are also a great option because you can enjoy the natural (i.e. unrefined) sugars from nature 🙂 Best of luck!