Sometime in August we decided to cut sugar during the month of September and by we I mean ‘I’ decided to try a sugarfree month for our family and had to convince everyone else to jump on board (by everyone else I mean a 3 years old, a 5 years old, a 7 years old and my husband who likes Pepsi). Once I got my husband’s approval I started preaching to my kids and getting them ready that we will not have any sugar in September. I will start by saying that our September SugarFree month was not completely sugar free (at least not for all the members of the family) but overall it was a success. Also, we went though a lot of maple syrup, honey and bananas.
As we were diving in our sugar-free month I got to understand that I could control the food I was cooking and the options we had in our house however, when we went to different birthday parties or met our friends I could not tell my kids not to taste anything sweet. One Saturday we went to a cookout and there were s’mores; well, let me tell you that my 7 years old was the only one who I noticed had some doubts about tasting so he came and asked. I felt bed to say no so they all had s’mores. My mama pride was a little hurt, after all I took a Banana Bread where I replaced the sugar with honey and it was delicious, not sure why my kids picked the s’mores to that but they did.
My husband also had a slip and mid-month he had a pepsi (might have been two actually) but other than that he did pretty good. I was quite surprised that he almost forgot about Pepsi for a while.
Our youngest is 3 years old so it was harder for her to grasp the sugarfree month idea and I did find her sneak in the candy jar a couple times. I feel that she did understand that we were not supposed to eat sugar, because she was bragging about the candy she just ate, but it did not stop her from eating.
I was surprised of how many products have sugar – even pretzels and crackers have sugar, not to mention yogurt. I feel that by constantly checking labels for the month of September I have trained myself to spot product that have added sugar and avoid them.
By sugar free I don’t mean we had a dessert free month, Honey and Maple Syrup can very well replace sugar from most recipes. Some that we tried are:
Blueberry Banana Muffins – I followed my usual recipe and just replaced sugar with a cup of honey or maple syrup
Crepes – no sugar in the batter and we used honey and walnuts on top or you can use almond butter and fresh fruit
Banana and Lavender Ice-cream: this was so easy to make and delicious – 4 frozen bananas (peel and cut before freezing), 1 cup coconut water (make sure you buy one without added sugar), 1-2 drops Vitality Young Living Lavender Oil and 1/2 TSP lavender dry flowers. I also learned that you can use frozen bananas as a base for any ice cream and add your favorites to this.
Apple Compote sweetened with honey
Also tried baking some Savory Crackers and they turned out really well
September was also my birthday month so I had to make a sugar-free cake – I decided on a Carrot Cake (I replaced the sugar in the batter with maple syrup and for the frosting I used cheese cream and honey). It was pretty good for a first try.
Some of this months’ learnings:
- Set your expectations, not sure if you need to go cold turkey on sugar, maybe just try to replace some of the sugar with honey and maple syrup and gradually eliminate
- Who knew coffee and honey tasted so good?
- I did not start this diet hoping to drop pounds (that did not happen for any of us) however I did notice an increase in energy
- Maybe don’t pick September as your sugar free month since it’s followed by Halloween aka ‘Candy month’ and you might splurge on candy
- I believe overall we are all more aware of all the products that contain sugar and will try to avoid them going forward
- My kids understand that sugar free does not meet sweet free, there are healthier options to sugar