Sugar Free August

For a long time I knew I would probably feel better if I went dairy free. I didn’t think I would be able to do it.   How could I live without cheese???  But I did do it, and it was much easier than I expected (though I do sometimes eat goat cheese).

I went through the same thing with my oldest son who is gluten free.  I didn’t think he would ever be able to go dairy free, but he decided on his own to try it.  He was also surprised that it was easier than he expected.

Now I’m at the point where I would like to go sugar free, but I’m not sure I can do it.  I’m encouraged by how easy it was to go dairy free, but I’m not convinced it will be as easy as that was. 

Golden granulated, light muscovado and dark muscovado sugar

Honestly, going sugar free seems big and overwhelming, so I’ve decided to start with something that seems doable.  I want to go refined sugar free for the month of August.

I’m not cutting out all sugars and will probably still use honey.  I’m also not going to worry about condiments. I like to buy condiments that use real sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup.  I don’t use condiments very often and usually put oil and vinegar on my salad.

I’m sharing this will all of you to help increase my motivation for following through.  If any of you would like to join me in the challenge, please do, and let me know in the comments.

I would also appreciate any encouragement for those of you who are already refined sugar free.

I’ll post an update later in the month to let you know how it’s going.  I’ll be posting more on my Facebook page if you want to follow along there.  Wish me luck!

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  1. Tanya Osborne says

    I am doing the same thing for the month of August…so please send updates…so I feel like we’re doing it together LOL!!

  2. JillW says

    You can do it, Linda! I’ve been working on refined sugar free for a few weeks now. An acquaintance assured me that it would be easier than I thought and that I would lose the strong cravings and even the interest in sugar in a relatively short time. And that’s exactly what is happening. :) Everything tastes better naturally. With family over the weekend, I tasted a cookie with refined sugar. It tasted too sweet to me, and I didn’t want another. Believe me, that’s a FIRST! Woo hoo! I look forward to sharing in this journey through your posts.

    • says

      Thanks, Jill! I hope that it goes easier than expected for me. I’ve noticed that sensitivity to sweetness to some degree just from cutting back on refined sugars. That’s an encouraging story about not wanting another cookie! It nice hearing from someone like you who is just a little ways ahead of me in the process.

  3. says

    It’s really not that bad. Some of my family and I went on a diet that is sugar and grain free about a year ago. My brother is still on that diet, but I’m not so strict anymore ;). Like JillW said, once you cut out sugar you don’t really crave it anymore, and if you do eat sugar after not having it for awhile it tastes WAY to sweet. Have fun :).

  4. says

    This goal has eluded me for some time, but I will say that I eat much less sugar than I did a year ago, and much of that is more natural sugars. The best part is that I do feel better — or rather, I can tell I feel worse when I do eat much refined sugar.

    • says

      Pat, I’ve done the same thing–eating less refined sugars and more natural sugars. It’s made some difference, but I really need to try cutting refined sugar more drastically. Even small steps are important, though.

  5. JanaCC says

    I will eagerly follow your progress! I am eager to share in your journey. I have slowly been cutting sugar in my diet by using a date and prune puree in place of all sugar in my recipes. My blood sugar is chronically low and it did help control some of the symptoms, but I still have a ways to go before I am in “balance” (whatever THAT is). Like Pat, I find that my body responds immediately and violently to too much sugar (whether in the form of refined sugar or simply grains or fruit).

    • says

      I’ll be posting a few updates here on my blog, but I’ll likely put more updates on my Facebook page if you want to follow there. I have been using dates more, but they do contain a lot of sugar, even though it’s natural. I’m going to try to limit even my natural sugars this month.

  6. Terri says

    You can do it Linda! I did it for a few weeks once and my energy level skyrocketed! Also, keep in mind rice syrup – you can use it in cake recipes and things – still has the high glycemic index, but may be a little better for you than sugar. But – organic unbleached cane sugar is still better for us than ANY sugar substitute! I found I cannot go sugar-free, so I eat tiny portions of sweets, like a piece of organic candied ginger instead of a candy bar.

    • says

      Thanks,Terri! I bought some brown rice syrup a couple of months ago but haven’t used it yet. I need to take a look at it again. I’m going for low glycemic index right now though, so I might wait before trying it. I agree about sugar substitutes. I won’t use them!

  7. Starlight Mama says

    I have been considering doing this – my hesitation is knowing that I will be starting back up at school in a few weeks and I don’t know how I will react when things get very stressful. I need to have some healthy behaviors in place before I take on something that will be so challenging, on top of other things I am doing that are ALSO stressful and challenging. But this is something I have wanted to do for a long time. I did do a “Daniel Fast” for 3 weeks in April, with no refined sugar (among other things) and I felt so much better when I was sugar-free.

    • says

      I agree that you don’t want to take on too much and end up feeling defeated. I think they key is to figure out what healthy steps seem doable for you. I wish you success in that.

  8. says

    Good luck!
    I discovered that I react to all table sugar, including Turbinado, so I now use a combination of stevia and coconut palm sugar.

    I don’t have problems with fruit sugars as I eat lots of fruit! I have even tried sweetening with ground dates! Of course date sugar is also available packaged.

    My sugar level nose dives about a half-hour after eating a sugar sweetened unfrosted cupcake or even a cookie! This is the opposite of diabetes.
    Now I use a very small amount of Turbinado to put a little crunch on muffins.

    If I bake for others, I use table sugar unless I know they are also watching the sugar.

    • says

      Lee, I used to have problems with low blood sugar too, especially during one pregnancy. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  9. says

    You can do it! I think your decision to go refined sugar-free is an awesome way to tackle the issue, as going cold turkey with all sugars can seem overwhelming. And you might find that simply cutting out refined sugars makes enough of a difference that you won’t have to eliminate more after that. I’m cheering you on!

  10. Becky D says

    We have been refined sugar free for over a year. It’s not hard at all. When you give up processed foods, you give up a lot of the sugar that people eat, and now I use stevia, coconut palm sugar, local honey, and local maple syrup. With those sweeteners, I haven’t found anything that I can’t make. Palm sugar is excellent for any type of baking – I have found it cheapest at

    • says

      Becky, thanks for your input. I’ve been using coconut palm sugar a little bit and actually forgot about that when I wrote this post. I’ll look for it on iHerb.

  11. says

    Going sugar free is difficult just because, like gluten, sugar is in everything. However, if you don’t need to be too strict with small amounts I think you will do just fine. I have gone sugar free for a month at a time on a few different occasions and felt better for it. The most interesting thing about it is how much it changes your palate. Things like candy bars just taste strange afterward. You will find yourself reducing the sugar in all your recipes if you decide to eat sugar again. The effect can last a long time – I still don’t like things too sugary, and it’s been years since I did a no sugar trial. It’s a great experience and I think everyone should try it!

  12. says

    I am going to try this with you, Linda. My problem will be chocolate. I use Agave in my ice tea and never drink diet drinks, but I crave chocolate. It sounds like this may go away when I cut out sugar so it’s worth the try. Maybe it will help balance my hypoglycemia, too. Thanks for the “drive’ to do this!

    • says

      Great, Pat! I’m glad you’re joining me. I thought today about chocolate, but that won’t be too hard for me. You could try using cocoa powder sweetened with agave in almond milk. I think I’ve read that if you crave chocolate you need magnesium. It’s something to look into.

  13. Nancy says

    You’ve inspired me! I think I’ll use molasses instead of brown sugar in my bbq sauce – does this count?

    • says

      Great, Nancy! I think it was the cookie bars I made for cards and then ate too many of over the weekend that finally pushed me to this decision. :) Yes, I think molasses counts as a natural sugar.

  14. says

    I’m refined sugar free. In all fairness, I have to mention that you may have a strong craving for sugar 3-4 days into it but it will pass. I use some honey and maple syrup and find they don’t make my blood sugar rise the same way the regular sugar did. (I test it so know exactly what happens when I eat each.)

  15. says

    I’m in too Linda! I’ve been heading that way for awhile but still need a bit of dark chocolate each night or some GF Hot Tamales…:) I do cook and bake sugar free, and I’m really cutting back on baking goodies at all lately, not great for my blog, but when your pants don’t fit anymore it’s time for drastic steps! xx

    • says

      Ali, I’m glad you’re in! I know what you mean about it not being good for your blog. I’ve had that thought too. I could bake for my family, and they will probably want me to, but it will be a challenge not to eat it.

  16. dalkayak says

    My daughter and I are going to try this together. Will you be posting any recipes for this or helpful advice? Thank you for spearheading this on your blog :)

    • says

      I’m glad you’re trying it with me! I don’t have definite plans for how I will share. I will put some on this blog, but I will post more updates and tips on my Facebook page. I may share a recipe or two, but for this month I’m planning to cut out a lot of desserts and baked goods rather than trying to replace them.

  17. says

    You can do it, Linda! You’ll find that it might be tough for the first few days, but as you cut out sugar, and eventually limit even unrefined sweeteners to “once in a while” treats, you’ll find you don’t crave it and that you feel much better. Last year I cut out ALL sweeteners, starches, grains, fruit (except a few, such as berries and lemons) in an effort to overcome candida overgrowth. (basically I followed a paleo diet) It was tough, but I did feel amazing and had less sugar cravings. And I lost weight – bonus! Supporting you!!

  18. says

    Bravo, Linda! I find that I do better with no sugar, even unrefined sugar, but it’s hard to blog, lead a support group, and be a mom/wife without making some treats with those. But I find the first three days of giving them up tobe the very hardest. After that, the cravings drop off considerably, but just getting through those three days is the kicker! Still, you are very inspiring and I need to do this, so I’ll start and focus on lots of protein and some fruit, which usually gets me through. I’ve always been told that when we want sweets and chocolate we’re really deficient in vitamins and minerals, like B, chromium, zinc, and magnesium anyway, but the sweets obviously don’t satisfy those needs (deficiencies), so we then want more … and the cycle repeats.


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