It’s over and I made it: I lived a whole month (and one of the long 31-day-months too) without – knowingly – consuming any added sugar*. A lot of you have asked me how it was and how my body reacted to a sudden onset of cold turkey, so here is my recap of Sugar-Free July.
How did I do it?
For once, I left out the obvious: chocolate, sweet pastry, cakes cordial and juices etc.
It also involved a lot of label-reading when shopping (which as a vegan I’m used to anyway) which led to a lot of home-cooking. Sugar can be found in the most trivial foods and pretty much everything that has been however lightly processed will have some sugary additive or another on its ingredients list: tomato sauce, mustard, cheese, hummus and similar spreads.
You can read up on what I cooked during our hiking and climbing holiday in Achensee HERE.
Partaking in this challenge in mid-summer, when lots of fresh, local (naturally sweet) fruit along with plenty of sunshine are available was probably a lot easier than doing the same in the dark months of winter.
Well, not much. Like I already wrote in my Halftime! post, I didn’t – noticably – lose any weight, nor did not eating sugar affect my energy levels. I wasn’t more alert and did not sleep any better. I didn’t even have the much dreaded withdrawal headache during the first days.
Just like with going vegan it was almost disappointing that NOT A SINGLE THING that’s promoted on the world wide web was applicable for yours truly.
How did I get my fix?
Dried fruit, especially dates, were my sweet treats of choice. I basically did not leave the house with a little date-filled container in my handbag.
If dates didn’t help, I would sometimes complain. Mr A bore it with more-than-usual graciousness (especially after I promised that my challenge would be over by 1 August).
I also ate a lot of nana ice cream.
What did I miss?
Interestingly, it was coke that I missed most. I will not go through more than an estimated 2 litres of coke in a whole year, so this craving came as a real surprise. I had expected sweet pastry to make the top of my cravings-list, but no. Coke it was and coke I had on my first evening after the challenge together with a burger and chips from Swing Kitchen.
I also missed baking. Which to me seemed pointless if I couldn’t taste the dough and eat the cake.
While I have certainly become more aware of the ubiquity of different kinds of sugar in all kinds of food stuffs, I don’t see a point in completely staying off sugar for the rest of my life. However, I will definitely be even more conscious of what I put into my body from now on. Sweets will stay treats – something I will treat myself to every now and then.
How did your Sugar-Free July go? Did you make it through the month? What effects did you notice? How did you feel? Are you continuing?
*With one exception: the Sonnentor cooking class I attended mid-month
9 thoughts on “Aliciouslife: Sugar-Free July – Recap”
Congrats Alice on finishing your sugar-free month! July was probably the best month to do this challenge because it was crazy hot and even I (without even wanting to do this challenge) ate almost no chocolate or other sweets but mainly got my sugar fix from homemade berry popsicles, nana ice cream or fresh fruits. I’m so happy for you and it was interesting to read that you didn’t noticed any changes at all!
Thanks, Bianca! It definitely was a good month for the challenge. I’m having nana ice cream on an almost daily basis anyways because it’s not as heavy as regular ice cream. Need to get popsicle moulds asap so I can recreate your raspberry pops! Or get crazy and create my own, who knows?
Yeah, no changes at all…again. Story of my life, it seems. I guess my body is just happy to be fed and not actually picky about what I put in 😉
Your post reminded me of That Sugar Film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uaWekLrilY
Were Diet Coke or Coke Zero against the rules?
Absolutely! Artificial sweeteners are kind of my personal Antichrist (from a nutritional point of view).
One month??? Honestly, I would have kicked the bucket after ONE DAY without my usual dose of soda and cookies! 😮
By the way, David Gillespie has been doing great research on this topic: http://davidgillespie.org/
One month. 31 days actually, because July. Wasn’t always fun and I didn’t expect it to be. Since my body obviously doesn’t care about the odd piece of chocolate or bite of sweetened spread that I feed it, I didn’t see the point in continuing sugarless though. Not even sure my sugar-intake is now lower than before or on the same level again.
Why don’t you repeat your “31 sugar-free days” over Christmas time? Not that would be REAL challenge, hehehehehehe… 🙂
Would be a real challenge though, I agree 🙂