I sit here staring at two bowls, overflowing with Halloween candy…overflowing.
A couple of weeks ago I asked my husband what he thought about going sugar free in November. He was totally on board with the idea. When we went to the kids with it they were reluctant at first. They had one condition – could we start a few days after Halloween? Technically, we are going sugar free from November 6th thru December 6th. After we met their one condition, my girls also wanted to know why? Why would we walk away from sugar for the month? Fair enough – why indeed?
First of all, let’s clarify what we mean by “sugar-free”. We will avoiding any food with added sugar. Fruit is okay. No artificial sugars (although we avoid those already). Nothing with anything sucralose, fructose, corn syrup, yada, yada, yada. You get the idea. We are okay with naturally occurring sugar – found in fruit, vegetables and milk – but that’s it. You may be aware of Chef Jamie Oliver’s campaign to raise awareness about sugar consumption. Oliver has proposed a tax on sugary drinks in the UK – whether this happens or not, he is raising awareness. If you are wondering how much sugar in our daily diet is enough, have a read of this article from Jamie Oliver’s site, Sugar Rush. This piece breaks things down quite clearly – how much are we consuming and how much do our bodies really need.
As for the why – well, why not? Most foods with added and artificial sugars make no real nutritional contribution to our diet. We don’t need added and artificial sugars to survive. A few weeks ago, I was thinking about Halloween and all the sugar we would be eating. I was thinking about how that really is the kick off to the holiday season. What if instead of opening the door to sugar, what if we gave our bodies a break. What if we gave our kidneys, livers, pancreas, hormones and stomachs a break from processing sugar for one month? Our family’s month long experiment is just that – an experiment.
Because we are a little bit geeky, we are looking at this like an actual experiment. I have asked everyone to write down their predictions or hypotheses. What do they think will be the result of our month long hiatus from sugar? How do they think they will feel? How do they think they will look? What do we think will be our biggest challenge? Any other predictions?
I’m hoping that everyone will pay attention to how their bodies respond. We aren’t running blood tests, or working with a doctor. We are giving our bodies a break and getting ready for the rush of sugar that will undoubtably be heading our way in December. The holiday season is full of baked goods (our sugary weakness) and more sweets and treats. Maybe our month away will make us want more, or perhaps it will make us want less?
Our experiment begins on November 6th. I’m researching sugar-free baking ideas and look forward to sharing them with you. If you have a favourite sugarless baking recipe, please let me know in the comments below. Along with sugarless recipes, I’ll be sharing our experiences along the way, make sure you are following me on Instagram. On December 6th I’ll gather up our thoughts and observations and let you know how we all faired.
Have you ever taken a break from sugar? How did your body respond?