It’s time for another monthly challenge!
This challenge is less about minimalism and more about health. Our family already avoids sugar. I share our reasons why here. We don’t buy white sugar or cook with it at home, but it’s amazing how much of the stuff is still out there. Donuts at work, candy at holidays, deserts at potlucks, cake at birthday parties….it’s everywhere even when it’s not in our home.
I think some sweets here and there are absolutely fine. It’s part of enjoying life and celebrating. But every now and then it’s good to do a complete reset. That’s what February is going to be. And hey, it’s even a short month! If you’ve ever considered giving up sugar, this is the easiest month to do it!
But…no chocolate on Valentine’s Day?
That’s right. Josh and I don’t participate in the consumerist traditions of most holidays. We decided several years ago that we don’t need to buy each other gifts. It’s more frugal, less stress, less clutter, and gift-giving isn’t our primary love language. If it’s your love language, that’s awesome. Lots of gifts don’t contain sugar: flowers, plants, notes, cards, dinner, or handcrafted jewelry are all good options.
Create new habits
I first gave up sweets and processed foods in favor of whole food diet nearly three years ago, following Malachi’s birth. I did it by first replacing my sugary snacks with homemade, healthier snacks. I’ll share my favorite healthy dessert recipes in an upcoming post!
Another thing I did right away was stop sweetening my coffee and tea. I haven’t the slightest desire to ever go back. I found I better appreciate the flavor of my coffee and tea plain. It was an adjustment at first, but I now prefer it. This one simple habit cuts my sugar intake each and every day.
Gradually, my tastes began to shift and sweet things were way too sweet. Even my healthier indulgences were no longer necessary. The cravings went away. Fruit was the sweetest thing I needed. It was incredible for someone who used to be a sugar addict! Even I was surprised.
If you’re not ready to give up desserts altogether, perhaps you could commit to make some smaller changes like no sweetened beverages or only healthy, homemade desserts. Gradual change is still change, and it can last the longest.
My personal rules this month
I normally buy the 85% dark chocolate because the sugar content is so low, it doesn’t have the addictive nature of other chocolate. I’m giving that up this month though.
No added sugar
In order to completely reset my tastebuds, I’m going to forego even natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, and coconut sugar this month. Fruit is still allowed though. You can bet I’ll be putting raisins in my oatmeal!
This is just for myself, in accordance with my desire to not buy alcohol this year. I’ll save some money and avoid the sugar in the alcohol.
Feel free to make your own rules for this monthly challenge. Let me know if you’re interested in participating so we can encourage each other!