No Sugar Summer Update – 7/15/14

We are halfway through our no sugar summer challenge. It hasn’t exactly gone as I had planned.  We were cruising along just fine through the month of June.  On June 29th, we had family over and I made my husband’s favorite German Chocolate Cake (his sweet treat for the month) and chocolate chip cookie cake for the kids. I enjoyed a couple slices of the chocolate chip cookie cake. The next day we were out and about and came across a newly recommended cupcake place. We hadn’t had our second treat for the month, so we decided to indulge. Two sweet treats for the month. Stuck to our rules.

Then July came. Confession time.

First, a neighbor brought us some cute mini cupcakes with blackberry icing to welcome us to the neighborhood. We all had one…it would just be rude not to! It was kind of our new neighbors to think of us. What would you do? 1 extra sugar treat.

Second, my husband’s birthday was earlier this month. We enjoyed a (planned) slice of cheesecake and I expected that it would be the end of it until my son’s birthday.

Then, my husband had to undergo an emergency appendectomy. While we were at the hospital, friends and hospital staff brought us multiple sweet treats (cookies, popsicles, muffins, etc.). It was not easy to avoid everything, so we did eat a little. I tried to steer my kids clear of most treats, but that was not easy. Now, I hope we can get back on track. 2 extra sugar treats.

My son’s birthday is later this month. That is our second planned sugar treat this month.

What I’ve learned: Avoiding sugar is hard when the unexpected happens.

Let’s bring on August!


No Sugar Summer Update 6-23-14

The no sugar summer is going well for our family. The fudge pops are still a big hit.   I must keep them stocked in the freezer because my son has one every day!  We also tried a new cookie recipe that was delicious!!!  It’s hard to eat just one!!!  I’ve already posted this recipe from the blog, Cookie + kate: Maple Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies.

For Father’s Day, I made Alicia Silverstone’s Favorite Cupcake recipe from her book, The Kind Life.  I could not find this recipe on her website,, but if you click here, it is almost identical. They are sugar free and good!  The cake is SO moist! Here is a picture of this yummy cupcake from my kitchen:


Our church had our Vacation Bible School lastweek, so I did allow my kids the option to eat the snacks prepared there. 3 of the 4 days had something with sugar. They were small treats…not a big snack. I considered this a special occasion since VBS only happens once a year. I just let them enjoy.

Homemade lemonade and lemonade popsicle recipe coming soon. Those are still a favorite of my kids and their mom!

One quick clarification – you may notice that some of the recipes we are enjoying include chocolate chips which do have sugar. I’m ok with eating these because we eat the dark chocolate variety and dark chocolate does have health benefits.   I’m at peace with this “cheat”.

First 6 Days of our No Sugar Summer

We are now on Day 6 of our no sugar summer challenge.  So far so good!  My kids have adopted very well especially my 9 year old.  She had a date night with Daddy on Monday and came home so proud of herself for going to Jason’s Deli and getting a salad and not having any sugar (I’m thinking of the little muffins and the free ice cream).  She had her end of the year school party and she didn’t eat any of the sweet treats like donuts because they have sugar (not to mention…many other bad ingredients)!  So proud of her!

My 5 year old is doing well, too.  With little complaint, he is adopting to no dessert except for 1 square of chocolate.  He is a big fan of the smoothie pops.  Those have been quite the hit.  I had no idea that the kids would eat fruit and hidden broccoli in a frozen smoothie.  They are not fans of the drinkable smoothie but if you freeze it…they will eat it!  He had a doctor appointment yesterday and when I said that he couldn’t have the lollipop offered at the end because it had sugar, he said “okay”.  Side note – why do some doctor offices have sugar and dye-filled lollipops for a reward at checkout?  Isn’t that the opposite of what a place concerned about health and wellness should offer???

What sweet treats have we enjoyed?

I have several cookie recipes to try this weekend that do not contain sugar.  Hopefully, some will be good and I can post those next week!



Say “No” to Sugar this Summer

I’ve recently been reminded through various health TV shows (yes, Dr. Oz), health magazines, and online reading about the ill effects of sugar (it is linked to causes of obesity, diabetes, and cancer).  I’ll admit that I have been quite lazy in the sugar department over the past year.  The last 12 months was crazy with pregnancy, a newborn, and 3 moves.  Many times I felt like I was just surviving and my eating habits were not great.

Now that I have settled into a new normal, my old convictions are roaring back and it is time to get back to my own 10 tenets and a new conviction regarding sugar.  A few weeks ago, I decided that I wanted to challenge myself and my family to a “no sugar summer”.  I’ve been talking with my husband and kids about it.  2 of the 3 are on board…my husband and 9 year old daughter.  My 5 year old son is still resisting, but he is outnumbered at this point.

So, what is the No Sugar Summer about?  Here are the rules our family is following:

  • Time Frame – the months of June, July, and August.  3 months.  Approximately 90 days.  Piece of cake, right?
  • No food with processed sugar is allowed.   The only two sweeteners we can eat are honey and pure maple syrup.   I will be reading every label to make sure no added sugar is in the ingredients.   One item I realized this morning – the bread we like to buy at Costco doesn’t have sugar!  I thought it did!  Excellent!
  • Milk – my kids have two glasses of soy or almond milk per day.  I’m still debating what to do about this one.  It does have sugar.  This might be an exception for them.  It is one of the few ways they get protein and other good nutrients.
  • 2 Cheats per Month – We will allow two sugar treats a month, but the whole family has to agree to what the treat is and when we will splurge.  We are going to shoot for 1 per month, but we have two birthdays in July.  It is hard to pass up a delicious treat for birthdays, so we will say a maximum of 2 per month.
  • 70% or more chocolate is ok, but only one square per day.  The benefits of dark chocolate are too great to not allow a little chocolate every day.  Besides, this might be my kids’ sanity….and mine, too!

So, what does all of this mean for us?

  1. A simplified approach to cutting out processed food.  A lot of processed food has added sugars.  If you can’t eat sugar, you automatically eliminate many of the processed food choices!  This will help steer us back on track.
  2. Clean out now!  I’ve been getting rid of everything with sugar for the past couple of weeks.  Our pantry and fridge is almost clean!
  3. I will be baking much more.   Example: my daughter did a science experiment for school where she tried different sweeteners in sugar cookies.  She really liked the version that had honey in them.  She has already asked if we can make those.  Absolutely!  There is no sugar in them!   I will also keep us stocked with energy bites and cocoa coconut bites (both recipes on this blog).  I’ll be trying new items and posting the successful recipes.
  4. What about those cool summer treats such as ice cream and popsicles???  This was a concern that my daughter had.  Well, we will have healthy but tasty options to enjoy.  I already started today.  I made a double batch of my breakfast smoothie and froze some as popsicles.  We will have smoothie pops as a cool summer treat.  I’ve got other ideas to try like fudge pops.  Again, any recipes that work will get posted.
  5. Fruit will become sweet again…good enough to serve as a dessert.

My hope is that this sets a new norm for our family where sugar is not something that we want every day but something to enjoy for a special occasion.  What about you?  Will you join me in the “no sugar summer” challenge?