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Please keep in mind that I am not a registered dietitian or doctor. My posts are based on my own research and personal experience, and this blog is not intended to be used as medical or nutritional advice. You should always consult a doctor before making any changes to your diet and exercise routine. You are ultimately responsible for your own health!
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A Sweet Pre-Holiday Challenge

If you’re like me, you may feel like you’ve over-done it a bit with the homemade butterfingers or peanut butter cups leading up to Halloween. Even naturally sweetened goodies can leave you with a sugar-hangover, if you’re not careful!

It’s also likely that much more sugar is in our future, with the holidays just around the corner.

To prepare for the onslaught of rich, holiday food and inevitable office treats, the lovely Sarah Wilson is hosting an 8-week “I Quit Sugar” Pre-Christmas Program.

What I love about Sarah’s approach to quitting sugar, is that it’s not hard and rigid. You don’t have to give up ALL sugar cold-turkey. (Unless, of course, you want to.)

This challenge is what you make it.

Consider this program a little “8-week experiment.” When the 8-weeks are over, you may want to go back to eating how you were before, but most likely your taste-buds will have adjusted, and your cravings for sugar will be greatly reduced. You may even lose a few pounds, and want to keep going! With no calorie-counting or restrictions on food, this program makes the transition as painless as possible, with some great tips for weaning yourself off sugar, too!

The official challenge is already underway, but you can join in at any time! Mondays tend to be good starting points for most people, so if you’d like to join us, take the weekend to prepare and meet back here on Monday, November 4th, for a tasty, sugar-free recipe!

To join in:

  • Follow along on Facebook, if you’d like.

If you don’t want to join in, no worries. I have plenty of holiday sweets to share over the next couple of months, too!

Reader Feedback: Leave a comment below if you want to join in! I’ll try to feature at least one sugar-free recipe each week throughout the challenge, and as usual, will post my Wednesday eats for meal ideas.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

25 comments to A Sweet Pre-Holiday Challenge

  • Amanda Jewell

    I’m in! I actually started today. I have a question though: what’s the policy on fruit?

    On a side note, I made your chicken and veggie soup tonight (in my slow cooker) and it turned out GREAT! It’ll be great to have over the rest of the weekend!

    • Glad you have you join us, Amanda! Personally, I’m still including fruit during the challenge, but others may feel the need to exclude it depending on their situation. The challenge is whatever works for you!

      And I’m so glad you enjoyed the chicken soup! I’m making it again this week, for sure!

  • Shannon

    I was just thinking about doing this- I think I’m up for the challenge:)

  • I’m definitely going to join in :) I’ll blog about it too! I’ve actually done her challenge before so I think I’ll get even more out of it this time around!

  • Hope

    Haha, so funny (interesting funny, not “funny” funny…) that you posted this because I’m totally doing a “No-chocolate November”! Although, it doesn’t seem like much in comparison to “quitting sugar”, but at least it’s some sort of sacrifice :)

  • I’ve checked out her website before and have been curious about it! I would love to try some sort of sugar detox since I’ve done one in the past and actually really loved it!

  • Mia

    I am very interested in trying your sugar-free recipes. I love your blog and have had so much fun experimenting with your creations. I have cut out all refined sugar but still use dried dates and figs for sweetening some of my grain-free treats.

  • babs

    I like it! I haven’t had sugar in 2 years. And I mean NO sugar….no honey, no maple syrup, so dates and no raisins or dried fruits. I only use bananas and stevia to sweeten things, and sometimes applesauce. I also use unsweetened carob a lot. (can’t have caffeine either). I had to do it for health reasons, which is not easy for a sugarholic person. It probably saved me from myself though. I’ve lost a lot of my taste for sugary things now, which is nice. So believe me, once you’ve done it for 21 days, it gets really easy after that.

    • Congrats on the 2 years! What a wonderful thing to do for your health! I’m working on the caffeine aspect, too… which is challenging now, but I know will be good for me down the road. :)

  • What great timing…I’ve been thinking of doing a candida cleanse for a period of 6 months. The sweets, even though unrefined and all natural, have been calling at me way too much lately!

  • This sounds like a really cool challenge, and my husband and I are both feeling like this would be good for us. Do you know if she uses a lot of stevia in her recipes? Lately, I’ve been a bit averse to using as much of it due to some negative articles I’ve read, so that would play a role in my linking up. Thanks for any info! :-)

    • If I remember correctly, the original “I Quit Sugar” book doesn’t call for much stevia, if any. I think she uses Yacon syrup in a few? The cookbook does have more stevia-sweetened stuff. Personally, I will NOT be using stevia myself, so you can count on me being in the same boat as you! I do plan on including some fresh fruit, though, to satisfy any sweet cravings that may come up. Hope you both will join in!

  • jenn

    No thanks, I keep sweets in my life as medicine for my food related neuroses. For me, every deprivation leads to an equal an opposite binge. Plus her website seems kind of like the girl version of “bro science”. Bring on the butterfingers and chococado shakes!

  • Alyssa

    This definitely sounds like a challenge I’m willing to try! I have been experimenting a little too much with all the naturally sweetened desserts lately and am in definite need of a detox!

  • Lauren

    I’m so glad you’re doing this! The last few days I’ve been planning to do one so great timing! My goal is 30 days or til end of 2012…christmas might be too hard though! I would really like to do a “hardcore” 7 day one as well, but don’t know of any good ones. If you happen to know of any please let me know! I was thinking veggies/juice, however, not sure if that’s good for the metabolism with no protein either.

    • Sounds like a great goal, Lauren! I’m not really a fan of 7-day detox plans, so I don’t have many to recommend– they usually just leave people confused on how to eat when they’re finished! I personally prefer to focus on eating more healthy foods, including protein, fresh fruits and veggies, while cutting out any processed stuff, which will naturally detox your body over time without doing anything drastic. Hope that helps!

  • LaDonn

    I, too, am glad for this no-sugar challenge. I have been mostly no-sugar/paleo/celiac’s diet for the past 9 months in an effort to lose weight, and lose the “pre-diabetic” label on my health record. I have lost weight (but need to continue that effort) and, happily, the ‘pre-diabetic’ diagnosis has been removed from my doctors notes in Sept of this year! HURRAY! I consider it a major milestone for me since I’ve had this thing hanging over my head for many years. I also need to reduce my cholesterol numbers and will now concentrate on that more while staying as ‘sugar-free’ as possible. I am so glad for these healthy blogs – you know you are not alone and that you are on the right track. I consider the blogs partially responsible for the progress of my health. The blogs are my ‘first read’ of the day – they set my mental medal for the day!

  • I thought about it over the weekend and I will join you! I don’t have the actual challenge details but it will be easy to reduce my sugar consumption. Harder to decrease the dried fruit and even harder to reduce fruits altogether but I think I’d like to try it out and see how it goes. Can’t wait to see what you make to inspire my journey. :)

  • Amanda

    I’m in!! I have a huge sugar tooth…I need a good challenge before the holidays annnd for our wedding next June. I just made your pumpkin sauce with spaghetti squash and added chicken apple sausage. Sooo good!! I’m hosting a vegan dinner this weekend and may do your mac & cheese with gluten free pasta and a ton of roasted veggies.

  • [...] on a challenge I started this month. A sweetener-free challenge. For 8 weeks along with Gabby and Megan. Leanne is also doing a 2-week sugar-free cleanse which is a bit too extreme for me. While I have [...]

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