4 Ways To Eat Less Sugar This Year

sugar

OK, so did anyone besides me eat too much sugar during all the festivities of Christmas and New Year’s Day?

I never intended to, but it happened.  You see, sugar does not like me.  It gives me tingly fingers, numb toes, a foggy brain, and makes my left leg hurt  (to the point that I sometimes may limp if I’ve had too much).  Strange, huh?  I know.  These symptoms are signs that the cells in my body are being damaged by the sugar, and I therefore could end up with a disease of some sort if I’m not careful.  

I must confess that I’ve had a serious sugar addiction for a few years due to yeast overgrowth in my body (aka candida-more about that in another post), and I’ve done really, really well in breaking my addiction over the past few months…

Until Christmas.  And Christmas cookies.  Christmas is a time of sharing and showing love, so baking and delivering cookies is a big part of Christmas for me.  And baking and delivering cookies is what I did, along with lots of cookie dough samples and cookie tastings…

I can manage to avoid the dessert tables at church fellowships, and I even overlooked my mom’s amazing chocolate walnut bars at Thanksgiving, but cookie dough that I am actually stirring myself makes it near impossible not to taste.  I am one of those serious cookie bakers that has to make sure the dough tastes right and that the texture of the cookies is perfect-even after they’ve cooled.  And that one taste of cookie turns into a late night snack of cookies with milk after everyone has gone to bed and no one can scold me.  I’m pretty sure if one of my children had gotten up and found me snacking on those cookies last week, I would have tried to hide them under the table and make up some wild story of why I had chocolate chips on my face or something…

Sugar is addicting and delicious, and one bite of it can throw me right back into consuming it daily.

Am I alone here?  Does anyone else struggle with this crazy sugar addiction?  My body may be able to better handle sugar in the future on occasion, but right now it’s the last thing I need to eat.  And now that Christmas is over, I’m getting myself back on a low/no sugar diet….with God’s help.  🙂

4 Ways To Eat Less Sugar This Year

If you are like me and would like to consume less sugar this year and live a healthier more vibrant life, here are a few suggestions that I try to live by.

honey

1. Raw Honey

While raw honey is a form of sugar, it is much better for us than even cane sugar, and my body seems to handle it better.  It’s also a medicine in itself and full of so many great benefits!  I love finding recipes sweetened with honey, or substituting honey for sugar in recipes.  While it’s still not best for me to consume a whole lot of honey, I do have it on occasion.

Here are a few of my favorites:

2. Fruit Sweeteners

Fruit is full of natural sugars-it’s very sweet if you think about it.  We would do our bodies good if we trained ourselves to be satisfied with eating an orange rather than a plate of cookies-not that it’s terrible to eat a cookie now and then, but many of us crave unhealthy foods all the time.

Sometimes I will substitute applesauce for sugar or even honey (if I’m wanting to consume even less sugar) in muffin recipes.  This makes the muffin not very sweet at all, but I always try to add pecans or walnuts and some mashed bananas for added sweetness and flavor.  Here’s a muffin recipe inspired by Jillian Michaels that I’ve substituted applesauce for the honey-though the small amount of honey would be fine too.  We loved these muffins slathered with butter!  Butter makes everything taste awesome, right?

My one daughter who doesn’t always like my low/no sugar recipes, absolutely loved these!  That made my mama heart happy! 🙂

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Nut Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1 T. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup Millk (raw, coconut, almond)
  • 1/4 Cup Applesauce
  • 1/3 Cup Raw Honey or Additional Applesauce
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Banana (Mashed (this is not necessary if you use honey instead of applesauce))
  • 1 Cup Walnuts (Chopped)

Directions

Step 1
Whisk dry ingredients in one bowl.
Step 2
Whisk together wet ingredients in another bowl.
Step 3
Stir dry and wet ingredients together.
Step 4
Fold in the nuts.
Step 5
Pour batter into muffin cups.
Step 6
Bake 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

3. Stevia

I hate to tell you this, but a lot of the stevia found at the common grocery story is not good for you.  It’s processed and full of added ingredients.  I know it’s frustrating to get excited about a natural healthy alternative to sugar, only to discover that what you are buying at your store isn’t good for you at all.  It’s just the way the ball rolls, my friends.  Companies are going to take advantage of any food fad and create inferior products that are not healthy or pure.  Stay educated and aware.

Only stevia really shouldn’t be a fad because it’s a plant that God created that is many more times sweeter than sugar, and it’s good for you-if eaten in the right natural form.  And that’s the way I consume it!

I like to buy Lilly’s Dark Chocolate Stevia Sweetened Chips.  Yes they are expensive for a mere bag of chips, but I don’t buy them all the time, and they help me avoid sugar when I have a craving.  I haven’t gotten very creative with these yet, but I do snack on them sometimes or stir them with peanut butter to create a taste similar to Reeses.

I also really like Sweet Leaf Stevia Flavored Drops.  The chocolate drops can be added to milk for a quick chocolate milk, or dropped on peanut butter toast for that yummy peanut butter and chocolate flavor.  You can add them to cereal, coffee, and pie.  You can get some yummy recipes from their website here.

Find the herb stevia here, which can be added to teas to sweeten, or crushed into a powder and added to baking goods.  It’s 30-300 times sweeter than sugar, so just a pinch will do!

Healthy Choices CP-126-500x500

4. Having Healthy Cookbooks on Hand

I’m not one of those cooks that can create fabulous meals on my own-I need a recipe!  I may tweak recipes to make them healthier or more to my liking, but I at least need a recipe that someone else has come up with as a base.

That’s why I was thrilled when Sue Hooley contacted me about trying out a cookbook she carries in her store called Healthy Choices.  The recipes in this cookbook have no sugar, no white flour, and no artificial anything!

I already use the Daily Planner, preschool curriculum, as well as excellent character resources from her website, so I was sure that I would also greatly enjoy this cookbook as well!

And I was not disappointed!  This cookbook is full of so many fabulous, healthy recipes.  One of my goals this year is to continually move toward fixing more food that is real and as close to nature as possible.  That’s what this cookbook delivers.  No one can live a vibrant life eating foods that are pasteurized, homogenized, nutritionally dead, and full of chemicals.  Our bodies have living cells which requires living nutrients.  In this cookbook, you will find recipes with REAL food ingredients.  That’s very hard to find in cookbooks these days!

There are 440 pages of recipes in this cookbook, and each page has anywhere from 2-4 recipes on it- so if you do an estimate of math-that a TON of healthy recipes!

Recipes such as:

  • Syrupy Pancake Bake
  • Breakfast Burritos
  • Broccoli Cheese Souffle
  • Quick French Toast
  • World’s Best Waffles
  • Cinnamon Rolls
  • Honey Whole Wheat Bread
  • Baked Pumpkin Bread
  • Banana Nut Bread
  • Campfire Potatoes
  • Cheesy Broccoli Potatoes
  • Homemade Mayonnaise
  • Deep Dish Taco Squares
  • Taco Casserole
  • Vegetable Lasagna
  • Herb Pizza Crust
  • Spaghetti Pizza
  • BBQ Chicken Pizza
  • Upside-Down Pizza

(Can you tell I love pizza?!)

  • Bean Burgers
  • Chicken & Biscuits
  • Chicken Nuggets
  • Parmesan Chicken Strips
  • Apple Pie
  • Sweet Potato Pie
  • Apple Fritters
  • Pecan Pie
  • Basic Brownies
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Hot Cider
  • Hot Cocoa

Plus this cookbook has sections on home remedies, gardening, seasoning mixes, dips, sandwiches, soaps, cleaners, soups, sourdough, fermented foods, and cooking with herbs.

Let me remind you that all of these recipes are made with real, healthy ingredients, and there are hundreds of them – and none of them have those strange ingredients that you don’t know how to pronounce and cost a fortune to buy and a long car trip to find.  You don’t have to give up your comfort foods to eat healthy!

This cookbook is quickly becoming my very favorite ever!

View this cookbook as well as other excellent resources here at the Homemaker’s Depot.

What are some ways you satisfy your sweet tooth without using refined sugar?  Let me know in the comments below!

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DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional. This post is for educational purposes only. The information has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links. In order for me to support this website, my research, and blogging activities, I occasionally may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement and/or links to products or services. However, I only recommend products or services I trust.

Comments

  1. Darlene says

    Sugar does a number on me, too. It gives me hot flashes among the other symptoms. I am thinking of what I can have that is sweet after the meal, while I am cooking a meal…EVERY meal! Who wakes up and wants dessert after breakfast? But that is the way I am. I am so addicted to sugar.

    I desperately want to kick this addiction and look forward to any help I can get. Thanks!

  2. says

    Jill, thank you for this sugar post. Over the last year I’ve been making changes in my own and my family’s diet as it pertains to sugar. I have a kid who just loves the sweet stuff! So you mentioned stevia. I wanted to ask you, are there any store brands that you might recommend? I recently bought a stevia brand at our local Costco called “pure via”.

    • says

      I’m not real familiar with it and need to do more research on what makes stevia healthy and unhealthy. I’ve read that Pure Via is made by Pepsi-not sure if it’s true or what that means on it’s health content. If I’m using stevia in powdered form, I use NuStevia by NuNaturals. It is SO sweet and only takes a pinch for most things.
      Jill recently posted…Natural Supplements for DiabetesMy Profile

  3. says

    Thanks for this great post, Jill! We’ve been trying to cut down on sugar too. Learning how to replace white sugar with honey and maple syrup can be a challenge, but it’s definitely worth it. I was also excited to see the cookbook you featured. My mom actually bought me this cookbook this year when she and my dad when to Ohio to visit Amish country there. She knew I’d like it, and she was right! We’ve definitely enjoyed some of the recipes, and I can’t wait to try more of them.
    Meagan @ Growing Up Herbal recently posted…How To Make Herb Roasted Fries Your Kids Will Fight OverMy Profile

    • says

      How awesome for your mom to buy this cookbook for you! It’s so great that I think I’ll send out a few more emails promoting it because I think everyone needs one. 🙂

  4. says

    Fruit and protein snacks really help me when I’m craving sugar. I can definitely notice a difference around holidays, too! One little treat every day for a few days in a row and it becomes so much easier to make sugar a part of my daily routine. A cup of homemade hot chocolate at night with lots of cocoa powder and just a little honey will often make me feel like I’ve had a sweet treat, too, even though it isn’t really all that sweet at all.
    Kristen @ Smithspirations recently posted…All About Yarrow: The Herb of the Month for January 2016My Profile

  5. Shalimar says

    HI, we have started using many natural sweetners, but we aren’t completely there. So, I was curious on a few things. My 2 oldest (6 & 9) are having a hard time understanding why I don’t let them have junk. They don’t understand, “It’s bad for you!” So what are suggestions to help them through this? Since this is all new to us, we haven’t really shared our new “diet” with family, friends, and church. Since we are supposed to be grateful as Paul says, how do we turn down not only sugar, but processed foods (that many others don’t see as sugar) as well? My kids participate in parties at school, my kindergartner has a “snack” every day brought by the “snack friend” (I send bananas and water when its our turn!), they have youth functions that include junk food, the church has a weekly meal, grandparents and aunts want to give them whatever they want especially when we aren’t around, and coaches have given them Powerade and lollipops. And most of these are Christian events. So even for us eating church meals (highly processed many times), do you just eat because they offer it, or what would you do? Do you implement a 80/20 or 90/10, etc. rule (bad vs good meals)? And aside from sugar, are you a stickler for organic? Many Christian websites say we should, but I’ve had people say “If we ask God to bless our food, then no food has power over our God,” and “We have to eat something to survive” (from someone who has an extremely limited budget). I can see where they are coming from but I also say the chemicals and made up foods are not how God intended our food to be. Our finances aren’t great either (we are on WIC – food is not healthy like they say it is), so just curious. Sorry for the long post, but looking for opinions from you or others who may read in here! Hope this may be of help for others as well!!

    • says

      I personally try to practice balance. My girls have unhealthy things at church, birthday parties, with family, and sometimes at our house. 🙂 We don’t eat perfect, but I am continually trying to work toward eating more real foods and eating less packaged foods-it’s a process. This year we are doing better than we ever have. We are eating as many “living” foods as possible on a daily basis, and I can see it in our health. There are certain things that I don’t allow my girls to eat no matter where they are like MSG, regular soda (I buy them a “healthier” soda at the health food store on occasion), aspartame, sucralose, high fructose corn syrup-these are my “avoid like the plague” ingredients that have such a potential for causing disease and cancer that I say absolutely no to them. When we are at functions, however, there are other foods that may not be the healthiest but are a better choice than these dangerous ingredients.
      I have a little more wiggle room right now, but I completely understand what it’s like to be on an extremely tight budget. I am not a stickler for organic because it’s simply too expensive. I buy all the organic I can afford each month and then choose what’s the next healthiest thing. There was a day that I could not afford a single organic food, but we can always choose healthier no matter our situation by making things from scratch, growing food ourselves, and shopping at discount stores.
      I am a believer in praying for our food to be sanctified, but I don’t believe God would bless us with good health if we ate cake for every meal, simply because we know better. But if we are eating as healthy as we can afford then I believe God will bless our efforts.
      Thanks so much for contacting me, Shalimar!
      Jill recently posted…DIY Sweet Dreams Pillow MistMy Profile

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