By now you are wondering, “What is Sugar Free January?”

It’s a legit question, considering the fact that sugar free means something different to almost anyone and everyone you ask.

If you are interested in the undertaking of a sugar free January, and want to know how I’m doing, here you go.

What is Sugar Free January

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What is Sugar Free January

About 4 years ago I wrote a post called, “What Does Sugar Free Mean.” In the post I said, 

For all intensive purposes of The Gutsy Girl’s Bible: an approach to healing the gut 2.0, sugar-free means that most sugars are limited and that even fruit and all added sugars (except for raw honey) are removed.

If a recipe on my blog says “sugar-free,” that means it does not include even honey or fruit. In other words, there will not be many “sugar-free” recipes on my blog. The Basil and Arugula Lemon Pesto is an example of sugar free.

Remember, sugar-free for Gutsy girls typically needs to mean something a little different than for the average Joe. Our guts are more complicated and thus require a little more tender loving care. I can’t sugar coat (pun intended) the truth about sugar for y’all. If I did, I wouldn’t be helping you heal ????

I still, wholeheartedly believe this. However, the belief only remains true for those who need to engage in heavy-duty gut healing.

I no longer do, and thus, the way I engage with sugar free changes. 

If you do still need to honor complete sugar avoidance, make sure to check out these 192 sources of sugar. Print the list out or click HERE to save it for later. I spent hours putting this list together, and it’s a great resource. 192 Sugar Sources and Alternate Names

What My Personal Sugar Free January Means

At this stage of my healing journey, I do not need stringent rules. My goal is to continue being consistent by eating as many nutrient dense foods as possible while also maintaining some sort of normalcy. 

Therefore, I realize that for many, sugar free means complete sugar avoidance and to even avoid things like fruit. But as I stated yesterday on Instagram,

One thing I **will** tell you is that it does **NOT** include the exclusion of fruit. Duh. Too many sugar-free plans and programs take fruit away, and personally, I do not believe in that as a long-term strategy. If we vilify things like bananas, apples, and oranges, what are we teaching about the #realfood movement? For real.

I stand firmly behind that idea. 

What I’m talking about for a sugar free January means:

  • minimal added sugars (I will still, however, have my booch. Listen, I realize that there is some sugar in Kombucha, but I believe the benefits of the drink far outweigh the sugar contained in it. I am still on my G.T.’s kick.)
  • zero sugar that I manually add, with the exception of monk fruit (I am allowing monk fruit still because….well just because)
  • no gum
  • fruit is fine
  • candies and desserts (both of which I had a ton of during the holidays) 

My sugar free January means I can still have bread and baked goods that mimic the real thing. This is banned on the Whole30 Diet, and it’s a huge reason I was a Whole30 Dropout. Trust me, to take away something like the AIP Bread recipe I developed below would be much more “diet/fad” than real life.

In addition to the above, a realistic sugar free January for you might mean:

  • cutting all packaged salad dressings, yogurts, sauces, etc., basically anything that has added sugar to it 
  • including other unrefined sugar substitutes like honey and coconut sugar
  • getting really serious and joining Pinch of Yum’s Sugar Free January (she has a ton of great thoughts and ideas, and resources for the month – do make note if you are Gutsy, though, that many options are likely not suitable for you) 

10 “Sugar” Fixes for Sugar Free January

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What is Sugar Free January 10 alternative sugar fixes

I know what you guys want to know…..but tell me how to get by without sugar. So I will share with you 10 “sugar” fixes for sugar free January.

  1. Paleo Bars. I’m obsessed. Always have been, always will be. They use monk fruit. And when I want sweet, I reach for these.
  2. Nutiva Coconut Manna
  3. Keto Blueberry Muffins
  4. Nikki’s Coconut Butter Vanilla Cake Batter (yes, it does have 3g of sugar from Coconut Sugar, but it’s so minimal that I’m running with it) What is Sugar Free January Nikki's Vanilla Cake Batter Coconut Butter
  5. Full-Fat Chia Seed Pudding with just full-fat coconut milk, chia seed, and a little monk fruit and/or fruit, if desired
  6. Sugar Free Pure Chocolate Dessert
  7. Made in Nature Organic Dried Bananas dipped in a Sea Salted Cinnamon Almond Butter (no sugar in this nut butter) or even just a regular banana with nut butter What is Sugar Free January peanut butter and banana
  8. Paleo Coconut Butter Bites (I have swapped out the maple for monk fruit, and they taste great.)
  9. The “sweet version” of my AIP Bread (Trust me, this fits any sweet, cakey, and carb-craving you might have.) AIP Bread Recipe e-book via Paleo
  10. 3-Ingredient Coconut Cookies

So how did I do yesterday, on January 1st? Fantastic! Here was my day of general eats:

  1. chicken apple sausage
  2. eggs
  3. banana
  4. coffee with coconut milk and monk fruit
  5. stir-fry with veggies, white rice, shrimp, and olive oil
  6. Kombucha
  7. raw almonds
  8. chia seed pudding
  9. salad with turkey, olive oil, herbs, and balsamic, and avocado
  10. grapes

Looking for more gluten-free foods with nil sugar that are not dessert in nature? Click HERE to grab a list of 30.

Let me know if you’re joining me for sugar free January and/or if you have any questions.


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  1. We call ours “Dessert Free January.” It feels a little more honest 😉 We made it the entire month last year and I saw a drastic reduction in perimenopausal issues I had been experiencing (hot flashes, anxiety, insomnia.) I completely agree with not cutting out fruit.

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