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Sugar Free January + An Insanely Awesome Giveaway

Do you want to cut out refined sugar with me for 30 days? Or let me rephrase. Do you want to join me in making and eating SUPER YUMMY recipes… that just happen to have no refined sugar… for the month of January? Yes! I was hoping you’d say that.

So… um…

Do you want to cut out refined sugar with me for 30 days?

Or let me rephrase. Do you want to join me in making and eating SUPER YUMMY recipes… that just happen to have no refined sugar… for the month of January?

Yes! I was hoping you’d say that.

What Is Sugar Free January?

Let’s start with what it is not. It is not a super strict eating program. It is not a cleanse. It is not a course.

This is just a simple and straightforward challenge to remove refined sugar from your diet for 30 days.

The challenge will start on January 2nd and end on January 31st. During that time, you’ll see a whole bunch of ALL NEW sugar free recipes made with just regular, non-scary, real food ingredients right here on Pinch of Yum.

What Are THe Rules Of Sugar Free January?

  1. Cut out refined sugar for 30 days.
  2. Be committed, but don’t be strict, mean, or shaming with yourself or others.
  3. Make your own choices. (For example, I still keep dark chocolate in my Sugar Free Plan.)

Wait, You Still Eat Dark Chocolate?

Yep, I do. We all make our own choices, and going sugar free can mean whatever you want it to mean. For me, it means figuring out how to cut out all / almost all sugar without also hating my life or setting myself up to fail.

I’d strongly encourage you to create a Sugar Free Plan that is specific and unique to you and the foods that you want to cut out.

Here’s a PDF that makes it easy –>> POY Sugar Free January Plan.

And here’s what mine looks like:

A hand holding a Sugar Free January guide.

In my Sugar Free Plan, I keep lots of “regular” foods like the occasional French fries and sushi for Friday nights, wine for weekends, and dark chocolate for emergencies. Sugar Free January is a you-pick type thing, so the Sugar Free Plan will look different for everyone. When I make this list, I’m thinking about:

  • What will help me feel my best?
  • What sweeteners can also provide nutritional benefit?
  • What will make this sustainable for me over a long period of time?

For example, I kept sushi even though sushi rolls are not sugar free. However, I just know that I’m not going to last long on a sugar free eating plan if I can’t say yes to a  Friday night spicy tuna roll. Same with French fries – not exactly a health food, but I know I’m going to have a really hard time going out on a weekend with friends and not being able to nibble on a few fries.  In order to be able to stick to the rest of the plan, I know I need wiggle room. That’s not true for everyone, but it’s true for me.

Remember: make your own choices.

fridge shot

But Lindsay, You Eat Sugar, Right?

Good catch. I do normally eat sugar! And I have a blog so most people will know when I eat sugary foods. 🤪 Remember this caramel monkey bread? Yeah, I ate that. I definitely, for surely ate that. And I really feel strongly that it wouldn’t be Christmas without a pan of cinnamon rolls or my mother-in-law’s tea ring.

And currently, as you can see from the picture, there’s a can of Mountain Dew in my fridge left over from our party last week. Super classy.

So yes, I eat sugar. For me, the long-term approach has to be balanced, otherwise it won’t work. That being said, I will be going completely sugar free during the month of January for this challenge.

How Do I Join You?

Yay, yay, yay! Here’s what you can do:

  1. Download, print, and fill out your POY Sugar Free January Plan.
  2. Make sure you are signed up for our email list so you don’t miss any new recipes in January.
  3. Check back this week for answers to some questions and guidelines for getting ready, and then look for new sugar free recipes all through the month of January.
  4. Talk to us about what you’re doing by leaving comments on posts or using #POYsugarfreejanuary on Instagram.

What If I Want More Information and Support?

I am not a nutritionist or a doctor or a scientist, or anyone with any sort of professional credibility, actually (!!) and I feel like I should say that a few times loudly. Just a reminder! Not a nutritionist.

So if you want more in-depth resources, a stronger knowledge base, specific menu planning support, and a really tight-knit group to encourage you through removing sugar from your life, I would definitely recommend a more formally organized course called Go Sugar Free which I did back in 2014 and again in 2015.

Jacqueline (the course founder and leader) does an excellent job facilitating the course – there are daily emails, book reviews, a recipe library, and a very active and supportive Facebook group. You will be in good hands with her. Her next course is starting on January 3rd, 2017. Click here to sign up. (We are affiliates for this program. Bjork and I have done it ourselves and can speak to its benefits!)

The Insanely Awesome Giveaway

This giveaway is now closed.

Let’s talk about FREE STUFF! I picked some things for this giveaway that I find really helpful when making healthy, real food meals from scratch to kick us off on a happy note into January.

If you want to enter the giveaway, just leave a comment telling me what you think about going sugar free.

You can say “I could never do that,” (UMM HI I SAID THAT TOO), or “I’m intrigued,” or “I am so totally ready for Sugar Free January!”

Here’s what the winner will get:

Giveaway will close on Wednesday, December 20th at 12pm CST.  This giveaway is now closed. We’ll pick one winner  by randomly choosing from the list of comments. Giveaway is only open to U.S. residents because of shipping, but if you are not from the U.S. and you still want to leave a comment, I would still be thrilled hear from you. ❤️

Lastly: If You Have a Question About Sugar Free January, Leave a Comment!

I am going to do a follow-up post on Thursday answering your questions as we prepare for the month ahead.

And if you’re not already signed up for our email list, get signed up, you weirdo! We don’t want you to miss any of these Sugar Free January recipes!


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  1. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Emilie Ritchie

    I am definitely intrigued. I’ll think on it some more and I might try to do this with you guys. Thanks for the chance at all the great stuff.

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I am so going in for this, and can’t wait! I even got my boyfriend to join! We live in Norway but are going on a 3 month trip to the states (california) next summer, and I want to be in the best possible shape for the trip!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I like the checklist and the idea of customizing it to make it work for each person! I’m in!

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I think goin sugar free is a great idea! I’m currently pregnant so not planning on it until after delivery.

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Jeanne Pouliot ODonnell

    I am so ready to go sugar free in January. I have lost 20 pounds since September and I am ready to lose another 20. Let’s do this!

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I love that your plan allows for freedom and flexibility. Can’t wait to join you and try your recipes!

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I love the idea of going sugar free, although it would be SO HARD after all the holiday cookies!

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I’ve thought about going sugar-free in the past but honestly its a big part of my life being a baker and all. I’m pretty intrigued though and maybe adding wiggle room will make things a little easier…I need my cinnamon buns 😩

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    You are so inspirational on so many levels!!! My dad is coming the first week of Jan and is diabetic so I can wow him with your wonderful recipes without him (or me!) even realizing we’re starting 2018 off right! Happy Christmas and New Year to you and the entire POY family! PS I love the music you play in your instas who is it? Tks!

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Erin S

    I think it’s a great idea and probably not all that difficult once you start. Not sure how I’m going to without sweetened creamer in my coffee though…

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I’ve gone sugar-free many times, but somehow I always find my way back to sugar. I do plan on starting again soon.

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I was just talking with my boyfriend about doing this as one of my New Years resolutions (not for the whole year, but most certainly for a month)! This is awesome timing, because I use so many recipes from this blog! Can’t wait!!

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    It’s been said that 21 days is how long it takes to form a good habit, and while going completely sugar free for the rest of life is unimaginable, by taking the challenge for a month, I think it will help set the tone for the rest of the year!

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Karlie Kashat

    Definitely intrigued!!! Downloaded the plan. And I’m sure I’ll be even more ready in a week or two 😉

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I’m totally inspired to do this, Lindsay (even though my birthday is in January…so CAKE!?)! Thanks for sharing the checklist (and making dark chocolate, A-OKAY). 🙂