Thank you all for your amazing response to my recent post. It means the world to me to have wonderful friends and readers like you! I am so thankful for the outpouring of support, and it means so much to me that my story touched and informed so many.
Feeling thankful for things, this weekend we hosted an early Thanksgiving dinner. We’re going to be out of the country during (Canadian) Thanksgiving, but since it’s my favourite holiday, I really wanted to celebrate it early. Of course, that meant Early Thanksgiving fell within Sugar-Free September, so well, that was a challenge!
The only thing stressing me out all week was dessert. For me, Thanksgiving isn’t really Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie, so I really wanted to find a way to enjoy pumpkin pie while avoiding any sugars and sweeteners including stevia, and even maple syrup and dates. I found a way!
I’ll be sharing some of my healthy Thanksgiving recipes here on the blog, but as a thank you for reading, I’m giving you a copy of my totally Sugar-Free Thanksgiving menu to download.
You’ll find 7 easy recipes for a healthy Thanksgiving dinner menu that contains absolutely no added sugars, including my sugar-free pumpkin pie.
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Two sugar-free weeks down! Woohoo! I’m halfway through Sugar-Free September and I’m feeling great. Although I haven’t felt very deprived at all, I’ve actually lost 4 pounds without even trying. I didn’t think I was eating that much sugar, so it’s pretty crazy that cutting it out has helped me drop a bit of extra weight. I’m not even sure what the biggest change in my diet has been. Other than avoiding store-bought salad dressing and steering clear of the candy aisle, I don’t feel like I’m missing all that much.
But I guess usually I would have eaten a few store-bought baked goods, and I would have probably eaten out at a restaurant 2 or 3 times. Maybe some all-you-can-eat sushi or thin-crust pizza. There might have been a bowl of ice cream, maybe a few handfuls of chips. Definitely a chocolate bar. Then there would have been that drizzle of maple syrup on my granola and those extra bananas in my morning smoothies. Even a pumpkin spice latte.
I guess that all does add up!
Having cut all those things out, what has my typical day looked like? Thinking back to the last two weeks, here’s a sample of my recent meals:
Late-Night Snack: sugar-free granola with almond milk, raspberries and cocoa nibs or chopped veggies and hummus or chia pudding with chocolate coconut mousse or a slice of sugar-free peach pie
Eating like this has left me feeling light, but energized. I’ll admit though, I have been fantasizing about the Nutella crepes I’m going to be enjoying next month while in Paris!
While I definitely won’t be avoiding sugar for ever, I am realizing that there are lots of places I can cut it out. Like these super easy healthy sugar-free apple muffins, which are perfect for ushering in the cooler fall weather with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. Unsweetened apple sauce and a flax egg make for this easy muffin recipe that is vegan and contains absolutely zero added sugars.
I went with a pared down version, but these muffins are the perfect base for loads of fun mix-ins. Go crazy with blueberries, raisins or chocolate chips or add a smear of sugar-free chia jam and you won’t be missing any of the sugar or eggs at all.
I had some chia seeds soaking overnight, since I knew that after being a couple days into Sugar-Free September, the need for a sweet treat wouldn’t be far off.
Layers of oats, vanilla chia, coconut whipped cream and fresh blueberries combine in this healthy snack that satisfies.
This blueberry chia parfait is a perfect dessert, snack or breakfast and is totally dairy-, gluten- and sugar-free. The added chocolate mousse makes it extra indulgent but the only cost to the velvety cream is a healthy dose of high quality fat.
Blueberry Chia Parfait with Chocolate Mousse, no dairy or added sugars
I never got around to sharing my smoothie last week as part of Kimberly Snyder’s recipe challenge, but I turned the leftovers into popsicles, and that’s worth sharing! Seriously, what’s better after a hardcore workout than a popsicle that you can feel good about?!
Now, Kimberly’s smoothies included spirulina, which if you’re not familiar, is an algae that is super high in protein. It’s sold in a powder form, which makes it perfect for adding to smoothies. I’ve considering buying it a few times, but it’s pretty pricey, so I’ve held off. So I went with my other favourite source of plant-based protein: hemp seeds!
With even more protein per gram than spirulina, I use this stuff in everything. Just sprinkle on salads, mix into grain dishes or try this recipe and blend into a smoothie frozen into a popsicle.