After coming back from Spring Break on a Saturday, I put myself to the task of organizing myself for the week to come. I wanted to try new recipes and meal prep something different. 

Not knowing where to start, I clicked on a video from my recommendations by my favorite Youtuber at the moment: Sanne Vloet. In a video showing what she ate in a week,  Vloet displayed homemade meals, whole ingredients, and the motivation that I needed to join her on those menus. 

So, I enrolled myself in a free trial for Soul Sync Body, Vloet's workout and nutrition platform, looking at promising dishes like Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Tagine, Peanut Pad Thai, Chicken Couscous Bowls, and a Chocolate Avocado Smoothie for breakfast. 

I went to buy all the ingredients and noticed that going to the supermarket with a really clear list of what you're going to buy saves you a good half an hour of thinking in-store, which was great. 

Why did I do it? 

I was feeling bloated, somewhat sugar-dependent, and wanting to regain control and connection with my food after having spent a long week of many desserts. Plus, cooking new recipes seemed very fun! 

I really liked that although Vloet used to be a model and very body-focused, she strives to create balanced, nutritional meals through her sugar-free meal plan. She understands that nobody's perfect (including herself) and gives herself room for slight adaptations and modifications. Her meal plan has many vegetarian dishes, and she gives options for how to make them vegan. You can definitely add your protein of choice to the vegetarian dishes, too. 

What did I like about the program?

My favorite dishes were the Tofu Miso Soup with mushrooms, the Chickpea Lunch Sandwich, and the Breakfast Oats with peanut butter, coconut, and hemp seeds. Everything was super easy to make, usually taking around 20-30 minutes, and some dishes served two people or left enough for leftovers the next day. I found it versatile, adaptable, and practical.  

With this and all challenges, I noticed how important it is to approach it with a positive mindset and leave behind the all-or-nothing mentality. Instead of giving up, you had to adapt (or maybe gave into a craving along the way, like I did with a small blueberry scone that clearly had some added sugar). Even so, you should keep going, try to understand what triggered your craving, and embrace your progress.

What did I learn by going sugar-free?

After doing this challenge, I obviously went back to eating some sugar (my birthday was the week after, so I enjoyed some birthday cake and carrot cake that my boyfriend made for me).

However, I did feel positive results. I now have less sugar anxiety and less need for desserts every day. I've learned to read food labels carefully and opt for products with no added sugar. I've learned to listen to my body, understanding that cravings are sometimes signs of thirst, anxiety, lack of certain nutrients, or low protein intake. Lastly, I learned that challenging myself is possible, and moderation is key.

Would you try this challenge? Or have you tried it? I'd love to hear about your experience!