Hello Again :)

It's your trusty dietitian and wellness expert sending another email hoping it's helpful as you prep for January 1. Only two more days to go -- and whatever you're feeling, sit with it. This 31-day challenge has different meanings and reasons for the almost 350 folks who've signed up. So, review the materials sent to you in the confirmation email and review the previous 2 prep emails below (links included in emails to resources).

If you missed the first email from last week re: Nourishing Shopping List, please click HERE. Missed yesterday's email re: Understanding the Why?
Click HERE.


  • First and foremost this challenge is about eliminating added sweetener (both real and fake sources) for the month of January. This will require you to become adept and looking at the food label and the ingredient lists and minimizing food you eat at restaurants, cafeterias, etc. because you don't have access to an ingredient list. Find out all you need to know HERE.

  • To take it up a notch to assist you with cravings is to also eliminate alcohol. This is so your blood sugar can reset, you can get better sleep to help with cravings and to just lay off for a month.

  • Final suggestion is to also reduce/eliminate all the synthetic ingredients found in the various food products that have replaced our want for real food. Food Science is a thing (in fact, I have a Master's degree in it) and it's AMAZING how much our bodies are having to compensate as we fill our mouths with ingredients and not nutrients. To eliminate food product, look at the ingredient list -- can you get all the ingredients yourself? if so, it's a food. If not, it's a food product. More on that HERE.


  1. EAT! Seriously! Don't take January to decide to eliminate calories or watch your fat, carbs, etc. We'll get to that in a later challenge. For this month -- just EAT REAL FOOD and get accustomed to eating real food. This means any nourishing food from the 5 food groups that is NOT food product and without any added sweetener. Eat breakfast, eat snacks, eat lunch, have more snacks, eat dinner, and finish with a snack if you want.
  2. PUT AWAY YOUR SCALE! This is not designed to be a weight loss challenge (although elimination of added sweetener, synthetics, and alcohol will be setting your body up nicely for weight loss if that's what you choose after Feb. 1). Gauge, rather, how you feel as the month progresses in terms of sleep, bloat, bathroom habits, mood, etc.
  3. SUBSTITUTE YOUR SODA WITH CAFFEINE OF SOME SORT! If you're a soda drinker (whether regular, "zero" or diet), you will go though "recovery symptoms" so my suggestion is find a caffeinated substitute that doesn't have added sweetener or synthetics. Hot tea, coffee, and plain iced tea will be your friend. If it's the carbonation you seek -- seltzer is a good one (although "natural flavors" are a synthetic so if you can stomach plain go for it)
  4. FLAVORED CREAMER IS CRAP -- Sorry folks. You're not going to find a flavored creamer that makes the cut. But, that doesn't mean that normal milk or heavy cream or half and half are out. Be wary of low-fat or fat-free version of dairy. They are a by product of all the cheese we eat in this country and there is ZERO reason to not have full fat varieties. I know you've been conditioned, but trust me. Just as an experiment -- look at the ingredients in regular half and half vs. fat free half and half.
  5. MILK SUBSTITUTES ARE NOT BETTER! Unless you've made homemade almond milk (I have, super easy) you wouldn't know how different it is from the stuff you're buying in the store. If you don't like milk, I get it -- but you'll be hard pressed to find a substitute that is "real" and without synthetics or some sort of added sweetener. If you lack the digestive enzyme "lactase" you can take Lactaid or buy Lactaid milk. Check out the ingredients on your fave milk substitute. If you could get all the ingredients yourself, go for it. If you can't -- which is likely -- stay away.
  6. SALAD DRESSINGS Just read the added sugar row on the label and look to the ingredient list. The mélange you see on the supermarket shelf most likely won't make the cut...but you may find one. Otherwise, make your own -- so easy!


  1. FRUIT -- This will help satisfy your sweet tooth. Eat alone or mix in with smoothies or over yogurt, etc. And, do not think store-bought fruit juices are the same (even though orange juice says "100% fruit juice). There are over 500+ ingredients in store-bought orange juice and the FDA allows it to say otherwise.
  2. UNSWEETENED APPLE SAUCE -- You may find varieties that have BHT for freshness so do what you can -- but this can be a great alternative to add to your yogurt or oatmeal or top on whole wheat pancakes.
  3. THE INTERNET AND YOUTUBE -- Seriously. Information on recipes and how-tos (if you don't know simple knife skills) are at your finger tips. Many participants are so accustomed to eating food prepared elsewhere or buying pre-packaged meals they've forgotten how easy, and tasty, homemade meals can be.
  4. EAT FROM HOME -- Bring food to work. Have food available at home. Eat whole wheat pasta. Eat mashed potatoes. Eat salted mixed nuts. Have Triscuits with cheese. Eat anything you want that is REAL FOOD. By feeding yourself properly, even if that means you're snacking professionally, you'll be stabilizing your blood sugar, reducing the cravings, and resetting your metabolism. Eating meals prepared outside of the home mean they're loaded with everything you're trying to avoid. This is because our food systems require lots of travel and since food rots, what has to be added to make sure it's tasty for you? Unless food is being prepared fresh, which it's likely not, eat from home.
  5. NO WASTE - Healthy food is generally not expensive - considering how much we throw away. Shop more often. Have a plan. And, eat the foods in your fridge in order of their freshness so it doesn't end up in the garbage can. If you're not good at that, then don't buy too much or in bulk.

More tomorrow on what to expect!

Let's connect on Social Media! I'll be posting in the private FB group. Visit St. Peter's Sugar Challenge | Facebook to join. You can also join my personal food pages on Instagram (@thefoodstoeat) or on FB at https://www.facebook.com/thefoodstoeat

Happy Hump Day!