Mini-Pledge Week 12: No Sweeteners

Knowing our society’s obsession with all things sweet I have a feeling this could be the most difficult “real food” mini-pledge yet. But don’t feel discouraged because even if you only join us for a day or two, I promise it will still be an eye-opening experience proving just how sugar-obsessed our society really is. And I am not just referring to white sugar and other refined sweeteners, which we already tackled a few weeks ago. I am talking about all added sweeteners even including honey and maple syrup. As I’ve said a thousand times before, no matter what sweetener you chose (natural, organic, raw, etc.)…a sugar is a sugar and it should always be used in moderation. So what better way to learn how to reduce your consumption of sweeteners than to completely live without them for a few days? And if you think this challenge sounds like a daunting task then right there is my proof that we really are sweetener-obsessed after all.

So here is next week’s mini-pledge, which starts on Monday:

Mini-Pledge Week 12: Avoid all added sweeteners including, but not limited to: white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, honey, maple syrup, date sugar, maple sugar, sucanat, splenda, stevia, agave, fruit juice concentrate, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, brown rice syrup, and cane juice.

It blows my mind looking through cookbooks when I see recipe after recipe for things like pancakes, soups, and sauces that call for a tablespoon or even a teaspoon of sugar…is such a small quantity even necessary? And then at the grocery store they sell product after product, even savory items like bread and crackers, that can’t make it on the shelves without being sweetened. And I admit I am just as guilty as the next person with my big ol’ sweet tooth, although my taste buds have definitely changed – for the better – since taking our 100 Days of Real Food pledge. Abstaining from highly processed junk really gave our palates an adjustment and now just a little bit of sweetness seems to go a long way.

Aside from preferring the added flavor of sweeteners I think we might have a mental obsession with it as well. How many times have you sprinkled a little sugar onto your dish or into a recipe without even trying it first? Just the other day I decided to put this little philosophy to the test. Whenever I fix my girls oatmeal I always drizzle a little honey on it before adding the cinnamon and raisins, yet I admit I’ve never even tried serving it without any honey at all. So after a little mental struggle on if I should or shouldn’t “roll the dice” by leaving out the sweetener all together I decided to add extra cinnamon just in case it could help make up for the loss of honey. And what do you know…my 4-year-old gobbled it down like it was the same bowl of oatmeal I’ve been fixing her for years. I was honestly a little surprised, but of course pleased!

As I’ve said for every mini-pledge it is up to you if you want to join our weekly challenge and it’s also of course your decision if you want to sign up for the entire week or just for a day or two. This is the perfect pledge to try on a smaller scale because I would much rather everyone give this a chance rather than not do it at all. And following are some resources and meal ideas to help you along the way!

Articles regarding sweeteners:

Sweetener-free recipes and meal ideas:


To take the pledge: Please leave a comment below with the number of adults and children in your household that will participate, and also share if you will do it for one meal, one day, or for the entire week. Put it in writing and make it official!

Good luck!

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  • Comments

    1. Jen |

      I have been eating Latta Russian Kefir Yogurt. It is plain and the ingredients are Pasteurized Skim Milk and Probiotic Kefir Cultures. It states “made with grass fed milk” and “0% fat”. What’s your take on this considering your rule states to eat full fat dairy products? Thanks!

      • Assistant to 100 Days (Amy) |

        Hi Jen. If they make a version that is full fat, choose that one. If they don not, the fact that it is plain and from grass-fed cows gives you a good two out of three! :)

    2. allison |

      Excited to have found this. Thnx

    3. |

      I’m going to do the full week of no added sweeteners! I’ve been playing around with less sugar in the last month or so and it has allowed me to choose food as fuel instead of as a string of “treats” throughout the day. We are a whole foods/real food family, with a few exceptions every now and then, and I cook the bulk of our meals from scratch at home. Baking is a hobby though and it is wrecking my weightloss goals. It’s time to get fit, and not mentally relying on those sweets for excitement and as reward every day is a place that I want to get to. Thanks!

    4. Jessie |

      We are just beginning the mini-pledges! I’m looking ahead to this one, which seems the hardest. Does this include ALL fruit juice? Or just concentrated fruit juice? I usually drink water with a splash of orange juice. Should I avoid that for this week?

      • Assistant to 100 Days (Amy) |

        Hi Jessie. This mini-pledge is about adding no sweeteners at all whatsoever…even if you can only manage it for a day or two. It is meant to make us aware of how much sweet we add to our food. :)

    5. Jack Mitchell |

      My wife and I make up our household, but I am the one making a pledge to not add sweeteners to my food for at least 7 days, and not to consume any food to which I know any sweetener has been added. My hope is that my wife will join me in the endeavor, because she is in the second year of remission from Ovarian Cancer. I think this web-site is a blessing.

    6. Adrienne |

      Have you found local 100% pure maple syrup in the Charlotte or greater Charlotte area? Or do you buy at a store?

      • Amy Taylor (comment moderator) |

        Hi Adrienne. You can find it at Trader Joe’s, Costco, Whole Foods, Earth Fare and most grocery stores. ;)

    7. |

      I’m hoping once I try thisI can get my husband on board

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