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Sugar-free meal plan: week 1

Sugar-free hot cross buns with butter

After completing my 8-week no sugar challenge the feedback I received was that you guys missed my meal plans – I hadn’t realised they were anything more than a means to keep me motivated and prove to myself I was cutting out sugar from my diet! But it turns out quite a few of you were following along, or at least finding inspiration in my ‘sugar-free meal plans’, and incorporating some of the breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks into your or your family’s weekly meal plan. So, seeing as I am continuing with my sugar-free lifestyle, I thought some of you might find it might be useful if I continue to share my weekly meal plans. But first, there are a few things you need to know.

Breakfast: poached eggs with rocket and tomato

Breakfast: poached eggs with rocket and tomato

My food philosophy

There are several things that effect the way I eat and shop for produce. While not always easy to live by, especially in today’s society, my food philosophy centres around these key ideals:

  • My meal plans are focused on fresh, local, seasonal produce (and I live in Australia in case you’re wondering)
  • If it’s not something I could grow, produce, or make myself (if I had the time and dedication!) it’s not worth eating
  • I hate chemicals – they have no place in my diet
  • I hate waste

In a nutshell, I guess my food philosophy is about supporting natural and sustainable food practices and eating for health as well as enjoyment.

Sugar-free hot cross buns with butter

Sugar-free hot cross buns with butter

About my meal plans

  • My meal plans are 100% sugar-free (most of the time – hey, I’m only human!)
  • My meal plans consist of fresh and seasonal produce, plenty of meat and vegetables, full-fat dairy, eggs, and minimal carbohydrates (only because most carbs tend to be heavily processed)
  • You can choose to follow them as is, adjust them for your families, or just pop in to see if they come with links to any new recipes (be notified each time I post something new by hitting the ‘Subscribe’ button on the top right of this page)
  • They will be posted one week late (i.e. the meal plan below shows what I ate last week, hence the sugar-free hot cross buns during Easter!)
  • I try to plan my weekly meals because it is more cost-effective, less time consuming, and a good routine to get into the habit of. However, much of the time I find myself staring at the contents of my fridge and thinking ‘what am I going to cook for dinner tonight?’ So if you wonder why some meals seem a little weird, that’s why!
  • To make it a little easier for you to follow, I will also supply a weekly shopping list (it won’t contain quantities, as I think that will depend on how many people you’re cooking for)
  • The shopping list will reflect what I buy that week, and I hope that this will further help keep me accountable in reducing my food waste.

So, here we go!

Lunch: fresh and cheesy tuna pizza

Lunch: fresh and cheesy tuna pizza

Sugar-free meal plan: week 1

(I’ll gradullay be uploading my recipes and will provide the links within the meal plans ASAP!)

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Breakfast Porridge with figs, pecans, LSA mix and cinnamon + pot green tea Porridge with figs, pecans, LSA mix and cinnamon + pot green tea Ham, cheese, spinach and asparagus omelette + pot green tea Scrambled eggs with pan-fried zucchini + pot green tea Poached eggs with rocket and pan-fried tomato + pot French earl grey tea Porridge with figs, pecans, LSA mix and cinnamon + pot girlie grey tea Pancakes (3) with maple syrup and whipped cream*^
Snack Black coffee + hazelnuts Black coffee Black coffee + sugar-free hot cross bun with butter Black coffee + almonds Sugar-free hot cross bun with butter + rice milk latte   Lady Grey tea
Lunch Tuna and quinoa salad Tuna and quinoa salad with beetroot and feta Tuna and quinoa salad with beetroot and feta Tuna and quinoa salad with beetroot and feta Atlantic salmon with carrot mash and button squash Atlantic salmon on garden salad with chilli ginger garlic and soy Leftover Thai green prawn curry soup and noodles
Snack   Sugar-free hot cross bun with butter   Celery and cashew nut butter     Blueberries and almonds
Dinner Ham chicken and tomatoes cucumber and celery salad* Cheese and bacon chicken thigh cutlets with sweet potato, zucchini, eggplant, chili oregano, and basil Sourdough toast with chilli avocado, roasted capsicum, caramelised onion, jarlsberg cheese, beef pastrami and rocket Lamb chops (2) and garden salad + 2 glasses white wine Thai green curry soup with prawns and rice noodles   Tuna Niçoise salad
Snack Coco-nutty yogurt and spice   Greek yogurt and strawberries with raw cacao powder and hazelnuts   Half punnet of strawberries with chocolate cream cheese   Chocolate raspberry ripple (3 small squares)

* Denotes when I ate out, so the ingredients won’t be on the shopping list

^Denotes sugar

Desert: Greek yoghurt with strawberries, raw cacao powder and crushed hazelnuts

Desert: Greek yoghurt with strawberries, raw cacao powder and crushed hazelnuts

Shopping list

Meat Dairy Vegetables Fruit Grains, nuts & seeds Misc In the pantry
BaconChicken thigh filletsLamb chops

Prawns

Salmon fillets

Tinned tuna

 

EggsGreek yoghurtCheese – cheddar

Cheese – feta

Cheese – Jarlsberg

AsparagusAvocadoBeetroot

Button squash

Carrots

Celery

Eggplant

Red capsicum

Red onion

Rocket leaves

Spinach

Sweet potato

Tomatoes

Zuchini

Fresh basil

Fresh chilli

Fresh ginger

Fresh oregano

 

BlueberriesFresh figsStrawberries Cashew nut butterCoconut flakesLSA  mix (ground linseed, sunflower and almond)

Quinoa

Raw almonds

Raw Brazil nuts

Raw hazelnuts

Raw pecans

Rolled oats

Seed mix (pepitas, sunflower seeds, etc)

Kalamata olivesRaw cacao powder Rice noodles Coconut creamGround cinnamonGround ginger

Soy sauce

Tea of choice (I used Green, Girlie Grey, Lady Grey and French Earl Grey)

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44 Comments Post a comment
  1. What nice digital photos in your blog! Thanks for sharing.

    April 5, 2013
  2. Francesca #

    Amazing such a great help.
    I eat really well until I figured out all the so called healthy hidden sugars I was consuming. I’ve taken upon quitting sugar and starting off has been so hard as I love fruit and honey. I’ve been reason up your meal plan has made my meal planning and kick start a smooth and fun journey. Thank you

    August 1, 2013
    • Great work Francesca! I too ate a lot of fruit and honey beforehand. It’s been 8 months since I quit sugar and now I can’t remember the last time I ate honey but I eat up to 2 pieces of fruit per day (sometimes none). My main focus is vegetables – I eat so many more vegetables now than I ever did before.

      August 1, 2013
      • You might not eat honey, but based on your meal plan you still eat other fructose foods (aka. sugar). How do you find you are able to manage your digestion and cravings with eating sugar?

        June 17, 2014
      • You’re right, I was eating fruit (2 pieces daily as a maximum). I experienced no digestion problems, but this might not be the case for others. If I had sweet cravings, I would either have a serving of fruit, or a ‘sweet’ alternative such as celery sticks and cashew nut butter.

        June 17, 2014
  3. Karley #

    I really love your ideas on food but you should be very careful about eating tuna almost everyday…. There are small levels of toxic mercury in all types of tuna (and other large fish) and mercury levels accumulate in our body. I have a friend that ate tuna everyday for lunch and ended up very sick with mercury poisoning. The rest of your food looks awesome :)

    August 2, 2013
    • Thanks for your advice. I have since tended to veer away from tuna and only eat it on special occasions as its not local to my area (inland NSW). I’ve also heard that if you’re trying for a baby you can eat too much tuna, salmon, etc – a friend of a friend had to stop eating these for a year before she fell pregnant. Everyone is different though and should consult their doctor if unsure about these things.

      August 2, 2013
  4. Margie #

    Wow – I have the most up to have read a ton today about getting to a low to no sugar habit healthfully and you have it right! You are the most up to date and the most atainable meal recommendations. Thank you – I can do this and like what am eating!

    August 5, 2013
    • Woo hoo! Go Margie! I love your attitude :) The best way to think about it is that you are eating real food, not manufactured stuff. That kind of makes it easier to be a bit more discerning in the supermarket too!

      August 5, 2013
  5. Elley Foster #

    http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/3821440.htm

    This recent Catalyst episode on ABC 1 (August 8th, 2013) entitled, ‘Toxic Sugar?’ has confirmed all of my suspicions and knowledge thus far on the addictive qualities of sugar. I regularly go through phases of addiction and withdrawal. I am planning to quit sugar again for the billionth time, so in the search for ‘sugar free meal plans’ I’ve come across your blog. Thanks for sharing and inspiring.

    August 10, 2013
    • Hi Elley,
      Thanks for taking the time to comment and for sharing the link (however it doesn’t seem to be working now?).
      Something new I’ve recently discovered that you might find helpful too (and something I will be blogging about soon), is that it is so much easier to reduce cravings by limiting the diversity of flavours at each meal. I don’t mean ‘be boring’ – as you can probably tell by my blog, I love food – but, for example if you have a spicy curry for dinner and accompany it with a salty, cheesy naan bread, you’re more likely to crave for something sweet to finish than if you stuck with the spicy curry and some palate cleansing steamed greens that by mixing the spices with the saltiness of the cheese. Does that make sense? Perhaps it’s something to experiment with :)

      August 11, 2013
  6. I really enjoyed reading your blog and comments of your readers. I’m new to “quitting sugar” but have always been a huge fan of organic and healthy foods and a whole grain, fresh veggies and lean fish and meat/poultry consumer. With a husband who loves food and two teen boys/men, I am challenged every day with appealing menu planning. I’m slowly weaning them from “white” processed foods and working on techniques to help stop their cravings for foods that are poisoning our bodies. Thank you so much for your advice. Keep your ideas coming!!!! PLEASE!

    August 12, 2013
    • Thanks Cheryl :)
      Sounds like we’re very similar in our overall approach – we like healthy, local, organic real food!
      I find it’s the snacks that that prove challenging in terms of keeping the men happy (they all generally love their meat and veggies, so that’s pretty easy) – and that’s a matter of being prepared and making snacks from scratch.
      I will be sure to keep posting new menu plans and recipes.
      Thank you so much for your comment :)

      August 12, 2013
  7. You mention that you tend to veer away from Tuna now, what do you eat in its place? I think the meal plan is great & has just the type of things I like to eat too! I would really like to cut down on the amount of sugar I eat, its really hard to get started, The rest of my diet is pretty healthy, mostly vegetarian lots of veggies, fruit, chickpeas, houmous etc but I do eat fish. Trying to stay away from the sugar with 2 young children in the house is also difficult! would love some ideas?

    August 25, 2013
    • Hi Julie,
      Thanks for your comments and questions. It sounds like you lead a very healthy lifestyle and are a good role model for your kids :)
      We’re programmed to enjoy sweet foods because they have traditionally been ‘safe’ (but sweet foods in nature really are few and far between). Thehealthychef.com is a great place to start for healthy alternatives to some of the kids favourite ‘treats’.
      As for tuna and salmon – I still eat them occasionally, but whereas I was eating 5 tins of tuna a week I’m now eating 1-2 tins every fortnight. I eat vegetarian about one day a week and in place of tuna I’ll eat organic, free-range chicken. I’ll cook the entire chicken in a pot with water, vegetables bay leaves and salt and pepper to make homemade stock, then eat the chicken throughout the week.
      I hope this has helped :)
      All the best x

      August 25, 2013
  8. Jacqueline Williams #

    Hi – after watching the TV programme “Toxic Sugar” last night, I came across your website today. I am already diabetic but mine is Juvenile and hereditary I’m told. I have tried to eat well nevertheless and still weigh only 108lbs at 66 years of age, There is so little I can eat on my “diet” as it is. Doctors would prefer low sugar, low sodium, low fat. low carbohydrate, and, low protein because of diabetic kidney failure. Not much to eat really. I end up eating small portions of cold chicken, fruit, raw veggies and walnuts. And cups of coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon. We NEVER go out to dinner anymore.
    On this programme on TV it said that 1 teaspoon of sugar is equal to 4 grams. This being so, the Greek Yoghurt you suggest (which I have on hand) is a 5oz tub of Dannon non-fat Greek Yogurt, Vanilla flavor and lists 18 grams of sugar – 4.5 teaspoons of sugar in that little tub. How do you get around this?

    October 6, 2013
  9. Jill vangotum #

    I would like to learn more and get recepies daily please

    January 17, 2014
    • Hi, thank you for your interest. I am considering setting up a monthly newsletter that will be emailed to subscribers. Is this something you’d like to sign up to? I could do a daily recipe too I suppose. What kind of things would you like to learn about if I developed an e-newsletter?

      January 17, 2014
      • Jill vangotum #

        I am interested in healthy meals to cook for me and my family things that help lower blood pressure, I am interested in changingy life style period I need to lose weight but refuse to take a diet pill

        January 17, 2014
      • Great! You’re right too – diet pills have never been an effective, sustainable solution for anyone I know of. Ok, the e-Newsletter is my project this year. In the meantime, you could subscribe to these (I do!):
        http://www.thehealthychef.com
        http://www.detoxinista.com
        http://www.iquitsugar.com

        January 17, 2014
  10. Rachel #

    Hi, what a great website you have created! I have been sugar free now for about a month and am now finding it easier as my taste buds have changed. The hardest thing I did was stop drinking Coke but now don’t even like the taste and feel so much better. I feel my children would benefit from the same sorts of food and while evening meals are the same as ours I am finding ideas for lunchboxes really difficult. Sugar in the bread and yoghurts. My daughter has a very high metabolism so needs to eat a lot to keep her going. A salad and pot of fruit is not enough. Any ideas would be really welcome. Your sugar free hot cross buns look delicious, will you be posting that recipe soon or have I missed it? Keep up the great work!

    January 22, 2014
    • Hi Rachel,

      A month is a solid effort – well done! Once you get past those few hard days the rest is a breeze, and it’s truly amazing how much better you feel.

      There is so much sugar and artificial stuff in kids food – and we wonder why so many are effected by allergies, attention disorders, and stress (!) than ever before. For sugar-free bread, I’d suggest getting your bread from a baker. It won’t have the preservatives found in supermarket loaves, so you can freeze it and use as you need to avoid waste. For yoghurt, go for Greek and if it’s too tart for the kids, sweeten it with some fruit (passionfruit and banana is amazing) or even a little honey to start with. If that’s even a stretch, the best on the market in my opinion is the Jalna Premium Vanilla pot set yoghurt (full fat version).

      For your daughter, make her lunch box delicious and interesting. If you have the time and energy, there are some great homemade snack options at http://www.thehealthychef.com (raw carrot cake, blueberry muffins, etc) which are simple, healthy and sugar-free. If a salad isn’t filling enough for lunch, perhaps try a cold fried rice made from leftover brown rice, fried egg, chicken, carrots, capsicum, broccoli and cashew nuts – super filling!

      Thanks for your interest in the sugar-free hot cross buns – I will be sure to post the recipe soon so keep an eye out ;)

      January 22, 2014
      • Rachel #

        Thank you so much for all the ideas. I really appreciate it :)

        January 23, 2014
  11. Edna Daly #

    Like what you say. I did not realise I was eating so much sugar. However, I notice you include quinoa in your diet so I decided to try it today but was bitterly disappointed. I found it so tasteless and mushy. I followed the recipe for the pre- cooked, i.e. half a cup of quinoa to one cup of water. Unfortunately the quinoa did not soak up the water, even after 15 minutes, so I had to strain the quinoa. I will have to use the packet up as I cannot afford to throw it in the bin, which is what I would like to do, but I will not buy thus product again.

    January 26, 2014
  12. Renee Bennett #

    Hello Everyone ~ I went off sugar for two weeks and thought I was doing just fine. Moving into the third week, I became irritable, cranky. I knew I was craving sugar and gave into it. Having the knowledge now that I will hit that wall, I have to try again and be prepared for that wall.Do you have any advise for me?
    I am also a breast cancer warrior and I didn’t find out until after the fact that cancer cells love sugar. The lack of knowledge can kill you. I love intense flavored foods, so I am learning to cook with a lot of spices and I use much less salt.
    Thirty years ago a friend challenged me to stop smoking and told me that I would not be able to do it. Me, being prideful and believing that nothing controlled me: I gave away my last pack of cigarettes just to make a point and never looked back.
    Ergo, I find that I am challenged with SUGAR…..help, help….

    If you have any interest in my journey, you can find me at:
    htt://breastnewsfromthelighthouse.wordpress.com

    March 4, 2014
  13. Teresa #

    I am just now going sugar free…. wish me luck! I tried finding recipes on sugar free hot cross buns but all I found had some type of sugar. I am allergic (severely… throat swells shut) to artificial sweeteners and even stevia. Is your recipe really “sugar-free”? Great blog by the way!

    April 11, 2014
    • Thank you :) And yes, the hot cross buns are sugar free! How do you handle dextrose? This is where they get their sweetness. I’ll post the recipe this weekend.

      April 11, 2014
  14. Carol #

    Can you give us recipe for sugar free hot cross buns?

    April 11, 2014
  15. kenny #

    i think i love your idea of sugar free diet plan. i have a history of diabetes in my family and I’m making efforts to stop my sugar intake. will give a feed back on my efforts. wish me luck. thanks

    May 21, 2014
    • Good luck Kenny! I will be interested to hear how this exercise impacts on your overall health.

      May 21, 2014
  16. leash #

    How do I subscribe…. I’m not kidding I can’t find the subscribe button? #blind..

    June 21, 2014
    • Go to the home page by clicking on the I.M logo and the subscribe button is on the right hand side :)

      June 22, 2014
  17. I will immediately grab your rss feed as I can’t to find your e-mail subscription link or e-newsletter service.

    Do you have any? Kindly allow me recognise so that I may
    subscribe. Thanks.

    August 7, 2014
    • The subscription option is on the home page, on the right hand side of the page. Thank you for following :)

      August 12, 2014
  18. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I truly appreciate
    your efforts and I will be waiting for your
    further write ups thank you once again.

    August 13, 2014
  19. Thanks for sharing this post…

    August 21, 2014
  20. Nellie #

    Hello! I am new to this no-sugar diet. I first started looking up on it today after my aunt told me it helped her a lot with her depression. I have a hard time not eating sugsr , I love it! But this is something I really want to do and your page sounded great! My husband likes his sugar also but wants to go off it too which will help. One down side is that it cost more, so your shopping list will really help. I am also gluten free, and wondering what kind of breads/crackers ect I can eat. Just a young newly wife hoping this diet will help:) thank you!

    August 24, 2014
  21. Patricia #

    Will I loose weighting this plan . Patricia

    September 5, 2014
    • Hi Patricia, it’s likely you will lose weight by eliminating sugar from your diet. At the very least, by following this plan you will likely feel leaner and more energised. Let me know how you go :)

      September 5, 2014
  22. Hi there I am so glad I found your blog page, I really found you by error,
    while I was looking on Askjeeve for something else, Nonetheless
    I am here now and would just like to say cheers for a remarkable post and a all round entertaining blog
    (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to
    go through it all at the minute but I have saved it and also added your RSS feeds,
    so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please
    do keep up the fantastic work.

    September 7, 2014
  23. Carolyn #

    Hi , help me where do I start I am going to go sugare free but just don’t know where to begin cheers carolyn

    September 11, 2014
    • Hi Carolyn, to start with I’d recommend writing down what you’re eating (on average) for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, as well as what you’re drinking – don’t worry about quantities, just write down what it is you’re consuming. Then, pick out the easy-to-identify foods and drinks that contain sugar (e.g. sugar in tea/coffee, ice-cream, etc) and either go cold turkey or swap for natural alternatives (e.g. honey in your tea, Greek yoghurt sweetened with banana or mixed berries). Try this for a week, then re-look at what you’re consuming and identify any processed/packaged items (e.g. muesli bars, microwave meals) and make them yourself. There are tons of quick and easy recipes online. To take the stress out of thinking, ‘What am I going to cook tonight? I have no time!’, get into the habit of writing weekly meal plans as I have done http://inspiredmood.wordpress.com/category/health/meal-plans/
      I hope this helps. Please keep me updated on your progress :)

      September 16, 2014
  24. Chris Deka #

    Eating natural sugars that are found in fruit and vegetables are good for you and the body needs natural sugars for energy and good nutrition. These sugars are a far cry from added sugar.

    October 12, 2014

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