Lindsay Maitland Hunt


Not just another food blog.

What Constitutes Success for My Year of No Sugar?

Ah, the accidental slip up.

A guileless mistake free of loopholes or excuses. It was bound to happen, and my take is: it’s not a big deal.

The granola in question.

The granola in question.


I woke up this morning, poured some buckwheat granola (a recipe from my new book) into a cereal bowl, topped it with almond milk, ate it while drinking my coffee, and then started my morning writing. It wasn’t until 30 minutes later that I realized I had eaten something with added maple syrup in it.

Now, yes, there is something like 2/3 teaspoon of maple syrup per serving in my buckwheat granola recipe. And the rule for my experiment is: no added sugar. Right? But, am I going to throw out the day because of that slip up? Maybe hard-liners won’t agree, but I think the benefits of the seeds and oats—packed full of fiber and protein, outweigh the negative. That’s why I’m including the recipe in my new book, which includes a few recipes that are low in sweetener, but not completely free of it. The point of this year without sugar is to see what living this way is like, to come away with a clearer idea of my relationship to treats, and to eventually create a guide for people who want to similarly want to rethink their relationship to sugar. I learned today that I sometimes eat first and think after, and that was a worthwhile lesson to learn.

Choosing this grey area might not make me have a “perfect score”, but it seems preferable to me than throwing away this day as one of my 10 free days. I’m choosing to see eating a little maple syrup-sweetened granola does not make this a failure, but rather a normal stumbling block during this experience. This will happen, and I will choose to see a 95- or even 90-percent success rate as a huge feat.