Eating In Real Life (Sugar Free, Part 1)

Four dishes of food show 'Eating In Real Life'.

We believe that one of the best, most interesting, most inspiring ways to talk about food is in the context of REAL LIFE EATING.

That’s why we’re super excited to bring you this mini-series – for the next three weeks, you’ll be hearing from a POY team member as they bring you into their very real, very normal, very regular-home-cook life (during Sugar Free January!) to show you what’s been keeping them full and happy without the sugar.

Meet Jenna

Two couples in pose on camera.

Name: Jenna

Role at Pinch of Yum: Communications and Growth Manager

Have you done Sugar Free January before? Yup yup! This is my third year.

What does Sugar Free January look like for you this year? In past years, I’ve been more strict about what I eat during the month – only allowing fruit and small amounts of honey and maple syrup as my “sweet stuff”. This year, I’ve decided to be a lot more flexible since it feels like the best place for me right now. I’m mostly just avoiding extra desserts and treats, but enjoying other types of sweet things – fruit, some refined grains, drinks, and honey/maple syrup.

What is your favorite part of Sugar Free January? Eating seriously yummy food that reminds me that eating less sugar is pretty, well, delicious.

What is your biggest challenge during Sugar Free January? In the past, it’s been the hard transition into and out of the month. This year, I’m hoping that by making more realistic changes that align with my year-round life, the transition will be a lot simpler but still have an impact on how I approach sugar.

What was the number one, most easy / delicious / favorite best recipe you made this week? Chipotle Tahini Bowls! The best for dinner + meal-preppable for lunches throughout the week.


Smoothie O’Clock

A blueberry smoothie in a jar with a straw in it.

I am one of those slightly annoying people who eats the same thing for breakfast every day, so 98% of the time you can find me making this smoothie in the morning.

Here are the basics:

  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • Half a frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 tsp each of cinnamon and ginger
  • Spoonful of almond butter
  • Scoop of collagen or protein powder
  • Few glugs of almond milk

Blend and sip!

Yogurt Bowl Is Good, Too

Yogurt with berries and granola in a bowl with a spoon.

And when I’m over eating a smoothie every morning, the old yogurt bowl standby is always there. My favorite combo: full-fat plain yogurt, blackberries, granola, and a spoonful of almond butter (ESSENTIAL).


Healing Chicken and Rice Soup

Chicken and Rice Soup in a clear bowl.

This Healing Chicken and Rice Soup gets top billing because YUM.

Fresh, bright, zippy, and herby. All my favorite things.

Chipotle Tahini Bowls aka My Favorite

Chipotle quinoa bowl.

Chipotle Tahini Bowls! I TOLD YOU they’ve been saving me.

I like to make these for dinner and then pack the rest away for lunch the next few days.

Peanut Salad Situation

Quinoa and grain bowl with mixed vegetables.

Peanut! Sauce! Forever!

A smattering of fridge veggies – kale, cabbage, carrots, edamame – with crushed peanuts, green onion, and an aggressive amount of peanut sauce.


Low Key Cheeseboard For One

Crackers, cheese and fruit on a plate.

Pepperjack, seedy crackers, and a sliced pear. Related: WHY ARE PEARS SO GOOD RIGHT NOW.

Peanut Butter Is Always There For You

A hand holding a white plate with a piece of bread covered with peanut butter on the plate.

Mid-day peanut butter toast because why not?


Salmon Burgers Like Whoa

Salmon Burger buddied up with a Brussels Kale Caesar.

Another recipe mashup!

Some yummy Salmon Burgers buddied up with a Brussels Kale Caesar. This was a very good decision.

Lentils… in a Lettuce Wrap

Lentil lettuce wraps on a plate.

I really, truly cannot get enough of these Lentil Lettuce Wraps from our friend Melissa.

Sometimes if I have some extra peanut sauce in the fridge I’ll drizzle a little on top (see pictured) because my peanut sauce love knows no bounds.

Instant Pot Beef Stew

A spoon in a white bowl of beef stew.

Instant Pot Beef Stew!

I added some potatoes because personal preference and it always blows my mind how yummy and easy it is. I think I finished an episode of Gilmore Girls on the couch while it cooked away by its lonesome? I definitely did.

Thanks for joining us for this edition of Eating In Real Life!

What are YOU eating in real life this week? The good, the bad, the… interesting?


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