Eating in Real Life (Sugar Free, Part 3) - Skillful Cook
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Eating in Real Life (Sugar Free, Part 3)

Four meals in dishes for 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.

We’re super excited to bring you this mini-series (and bring it to a close today - sad!). All month long, you’ve 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.

Let's dive in!

Meet Eman

Eman and Sam with water lake and mountains in the background.

Name: Eman

Role at Skillful Cook: Content Success Strategist

Have you done Sugar Free January before? Sure have! Three years in a row now!

What does Sugar Free January look like for you this year? Things have been looking a little different for me this time around. In the past, I've cut out too much at once that by the time February rolled around, it just wasn't realistic to maintain. This year, I've been reframing what I think healthy looks like for me and right now that means just avoiding sweet treats and sugary cocktails but including honey / maple syrup, fruit and dried fruit, and a few refined grains during my Sugar Free January.

What is your favorite part of Sugar Free January? Reminding myself (and my body) that there are so many yummy and fun ways to make meals without all of the extra sugar.

What is your biggest challenge during Sugar Free January? Making sure that I have options that fit into my SFJ stocked / prepped / at the ready! It's easier for me to get into a realistic and healthier eating routine if I take out the decision making behind what I eat and what I'm watching out for right now.

What was the number one, most easy / delicious / favorite best recipe you made this week? It's gotta be the Cashew Golden Milk Lattes! With a little bit of ice in a fancy cup if you want (you do!), it's been the perfect late afternoon pick-me-up without the caffeine buzz that'd keep me up all night.

Breakfasts This Week

Toast But Make It Fancy

Crispbread topped with almond butter and hemp seeds on a white plate with a clementine

Breakfast is one of those meals I'd be okay going without, but I'm making it a point to eat a lil' something to start my day. Just a piece of whole grain crispbread here topped with a bit of almond butter and hemp seeds and a cute clementine on the side.

Just Your Average Yogurt Bowl

Yogurt bowl with chia seeds and blueberries in a bowl with a spoon.

Keeping things easy here with a few dollops of cashew milk yogurt (yes, this is a thing!), fresh blueberries, and a sprinkling of chia seeds.

Lunches This Week

Long Live Burrito Bowls

Roasted Cauliflower Burrito Bowls in a Pyrex glass bowl with pico de gallo, black beans, corn, rice, and guacamole.

These Roasted Cauliflower Burrito Bowls could be on repeat all week long and I would have exactly zero problems with that.

Sweet Potato Tortilla-Less Soup

Sweet Potato Tortilla Soup without tortilla strips in a white bowl.

Okay, yes. I went tortilla-less for a tortilla soup, but everything about this Instant Pot Sweet Potato Tortilla Soup just says cozy and ready for winter.

Snacks This Week

The Greatest Muffins of All Time

Apple muffin with a bite out of it and 3 apple muffins in a round Pyrex glass container.

Obviously these apple muffins needed to make an appearance during my Sugar Free January. I mean, how could they not?

Next-Level Lattes

Cashew golden milk latte in a glass  with ice and a marble reusable straw.

I am L-O-V-I-N-G these Cashew Golden Milk Lattes! Best part here IMO is getting to that ginger / cinnamon combo that's starting to settle near the bottom. It's like sipping the last of the Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal milk minus the sugar high.

Also: yes, how cool is that straw? I bought it years ago and can't find it now, but here are some similar ones. Reusable straws FTW!

(affiliate link above!)

Dinners This Week

Red Curry Lentils

Red Curry Lentils with white rice and cilantro in a white bowl with a fork.

My favorite kind of dinners are the ones that come together in a pinch and bring big time flavors and these Instant Pot Red Curry Lentils DELIVER!

Mediterranean Bowl Mashup

Pan-fried halloumi with cucumbers, mint, tomatoes, roasted red pepper sauce, quinoa, and salad greens in a bowl.

It's called an I-need-to-use-up-things-in-the-fridge situation. Pan-fried halloumi, fluffy quinoa, crisp cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, and fresh mint piled high on a bed of greens with a bit of Roasted Red Pepper Sauce for good measure.

Soup Round 2

Jalapeño Lime Chicken Soup with cilantro, sour cream, and watermelon radishes in a white bowl with a spoon.

It's soup season and this Jalapeño Lime Chicken Soup is here for it!

Thanks for joining us for the final edition of Eating In Real Life!

What foods/meals/snacks/treats are saving your life this week?

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    I really love these posts! Sometimes I get in a rut and can’t think of things to plan/prep for the week, and these posts always give me new inspiration!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo


      I also get in a rut too and sometimes pressed for time. And I can’t prepare a healthy meal. So what I do is try to make a fruit blended jar and have a healthy sammich from the local deli.

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    I enjoyed these posts but I’m a little confused. You say ‘all month long’ you’ve been delivering these sugar-free posts but I’ve seen only 3. How is that all month long? Are you posting them somewhere else?

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Good question, Shelley! We just meant we’d be delivering these “Eating in Real Life” posts each Friday during Sugar Free January. Awesome to hear you’ve been enjoying seeing these posts – we appreciate this feedback!

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Great experience! Thanks for sharing! I am also thinking of the Sugar-Free experiment, but I am sure it will be hard as I am a sweet-tooth person. I am a student of sociology and often read researches about sugar impact, giving up sugar and the inequalities of abstinence… I wrote an essay on this topic recently (you can find free essay examples on sociology topic, health, etc. at ) Thanks for your own experience, amazing pics, and recipes!