Eating in Real Life (Sugar Free, Part 2) - Skillful Cook
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Eating in Real Life (Sugar Free, Part 2)

Four dishes of food showing how one can eat in real life.

Technically, yes, it is our job to deliver fresh and beautiful food content.

But when you take away the fancy pictures, the fun new recipes, the beautiful styling... what are we all *actually* eating in real life?

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 Lindsay

Lindsay and Bjork smiling.

(Well, okay, we might already know each other! Here's a nice watery eyes picture of me because it's cold and I have dry eye!)

Name: Lindsay

Role at Skillful Cook: Co-Founder and Content Director / Creative Director / Editor in Chief / Basically I Make The Food

Have you done Sugar Free January before? Yes! Here is a detailed recap of the first time Bjork and I ever did a sugar free challenge.

What does Sugar Free January look like for you this year? I'm really moving my personal focus this year AWAY from an all-out sugar detox approach, and more towards establishing simple healthy habits that can feel really hard for me to actually do sometimes. Like... eating more fruits and vegetables. Starting the day with a solid, protein-heavy breakfast. Making intentional snack choices instead of just defaulting to sugar. Prepping meals in advance so I have food I look forward to eating at the ready. Cooking meals at home more often than getting takeout.

What is your favorite part of Sugar Free January? It's a set amount of time that helps me focus on making my intentions into reality.

What is your biggest challenge during Sugar Free January? Cooking at home, making food from scratch, choosing something healthy and fresh over convenience food... all of it just takes time. That's my biggest challenge. Setting aside the time to make it happen.

What was the number one, most easy / delicious / favorite best recipe you made this week? Bjork and I both reeeeally loved the pita bowls... but that recipe hasn't published yet! Check back next week! 🙂 The chicken tikka masala was also really good and even better as leftovers.

Breakfasts This Week

Breakfast Sandwiches (The Easy Button Way)

A hand holding a meal prep breakfast sandwich.

I made a big batch of these meal prep breakfast sandwiches and they are just my favorite thing ever.

We store them in the freezer, and you can heat them up in the microwave, but I definitely recommend finishing them in the oven to get a little toasty crunch on your English muffin. Add some avocado and a squirt of Sriracha and YES this is the best way to start your day ever.

Oatmilk Honey Latte, I See You, Starbucks

An arm holding up a drink.

So apparently you can get an oatmilk honey latte at Starbucks (decaf for me). It is 100% as luscious as it sounds.

(It is sweetened with honey which is SFJ-friendly for me, but there is a small amount of sugar in the “toasted honey topping” - I'm just going with it!)

Egg Meets Tortilla

A taco with chicken and lettuce in it.

Listen. I don't love eggs. I do not eat eggs a lot.

But eggs in a tortilla with cheese, avocado, and hot sauce is just never not good. It is there for me when I have nothing else left it my fridge. It never lets me down. It is straight easy-delicious.

Hi I'm Super Healthy Now

A blender has milk, fruits and green vegetables in it.

Smoothies have been single-handedly my most healthy food this month.

Currently into this strawberry, mango, spinach, macadamia milk, chia, and avocado blend.

  1. They taste like a milkshake.
  2. They're easy and fast.
  3. SO MANY FRUITS AND VEGETABLES.
  4. Solvi, my 1-year-old daughter, loves them. We pack the extras away into these little freezer pouches (affiliate link) and store them for quick snacks for her, which honestly makes me feel like mom of the year on so many levels.

Lunches This Week

Lunchy Shortcut Migas

Migas in a frying pan with a spatula.

Remember the comment about no groceries? Still on that train. We always have eggs, though, and we almost always have cheese, and I can almost guarantee there is at least one handful of tortilla chips lounging around at the bottom of some bag somewhere.

This is a really quick We-Have-No-Groceries lunch that I put together based on this migas recipe, but I used chips instead of tortillas, garlic powder instead of fresh, etc. Not a problem. SO GOOD.

Hummus Bowls Forever

A hummus bowl being held by a hand.

May I present: a huge bowl of hummus!

Plus roasted cauliflower, fresh tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, and some store-bought naan as a stand-in for pitas because sometimes pitas are dry, do you know what I mean?

We loved this recipe. Ate it half as a naan / pita sandwich with some added rotisserie chicken that didn't make the pic, and half as a fork-and-knife bowl, and loved it even more as leftovers. Roasted cauli hummus bowls recipe here!

Winter Grain Bowl, AKA My Love Language

A large white bowl of squash, wild rice, pumpkin seeds, and feta cheese crumbles over wilted greens.

Roasted everything (beets and sweet potatoes, specifically) plus some wild rice, soaked with creamy balsamic dressing, mixed with dried cherries and pistachios, topped with goat cheese, served with kale, and finished with more dressing.

YEAHHHH. Here's the grain bowl recipe.

A Vegan Taco Situation

Taco in a flour tortilla on a plate.

I cooked up some vegan “ground meat” with spices, added some leftover roasted sweet potato from last week, and threw it all in a tortilla topped with cilantro and cashew queso.

YES PLEASE.

Snacks This Week

Smoothies and More Smoothies

A kid is walking in the kitchen as a woman is holding a glass of smoothie with a straw in it.

Almost every day. So good.

Okay, Sure, Cereal

Cereal and milk in a bowl.

Yeah, I don't know. I just needed a bowl of Chex with some vanilla almond milk. Is it super healthy? Nah. Is there sugar in it? I'm not sure. It was just a necessary cold, crunchy, hold-me-over-till-dinner snack.

Dinners This Week

Tikka Masala Dreams Coming True

A skillet with a creamy dish for sugar free January.

I know, I made a mess. I used this recipe (already had some masala paste in the freezer - SCORE) and added some leftover diced potatoes and the extra bell peppers from the pita bowls. It was so. good.

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Pieces of bread with avocados on the side plate with a glass of red wine.

The day was SO LONG and suddenly I was eating straight cheese and tortilla quesadillas for dinner with a one-year-old. Plus a side of mashed avocado. And a glass of red wine. Because this day was so long. Did I say that already?

Chicken Cacciatore Saving The Day

A big white bowl of spaghetti with a shredded chicken tomato sauce, topped with herbs and a lemon wedge.

From frozen, in the Instant Pot. Couldn't have been easier! Super savory, lemony, and pastalicious.

Recipe for that saucy goodness is right here.


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?

NEED TO KNOW.

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24 Comments

  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    Love, love, love this post Lindsey! After overindulging over the Christmas and New Year festivities, I too adopted a no sugar ~ more of a less sugar 🙂 diet. It does make you feel much better. Thanks for the menu and snack suggestions. I am always looking for new options!

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m having a MOMENT with pasta and marinara. Like, I’ve eaten some variation for lunch every day all month. I usually do lentil pasta (current fav), throw in whatever leftover veg we have (shout out to parmesan roasted cauliflower) plus a handful of greens, top with a flurry of grated sharp cheddar or nutritional yeast or whatever I’m craving, and go to town.

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    i love that you do this; i couldn’t…just couldn’t make it through a weekend. i do try to not do sugar mon-thurs every wk though…sometimes i fall, but mostly i do ok. but isn’t there a ton of sugar in red wine? or is that different?

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Thanks for the comment Beth! And about wine – that is a really good question and got me doing some reading. This post is super helpful in understanding sugar in wine. “The good news is that wine, a product of fruit, almost always contains only natural sugars” – so yes, there is probably some residual sugar but I don’t stress too much about that, especially since there are also health benefits to red wine consumed in moderation! Kinda like fruit. 🙂 https://www.winespectator.com/articles/what-healthy-wine-drinkers-need-to-know-about-sugar

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    Are you taking requests? I’ve absolutely loved your blog this past year! I’ve got a number of food sensitivities, but your recipes are always tasty, easy to adjust, and usually don’t include what bothers me in the first place (mostly dairy & carbs). Now I’m… running out of skillfulcook recipes. No!

    Lindsay, what would you say are the five food blogs *most like yours*? I promise I’ll remain faithful to your blog first and foremost! But please help!

    Trust me, I’ve tried searching on my own…

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Always open to requests! I don’t know if this answers your question in terms of blogs that are similar, but a few of my favorite blogs or websites to cook from are: Smitten Kitchen, Bon Appetit, Saveur (I just use the physical cookbook, actually), and Sprouted Kitchen. 🙂

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    You apparently don’t realize that carbs are sugar. Tortillas, pasta, grains, cereals … FYI, you weren’t sugar-free

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow, some sass going on in the comments down here. I find your honesty about being flexible/accepting that sugar free January isn’t always sugar free so refreshing and encouraging. You’ve inspired me to be more mindful about my sugar intake even though I haven’t fully removed it from my diet. Keep doing what you’re doing!

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    This roundup is great and so refreshing about eating clean(er)! Could you post some smoothie recipes? These look so great! Thanks!

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    Just wanted to let you know that I really like these “real life eating” posts! Partially because i’m nosy, but for some reason I find it fascinating to read about what people ACTUALLY eat and you gave me a lot of inspo. One vote for making some version of this a more regular feature on the blog. Thanks 🙂

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow, I didn’t know there could so much tasty and that too sugar-free. Thanks for sharing this with me. I am looking for some essay writing service online to help me write an essay on healthy food tips. I would like to ask if anyone of you knows some good services to help me out.

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

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  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’ve absolutely loved your blog this past year! I’ve got a number of food sensitivities, but your recipes are always tasty, easy to adjust, and usually don’t include what bothers me in the first place. The good news is that wine, a product of fruit, almost always contains only natural sugars.

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

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  13. Skillful Cook Logo

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  14. Skillful Cook Logo

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