Sugar Free January Meal Planning Guide - Skillful Cook
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Sugar Free January Meal Planning Guide

Sugar Free January Meal Planning Guide

Okay! Let's real quick talk about meal planning for Sugar Free January.

We aren't going to do major meal plans during Sugar Free January but we ARE giving you a free printable template to make your weekly/monthly planning super easy. And we are LOADING YOU UP ON RECIPES so you have lots of yummy things to choose from as you decide what you want to eat this month.

My approach to meal planning has always been pretty loose 🤪 and you'll see that reflected in my plan below:

sugar free meal plan printable template

Click here to download the Sugar Free Meal Plan Template.

And here are the recipe links for what I'll be making during that first week:

And here's what my grocery list looks like for that first week's plan.

sugar free January grocery list

I take this list and then either add it into my grocery app (we use Grocery IQ) or place an order for grocery delivery service, which is the best thing to ever make its way into our modern lives (we use Instacart). Once you add your groceries into the app, they will be organized by category, which makes shopping really easy.

That's it!

Here are a few other lil' tipsters for meal planning during Sugar Free January.

  • You don't have to have something different every day. Batch your easy meals, like breakfast and lunch. In my example plan, I will just be eating avocado toast, and/or a smoothie, and chicken and rice meal prep for the majority of the week's breakfasts and lunches. I don't mind eating the same food a few days in a row as long as it's really, really good. And I might change up some small things, like one day I might do a cheesy version of scrambled eggs on avocado toast, and one day I might just do avocado toast with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, and one day just spicy scrambled eggs. But knowing I'll have avocado egg toast (or some combo of that) helps me keep my shopping list short and my brain space available to think about other things.
  • Leave space for leftovers and eating out. If I make one pasta recipe that serves 6-8 people, and there's only 2 of us... we should be able to eat that 3-4 times. Leave space for your leftovers, and for your weekend social gatherings with friends. It's hard to order out when eating sugar free which is why I'm only writing in 1-2 spaces for eating out on this meal plan, but it's doable. And I think getting out of your house to share a meal at a restaurant with friends, even if you're just ordering a simple grilled chicken and veg entree and a glass of red wine, is important for your social/emotional health.
  • Limit to one fancy or new recipe per week. The only recipe on my list this week that requires more than one pan to make is the mushroom penne. I definitely don't recommend choosing one all-new, full-on homemade recipe every night of the week. Make big batches of stuff! Eat your leftovers! At MOST, in our “real life,” I cook three recipes per week - maybe one on Monday, one on Wednesday, and one on the weekend to prepare for the week ahead. Keep it simple.

Okay, the last thing I'm going to leave you with is a nice long list of recipes that I think would be good to consider for your meal planning purposes - either breakfasts, lunches, or dinners. This should give the high-achieving super-planners in the group a highly prepared starting point for #POYsugarfreejanuary!

I am so excited to start sharing these recipes with you! THREE MORE DAYYYS.

breakfast header


lunch header


dinner header


A banner saying "SNACKS & DESSERT" on it.

Snacks and Desserts

You can look through our sugar free category of recipes here, and you can click here to download the Sugar Free Meal Plan template! #POYsugarfreeJanuary — we're comin for ya!

I'd love to hear from you all - how do you approach meal planning? Are you Team Write-It-All-Down or Team Go-With-The-Flow? (I'm Go-With-The-Flow + a *little* bit of stuff written down.)

See you guys in January!


Filed Under: Sugar Free January

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    Avocado Egg toast every morning sounds AMAZING! I could eat that for breakfast all year long!

    Can’t wait to try your January recipes! 🙂

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    I am so, so excited to start the sugar-free plan! My body definitely needs a detox from sugar after the holiday season. Thank you for all of the menu ideas – I am definitely the Type A planner type so I appreciate this so much!

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    YES! So excited to start! This is a super helpful guide too! I’m on Team Write-It-All-Down with a small side of Team Go-With-The-Flow. My brain prefers the structure, so the menu each week goes on our letter board in the kitchen. 🙂

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    Yes to this! Loving the recipes, loving the concept, I’m in.

    I made a version of the autumn glow smoothie this morning with…canned pumpkin instead. Pumpkin spiced smoothie that I make with a teaspoon or 2 of maple syrup for sweetness.

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    I am excited for sugar-free January! I am always amazed of how much better I feel when I cut down on the refined sugars! Thank you Lindsay. As far as meal planning goes, I tend to lean more towards team writing everything down. Planning and structure helps me function best most of the time, however going with the flow helps me be a little more flexible when the week doesn’t always go as planned (which is probably the majority of the time!)

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Pretty excited about challenging myself for this 🙂 Looking forward trying out some new recipes while prepping for the work week.

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    Lindsay! This is amazing. I am now getting super excited about January. Tonight I’m sitting down with your website, a couple of cookbooks I’ve been enjoying and the January planning sheet you gave us, and I will be a planning machine. Wheeeee….

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m super excited for the soup recipe. Years ago while living in London I was introduced to African food and peanut soup was one of my favorites!

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow I just spent three hours putting together a meal plan for the 1st week of Jan (I wish I was kidding). Then you went and did this – now my plan is in tiny little bits in the bin because this makes way more sense for my brain and for my bank account. This is definitely the way to go, thank you for saving me from myself!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    I was just on a play date with a few moms today and told them I was seriously toying with the idea of doing sugar free January….and then saw this on IG tonight. Great timing, so thank you! I need things spelled out for me when meal planning, so….

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    This is really helpful – thanks so much for taking time to do this over the holidays. This goes so far beyond anything I would have expected from a food blog, but you guys are pretty much the extraordinaires in that department so I shouldn’t have been surprised!

    Thank you! I have been to our local vegan supermarket and stocked up, I have written my promise lists and can’t wait to get started.

    Thanks for the motivation and here’s to the journey!

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    I also want to focus more on healthy eating and meal prep in the new year. Thanks so much for your ideas and recipes. They are very motivating!

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    This is so awesome. Thank you for the long list of sugar free meals. Makes meal planning so much easier.

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    Dear Lindsay –

    Thank you for making this such an easy concept to do – the recipes, the outline, everything. Even the concept of sugar free is a lot less extreme and more “do-able” in my opinion. Thanks for ideas of your specific meal plan each week – give me a list of delicious recipes and my brain goes into overwhelm but the breakfast/lunch options you listed seemed great! Thanks again

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    Such a wonderful tool for Sugar-Free January!
    It appears that the checklist PDF from the original SFJ post has disappeared – any way you can republish it, Lindsey? Thanks!!

  16. Skillful Cook Logo

    this looks awesome! Quick question: you have peanut butter bites in your sample menu — where can i find that recipe??! #emergency 🙂

  17. Skillful Cook Logo

    I eat horribly if I don’t do some sort of meal planning! I don’t go all the way to every meal status, but I do plan my dinners. I have a 4 week calendar with a super broad category written on each day. (Think “chicken”, “Mexican”, “Soup”.) This gives us enough direction to come up with something we’ll want but enough freedom that we don’t get bored. It has worked really well for us.

    I’m excited to follow along your journey of Sugar Free January. I’m not in a good place to participate at the moment but I’m excited for the potential of doing it when my life is a little more calm!

  18. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m a little late the party but better late than never.

    I’m curious what kind of bread you buy that is sugar free. Even my organic whole grain bread has cane sugar in it. If I make it myself, I do not add sugar but I’m lazy so I still buy bread. Any recommendations?

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Did you ever find an option? I want to do this for the upcoming January and I am dying to know what bread is sugar free