Posted in Crossfit, Exercise, Food & Drink, Sugar Smackdown, {Project Recipe}

Day 28: There & Back Again

In 1.5 hours, I will be eating a celebratory handful of dark chocolate pomegranates. Midnight will mark a full month of abstaining from sugar! March is finally here and the challenge is complete!

Truly, I couldn’t have finished, much less participated in, the sugar smackdown without the support of everyone who’s followed this blog, encouraged me with words and messages, and promised me that dessert is overrated (it was easier to believe as the days passed). 🙂 It’s a lot easier to stick to a challenge when I know I’m not alone. Thank you so much!

And to the Farmgirlfit gals who did this challenge with me: WE MADE IT! 🙂

Mel Gibson knows what’s up.

Even though the official no-sugar challenge is over, I am continuing my quest in the sugarless realms! Any new recipes will be archived under {Project Recipe} or on my Sugar Smackdown Pinterest board. Both will be updated on a regular basis.

I was craving comfort food for dinner (plus I wanted to end the sugar smackdown with an epic recipe), so I raided my pantry and found some canned pumpkin left over from the holidays. The label directed me to Very Best Baking for pumpkin recipe ideas, and I found one for shepherd’s pie. This dish essentially is the definition of comfort food.  It’s warm, has a ton of vegetables, and makes great leftovers. It’s also easy to modify: You can use any combination of vegetables (or use a different kind of meat, etc.) and the final dish will always turn out fantastic.

The only things I left out were beef broth and Worcestershire sauce (it was optional, anyway). Believe it or not, every kind of broth I have in my pantry includes sugar. It’s like the second ingredient on all the labels. I used a cup of water in place of the broth, and I couldn’t tell a difference.

Chicken & Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie


1 package Honest Earth All Natural Creamy Mashed Potatoes

1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY’S® 100% Pure Pumpkin, divided

1/2 cup grated extra sharp cheddar cheese, divided

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 cups corn kernels

1 tomato, diced

4 stalks celery, chopped

3 chicken breasts, thawed and cut into chunks

1 tablespoon whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 cup water


Make mashed potatoes according to package directions. Add 1 cup pumpkin, 1/4 cup cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined, then cover and set aside.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add vegetables; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until celery begins to soften. Stir in chicken, flour, garlic powder, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in water and remaining pumpkin, then bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture has thickened slightly.

Preheat the oven broiler.

Spoon chicken and vegetable mixture into greased 9-inch deep-dish pie dish or other broiler-proof casserole dish (preferably 2-quart). Spoon pumpkin-potato mixture evenly over chicken filling, spreading gently. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.

Broil for 5 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned.


Day 28 Progress Report

Breakfast: Omelet seasoned with salt and pepper. Plain oatmeal with cinnamon and banana slices.

Snack: Seed & nut mix (pistachios, cashews, peanuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, soy nuts).

Lunch: Cheesy rice bowl (long grain brown rice, Parmesan cheese, shallots, cooked chicken seasoned with paprika and garlic powder).

This is a great homemade lunch alternative to Panda Express or Noodle Express. It’s a huge rice bowl with basically the same ingredients, but you control your portion size and know exactly what’s going in it.

Snack: Apple slices.

Dinner: Chicken & Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie.

Snack: Air-popped popcorn.

Snack @ 12:01 a.m. on March 1: Dark chocolate pomegranates. 🙂



Christ follower. Wife. Mama.

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