If you’re anything like me you can probably count on one hand the number of events that have changed your life in a positive way. For me that includes getting married, having Lincoln, and going through Jacqueline Smith’s Go Sugar Free Course. I know that sounds totally nuts, but it’s true!

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I’ve always had a raging sweet tooth. Like, needing something sweet after every meal and constantly eating candy like a sugar-starved 12 year old on Halloween. I worked out, didn’t have any cavities, and led an otherwise healthy lifestyle so I figured it was no big deal that I ate so much sugar.

Fast forward to February 2014 when I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and had to give up all forms of wheat, rye, and barley. I felt deprived and started eating even more sweets to make up for what I felt I was missing. I knew I was spiraling but basically have zero willpower. I’m sure some of you can relate.

A few months after that, I got an email from the sugar-free angel herself, Jacqueline Smith (that’s her beautiful face in the photo above!) asking if I wanted to try out her Go Sugar Free Course which aims to eliminate all forms of processed, refined, and added sugar in your diet. I didn’t even finish the email before responding with a big fat YES!

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The course started a few days later and I was unsure of what to expect. Here’s what I experienced – a 9.5 week course with daily emails containing information ranging from why our bodies crave sugar, to tactics to fight sugar cravings, videos, recipes, lifetime access to a bustling sugar-free Facebook community, lifetime access to course materials, and, get ready for this, PERSONAL WEEKLY CHECK INS from Jacqueline herself. I still can’t believe she makes time to talk through the experience and challenges each participant in the course is facing every single week. That’s what really kept me going – knowing that I was being held accountable to someone other than myself.

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Was it hard? Oh my gosh, so hard. My daily, 2:30pm Sierra Mist is what I mourned the most, plus sugar is in everything from ketchup, to coffee creamer, and even deli meat. While the Go Sugar Free Course encourages you to give up all refined and added sugars for 9.5 weeks, the programs is flexible (if you want it to be,) with items like dried fruit, for instance. If you think you just CANNOT go without something, then that’s ok – the program is flexible so you can succeed. I pretty much went all in, save for a few drizzles of honey and very small taste tests of a couple dessert recipes here on IGE.

So, did it work? I wouldn’t be writing this post if it hadn’t. Since earlier this summer, when I went through the Go Sugar Free Course, I have not bought a single piece of candy (other than for a recipe.) It just doesn’t appeal to me. Do you know how WILD that is? I never in a million years thought I would ever be able to say that. My taste buds have simply changed. My sweet cravings are nearly non-existent. Do I still enjoy a pop here and there? Yeah, I do (regular, not diet.) I have chosen to graduate and move forward from Jacqueline’s course with a “sugar-selective” mentality. If there’s a special occasion or opportunity to eat a favorite sweet treat that doesn’t come around very often, I’m going to take it. But sugar in everyday life? Not really happening, folks!

So here’s what going down – Jacqueline is offering a spot in her next Go Sugar Free Course which runs from January 7 – March 14, 2015. This is a $299 value giveaway which includes all the items I mentioned above. Check out Jacqueline’s site for the full list of benefits >>

If you don’t win the giveaway you can still sign up for the course until January 6. Jacqueline also gives out scholarships for the course so sign up for her newsletter for information on how to apply.

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In addition to kicking a ton of sugar from my everyday life, I gained a couple friends from taking the Go Sugar Free Course – Jacqueline and her husband Elliott (who makes a few appearances throughout the course!) They were zipping through town a few weeks ago (they live in California but have family here in Iowa,) and we chatted for 2+ hours over brunch. Jacqueline is truly interested in helping people succeed in achieving a healthier lifestyle – I can’t wait for you to go through the course if you’re able!

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Enter to win a spot in Jacqueline’s Go Sugar Free Course which begins 1/7/15 by using the widget below (may not work in Internet Explorer) by Tuesday, December 23 at 12am central. Winner will be notified directly by email. Good luck!

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