A Year of No Sugar: Post 34

Food extremism is nothing new to my husband Steve. He grew up in a home that was a bit of a nutritional house divided: his mom serving the foods most people were eating in the mid-west in the seventies and eighties- pot roast, mac and cheese, pudding, etc.- while his dad frequently ate a different meal altogether, experimenting with various different nutritional theories he was reading about in specialty magazines like “Dr. Shelton’s Hygienic Review.” (motto: “Let Us Have Truth Though The Heavens Fall.”)

Steve’s father, who passed away a few years ago, was a vegetarian before people even knew what that was, back when health food stores were still fringe operations frequented and operated by folks who still thought communes might be a really good idea. But Bill Schaub was no long-haired hippy; he was a trim, clean-shaven lawyer who would one day rise to become Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board and be conferred the rank of Meritorious Executive in the Senior Executive Service by President Bill Clinton. I try to picture him walking into the Toledo-area granola shop in his suit, his aftershave clashing with the smell of patchouli and wheat grass.

My husband recalls the time his father took him to see the watershed movie Star Wars. Steve was not very excited to go, because outings with his father were often nutrition oriented and pretty dry stuff for an eight year old: “I thought we were going to a lecture on carrot juice or something.”

In another favorite Bill Schaub story, he grew a mustache, (of course! it was the seventies!) This development coincided with the peak of his interest in the nutritional value of mangos and his decision to import boxes of the fruit himself, which of course resulted in his brown mustache turning mango-colored from the sheer volume of orange fruit that passed his lips.

There are lots of Bill Schaub anecdotes like this, illustrating his passion and single-mindedness when it came to the subject of nutrition and food. Steve is his father’s son, and inherited from him not only an attentive attitude toward food and nutrition, but also the unusual ability to endure strange and restrictive diets for various goals.

For example, in addition to our family’s ongoing No Sugar Project, Steve has for the last seven weeks also been shunning all dairy, and all bread products. Also no potatoes. Basically just meat, eggs, and any vegetable and fruit which you could eat raw. You can imagine how much fun we are in restaurants.

Eve: “I have a strange question. Does the lasagna have sugar in it? And also, what about the soup?”

Steve: “Can you tell me, is there gluten in the sausage? What about in the cabbage? I’m also not eating dairy…”

Eve: “No, the kids don’t want lemonade, could they just have water…?”

Oh yes, the waitresses just love us.

The thing is it has worked. I mean, Steve looked completely fine before, and thin compared to your average American profile. But in a few weeks on this Paleo / Raw diet he’s lost over twenty five pounds. I know! We’ve been buying him new pants since nothing fits anymore- he looks great. More importantly, he’s clearly happier.

Interestingly, Steve’s father had an addiction to sweet things- cookies, ice cream- which he battled with all his life. Steve’s own addiction is much more specific: diet Dr. Pepper. Not to put to fine a point on it, Diet Dr. Pepper is Steve-crack.

The other day Steve sheepishly brought home a case of the stuff, justifying, “well, I thought it could just drink it in the evening as a snack…”

After I gently pointed out the Steve-crack phenomenon, even he agreed it probably should stop. I know it’s not easy- we all like to have our crutches to lean on when we feel depressed and deprived. For me, “mother’s little helper” is more vague… once upon a time pre-project I would’ve enjoyed a bit of chocolate or cookie after every lunch and dinner- a sweet of some kind albeit a small one. I still miss that ritual, that sweet little ending to a meal. Lately I supplement that desire with an alternate treat- a banana, an unsweetened cappuccino, a GoRaw granola bar with raisins in it. It gives rise to the question: do we have to chose between health (long-term happiness) and desire-gratification (short-term happiness)?

The other day Steve was talking about his dad. “If my dad was alive today he’d be fascinated by this project,” he said. “He’d be sending us articles and talking to us about it all the time…” I know. It’s sad he isn’t here to share it with us.

2 thoughts on “A Year of No Sugar: Post 34

  1. amazing – and very motivating – I hope I read this article 2 or 3 more times this week in order to be more motivated… – very well done!!

    I am living in Sri Lanka (for few months and will be here for few months) and here food is mostly vegetarian – I live with buddists where beef isn’t allowed to even pass through the house gates – in addition anything which harms the living thing must not be eaten – I sneak out – try to – but the thing with the restraunts is that the chicken they give is fried – deep fried and I am not going to eat it – so my daily diet consists of fried (cocount oil) (yes I need a little fat everyday) vegetable rice with tropical fruits complimenting it – tuna fish sometimes – dairy isn’t what I can just leave because I have a habit to run around a mile everyday…

    mmm – tea – I would say – its the best thing you should go for if you are a lucky person blessed with healthy consciousness – I am experimenting on several types of teas – breakfast tea english style, irish style, Japanese style – afternoon teas are different – green teas – and you can count on how many can there be…

    marmite or vegimite is a wonderful thing I have been introduced – DO google “Marmite” and try to use it in your daily life – pure vege – and amazing…

    apart from that – I try to eat nuts sometimes a week – not daily – and coffee though I am not a big fan now a days because the climate is so hot for being a coffee addict and tea is there…

    about my family: both my parents are patients of High Blood Pressure and Diabetics – my mum uses insulin – and both of them complain pains in different parts and the list goes on – they eat tons of tablets everyday – they have gastric problems developed by the medications, memory losses and what not – heart issues are there of course…

    still they are not ready to change their life styles – they eat fried stuff – eat high sugar stuff – I think I have stopped sugar for almost a year now and feel so light and healthy – but they can’t – even after they know all about the kidney faliure and god forbid other kinds of problems – not to mention how depressed they are with their life and when you are in that condition you just want to go ahead with the things you want to go for – just that you can leave it tomorrow which will never come – it starts from sneaking out of the plan very slowly and then you don’t give a darn over anyone telling you and begging you to give mercy to your body…

    my entire family has these problems – recently a girl cousin 18 years old got developed heart issues – can’t believe – eating pizzas and coke at 12 o clock after heavy late lunch with cakes and bakery stuff would definitely do that – extremes…

    so watching all that – I don’t want my life to suffer like that and am going health geek…

    i have posted my email in case you want to reply…

    and I am going to listen to the podcast – just came here and start reading this wonderful post…

    have a very nice and healthy weekend…


    p.s. I am the most smartest dude in my family – YAY!!

    p.p.s. I hate Coke/Pepsi and all these killing beverages too…

  2. Ребята , подскажите , кто знает или сталкивался.

    Хочу купить подвеску с бриллиантом массой от карата, но понимаю , что это стоит не мало и мне не по карману.

    Но читала , что есть облагороженные бриллианты, которые ничем не отличаются от обычных, но стоят меньше в

    два раза.

    Кто-нибудь вообще держал такие в руках, они правда великолепны ?

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