A Year Of No Sugar: Postscript 3

I feel like somebody chewed me up and spit me out. I sound like somebody who should consider giving up my three pack-a-day habit, at least while working at the coal mine. I am alternately forlorn and annoyed and impatient to be well again. I feel like I’m out of practice: I haven’t been sick in a while… at least not garden-variety-sick. Not regular, ordinary, I-just-have-a-nasty-headcold-and-deserve-to-be-grouchy sick.

Of course, I did have that mysterious, debilitating something in the fall time, (which to this day remains a mystery, albeit nearly a forgotten one as all symptoms have thankfully subsided, never to return, knock wood.) But honestly, I can’t quite recall the last time I was just plain sick. Sore-throat, chesty-cough, feel-like-a-piece-of-poo sick.

A few of the recent Steve Treats

Although everyone will say I’m crazy, I can’t help but consequently think my immunity has lowered since we went back “on” sugar. Insanity? Maybe. And for all that we’ve really only indulged this month in a fraction of what the average American family would actually consume, fructose-wise. For instance, we went out and bought ketchup and mayo. We’ve eaten at restaurants without putting the menu through the Spanish Inquisition. We’ve gotten take-out pizza and eaten at our local pancake house.

Interestingly, one thing I’ve found is that I really can’t take much sugar anymore. As I alluded to in an earlier post, it doesn’t taste right to me- it goes all funny and saccharine-tasting in my mouth. I can have the pancakes which have a small amount of sugar in the recipe itself, but maple syrup? In all but the most minute, eyedropper-dispensed quantities maple syrup no longer strikes me as palatable. I can order pizza with a tomato sauce that in all likelihood has some amount of sugar in it, but I no longer feel compelled to visit the platter of baklava strategically placed next to the cash register afterwards.

As if to compensate for this fact, my husband Steve has taken to regularly bringing me little treats- candy bars, hot chocolate cubes, bags of tiny cookies- to the degree that I have begun to wonder if he isn’t something of a pusher in this regard. I know, he wants me to relax, to enjoy myself. Especially when I don’t feel good, a little pick-me-up in the form of a Kit-Kat would once have vaporized in about a minute and a half.

Now? Not so much.

But the funny thing is, he won’t have those treats either, for a different reason: in the last two weeks he’s been on a super-strict Paleolithic-inspired diet in an attempt to shed some nagging pounds. In Steve’s deductions, not eating sugar wasn’t enough to compensate for other calorie-grabbing habits such as the nightly drink-or-three, or snacking before bed. On top of this he’s wondering if recent rumors are true that diet soda- which you’ll recall, was his one and only “exception” during our Year of No Sugar- actually can contribute to weight gain every bit as much as sugar can.

Breakfast of Champions Steve Style

So out has gone the soda, ditto the nightly drink. Out has gone the wheat and dairy. Out remains (once again) the sugar. So far he’s lost seven pounds, but it all looks torturous to me: most meals for him consist of eggs, steak or chicken, and water. I know, I know, look who’s talking, right? As a friend of ours recently put it, perhaps our family would do well to try A Year of Abstaining from Abstaining. I’m not sure we’re “meta” enough for that though.

Personally, I wouldn’t mind if we could abstain from having the Mucus Truck parked on my chest. Could we do that? Just a thought.

4 thoughts on “A Year Of No Sugar: Postscript 3

  1. I DO enjoy your blog. I started off sugar August 2010 and it morphed to paleo-ish after 13 months as I’d lost all the weight I could off sugar. I like Mark Sisson’s 80/20% attitude, it’s a template not some strict diet. I totally get your taste buds response to sugar now. I just don’t crave, and it doesn’t satisfy me. But I wonder when that would gradually change and I’d be back to the old sugar dependent fiend I was. I also can correlate sugar consumption with cold and flu…before I stopped DOING sugar in the junkie way. Was it the cause? So often after a bad bout of sugar there would be a bad cold. Now Paleo-esque eating seems to head off colds before they take hold…a mere hint there’s a bug and then it’s gone. I like to think it’s all that goood fat. New association: good fat. Good animal fat in fact. What a shift in my perception!

  2. G’day from a cool anf wet Sydney! There’s been a lot of air play about the effect that sugar has on our bodies and our diet, this week. Mostly positive comments anbout the danger that sugar poses to our health, and naturally those other ‘souls’ who disagree with all the findings and research and say that the gov should stay out of our lives –etc, etc. Prof. Lustig – from San Francisco I think, was interviewed giving his opinion and findings re the dangers of sugar as also was David Gillespe. The result? Not sure how things will change as as a result of all tis publicity over here . Hopefully more people are now aware of the fact that sugar is added to simly everything, every foodproduct and so make people read the label at the back of the product, at least.
    Our family has been on the ‘no sugar wagon’ also. My wife with more success, showing more determination and resolve than I’ve shown and so have her results!!
    Eve, I applaud you and your family’s effort in maintiaining the ‘no sugar’ regime over the year and being such a postive example to us. It gets really hard at imes when it comes to making choices, just normal everyday choices which we used to make out of habit. It’s the habit, often, that needs to be broken. Keep on making a difference. :}


  3. I’ve followed your year of no sugar with great interest. While not quite as hard core as no sugar in anything or willing to substitute one chemical for another, dextrose over fructose I do try to reduce the amount of sugar we eat. My kids do not get juice or soda because I never purchase it for home or when we are out. I also do not get the convenience and ease of giving them cereal for breakfast. My heart broke when I realized my go to cereal, raisin bran (all national brands), had high fructose corn syrup high on the list of ingredients. Yet, I’m the same mom that lets them eat their halloween candy– as much as they want every day before it goes to work with me and into the front desk candy dish.

    I’m just wondering if having a maintenance plan, like those coming off a diet (or a vegetarian living with a meat eating spouse), would make transitioning back to a world with sugar in it easier for the whole family. For me something along the lines of at home we continue with no sugar, so shopping and meals at home remain the same and the kids are not so confused. No sugar is then a lifestyle choice. If we go out, or are at school, work or events during the week we make healthy choices and do not worry about the things with small amouts of hidden sugar (like breads where the only sugar used is to activate the yeast). Sugary and other desserts or treats are saved for weekends, holidays or other special occasions.

    It just feels like putting the family through this for a year without coming out on the other end with a plan to keep (the kids in particular) from going back to a diet filled with sugar was well, a waste– even if you realize you do not need the sugar or want as much.

  4. I know exactly what you mean. I’ve cut back on sugar and white flour and I can tell the difference right away. Without it I have much more energy, but as soon as I re-introduce it into my body again, I feel extremely full, bloated, and tired. I started a blog a few months ago talking about my addiction to sugar and how I’m trying to be healthy by addressing this problem and other things. Thank you for the inspiration!

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