no! sugar…till thanksgiving!

that title is meant to be shouted like the song “no sleep till brooklyn”.  ha ha ha.  stupid.

with just a little over a week left before thanksgiving, i’ve decided to do a little detox.  i’ve been suffering from some pretty debilitating headaches lately, all sugar-induced, and my recent trip to new york gifted me with a wheat belly the size of a 4-month pregnancy.  and i won’t even get into my digestive issues. OY.

for the last 20 years, i’ve been reading and researching food and healthy lifestyles choices.  my personal relationship with sugar and wheat have led me to the following symptoms:  acid reflux, bloating, headaches, uncontrollable weight gain, poor digestion, lack of absorption of vitamins and minerals, sinus issues, tinnitis (ringing in the ear), high cholesterol, and just inflammation in general.

those are all my previous symptoms, and i don’t even drink soda or fruit juice!  but, almost ALL of those symptoms have been relieved by eliminating sugar and wheat from my diet.  can you believe?

so why did i start eating sugar again?

my life.  oh my goodness ~ my life.  every time i turn around, there’s an excuse to have a glass of wine.  from a random tuesday night date at a fantastic italian restaurant, where it would be a SIN not to share a bottle of sangiovese with the hub, to hanging out with singers after a difficult rehearsal, to after-performance celebrating ~ i just drink too much for my delicate little messed up system.  it may only be a glass of wine to you, but it’s too much for me. 

so, i have decided to go off “fructose” (or sugar) for a week.  i’ve done this before, and i think it’s the best thing we americans could ever eliminate from our diets.  for me at this point, it’s mostly just wine.  and it’ll be tough.

as we all know by now ~ there is a sugar epidemic going on in our society.  there is sugar in everything.  there is sugar everywhere.  and not just in america.  it has taken over our taste buds and our bodies.  it’s a toxic substance ~ how can that be okay?  IT’S NOT!

here’s a little information from sarah wilson’s amazing book: “i quit sugar” ~ scroll down to substitutions if you’ve already heard all of this before.

fructose makes us eat more.  every molecule we put in our mouths has corresponding appetite hormones.  and when we’ve eaten enough of said molecule, these hormones tell our brains, “we’re full now; stop eating.” every molecule, that is, except fructose.

fructose converts directly to fat…the way fructose is converted in our bodies means it’s not used straightaway as energy, but converted directly to fat.  when we drink fructose (in soft drinks and juices), this process is even more direct and faster.  

and finally…

fructose makes us sick. a number of studies have found that fructose:

  • inhibits our immune system
  • upsets the mineral balance in our bodies, and interferes with mineral absorption
  • speeds up the aging process
  • has been connected with the development of cancer
  • is linked to dementia
  • causes an acidic digestive tract, indigestion and malabsorption

and then of course, there’s diabetes.  ugh.

i could go on and on and not even scratch the surface.  i hope i haven’t already lost you.

let me be clear with myself, and you.  going NO SUGAR doesn’t mean you can’t have cake on your birthday, or pumpkin pie for thanksgiving.  we’re talking about the other 364 days of the year.  there’s so much we can eliminate from our everyday lives to clean out our systems and get healthy.  don’t worry about those special occasions ~ you’ll be free and clear to enjoy them.  but be warned:  they might not taste as good as they used to.  and you’ll probably get a sugar headache immediately.


let’s get right down to business.  some people just simply must have sugar in their coffee or tea.  no problemo!

BROWN RICE SYRUP is 100% fructose free!  yippeee!  and it tastes good.  i’m working on a simple syrup this morning that i hope will work beautifully as a substitute for all added sweetening.  more on that later.

STEVIA is also a great substitute, but it’s 300 times stronger than sugar.  so don’t use too much, or you will have a need for sweet forever.  and the point of the sugar detox is to stop being controlled by your sweet tooth.  but it is really an incredible substance that i’ve used in baking, and have been very impressed.

you can bake and cook with these subs.  i’ll post recipes!  but here’s one to tide you over…

more where that came from!

if you’re interested in doing this, it’s just a week!  we can do it!  here’s what i am avoiding:

  • wheat
  • wine
  • sugar subs like honey, maple syrup, splenda, etc
  • desserts/chocolate
  • bananas (loaded with fructose)
  • fruit juice/soda (same thing, according to your body)
  • all packaged items except tortilla chips and rice crackers that have no sugar added.
  • ketchup and barbecue sauce
  • fast food (all fast food has added sugar)
  • anything LOW FAT.  there’s lots of extra sugar in all low-fat items.
  • starbucks (just don’t even go in there unless you actually like the taste of coffee.  but to be honest, their coffee is gross.  believe me, you just like the sugar that is poured into their drinks to cover up the taste of their burnt coffee.  sorry.)

can somebody please get me a ladder and help me down off of this soap box?

i am undyingly passionate about this, as you can tell.  and i fail DAILY.  but i would really love to live a 95% sugar free life.  i’d like to lose 10 pounds and feel amazing.  i’d like to avoid wrinkles, arthritis, and prescription medicine for as long as i can.

if you’re feeling the same way, don’t hesitate!  please join me in this quest for a better life!



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