For the past month, since Jan 1, I have been off sugar. By that I mean any added sugar. No desserts or sweet drinks – hard or soft. If there is a little sugar in a salad dressing, that’s okay, but I’m only eating savory foods. Not even eating much fruit at all, only if it’s in something.
I figured since sugar was the last thing I wanted to give up, it was probably the thing I needed to give up the most. The reason I am trying this is because sugar/sweeteners is the one thing that I’ve never gone off before. I’ve been raw vegan, so that pretty much precludes everything but fruit and veges and nuts/seeds, but I still used raw sweeteners to make the delicious chocolate mousse made with avocados and raw cacao. I still used dates to sweeten things. And I still ate plenty of fruit.

I went gluten free on the advice of a chiropractor, thought I’d give it a shot, that wasn’t very hard. It’s been 3 months today, and I don’t even really care that I technically can introduce it back into my diet. We are having pizza at the superbowl party tonight and I’m bringing my own GF crust.

Sugar was a 30 day plan, and now I’m in to day 34 and I sooo want it back, but I’m going to try and stick without it longer.

I thought after a few weeks that I’d lose my taste for sugar. And it dropped off for a little while, but it came back pretty strong. I really think about it a lot.

So I decided to get in touch with what it meant to me emotionally. And I realized that sugar was my friend! It was something that ALWAYS made me feel good (in the moment) and that I could always count on. Always readily available. Haagen Dazs peanut butter and chocolate ice cream could turn any boring day into a fun one. IT NEVER LET ME DOWN!

Who wants to give up such a great friend as that? Because let’s face it, humans can’t just be counted on 100% of the time, some just by nature and others with the best of intentions, life will happen to them and make it difficult for them to do what they said they’d do.

This is kind of a new thought for me, this sugary best friend, so I’m going to sit with it awhile. I also know that while it is loving to have a great reliable friend, the effects of sugar are not loving to my body. Sugar causes so much inflammation and other issues. So here I want to be loving to myself by comforting it and feeling special, and I also want to be loving to myself by honoring my body.

And before you say it, I have tried in general to find something else to do instead, when I want that sugar, and seriously, nothing else works as well. Whereas I can enjoy sugar every single day, multiple times a day, going on a bike ride every day or going to the park for a walk every day, things I enjoy, start to wear thin. And their effects only last for an hour or so. Sugar can be there for me all day long.

OK, let’s see what the collective mind comes up. Anybody else with a sugar friendship? Anybody else struggling with replacing it? Anybody had success? Let me know below.

25 Responses

  1. Wow, I think being a raw vegan is hard enough…I cannot imagine giving up fruit and sugar on top of that…was there any health benefit besides exploring your “relationship” with suguar?

  2. Well a lot of the science these days is saying that the effects of sugar, glycation I think it might be called, causes aging. I do know that processed sugar causes inflammation. Now of course carbs convert down to sugar, so I’m not completely off sugar. I don’t think eating so much animal products is healthy either (like the Paleo diet), so I’m still eating some grains like rice and oats. So definite health benefits, but also I think emotional benefits. Which also directly translates to health benefits I feel.

  3. I don’t really have a sugar problem, but something close…carbs like bread and pasta, especially poor quality products. My husband and I went on a 3-week detox in January and we removed all bread products from our diet. I am less puffy and less tired. It was a simple and easy ting to do.

  4. I love your exploration into what sugar means to you on an emotional level… For myself, I have cut way down on the sugar that’s in my diet but I will regularly have a (GF) cookie or granola bar. Personally my feelings about sugar is that is the way I feel loved or treated special – by being aware of that I can allow myself the treats but not get into a mindless cycle of over doing it!

  5. How did you feel when you went back on it? Do you find you have less cravings for it? I almost wonder if I went back on sugar if it would be like an alcohol addiction – I would quickly get back to where I want it all the time. I did not give in as often as I wanted to, I controlled it by not buying it to have in the house, but at this point I still feel like it would too quickly return to eating too much of it.

  6. I like to have a sugary treat but I wouldn’t say that I have a sugar friendship. : D I find that I do need to eat it after a meal, though, because just on it’s own, it’s way too much and makes me feel a bit sick. I found that when I needed to go gluten free, so many years ago, that any sugar cravings that I had, went away, eventually.

  7. Hi Aimee, I gave up suger too. What made it easier for me is imagining that it was herion LOL. I wouldn’t touch that ever. And it worked. I feel huge difference in energy level. Stay strong.

  8. I’m not sure this is a good time for me to even think about this. I’ve spent the last 48 hours melting and molding 25+ pounds of chocolate into Valentine hearts for a youth fundraiser. At this point, the thought of anything with sugar in it is absolutely not pleasing. I don’t have a huge sweet tooth, but I do like fruit. I don’t do sweetened drinks or sugary treats, but bread and potatoes would be my downfall. I’m going to give a try at cutting it out for the next month to jumpstart my fitness plan. We’ll see how a no-potatoes diet goes for this Irish girl.

  9. Aimee–I admire your candid, authentic posting! I gave up sugar, too, and it no longer calls me. In fact, I had a bite of cake at a friend’s wedding and I couldn’t believe that I recoiled saying, “Ew..this is too sweet.” In the past, NOTHING could be too sweet! Have you tried tapping (such as EFT). I use and teach another tapping technique, RITT, that has helped many of us curb our cravings. Let me know (by email or private fb message) if you’d like to experience it and I will do a short session with you (no charge).

  10. Congratulations on your commitment so far! I am very careful with the amount of sugar I have in my diet too as I know how addictive it can be. Your description of sugar as a best friend reminds me of how I used to feel about alcohol. But I don’t recommend swapping sugar for a drink!

  11. Thank you Meryl, I will email you. I have done tapping for the craving (in fact I’ve been an EFT practitioner for 10+ years and it’s my main tool), but I know what a value that tapping with someone else is. You can do a lot on your own, but nothing beats working directly with someone else, as I’m sure you know. And thank you for the encouragement, I love knowing that you were in the same space and you permanently turned the corner!

  12. LOL – 25 pounds is even a lot for me – and I consider pizza and chocolate the most perfect foods in the world! Let me know how it goes with cutting out potatoes. Although I can power through the no sugar and I’ve never been a diet cheater, I think to really get to the root of it, you do have to figure out the emotional side. What do potatoes represent to you? Is there a childhood connection? I know that potatoes are deeply rooted in the Irish psyche for keeping you alive (and when they fail, you die), so I would imagine there is some of that going on?

  13. Ha – I’ve been lucky to not have PMS/PMT cravings, or maybe not because then my cravings are pretty consistent all month long! I just re-read (for the tenth+ time) The Power of Now and in his chapter about women, he has an interesting explanation of why we have PMS/T. He talks about how we are connecting to the collective emotional pain that women have experienced over the thousands of years of being subjugated, raped, controlled. As I don’t have PMS, I wasn’t sure – but I’d be interested to see if that resonates with you?

  14. LOL! I will give that a go. Although I have never touched it nor ever will (or any hard drug), I have always wanted to try heroin, kinda. Maybe I need to figure something else out for me. I could imagine it’s oysters!

  15. Norma, ha, no I’m not raw vegan now. When I was I ate sugar. I’m just gluten and sugar free at the moment. I’m one of those people that do better all or nothing…so having a little is too much for me. Hopefully I will get to the place that Meryl speaks of where just having a bite is like OH, this is TOO sweet.

  16. Wow, I admire your dedication…raw vegan would be enough of a transition for me, I’m working on gluten free. Now that you mention it, I realize how much I crave sugar. Crud, need to take a look at that one. Congrats on taking such good care of you and for inspiring me to do better.

  17. Hi Aimee,

    Going off sugar is always a good idea. I want to do more of that as well. I’m not a big dessert person, but it would be nice to see the effects of a no sugar diet. Best of luck to you. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Great post, Aimee. I have also not eaten any refined sugar since the beginning of the year and missed it the first week or two. I learned from a trainer/ fitness coach to eat veggies that contained more sugar instead, like sweet potatoes or carrots. That seemed to help the cravings. Thanks so much!

  19. I’m with you on sugar as my BF – and it’s become such a habit – especially triggered when I’m immersed in writing something or feeling anxious or bored… gee – often, I guess. It was great to read your post – makes me want to give this more serious thought, myself.

  20. Sugar evokes a viridenticalresponse as cocaine…highly adictive. It isn’t the sugar we crave but that euphoric feeling it gives us. BUT, just like that bike ride doesn’t last, neither does sugar…you need more, more and more to keep that high…so, if you have made it 34 dayswithout it, press on and make it a lifstyle.You are too close to give in to sugar now!YOU CAN DO IT. If I can help, just holler…it is my purpose and passion!

  21. Aimee, I have never been able to go off sugar 100% but have cut way back. I love ice cream but stopped purchasing it. I only bake something if it is a special occasion like a birthday. I still eat about 1 Tablespoon of raw, unfiltered honey each day. In place of an ice cream treat, I fix a yogurt treat & it satisfies my sweet tooth as well as I replace lunch with it. Here’s my recipe: mix 1/2 cup frozen blueberries with 1 scoop protein powder and 1 tablespoon fiber drink mix, then 1 mix in about 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt. I drizzle the mixture with a tablespoon of chocolate syrup (my limited sugar fix) and 5 crushed walnut halves. Here’s a link to the protein powder I use: http://bestrealhealth.gnld.net/store/Product.aspx?NAV_CATEGORY_ID=3230&CATEGORY_ID=1008&PRODUCT_ID=10072&ATTR=allInfo and here’s the link to the fiber drink mix: http://bestrealhealth.gnld.net/store/Product.aspx?NAV_CATEGORY_ID=3230&CATEGORY_ID=1252&PRODUCT_ID=10071&ATTR=allInfo Yes, sugar has been a friend but now I don’t need the little nibbles thru out the day. Another thing is when I am visiting someone who serves dessert, I ask for a half sized portion because if I eat a huge portion of sugary dessert it immediately gives me a headache. I wish you the best on your sugarless journey.

  22. I’ve thought about going completely off sugar, but haven’t made it there yet. It’s definitely my friend, especially in it’s chocolate form. 🙂 I am 3 weeks into a gluten free diet though, and am already starting to see the benefits from that.

  23. Good for you! Wow..34 days is a long time, given there are so many hidden sugars in everything we eat. I am looking to cut wheat out of my diet to and I am educating myself this week!

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