This Allergic Girl has been processed sugar-free for almost two years now. I’ll eat or use organic Maple syrup and raw [i.e. NOT boiled, filtered, and otherwise fussed with] honey; a box of raw sugar rests in my cupboard for guests and the small amount of baking I’ve done of late. I was never a huge table sugar eater but damn if it’s not in everything: ketchup to Boca Chik’n patties, whole wheat bread and vitamin waters . [Speaking of pernicious sweetners, Accidental Hedonist has made a list of products with the dreaded High Fructose Corn Syrup , the evil of all evils sweet-wise.] Cutting out all processed sugars is a larger task than one might initially assume. But after a few months of systematically deleting overly processed, overly sugared and overly processed sugared foods, my body adapted happily and I haven’t missed them.

Or so I thought.

Sunday night, I slipped. Or rather, Sunday night I realized that over the past few weeks my processed sugar-free diet had been breeched.

Sunday night, I spooned my way to unhealth eating raw gluten-free chocolate chip cookie dough. Right out of the bowl.

Oh the healthy-eater shame.

Since I’ve been on a product review jag, sugar or “evaporated cane juice” has been creeping slowly, slyly, but stealthfully back into my otherwise very healthy diet. Without my really realizing it.

For an Allergic Girl tasting I’m conducting this weekend, I decided to pre-mix the cookie batter. I was testing the raw product, almost on autopilot, until I realized I had "tested" about 1/4 of a cup of raw chocolate cookie dough in fingerfuls! It was a sweetly familiar activity, a lovely childhood memory; I haven’t licked a bowl in years

Next thing I knew, Rome was over [one more episode left, sigh], it was 10pm, and the dinner salad I had prepared was still in the kitchen, untouched and wilting. I missed dinner entirely. Why? Because the mix’s second ingredient after white rice flour is brownulated sugar; the third ingredient is evaporated cane juice i.e sugar. My body said, “Ooh, eat more more more!” Which I did almost without thinking; I was sated, without eating anything nutritious.

Sugar is evil as Michael Schwartz said to me in South Beach: I knew that. I know it’s evil and I don’t have ANY of that in my diet. Fiddle dee dee.

Well, major wake up call time. The last few weeks, I’ve been tasting and pre-tasting trials of excellent nut-free/gluten-free products that weren’t “evaporated cane juice” free. And I’ve gotten a taste of the evil stuff. So much so when I came home from work last night, where did I go but straight to the fridge to spoon some raw cookie dough! Good news for the Cherrybrook Kitchen, whose excellent products I’m tasting [and have done some pre-tasting-they’re nut-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free and very raw-dough-spoonable] but after this final tasting I’m going to need a sugar detox and clean diet reboot.


Bo said…
I guess I'm a little bit of a heretic in the world of holistic counseling in that I don't believe that sugar - even the stuff that's pure as snow - is not necessarily evil. I use 5 cups of the stuff every time I make a batch of my homemade jams and jellies. Of course the 5 cups usually ends up make about 12 jars of jam and I eat only about 1 jar a month. We're human and we evolved to seek out sugar. In the days of hunting and gather, one concentrated source of sugar would sustain us for long periods of time. Sugar is what makes us function. It's our energy. When we run out of sugar, we crash and burn. Over-consumption of sugar (or anything else for that matter) is the problem. When you consume too much to the exclusion of everything else, that's when you run into problems. Also, if you consume too much sugar and don't have any way of burning it off, you have problems. The occassional indulgance won't kill you - it may even make you a better person. Okay...I'll get off my crazy soapbox now.
Allergic Girl® said…
moderation sure, but how many people do you know that do things in moderation? american culture is based on excess and extreme, no? so it's not like we eat sugar moderately but consume it like cookie monster...gobble gobble. [or is that a turkey]. all i know is that by cutting out processed sugar i haven't been as crazed around meal times.

PS you do realize that you have just given me leave to finish off the cookie dough that i was going to serve you sunday, don't you? i mean i had some for breakfast, i'm out of control! ;-)
ByTheBay said…
The problem, Bo, is that we were meant to eat sugar but were not meant to eat sugar that had been stripped of all its trace minerals and other nutrients, isolated and refined and chemically produced. For those of us who are true sugar addicts, sugar is like a drug - I have physical withdrawal symptoms when I don't eat it. And once I detox, if I eat it again I get terrible anxiety attacks and headaches. Which doesn't happen with agave nectar (as long as I eat some protein with it). So yes, "over consumption" is the problem... But when it's a substance that is this addictive, many of us just CAN'T stop. Moderation works as well with sugar as with crack for some people. Plus, foods that don't have any added sweetteners provide PLENTY PLENTY PLENTY of energy. I don't think anyone is saying that sugars from fruits, vegetables and carbs are a bad thing.

AllergicGirl: Go you! I support you 100%. I'm dealing with the same thing - Having quit sugar completely yet finding it creeping back into my diet. And I think that it's a struggle to find moderation when it's in everything, and when it has addictive properties. I am having a hard time turning down offers of product samples due to them having sugar in them. That is really hard for me - How can I say no to something yummy?
Lynn Barry said…
I am there, but maybe not...the choc. chips from Enjoy Life do say "evaporated cane juice" but otherwise I have been refined sugar free for a few days and am sleeping better and feeling fabulous. I really did not have much sugar but now no sugar is how I will stay. GO US GO US GO US! Love it! HUGS

Popular Posts