Hello from vacation! I suppose blogging on vacation is looked down upon because, well, it’s vacation. But the truth is, life is so crazy during the everyday normal weeks that I love having a little extra time to sit down and blog. If I could have one extra day every week devoted to blogging (recipe development, writing, brain storming) uninterrupted I would be a very happy camper. So here I am, blogging from Austin, sitting by the pool. You can count on a full recap soon!
Before we left for vacation I downloaded the book I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson on my Kindle. Looking back, this may have been a strange choice for vacation reading, since vacation is all about indulging, but I have been hearing great things about this book and couldn’t wait to dig in.
I should preface what I’m about to say with the fact that I have never done well with sugar. I find that although some people do well with “just one piece of chocolate or one slice of cake” I am not that girl. I have always found it easier to stay away from sweets entirely than to consume sweets with moderation. Eating just a little something sweet causes me to want, well, more and more sweet things. It’s a horrible spiral. Anyone relate?
I found while reading Sarah’s book that I was nodding my head in agreement again and again. The premise is this: our bodies weren’t designed to eat very much sugar at all; in fact, our ancestors didn’t have sugar easily available so they had no “stop” mechanism when it came to eating sugar. If they found berries or honey, they ate as much as possible to store up until the next time they found something sweet, which might be weeks or months. In fact, it wasn’t until the last few decades that sugar became so readily available. Our grandparents generation treated sugar as a very special, very rare treat.
I can’t speak to the science of all of this, but it does certainly make sense to me. Joe’s grandpa told a story to Joe growing up about how he and his 8 other siblings would split a single candy bar between them on the rare occasion they actually had a candy bar to eat, which didn’t happen often. And, personally speaking, my inability to stop with just one cookie or one piece of chocolate frankly freaks me out a bit. It truly seems like a bit of an addiction.
Sarah’s book goes beyond just eliminating sweets in their more obvious forms, like table sugar, desserts and sweetened drinks. In her 8-week program, she suggests cutting out fruit for the first handful of weeks and all sweetened condiments, too, so our bodies can recalibrate. Once you’ve gotten further along in the program, she re-introduces some fruit, just one to two servings a day. Instead of eating sugary foods, she suggests replacing that sugar with good fats, like whole milk diary and yogurt and cheeses.
I’m curious to hear if anyone else has read the book and has committed to the 8-week program, or doing it in a scaled-back way? While on vacation we’ve been eating a lot of savory foods (breakfast tacos, barbecue, seafood and very few snacks) and have only had one sweet treat the entire time we’ve been here. Honestly, the ice cream I ate yesterday made me feel horrible, something I was hyper-aware of after reading I Quit Sugar. Seeing how great I feel these last couple days makes me think that giving a scaled-back, non-militant version of the quitting sugar program a try. Sarah even addresses the need for “a little something sweet” at the end of a meal, citing that it’s more of an emotional connection and need rather than a real, physical one.
How do you feel about sugar? Since I’ve never been very good at moderation with sweet treats, it makes me super curious if there are actual people on this planet who can eating sweets in moderation on a regular basis without feeling like they need more.