Wednesday 5 November 2014

Year of No Sugar

Finished November 3
Year of No Sugar: a Memoir by Eve O. Schaub

This book came out of a blog that Eve wrote over the course of the year that she and her family tried to nearly eliminate sugar from their diet. She starts with information about how she was introduced to information about the dark side of sugar, and how it affects our bodies. She talks about how she and her husband planned ahead for the year, and how they introduced the concept to their two daughters.
The main body of the book deals with the experiences of the family over the year. Her older daughter Greta also kept a journal and some of her entries are included in the book as are a couple of thoughtful pieces by her husband. Eve talks about the difficulties of the task of eliminating sugar, discussing the pervasiveness of sugar in prepared foods, even those as basic as bread. She exposes the existence of sugar in foods one wouldn't have associated with the ingredient.
She talks about the interesting effects of nearly eliminating sugar on her and her family's bodies, their digestive systems, their sense of taste, and their reaction to sugar on those rare occasions when it is allowed. She particularly deals with the reactions of her children, eleven and six to this change in their diets, showing how they came up with a set of rules to follow, giving the children some slack, and the ability to make their own decisions in certain situations.
She also provides some recipes, learned through the trials and errors of finding new foods to fill the gaps left by sugar.
I found myself cleaning out my cupboards of those foods harbouring hidden sugar, of looking harder at labels when shopping for food, and finding that things in a large city a few years after her experience were somewhat easier. I easily found appetizing bread that didn't have sugar, pasta sauces, cereals, and canned soups. But sadly, even the organic, no preservatives bacon have sugar, and I do like the occasional glass of wine. So I don't think I will go to the extremes of her year, and even she didn't stay at that level after those first twelve months. But I will make more food from scratch, using healthy and local ingredients, and I will look more closely at labels, choosing those without sugar whenever I can.
This was an eye-opening book and provides a lot of useful information for those wishing to make a change for healthier eating.

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