A month or two ago I posted on a book I was reading about quitting sugar (by Sarah Wilson). At the time I thought she was a bit mental (and by a bit, I mean a lot), because three weeks into her suggested detox, all sugar was cut out. Like all sugar. No fruits or honey or sugar replacements – zip. It all went.
Although I thought she was cray-cray, I was intrigued. So I set about looking into a lot of the things Sarah brought up in her book, like the idea that the root of obesity issues in modern society comes from our excess consumption of sugar (more specifically, fructose).
If you read this blog (hey!) you will already know I’m pretty sold on the ideas of clean eating and keeping away from things that can be tough on us (like dairy or gluten). I usually follow a paleo diet (or try to). And if you look at how cavemen really eat, the truth is they didn’t get an awful lot of sugar (maybe a few berries here and there). How can someone really believe in eating like out predecessors without questioning the amount of sugar going into our gobs?
At the forefront of my investigation (I went all CSI on sugar) was a book by David Gillespie, Sweet Poison. It was a hefty read, with loads of side roads into biochemistry and the history of sugar (right back to when it was first produced). I would highly recommend reading it. But don’t expect it to give you warm fuzzies by the fire on a lazy Sunday afternoon – this is no Harry Potter. This is big and scary with a side of the dramatics and a large sprinkle of science. Having read it I do feel a little freaked out, but I’m trying to take everything in Gillespie’s book with a pinch of salt (to balance out all the sugar). There is no real way to sum it up, because its dense and best read in full for a great picture on how our body handles sugar. (It’s also best read when you don’t have a dessert party to go to. You know in cartoons when someone is hungry and everything turns into walking tasty morsels? Well the dessert party was like that, except every scrumptious dessert turned into the grim reaper.)
Also along my travels I came across Damon Gameau. This Australian actor is currently treating himself like a lab rat and eating a high sugar (40 teaspoons a day) diet to see what the effects are on him and filming it (think a twist on the ‘Supersize Me’ documentary). You can follow his progress and daily updates here. Check out the movie preview too – it looks very interesting (especially for a recently adopted sugar nerd).
After a month or so of reading about the sweet stuff to within an inch of my life and drastically cutting down my sugar intake, Sarah’s idea of removing all fructose for a while seems less bonkers. Very challenging, but not completely ridiculous. Also, not completely uncalled for.
So, as of September 1st I’m attempting to follow Sarah’s detox and let go of the last clutches I have on sugar. I’m going to try being sweet enough on my own.
Wish me luck, or make like my amazing friend Alexandra and join me. If cutting out your desserts sounds too much for you, don’t worry, I will over share every step of the way – so upon the conclusion of my 6 week detox you will feel like you have lived every up and down with me (without needing to cut out donuts).
I bet you’re so excited to hear (well, read) my ever word on coming down off a sugar high. Yeah, yeah you are!