Thursday, April 29, 2010


About a year ago I posted something about how I was going off of sugar totally. I even had a counter on my blog of how many days I hadn't had it. I think it got up to something like 150+ or so.

Anyhow, I realized I never reported on it. And I learned so much. What made me realize I never reported on it was reading Christina's blog. She did a similar experiment, although for a shorter time. What amazed me though, is through all of her reporting, we both came to pretty much the EXACT same conclusions. So really, reading her posts on it are really insightful. And she did a really thorough job.

My food experiment and what I learned

Sugar, Sugar
Honey, Honey
Sweet Recipes

After I had my last baby, of course, I had some weight to lose. In the ballpark of 25 pounds. So I set some insane excercise goals. I think I was running 5 miles a day. It was just the kind of excessive plan that I was sure would get me back into my own clothes in 3 months. Not so. Not one pound budged. Not one.

Also at the same time, and actually for years, I've had really frequent headaches. Like almost daily. Just pop in some tylenol and the problem was solved. But I started wondering if something could change in my diet that would fix my headaches.

Critical in understanding me is to understand the people I was raised by. If you know me personally, you know that my dad is legendary. Way before wheat grass showed up at Jamba Juice as an add in, he was growing it in several containers on our countertop to juice, like in the 80s. He's never been measured at anything above 4 % bodyfat, and on those "how old are you REALLY" tests, he registers somewhere at age 33. I register at 35. He is 67 and well, I'm still a few years away from 35. I have never seen anyone who is very healthy come even close to being healthy in the way my dad is. To some it borders on fanatical, to me it is both inspiring and, ok, sometimes entertaining. He used to wear a blue fanny pack that had nuts and a nutcracker in it, and sometimes a big carrot dug out of the garden with the green leafs still attached. That was his movie snack. I distinctly remember him taking out this treat at a Harry Potter movie. Cracking nuts and eating a big leafy carrot. He denies this though, so don't ask him about it.

Ok and then there is my mom who hid evil, evil Coke under MY bed while I was growing up. (The red kind, not the gold kind. Don't know what the gold kind is? It's the kind without caffiene.) I had two oppostite views of food and therefore am both extremes that my parents are. Picky picky picky about some things like freshly ground wheat and lots of fresh fruit; not afraid of five or six thickly frosted brownies. (I am LDS and hope you know I'm joking about coke being evil....right?)

So back to where I left off. I had some extra chub chub and bad headaches. I vowed to go off of sugar, and I did. (although to be perfectly honest, there were 3 distinct cheats, well planned and worth it). The rules were VERY simple. No calorie counting. No limiting myself on anything else. Just no sugar, high fructose corn syrup. The only sweeteners allowed were honey and maple syrup. My reasoning was that no one ever overdoes is with honey or maple syrup, nor are they sweeteners regularly coupled with other really bad things.

I went to good earth and bought some blueberry and raspberry fig newtons sweetened with honey. When things are sweetened with those, you don't overdo it. Trust me, one is enough. I bought fruit leather, LOTS of frozen fruit for smoothies and I was set.

In the first three months of no sugar, I lost 25 pounds. I also cut back excercising to 3 hours per week and I just did yoga, no running.

Like I said, no sugar was the only rule. So I was free to binge on anything else I wanted. Chips and salsa, WITH lots of cheddar cheese. Fruit smoothies made with spinach, sweetened with either 1 tsp of honey or 1 TBSP of apple juice, and I would even make them on occasion with cream so that it would seem like ice cream - which it totally did. When you say "no sugar" and mean it, there is very little that you can buy that is packaged. So my theory is that I lost the weight because by avoiding sugar, even the 1 gram in a serving of cheerios, I avoided just about any and everything else that could be bad for your health.

AND no headaches. Not one ever for 5 months.

And I am about to do it again. When I have this baby, I will put the counter back up on my blog - "Days without sugar". And you will all want to join me as I hopefully report loss of baby chub chub. OK just kidding, you may not want to join me.

**And one last note. When going off sugar I was really worried about being invited over to someone's house for dinner and what if they made Cafe Rio pork which is cooked in brown sugar and coke?? I decided to try and not be offensive and let things like that slide. They are out of my control and I don't want to be rude. However, it was never an issue. Also, no one seemed to be offended if I turned down dessert and I didn't make a big deal out of it - just said I was too full.


Anonymous said...

you've inspired me. this is something i've been thinking about for a long time and you did it so i can too.

thank you

cally said...

but really, how is this possible when the 2:00 craving turns into the 4:00 desperate measures and in order to save all that's good and lovely you have to crack open the bag of choc. chips or else...bad things happen?

I've tried this. and I fail, miserably. I'm horribly addicted and I need intervention.

please keep these posts coming...i need help.

Anonymous said...

I really needed to read this today. I've come to the conclusion that I need to get off sugar - it's making me tense, puffy, and I think it aggravates my asthma. I've done it before and I felt SO much better. You've inspired me to have the discipline to go sugar-free again.

Camillitary said...

Pam, that is so hilar about your Dad, so funny. I love you.

Christina said...

I laughed out loud when you painted the picture of your dad with his fanny pack. It is so stinkin funny! My friend was just telling me about her mom and her healthy ways in the 80's. Whole wheat stuff before they came out with tasty stuff and stuff like that. I think it was left over from the hippie days.

I am so glad you got something out of my rantings. I just got so much out of your experience.

I totally understand that weight-not-budging-with-aggresive-exercise. It never works for me. Good thing I figured that one out before I wasted too much time :).

Marisa said...

Your dad sounds like quite the character! So true about sugar though. I cut down (not cut out, just down) on sugar the beginning of the year and lost 4kg without breaking a sweat (I only had about 8 kgs to lose...). I love sugar too much to completely cut it out, but cutting down and only having something small over weekends definitely worked for me. It's do-able, even if you are a committed sugar addict like me.

sixmoores said...

I was at the Harry Potter Movie and it was real...he can deny it all he wants. The fanny pack, also real. Dad is a total NUT and I love him for him. He's awesome. I love the no sugar thing. It works and feels good.

Abbigail said...

I think that you and Christina are amazing and a little insane. I like the idea of it all except for all of the food shopping and food preperation. Two of my least favorite things.
I know that christinas whole family did the no sugar experiment, did your whole family participate as well? My child would shrink to nothing before she ate something non sugar.
Rock on. If I can get some easy recipes for things to eAt from u and Christina maybe I will give it a go to get rid of baby chub! If I can find the discipline.

pamela said...

abbi, i didn't enforce it on my kids - although they no doubt benefited from it. bryan pretty much did it as well and he lost 25 pounds also.

cally, many an open bag of chocolate chips has been my enemy too! i'll try to address this in another post.

Anonymous said...


I went COMPLETELY off sugar a few years ago. It was crazy. I literally went into withdrawal, shaking, massive headaches, crazy moodiness, etc. for the first two weeks. Yes, I was really bad about sugar. It gave me a little picture of what drug rehab must be like. I was literally going into withdrawal. It was amazing what a difference it made after I got through all of that. Unfortunately, I'm all or nothing, and I'm back to all sugar these days. I would recommend it to anybody who's never tried it though.

As for your questions on my blog, I'll pass on elaborating about the two hours before church. Let's just say, I hate getting ready:)

I am Max's sister, and probably recommended Janet if it was one of Max's sisters who gave you her name - because it wasn't our other sister. I love Janet too. She made an amazing blessing gown for my daughter that was fit for a queen, and a gorgeous dress for my birthday party a few years ago. She is an amazing woman. You should show her the dresses you made your girls. She would love to see them - and the idea! Thanks for commenting!

HooverBirds said...

I remember the big-ass carrot. And even better, I remember Dad cracking a nut and a shell hitting Amber in the face!
I'm not about to give up sugar in full, BUT i've been reading "Eat to Live" and have mostly given up meat & am working on mostly giving up all things produced by animals. The nice thing about avoiding sugar is you're avoiding all the processed crap. I'm impressed!

Kelsi said...


My friend asked me to do this no sugar diet with her over a month ago and I decided to try it with her just to see if I could handle it. I lost 6 lbs in two weeks. Crazy how much sugar is in your diet. I think it is great to do every once in awhile but I have started adding sugar slowly back into my diet. I couldn't do it forever though. It was seriously hard. Very impressive you did it for that long. I would die.... I think I will do it again every 6 months.

jodi said...

I want an entire post about your dad.

and ps...i never saw any baby chub chub.

Althea said...

Hi Pam! this post has inspired me to cut down on sugar AND eat healthier.
Just by eliminating sugar or sweetener from my coffee, I can already tell that my wobbly tummy is slightly less wobbly.
Best of luck with all your renovations, I can't wait to see it all (or somewhat) finished!