My Quest for Sugar Freedom

I’ll be honest.  I am addicted to sugar.  A-DDIC-TED.  Anyone who knows me, knows this.  Being that I am a female in the U.S. of A., where most everything contains unnecessary amounts of sugar in it, this is not surprising.

I was thinking about this the other day- I can’t even remember when I have gone more than 10 days without eating something sweet.  In fact, I don’t think I ever have.  I have done (2) 10-day cleanses sans-sweets, and that’s as long as I’ve lasted before giving in to sugar’s seduction.

A Sugar Filled Cakey-Kind-of-Breakfast! My Favorite!

Oh I love Ice Cream!










Of course, most times I eat rather healthily, and I am conscious of what I put in my body: I stay away from refined foods as often as I can and avoid nasty ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, but the bottom line is this: I LOVE SUGAR.  Always have.  I come from a family of sugar addicts.  We have a family cookbook, and there are 36 variations of cheesecake inside.  My grandmother used to give us shopping money when my sister and I were kids, and the 1st stop of the day was always the candy store, where we each dropped about 25% of our funds.  Of course I had to leave enough for my new white Reeboks, a necessity of every school child in 1987.

Candied popcorn? yes, please!

I feel so happy in candy shops

The love started at an early age










For Halloween in 2nd grade, I dressed up as a baker.  All through high school I would experiment with every kind of cookie, muffin, praline and brownie possible, just to get my hands on the batterIn college, I had a love affair stint with McDonald’s Butterfinger McFlurries & Strawberry pop tarts, followed by working at The Blue Baker as their cookie maker before I moved on to making wedding cakes at a local bakery.  Sugar isn’t something I just like to eat: it has been interwoven into my life’s tapestry.  Reward for All A’s grades K-6?  Ice cream.  Upset? Ice Cream.  Happy?  Ice cream.

Some of my homeade 'hard-to-resist' cupcakes

I am biased, but I think I must make the world's best chocolate chip cookies

Too often, as I have also experienced, the relationship with sugar is a complicated one, especially for women.  It’s a love/hate relationship.  It can be our biggest comfort and our biggest adversary, something we love and something that can also give us so much guilt.  Growing up a gymnast and cheerleader, I have always had a complex relationship with food, and it’s been a process to learn how to balance being healthy and good to my body without being obsessive.  I am sure that some of you can relate.

What would my like even look like without sugar?  My first thought is boringAs healthy as I aspire to be, I also believe in a life that is a beautiful balance- and, food, in my opinion, is one of life’s greatest pleasures. At the same time, there are so many studies out there about the ill-effects of sugar and just how bad it is for us.  In this article by Nancy Appleton, PH.D, she shows us the realities of how sugar is ruining our health.  I wonder what differences I would see in my body, my energy levels, my sleep patterns and my overall health if I eliminated sugar for a space of 30 days.  To commit to something lofty like a year, considering I haven’t gone more 10 days up until now, seems a bit out of reach.  But 30 days seems doable.

Sugar Freedom or BUST!

I usually like to wait until the dates work out- like the first of the month, the 15th, etc etc.  But it’s the 24th of January- and tomorrow is the 25th.  And since I’ve already munched on some trail mix (sounds healthy, right?  Wrong: it had M&M’s, salty peanuts and non-organic raisins in it) today, I do like to start on a ‘fresh’ day.  So, join my journey to health.  I’ll be updating with new recipes and leading you  through my 30 day journey- filled with the highs and lows I know I’ll surely face as I embark on this quest for sugar-freedom.  Cheers!

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4 Responses to My Quest for Sugar Freedom

  1. Lauren says:

    Good luck, Ashley! I did this once — gave up sugar for Lent. I gave up sweets and pastries like muffins. I made it 36 days. It was really hard, but by day 14, I felt better, slept better, my skin looked amazing, and I didn’t crave it. I cracked when cotton candy was put in front of me at a conference I was attending alone, and I’ve never done it again since. I thought for sure after 36 days I would be “cured” but no such luck! Maybe I’ll try it along with you! 🙂

  2. Laura Meister says:

    I had to share this article….you have NO IDEA how every sentence is spot on…well except I never dressed up as a baker 😉

  3. Tayton says:

    You are so cute!!! I remember you dreaming of opening your bakery. Best of luck these next thirty days. I’m right there with you, I was popping M&M’s as I read this! Nothing cures my sweet cravings like the good stuff.

  4. I like how you put, “I feel so happy in candy shops.” xoxo

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