Several years back, Eve Schaub, her husband, and her two daughters decided to spend a year not eating any added sugar. She blogged about the process, and eventually compiled this memoir about the results.
Not sure where I first heard about this book, but it sounded interesting given my own experiences with sugar. I heard about a few of the effects she described, namely about her daughters missing less school and the way sugar started to affect her body during their once-per-month cheats, and decided I had to read this.
The good: Schaub is a great writer, funny, interesting. It was easy to read this book, fast, in two days. There was a lot of good information without getting too bogged down in technical-speak.
The bad: There was very little about the actual results of the experiment, and perhaps very little results at all. The missing less school? Could have been coincidence, considering that two years before the Year of No Sugar, they missed just as little school. The sugar effects I’m sure were real, but probably even they weren’t as pronounced as they could have been, given that the family DID have a lot of exceptions to their rules: using stuff like dextrose for cooking, making tons of dextrose or fruit-based desserts, eating junk food like Larabars because there was nothing but fruit and nuts in them… That’s not even to mention their monthly cheat, the girls’ “birthday party” clause, and the all-the-time cheat they were allowed to have. Her husband, for instance, chose diet Dr. Pepper for his cheat and drank the stuff all the time. So…tell me again how this was ACTUALLY a year of no sugar?
Mostly, the book seemed to talk about how sugar is in everything, and how annoying it is to try to live without it. It goes into everything from angst about social gatherings, grilling restaurant people, dealing with extended family members, traveling, holidays, etc. So it was an interesting book that brought up a very interesting subject…but I didn’t get much out of the project itself. Besides, perhaps, the desire to do a similar project, with a different set of rules.
So anyway, if I were to rate the project, it would rate low. But the book itself? Fun, stimulating, and got me thinking, so it gets a higher score. 🙂