Go Sugar Free Today

It’s funny how the universe seems to conspire. It often hands you what you need, when you need it.

As I’ve written here before, I’ve never had a sweet tooth. Candy bores me. Chemical-covered jelly candies sold in bulk stores disgust me. My mouth puckers and feels a bit of pain at the cloying sweetness of cotton candy. My sweet pleasure is bitter-sweet or salty-sweet, like burnt sugar and dark chocolate. Butter tarts put me in ecstasy. Maple syrup makes me swoon. I’ll chose crème caramel or crème brûlée over chocolate mousse. I prefer my ice cream without a cone. I refuse the free chocolates and candies that come free with the bill at restaurants and on the side of saucers at cafes and espresso bars. Some caramel candies make my mouth happy, though most are cloying. I prefer a couple of squares of good quality dark chocolate – at least 70% – to most chocolate bars found in convenience stores – though as a kid I enjoyed the occasional Twix, Rolo or Crunchie. All in what I call the “burnt sugar family”, but too sweet. Otherwise, give me lightly salted chips – but not too salty.

Maple syrup pouring

The topic of my sugar consumption comes up every time my candida flares up, which is an immune response. Usually after I detox I’m fine for awhile and can manage my yeast allergy. I can drink beer (nothing too yeasty) with little or no reaction. Then the load becomes too much, rashes break out, my scalp itches and gets inflamed, sores form. Being under my hair, I don’t really know what those look like, but indication from where I can see it indicates dermatitis/excema and psoriasis. Dermatitis is inflammation of the skin characterized by itchy, weeping, and crusting patches. Psoriasis is a common, chronic relapsing/remitting immune-mediated skin disease which usually itch. They’re basically inflammatory immune responses.

Sugar feeds yeast.

My candida has been flaring up again, and I never really finished the detox I started in January. I stuck with some of the habit changes (stevia in my drip coffee instead of sugar for the most part, or a black Americano) and I haven’t had a bagel since December, but I have had the occasional butter tart or bread. I’ve had pizza, which is like an allergy BOMB for me, a few times. What set off the current stream of activities is that we recently bought Butter Tart ice cream. When I lived alone I could polish off a 1.65 litre tub of that in 2 sittings. Two sittings with that this time – not even a third of a tub – and my immune system was on the attack. Other than that, I’m guilty of doing what other health conscious people – including the two experts in this post – do: Avoid the white stuff, consume “the natural”, even though we know that sugar is sugar.

Recently I started seeing a number of reviews for the book I Quit Sugar: Your Complete 8-Week Detox Program and Cookbook by Sarah Wilson, published in Australia last fall and recently in this part of the world. I bookmarked a recipe from it that was shared on Nourished Kitchen and then ordered a copy and read it cover-to-cover. I was hooked within the first few pages. Like me, Sarah doesn’t fit the profile of a sugar addict, and yet sugar – “natural sugar” – was affecting her – her with an autoimmune disease. I’ll tell you why and reserve the rest of my commentary for another post.

7-Day No Sugar Challenge

7 Day No Sugar Challenge

As I said off the top, the universe often hands you what you need, when you need it.  Although Sarah has an 8-week detox program in her book and online, the current one is already happening, the next one starts in September and it costs $150.

Meanwhile, Meghan Telpner is leading a 7-Day No Sugar Challenge, the newest in her UnDiet Challenges. Like Sarah’s, it can be done from anywhere.

Inspired by the release of the new eye-opening documentary, #FedUp, we’ve put together a guided challenge to help you kick the sugar habit and start feeling most awesome.

The 7 day No Sugar Challenge starts today. Join for free, get the guide for $10.

$10 is almost free.

The 7-Day No Sugar Challenge has only gotten on my radar in the last week, even though I first received email about it on June 2. I think I read the subject line and mentally filed it away as a “read later”. Then last Monday I saw a reminder email and starred it (that means “NO REALLY… READ IT.. but not this moment.”), Then I bought the No Sugar Challenge Guide and forgot about it because of some technical issues I was having (i.e. I likely ordered it incorrectly, and her system got confused so I didn’t get the guide until I asked a human for it).

However, the universe hands us information as we need it and Sarah’s book lead me to take notice of Meghan’s challenge. And since I’m already riding the momentum of Sarah’s book – making the Coco-Nutty Granola from I Quit Sugar before I’d even made it past the first few chapters – as it’s $10 and 7 days, and because I’m a huge fan of Meghan, the timing was right.

There are four simple steps to take part in the 7-day challenge:

  • Get your copy of the No Sugar Challenge Guide
  • Opt-in to receive the group coaching emails here.
  • Join the UnDiet Book Club Facebook Group
  • Follow the meal plan as best you can, or create your own awesome no sugar meals and snacks
  • Share your successes and challenges with us on Twitter + Instagram using #UnDietChallenge

And when I saw the Mighty Simple Pizza Base recipe in Meghan’s regular email today (newsletter preview line, “A simple life might just start with a pizza. True story.”), it reminded me of the cauliflower crust pizza that I’ve been meaning to make for awhile even though the recipe calls for whatever gluten free crust you feel like using (way less work than cauliflower crust).

I can do 7 days, and before my 10 day camping trip which starts in a week and a half (after the 7-day challenge concludes), I can find/make sugar-free campfire snacks. (We don’t do s’mores. I find them too sweet, my man got his fill as a kid.) I took Coco-Nutty Granola with me camping this past weekend and it was fantastic on plain, full fat, yogurt. If I tweak my method next time I’ll have clusters. If I use flaked coconut (as in the recipe) instead of shredded (which I had) it will be easier to eat without a spoon. And although Sarah disallows fruit, my trip will be in the height of strawberry season and I do intend to hit as many road side stands for berries and more.

My experience, in addition to that, will include the usual yeast avoidance until symptoms improve, anti-fungals in my diet, no alcohol for at least the week.

And when I feel like my yeast issues are over for awhile I’ll return to some of the natural sugars: The antibiotic/antimicrobial honey, vitamin and mineral rich molasses (okay, truthfully I RARELY use it), some coconut sugar. I might even eat a bagel.

7 days isn’t a lot. Sign up for the 7-Day No Sugar Challenge.

7 Day No Sugar Challenge
Further reading from this blog:

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