Monday, July 12, 2010

The Grand Experiment

Last night I tried an experiment.
Not a baking-soda-and-vinegar-type of experiment.

I tried sugar again.

Whoa. You were expecting something big, weren't you? Was it that big?

For those of you new to my corner of the world, I fight on and off with the sugar monkey that ferociously attaches himself to my back, ruling my life and ruining my mood. I swore off sugar for the month of June, with only one (wish I could say small but it was fairly large) foible as I was preparing for Tucker's exit into the big, scary world. As it so happens, I also successfully completed NINE days of vacation without succumbing to Grandma's homemade caramels, Haagen Dasz ice cream bars, or Oreos.  All told, excluding the one slip-up, I stayed sugar-free for 41 days. Are you impressed yet?

Yesterday afternoon I began craving chocolate chip cookies--the hardest temptation and greatest sugar monkey invitation in my life. What would happen, methought, if I made them and ate them? Would I be able to shake him off my back again, or would his teeth become so entrenched in my scapula that I would just surrender and swim with him in a vat of chocolate fudge?

I made a double batch. Dangerous.

I ate some dough. Mmmmmm. I ate a little more. MMMMMMM. I scooped and formed and aligned and at a little more. MMMMMM. I pulled the first trays from the oven, tested for temperature, and tasted one. MMMMM.  Then another.  Then, I lost count.

I added a strawberry pop-tart and a fudge round for good measure.  MMMMMM.  If I was off the wagon, I might as well indulge, right?

Then I went to bed with a gut-ache.

Today, around 11 am, I became inexplicably grumpy.  We're talking PMS grumpy (and I'm still nursing, so no periods).  And then, I added the variables together:

1 pop-tart
+ 1 fudge round
+cookie dough
+cookies innumerable
Grumpy girl
I hate to admit it, but sugar changes me into someone I dislike, someone who is irritable, feisty, grouchy, touchy, and impatient.  The experiment was successful.

Verdict:  I really can't have sugar. 
And that's okay.  It didn't taste that good anyway.

Good-bye, monkey.  It was nice seeing you again.



  1. Good for you! Wish i could say I tried it and then shunned it immediately. Unfortunately, I'm eating it. But, it doesn't make me grumpy, just fat.

  2. You are my hero. I keep telling myself, "I can do anything for a month". Apparently not. But, I can try.
    Cookie dough is the killer. Cookies, not so much. But a gut ache is a good deterant!

  3. Thank goodness I didn't offer you any pumpkin bread while you were here. It wouldn't have been nice to tempt you. Congratulations on knowing yourself and what your body needs. You have always been good at that.

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  5. This is so interesting. I think I may have to try my own experiment. I thought the sugar just made me sleepy. Well that... and fat. But perhaps I have a bit of the grumpy's too? I think I may be up for an experiment of my own.
    I loved reading this post. Story time is always my favourite time, especially when a villian is exposed!

  6. Yeah...that's what the sugar monkey does to me if I neglect him for too long. I admire your willpower... Like an alcoholic....just stay away from it completely. I only wish I got a gut ache EVERY time I ate stuff that was bad for me. That would do the trick.

  7. It's true. Once you've sworn off sugar for awhile, it never tastes quite as good as you remembered it. And you get punched the next day with a lot of after effects.


  8. If only I could get to the point where it just didn't taste so good! I get to the making dinner hour and it is my down fall. I just grab whatever is closest and sugariest. Isn't it too bad that those monkeys look so harmless...

    PS. Glad you are back!

  9. I am very impressed that you did this. I really need to - maybe you'll inspire me to give it up. It doesn't make me grumpy but it does make me feel yucky.

    Good for you!

  10. Oh Jen,
    This was the post I needed today!
    A good laugh and an explanation for the grumpies I had yesterday...did you see that chocolate M&M covered cake we made....instant irritability on a plate!! :)
    Today I will do better!!!
    Enjoy your sugar-less day

  11. Fascinating. I always feel better if I give up "breads".

  12. I gave up sugar for Lent (months ago) and since then it has crept back into my life. Sugar is not good for me...bread too. And chips. And ice cream. So sad. :)

  13. I was no sugar (again), then did the same thing....huge batch of chocolate chip "save" for vacation. Ha. I ate them all!!! I was a grumpy mess. No more baking for me. My family will have to eat their cookies elsewhere!

  14. I'm curious if you eat "sugar free" alternatives to satisfy the craving, or just no sweets. Do you eat sugar free fudgesicles, or ice cream, or candies?

    I understand why those cookies are your downfall, they are divine!

  15. Your will power astounds me, I think I went 12 whole hours without sugar, once.

  16. Well...good for you. They say if you crave it...You should just eat it (unless medically contraindicated, of course) and get it out of your system. Glad the experiment was successful! One day I'll give it a try. One day!

  17. lol. i know how you feel. i fell off the allergy wagon last night. the kid is away, so our date night meant hubby whisked me away to a new-to-us restaurant about 30 minutes away (it's so adorably called "olive"). and man was it ever lovely!!! i ate tomatoes & pasta & a scrumptious raspberry vanilla tart. for extra fun we meandered down a few doors to an old-fashioned candy shop & indulged on jelly bellies & a sour grape striped candy stick. mmmm, just think of all that corn syrup pumping in my veins.
    moral of the story: i woke up so many times in the night, not just from a gut-ache but feeling miserable, and irritable, and i could feel my hands puffing up a little too. sucks so bad that such deliciousness does this to me, even WHEN i take my allergy meds. so sad. back to my dull food life. =( well for now atleast, until i forget why i'm being so stringent with my diet and repeat the cycle again.
    i hate that i'm so dense & such a creature of habit.

  18. I'm with those who are impressed with your willpower! A month is a long time!

  19. good for you..I have similar issues with Dr Pepper. It's a never ending battle.

  20. Dosn't it fascinate you how food affects how we feel and act. I went to a party last week and ate alot of junk. I got in bed and was just simply miserable.
    WHY! would I do that to myself.
    This was the perfect post for me to read! You will laugh, because I have been trying to get back to healthy eating. And while I am sitting here I was going to get up and get a fiber one poptart! ha! I was kidding myself because I was thinking that well... it has fiber in it , it will be ok to have. good grief. No poptart for me! Thank you!

  21. That was a very successful experiment - even if the grand finale was a little rough...but now you know for sure that it's the sugar, Sugar!

  22. I'm having a lot of fun eating the sugar-free applesauce I've been cooking up, but come to think of it I've also been eating the apple crisp (one cup brown sugar), chocolate applesauce cake (1 cup white sugar) and applesauce cookies (I've lost track of how much sugar I'm really eating).
    Proud of you for being sugar-free.

  23. Seems like we share common ground with sugar. If I could do moderation, I'd be all set. I can spell it but when it comes to sugar, I have no clue how to employe it.

  24. I am very impressed! Wow, 41 days without sugar! That's some will-power you have! I wish I could cut out sugar from my life but I think my body will stop functioning if I did. I will just have to cheer you on from the sidelines here :)

  25. You my friend tackled the last 41 days with fury! I'm so proud of you. I tried a similiar experiment with Diet Coke...came to realize when you're hooked on it it's GOOD. But when you give your body a break and try it's really not.that.good.

    Bye, bye monkey!

  26. This was so good for me toread after my Poptart binge this week. I am exhausted anyway from newborn nursing, but the sugar is not helping my moods any I am I am left with this thought...what do you eat? I mean, when you're in a hurry and need a snack and can't slave over salad fixings or a three course meal? I assume you don't eat cereal (my other downfall.) Do you not eat fruit either?

  27. It's amazing, isn't it, how fast the sugar rush is once you open that door just a teensy bit? Maybe you're lucky your body rewarded you with a gut ache. You succeeded once, so just hop back on the wagon! I applaud you.

  28. I am certain that sugar is to blame for so many of my lows, but HOW do you give it up?! Like you, cookie dough is also my gateway to the dark side ... love it! Sooooo impressed that you had that kind of self control for 41 days - wow!

  29. You had me at cookie dough...that is my big love. Okay, I'll admit, I love all sugar, in any form.

    A stomach ache might detour me a bit though. Ouch!

    I love coffee but it gives me stomach issues. I try my best to stay away, but haven't made it a whole month without it.

  30. I haven't tried the giving up sugar yet. But it sure would interesting to see how it affected my moods, and my migraine issues a well.