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Okay. For fear of stalking you online ...

After my embarrassingly long comment yesterday, I actually had the thought "I wish I could tell her to cut out sugar. But I don't know her, so that would be weird."

To me, it's a matter of creating a balanced, healthy life that's united -- inside and out, that has integrity, that doesn't rely on drugs like sugar to spike our emotions up and down but instead relies on real, wholesome experiences and foods (to do that).

You and I both know how bad sugar is for the body, in so many different ways -- I spent so long beating myself up for not being able to get off it, but I finally found this holistic dermatologist here in LA who's super smart and attentive and who helped me. Now my eating is about 95% Buddhist priest. (Other 5% = Vegas gambler.)

But my larger point is this -- getting off sugar is part of it. You're sending a message to yourself, to the world, that you deserve better, that you love yourself, that you deserve to be cared for and nurtured. I was super psyched to see the title of this blog post, because I've done the same thing this year. It's meaningful, as meaningful as someone who goes to AA or quits smoking. We're taking a stand in our own lives and against predominating cultural forces, and we're going to reap the harvest. To me it's yet another sign there are great things just around the corner for you.


Congratulations on another month of NO sugar! It's accomplishments like these where you truly show yourself what you're capable of, and like Julie said above, that you care about yourself. Like an expensive facial or working out 5 days in a row, you're doing something for yourself that's good for you mentally as much as physically.

Despite days where you feel inadequate or "pity party," you managed NO setbacks - even when a setback was completely understandable. That really shows both your dedication to yourself (you can see the bigger picture and goal, and you're not just concerned about getting through today) and your strength.

I always want to end these comments with "you go, girl!" (some sort of early 90s hangover I suppose) so maybe today I will.

You go, girl. Get on with your bad self.

Sarah, this looks delish! I am definitely giving her a spin this weekend. Never cooked with agave - How does it compares in flavor to sugar?

And congratulations on sticking to such a tough goal that you set for yourself! I'm in a true quandry about sugar, personally. I've given it up so many times before during fits and starts of Atkins/South Beach/Sugar Busters/Carbohydrate Addicts/Skinny Bitch-induced blubber jihads. I always lose weight. But I've never sustained the effort.

For me, a more balanced approach works better, otherwise I can become obsessive (which is why two of my GRub Happiness Commandments are "Think about it, but not too much" and "Eat everything, but not too much"). But I agree with other commenters, that it shows you are prioritizing yourself and *doing* something. I have always had this sneaking suspicion that, before I will be able to meet and fall in love with a true partner, I will have to get past, or get to a new starting point, with my food demons. Which probably spawn from other demons. This is a step removed from, "To date guys I want to date, I must lose some weight," which is progress for me. It sounds like you may, unconsciously or consciously, be in the same place -- dealing with a demon (albeit a sweet, luscious lil devil), rather than merely trying to lose weight, in order to get your best self out on the table for your soon-to-be little one. And to that, I say bravo! And thanks for the inspiration.

Granted, I grew up in a time without agave or Whole Foods, BUT... be careful with your kids about that "no sugar, ever" rule. It can backfire mightily, as it did with me. I went from the kid throwing the school twinkie in the trash (much to my classmates' horror) to gorging myself on sugar at my friends' houses, at events, and even now as an adult. In my head is the thought: "I'd better eat as much of it as I can now because I never know when I'll get it again."

Silly, I know. But real. I'm big on the Weight Watchers concept of "There are no bad foods."

Hi Sarah,

Last summer, before I got pregnant (by chance, not by design), I had given up sugar, caffeine and chemical sugar substitutes. Like you, I discovered agave, and it's been a life-saver in that I still get to enjoy a little bit of bliss without feeling too bad.

But in this past year I've also discovered Xylitol. A natural sugar substitute that has fewer calories than sugar, doesn't spike blood sugar levels (which makes it ok for diabetes), and doesn't have the negative impact on my emotional ups and downs that sugar has. It's also got some benefits (doesn't promote tooth decay, fights bacteria, and is good for the nursing babies). I've even baked with it. (Agave still screws with my emotions, I'm sad to say ... and I have a "teeth-thing" ... and agave still promotes tooth decay).

I'm attaching the wikipedia link for it because there's some good info there: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xylitol

Keep up the amazing work. You inspire me daily and I really appreciate what you're up to here.

xo - j.

That is seriously impressive, Sarah! My equivalent to no sugar is trying not to order from the pizza place around the corner -- usually a cheesesteak or something else with extra cholesterol! In the past few months, I've given in many a time. Think how badass you are to keep "clean" even during these stressful days!

I'm back on the Weight Watchers/exercise wagon for the moment. If I ever want another child (that's another whole question), I need to drop a few pounds for my (our) health.

Being healthy for our babies -- not a jeans size -- it's a new concept, huh?

Thanks, Jeanne-- I ordered some gum with xylitol, and got some to cook with as well. And you've given me that final push to stop drinking iced tea every chance I get. I always feel like "hey, it's tea, there's not much caffeine," but that's just delusional silliness. So, NO MORE TEA!

I have a friend who has lymphoma, and his fancy-pants famous oncologist said the only that could have stopped him from getting it was drinking 5 cups of green tea a day. (Then he made him start that regimen). Unsweetened, it's really nourishing -- full of antioxidants and alkalinizing.
My friend is in remission now. Not trying to say it's a miracle, just finishing the story ....

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    • L.A. 2009. I’m stuck in traffic on the 101 freeway, listening to Isabella Rosselini on NPR. Isabella, for some reason, mentions that starfish are one of those rare species that can reproduce asexually, and I realize that if I could do that, I wouldn't have to worry about finding a boyfriend/husband. I wouldn’t have to internet date! I wouldn't have to figure out if I want to/can/should have a baby/adopt a baby/child on my own. I wouldn't have to stress about things like FSH levels, or weigh my feelings on in vitro versus adoption. I would just have a baby. Thus began my starfish envy.
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