The Blog of Toledo Lucas County Public Library
Ever think about giving up sugar? Okay, I’m here for you. For your entertainment, I decided that the only way I could begin to tackle this subject, was to give up sugar myself. First, I checked out The I Quit Sugar Cookbook and as I paged through, I was amused by a recipe for “Hipster Granddaddy Salad.” The first ingredient is, and I quote: “1 batch of Massaged Kale.” Massaged Kale?! Oh, heck no. I can’t do this. What have I gotten myself into? And why am I jealous that the kale gets a massage?
To begin my sugar withdrawal, I gathered up as many sugar detox books as I could from the library, and chose a week’s worth of recipes that seemed doable for a family of four. I’m not quite ready to massage my kale.
Next, my plan was to go to the grocery and start week one of my plan. My daughter has Celiac disease, so I’m not a complete newbie to cutting out something completely from my diet. However, I also know it’s hard in social settings and in restaurants to stick to it if you don’t see immediate repercussions - like my daughter who would be sick soon after being “glutened.”
Then, I needed to clear out my chocolate stash at work. Doesn’t everyone have one of those?
Next, I had to dig deeper. I know there is a long dark history associated with sugar and chocolate. Child labor in Africa? Yep, it’s happening right now: Say No to Human Trafficking
This made me want to learn more about the association between sugar and slave labor - historic and current. So, I checked out the books below.
Digging Deeper into Slave Labor in the Sugar Industry
To end my journey, I thumbed through I Quit Sugar, I browsed SugarDetoxMe (first chapter was really good,) and then finally, I read Elizabeth Bard’s Dinner Chez Moi: 50 French Secrets to Joyful Eating and Entertaining, from cover to cover. It was this book that finally made the corners of my mouth begin to curl up into a smile. I could do this. The French’s smaller portions, the true meaning of Bon Appetit (wishing someone a good appetite), enjoying desserts in moderation, all made sense to me. My big plans to detoxify were over. This is the book that spoke to me. One of my favorite things in the world is having a good workout and then enjoying a fabulous meal. The flavors are so much deeper, the pleasure is so insanely magnified in a meal that tastes good because you are hungry. I already don’t drink sugary drinks—it’s water, coffee, and tea. I’m willing to try smaller portions, and instead of cheese before a meal, have a little after my meal to satiate. I’m really looking forward to my little piece of chocolate before bed. All these tips and more are in Elizabeth Bard’s book—pure joy. However, I did learn quite a bit from my initial sugar detox plan: Buying Fair Trade chocolate brings me joy too.