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Goodbye, Sugar, For the Second Time


I meant to write a thoughtful reflection on Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving Day or the day after, maybe something about the sad state of our country: Black Friday shopping that now starts on Thanksgiving day and continues until Cyber Monday, which extends up to a week after Thanksgiving… But I never did get around to it.

So, suffice it to say, Thanksgiving was wonderful. We had a great time with family, ate heartily, did partake in the Black Friday shopping (though not in the madness of midnight shopping), and spent some time healing our shopping-ravaged souls in the quiet slowness of an Amish community on Saturday.

Today is December 1. For me and Mark, this is a significant day.

Why?

Because we are cutting sugar out of our diet. Again. I always feel a little funny telling people that we’re making a major counter-cultural diet change. It’s probably because people always look at me askance when I tell them we’re giving up sugar. “Is that even possible?” they ask, and I’m forced to admit that in our society it’s actually very hard. It’s hard because any food that is even remotely processed probably has some kind of sugar in it. It’s even harder because at work and family gatherings where there is food, most of the food present will have sugar in it. It’s also hard because if people invite us over and they know we don’t eat sugar, then they wonder what to fix.

But I still think that for us, or at least for me, this is a necessary diet change, drastic though it may be. I’ve mentioned before on this blog my struggle with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and how that has affected, up to this point, our ability to get pregnant. PCOS has a lot of other super irritating symptoms that go along with it, like acne and male pattern hair growth, both of which can wreak havoc on a woman’s self-esteem.

I would really, really like to get rid of my PCOS. Or at least diminish its symptoms, both for the sake of overcoming infertility and for the sake of self esteem. So, if I hear repeatedly about a diet or lifestyle change that could diminish my PCOS, I will pay attention. If I were to hear repeatedly that drinking gasoline cured PCOS, I don’t think I would try it, but the fact that I had to pause and think about whether I would drink gasoline tells me one thing: I’m a desperate lady.

From my research on PCOS, I’ve found that the sugar in a woman’s diet, particularly highly refined sugars, can aggravate the symptoms of PCOS, and cutting sugar out can decrease many of the symptoms. Cutting sugar out of my diet is a lot less drastic than drinking gasoline, so I’m willing to try it!

We’re keeping it simple this time: starting to cut sugar out of our diets in the next two weeks, including all of the obvious culprits, all fruit, and most grains. We’ll maintain that diet for about three months and see if we see any changes in my health (or in Mark’s health—hey, maybe it will be good for both of us!). If we see some of the desired changes, we’ll continue. If we don’t see changes, we’ll give it up and go back to our mostly-health-albeit-sugary diet.

Throughout our three-month trial period, from today until March 1, I will keep you updated by sharing recipes we’re using, changes we’re noting, and frustrations over not being able to eat chocolate chip cookies or my favorite birthday cake. 

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