Monday, July 2, 2012


I am now cane sugar-free (and maple, honey, xylitol, molasses, etc-free, for the time being), except my mayo has sugar, and I realized after asking the nice man to slice my roast beef that it probably had sugar - I checked the package and yep, it has two kinds of artificial sugars, grr. From now on I guess we'll have to DIY our mayo and stick to real meat... I mean, cold cuts kind of freak me out anyway. Are you sugar-free? Would you take the plunge? I am still eating fruits and things - while I am trying to be aware of the glycemic index of various foods, my diet isn't really low g. i. as such. I just really have been wanting to cut sugar for a long time and decided it was time.

Maybe in the long term I will re-introduce natural sweeteners that I can visualize gathering - that is, probably honey and maple syrup, but probably not xylitol (while it has a low g. i., and is very natural, and wonderfully good for you, it is undeniably artificially and industrially processed) or coconut sugar (unless I move somewhere with local coconuts). I think blackstrap molasses might make it in, though it can't really be done in a home kitchen (or maybe I am just lazy/intimidated!).

I am also hoping that my new commitment will mean Ambrose will also be eating better. It is really extraordinary, how far-reaching "just sweeten it" has become the standard advice for parents looking for foods for their little ones. And I'm not just referring to the mainstream baby foods and toddler snacks, though yes, they tend to be appallingly filled with sugar (and all kinds of other crap), but also in the "natural" sections, as well as in the trenches. You really realize this when you tell people that you (and/or your child) are sugar-free. Ambrose has a great-grandfather whose "thing" is giving him a piece of dark chocolate every time he sees him. To create a positive association, you know. I have heard other relatives express their desire to systematically condition my child into liking them by using sweets. Most snacks that well-meaning relatives buy have either processed grains or sugar (my mother is terrible about this, she is infamous for NEVER READING LABELS).  It is so hard (but so important!) to fight for your child's relationship with food - to ensure that food and meal times are not about power, control, guilt, etc., but about pleasure, taste, hunger, community. The psychological aspect is already quite a thing to keep in mind (it can be very frustrating to encourage a picky eater, and very tempting to use force, though it must be avoided) - adding the insistence that your child eat healthy, whole foods, and you start to feel like a bit of a crazy villain to those who aren't on the same wavelength. Maybe I'm just sensitive, still? Ambrose isn't even technically sugar-free, yet - that would be a big step to take, and Tony and I haven't even gone there - but as I've been sugar-free for a week now, and am feeling great, and am happy to be leaving behind the ill effects of sugar, I do feel bad giving Ambrose things to eat that are likely to make him crash, give him headaches, etc, where he could be eating good, fresh, filling, nutritive alternatives... maybe the writing is on the wall...!

Some articles...

Is Sugar As Addictive As Alcohol?

Sugar-Free Parenting

1 comment:

  1. When I used to bus to work in the heartlands of Laval for my NGO job, I would often see a fashionable lady with two smartly dressed toddlers on the bus. Once, one of the boys was howling. I mean HOWLING. An elderly lady on the bus approached her, and her closed fist revealed a mound of sparkly wrapped candy with which to appease the boy, which the mother refused. The older lady didn't understand and her syrupy sweet smile almost turned into a snarl. I silently cheered Mama on. What kind of precedent would she have been setting for her two boys, othewise??

    Big ups for listening to your body, Amy! I'm unsure I would be swayed to give up sugar myself, although I have noticed a difference in my energy levels phasing out cane sugars and using coconut sugar and honey instead, so I'm less inclined to take the plunge, as it were.