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Year of No Sugar: A Memoir by Eve Schaub
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
After watching a Youtube video, Eve digs into research about the harmful affects of sugar on our bodies and decides she and her family must embark on a year long adventure of limiting sugar in their diets. Oh, and she is going to blog about it along the way. This book was born in that year of blogging. Eve recounts the 12 months in 2011, where her family tried to avoid infusing the fructose that pervaded their diets and lifestyles. She, her husband and two girls looked at their meals, their snacks, their drinks and especially their desserts to eliminate the added sugar. Along the way they learned many things about nutrition, food, and how the American culture has elevated foot and eating to an experience rather than a necessity.
Schaub offers up their story with facts, figures and a bit of humor. She chronicles their frustrations, mistakes, victories and leanings. She gives readers enough information to pursue the knowledge base that she used to make their decisions, and through their adventures provides tips and tricks, also pointing out traps along the way. (Agave – so natural, but pure poison.) Her daughters embrace the experiment to some degree. Shared excerpts from her oldest’s journal show the social frustrations of the experiment.
While the health consequences of this lifestyle seem to be the focal point, I almost felt the whole thing was a commentary of how America has elevated food to godlike status, with sugar as the leading lady in this drama. It is our comfort, our babysitter, our reward, our social tool- yet it kills us, poisons us and we don’t even pay attention. We can’t do anything without eating, and if we are eating, it better be tasty and satisfying. The author herself ties events in her childhood to the delicious food, social activities and rewards. No doubt eating is essential. A good meal can be satisfying. But we eat to survive, not survive to eat.
I enjoyed Schaub’s humor and writing style, but the book seemed to drag towards the end – with her minute details on food prep, killing chickens, and cooking techniques driving me to skim the last few chapters. Overall I liked the book, the story, the experiment, but had a hard time identifying with Schaub personally.
Recommend for: Everyone. This book is an easy and lighthearted approach to the sugar problem. But especially recommend for those who have a burning desire to embrace this lifestyle or improve their health through better nutrition.
Note: I was provided a copy by the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.
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