Putting Sugar on the Shelf and Other Sweet Ideas

Last night when my oldest daughter reported she had more to do than could possibly be tackled before bedtime, I offered to pitch in. Amongst her tasks was making a batch of cupcakes for a class party. She managed the baking part, but when it came time to ice them, was buried in math homework. I stepped in, generously offering to finish the cupcakes. You’ll note that I didn’t elect to take out the compost, wash the dishes, or clean the hamster cage. No. Frost cupcakes? If you insist.

After completing my chore, and sampling way more than my fair share of the sticky goodness, I had to check myself. I realized I’ve been on a sugar tear ever since December when I was testing recipes for the “Goodies” chapter of my cookbook. I haven’t quite managed to get myself off my sugar high since. So when I happened upon Sally Kuzemchak’s Two Week No-Sugar Challenge on Real Mom Nutrition, it struck a nerve.

As of yesterday, Sally is giving up the sweet stuff for 14 days, and I’ve decided to join the party (albeit a day late). It began this morning when I skipped the honey in my tea. I’ll be reading labels more closely for added sugar and getting my sweets exclusively in the form of fresh fruit. I’m not a fan of diets or deprivation, and have every intention of eating sweets again. However, I do think going cold turkey for few weeks will help restore some equilibrium. Anyone care to jump in? I could use the company.

Cookie Time

Speaking of sugar, I noticed that it’s Girl Scout Cookie season again. I thought some of you might be interested in this article on WebMD about the nutritional profile of Girl Scout Cookies, including some of the better bets, and a few thoughts on taking a moderate approach to enjoying the annual haul.


I also recently read Andrew Weil’s take on another sweetener, growing like mad in popularity, stevia. It’s a low calorie sugar substitute derived from an herb grown in South America. I’m not particularly fond of its taste, but consider it a better option over other low calorie sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose.

Food Rules

I’m not sure there’s a better, and certainly no simpler, guide to healthy eating than Michael Pollan’s Food Rules. Flipping through my battered copy I noticed his bare bones rule regarding added sugars in food:

“Avoid foods that have some form of sugar (or sweetener) listed among the top three ingredients.”

The other one I can’t help passing along?

“Don’t ingest foods made in places where everyone is required to wear a surgical cap.”

I think I’m a little bit sweet on Mr. Pollan.


And the last bit of news is we have a winner of the latest giveaway. Devoted Mom’s Kitchen Handbook reader Kim Brady won a copy of The Newlywed Cookbook. Lucky gal. Congratulations.


02.16.2012 at5:14 PM #

mop prime

Kate- I find stevia can be overpowering in hot beverages, but the liquid version that I buy in my local health food store is really good in cold drinks. I use it frequently in freshly made lemonade. Give it a go!

02.16.2012 at5:36 PM #


I had the same realization at the end of January and I have cut out all cookies, cake, candy, etc. I even abstained on my birthday and Valentines Day – sweets are my vice and this has been really hard. The worst thing I have had is cereal and a z bar once or twice. I feel accomplished!

02.16.2012 at5:36 PM #

Katie Morford

Good for you, Christina.

02.16.2012 at6:17 PM #


Coincidentally, I also began my day without my usual honey drizzle on my cereal, swearing off sugar for an undetermined period of time. I do think sugar has “addictive” qualities; strangely, when I eat less, I want less. Consider me in. 13 days to go!

Great piece today!
Keep ’em comin!


02.16.2012 at6:17 PM #

Katie Morford

Thanks Meegan!

02.16.2012 at7:37 PM #

Sally Kuzemchak

So glad you’re joining the challenge, Katie! Like you, I definitely intend to eat sweets again–but I like the idea of “restoring equilibrium” as you put it. So many people ask me if they should give up sugar or if sugar is addictive, I decided I wanted to finally try it myself so I could give them a well-informed answer that comes from experience. And I felt like sweets were making me feel sluggish and giving me headaches. Good luck!

02.16.2012 at7:37 PM #

Katie Morford

Hi Sally…I get the same questions about sugar myself. There’s nothing like trying things first hand.

02.17.2012 at7:51 AM #


I will join. I have been sampling sweets daily since before Christmas–a difficult pattern to break, but I will do it!! Great to have some comrades in the fight. Thank you.

02.17.2012 at3:04 PM #

kim brady

Hmmm, pregnant and give up sweets… I think I will have to rely on you ladies to do the testing for now 🙂 I will limit my sweet tooth to fruits and a dark chocolate square a day for solidarity with you ladies. I guess I will skip the dessert section in my new cookbook- Thanks, Katie

02.17.2012 at3:04 PM #

Katie Morford

Congratulations. That sounds like a fair compromise for a pregnant lady!

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