Trudy 2: Smuckers and Other Excuses

So I’ve been refined sugar-free for two days now. I think. I’ve been eating Smucker’s Simply Fruit jam and it occurred to me that manufacturers sometimes lie, so I checked the ingredients and there’s something called “fruit syrup” in there. “Syrup” usually means “sugar,” but then again, fruit has natural sugar in it, so . . . I googled. And some woman is suing Smuckers because the jam is not “Simply Fruit” but is also fruit juices and fruit syrups and fruit pectin. For once, I’m on the side of Big Business: It didn’t say Simply Strawberries, lady, it said Simply FRUIT. And now I’m thinking there’s no refined sugar in fruit syrups, so I really have been sugar free. And it’s been pretty painless, too. Somebody said if you go without sugar for three days, you’ve kicked it. That seemed too easy, so I googled again.

There are a lot of people out there who seem to think that white sugar is The Devil. They want me to give up canned corn for fresh corn on the cob, but honey, I live in Ohio and fresh corn on the cob is only available for a brief time. The stuff in the wrapped packages in the produce section is not fresh. Fresh is when you pick it and bring it into the kitchen immediately and cook it with some of the silk still on it or bake it in the husks. Everything else is Old Corn. That guy wanted me to keep a journal of what I eat, too. I understand that many people find this helpful, but I’m a writer, for heaven’s sake. I can’t waste my writing on a food journal, I have to make a living. Plus he said to write everything down, like five M&Ms. Who the hell ever ate five M&Ms? And you know I’d get distracted and start writing riffs on zen of five M&Ms or something. This guy is just not in touch with my reality. Further proof: He said that if you usually eat ice cream before bed, you should substitute a potato. No, I am not making this up. I can hear Gaffney on this now. She has strong feelings about ice cream.

Then there was the site that said if I don’t kick sugar, I’ll be an alcoholic. Since Maui, I have not had any alcohol because of the distressing lack of little umbrellas in Ohio, but according to this site, “As bodies lose their ability to rapidly metabolize simple sugars cravings begin for ever increasing concentrated sugars, finally ending with alcoholism.” Then I look down and the guy’s selling the cure for sugar metabolism disruption. Always read to the bottom of the page. Then there was the site that said I had to take supplements to balance the nutrients I was losing in giving up sugar; guess where I could get the supplements. Or the smug sugar-free guy who talked about stopping along the Appalachian trail to pick the chocolate pieces out of his trail mix. That has to be one of the top ten signs of incipient serial killer-ism.

None of them said it would only take three days. Damn.

But all that googling put me behind, she said, whining. And I was gone all afternoon doing that maintenance stuff that soaks up so much time, like buying paper towels and picking up prescriptions and waiting in doctor’s offices. And then . . .

You’re not buying this, are you?

Okay, I didn’t write anything today, but I did expand that basic outline so that I have all the scene beats in there. And now I’m going to go through and see what I’ve got there and what I’ve missed. It’s actually the most complete outline I’ve ever done. Well, it’s the only outline I’ve ever done, but it’s really complete. I’m wondering if by the time I get the outline done, I won’t need to write the book. And I know I’ll never be able to do this for 100,000 words. It’s just not happening. But it’s looking pretty good for 20,000.

Or it would be if it hadn’t been for the Smuckers debacle and those anti-sugar freaks on the net.

It wasn’t my fault. Google made me do it.

12 thoughts on “Trudy 2: Smuckers and Other Excuses

  1. A potato???? Like instead of eating a bowl of sugar, you’re going to take time to cook a potato? Like potatoes don’t have sugar in them?

    So, why, exactly, did you decide to give up refined sugar?

    Of course, you don’t respond to the comments, so I’ll just have to wonder.

  2. OK, the substitute-a-potato-for-ice-cream guy A) Just. Doesn’t. Get. It!!!!!! and B) should be shot on the general principle of the thing.

    In other news, I’ve been dying to get my young man (who doesn’t often take the time to read anyone’s books but mine) to read Bet Me. Since he’s a big fan of audio books, I bought it on CD for him for his b-day on Sunday. He loves it. Also, he doesn’t drive enough, because he’s not feeding me the CD’s as fast as I would like. (I knew I should have listened to the first disk first so I could read ahead!) It’s really well read, and despite the fact that I’ve read the paper version three times, I’m still really REALLY enjoying it like it’s brand new.

  3. Can’t you just have things sweetened with honey or fructose? Stupid question?

    Have you looked at Google Earth yet? Now there is a way to waste time on the internet and still fool yourself you’re learning something. You can see your house–well I assume you can see YOUR house, as I can see mine 🙂

  4. You’ve written an outline? Wow—I AM impressed! I have never written an outline before writing anything important in my life. I understand the concept of it, but basically I am lazy and don’t want to have to write it all out twice–and what exactly is a “rough draft”?! I use to sit down the night before a term paper was due and write the whole thing right then. Outline? rough draft! Hah! It was perfect the FIRST time! LOL! (I would write the outline FROM the paper…) So I am duely impressed by your self control, both with the refined sugar (and yes, it does work!) AND your writing schedule. Bob has no life–therefore he has to snark on yours. Tell him he needs you to help develop his feminine side–maybe you should watch some movies together that DON’T include saving the world–“Steel Magnolias”, “Terms of Endearment”, and “As Good As It Gets” are good ones to start out with. Good luck with the sugar abstinence–I myself choose not to give up ice cream (though there has been a severe lack of it lately here in New Orleans…)

    Hurricane Cherry Torte

  5. I am convinced that somehow, sometime, people are going to just stop eating all together because everything is bad for us. The one I really love is the Atkins diet as interpreted by a woman I work with – she eats Atkins bread and meat. Period. I asked her if she wasn’t concermed about scurvy and she said there was vitamin C in Crystal Light. I rolled my eyes and walked away.

    My mother’s best friend actually did manage to kick her sugar addiction but it took much more than three days. It’s like those people who tell you that nine days after you quit smoking you have kicked the physical addiction – and who really only smokes because they are physiologically addicted?

    Just take a deep breath and eat things like popcorn so you feel like you’re having junk food.


  6. I think the sugar thing is highly hyped. Our bodies and brains need carbohydrates though it’s true that too many of them cause problems. One way of avoiding the negative effects of sugar, and wildly swinging blood sugar levels, is to stick to complex carbohydrates, and/or to have a bit protein with the carbs. Carbs all break down into sugars – it’s just that some of them take a longer time to do it which means your body isn’t flooded with sugar all at once. The protein serves a similar purpose, by slowing down your absorption of the sugars. I think the trick to all dietary changes is to do it gradually, and do it because of a healthy attitude towards your body.
    BTW, chocolate – because of the milk and fat in it – usually doesn’t cause as much of a sugar rush, because those ingredients slow down the sugar absorption. It’s high in calories and too much of it isn’t healthy, but I still eat some chocolate almost every day…..

  7. Someone I met once said she taught herself not to like or crave sweets. The bad news is, for her it took about six months. She went cold turkey. At first she would have the wildest craving for, say, Twinkies, and then she’d break into the package and find them absolutely disgusting–way too sweet. Now she doesn’t even crave sweets. I do think liking sweets is something that we actually encourage in ourselves. My husband actually prefers vegetables to sweets (I know; he’s sick) but when we went out of town for a wedding, we had so many desserts and other sweets that even he started craving them. So I think it can be done. Now I have to convince myself to do it.

  8. High fructose corn syrup. It’s in everything. And it’s the DEVIL. And not in a blue-dress or red-leather hot pants kinda good way.

  9. (-: Believe it or not, the potato thing has a whole theory behind it in a book called “Potatoes, Not Prozac.” The potato is a very satisfying food, and it helps get your brain chemistry set up so you can resist sugar better the next day.

    I’ve been trying to kick sugar for several years, because I feel better without it. But, oh, that initial rush! I really liked the PNP book because it’s so supportive and encouraging. (-: It makes you feel OK for being a slave to chocolate. Of course, I’m not sure exactly how effective it is in actually kicking sugar, but it sure made me feel better about my failures.

    Also, PNP outlines a link between sugar obsessives and alcoholics — both sugar and alcohol have easily processed sugars that give you a good rush — but it doesn’t say alcoholism is caused by it, or vice versa. They are more like cousins than a parent and child. Well, that’s what they say anyway.

    I think it’s a lot like alcoholism, in that when you slip up, you just have to keep getting back on the wagon and carrying on.

    Sorry to ramble, but it’s an issue I’m really concerned about in my own life.

  10. Just an FYI…

    If you read the ingredients on “Simply Fruit”, the first one listed is “fruit syrup”. This contains corn syrup, otherwise known as high fructose corn syrup or HFCS — one of the most genetically-modified and processed substances humans consume. So I’m sorry to report that you aren’t sugar free.

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