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Year of No Sugar: A Memoir Paperback – April 8, 2014
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A confirmed sugar addict since childhood, Schaub was shocked to discover the role of sugar in an array of illnesses and the fact that sugar (mostly high fructose corn syrup) is an ingredient in nearly every American food product. She challenged her family (husband and two young daughters) to join her in a year of abstention from added sugar (everything from table sugar to molasses to fruit juice) and chronicled their trials and triumphs. Inspired by the research of Dr. Robert Lustig (Fat Chance), Schaub learned the connection between overconsumption of sugar and cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Her own research identified sugar in most school and restaurant meals and in surprising places on the store shelves, including sauces, dressings, soups, and breads. She debunks questionable nutritional advice, pokes fun at her own past experiments with health fads, and recalls the particular challenges of sweets-laden Halloween and Christmas. At the end of the year, the family was healthier, and they had accumulated a store of ideas and recipes (included in the book) to counter the craving for something sweet. --Vanessa Bush
"The diary I wish I had kept ... the adventures of her family, the roadblocks they encountered, and the sheer daily difficulty of overcoming a national obsession." - From the foreword by David Gillespie, author of Sweet Poison
"Eve O. Schaub's Year of No Sugar has the potential to alter your deeply rooted convictions regarding the innocent pleasure of sugar." - Betsy Shaw, Babycenter.com blogger and former Olympic snowboarder
"The surface charm of Year of No Sugar-breezy wit, blithe anecdote and effortless evocation of people and the stuff they put in their mouths-cannot conceal Schaub's deeper purpose: a takedown of sugar, its disarming myths, its dangerous presence in nearly everything we eat, and its cynical marketing. Delicious and compelling, her book is just about the best sugar substitute I've ever encountered." - Pulitzer-Prize-winning author Ron Powers
"[Schaub] debunks questionable nutritional advice, pokes fun at her own past experiments with health fads, and recalls the particular challenges of sweets-laden Halloween and Christmas. At the end of the year, the family was healthier, and they had accumulated a store of ideas and recipes (included in the book) to counter the craving for something sweet." - Booklist
"Delightfully readable account of how [Schaub] and her family survived a yearlong sugar-free diet-and lived to tell the tale. ... A funny, intelligent and informative memoir." - Kirkus
"informative and hilarious ... Eve and her husband tackled every blip, fit and question with a heaping dose of good humor." - Woman's World
"Eve Schaub has certainly heightened my awareness of sugar. After reading Year of No Sugar, I haven't been able to walk in the grocery store without reading a label (which I always did, but now it's really consuming). If you're looking for an entertaining read, pick up a copy and see if you can't help but avoiding the sweet stuff-even that can be addictive." - Sweet Home
"I admire Eve and her family for their stick-to-itiveness, and I highly recommend Year of No Sugar. It's a quick read, but will leave you thinking for a long time. It certainly raised my awareness." - Baby Center Blog
"Schaub is a wonderful storyteller. Her sense of humor and ability to paint pictures of situations they find themselves makes Year of No Sugar a pleasure to read. Whether or not you decide to follow in her footsteps concerning limiting or removing sugar from your diet, you will undoubtedly enjoy reading her story, and find lots of food for thought as well. " - Story Circle Book Reviews
"Vermont author Eve O. Schaub chronicles how her family (husband, two school-age daughters) tried to banish fructose and "it's many, many aliases" from their life. Easier said than done, since the stuff has snuck into everything from ketchup to salad dressing to bacon. When Schaub announces the plan, both girls break into hysterical tears (one later describes her sugar-free family as "mutants"). But as the months progress, their sweets cravings diminish (substitutes help, like brown rice syrup), and they feel happier and healthier." - Boston Globe
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Top Customer Reviews
I also didn't quite follow the chicken slaughter tangent. I understand raising and killing your own livestock but she treated the whole thing like a field trip.
All in all I think this was kind of a gimmicky book that slowed down and became less interesting in the last 1/4. Very funny and interesting in parts, but definitely not a year of NO sugar.
Having said that, I had two major issues with this book.
My first problem with this book is that much of it seems to be based on the premise that sucrose is bad and evil but dextrose (also known as glucose) is just fine. The science does not seem to support that. Plus the whole premise is supposed to be going without sugar, not replacing normal table sugar with some esoteric mail order sugar substitute.
Also, the author and her family seem to make a huge number of exceptions to the concept of going without sugar. Even if you ignore the dextrose, you also have exceptions for birthdays, holidays, what the kids eat at school for the most part, plus that one sugar laden official dessert per month. It seems to add up to more exceptions than seems reasonable given that the premise of the book is going without sugar for an entire year . Not three or four weeks or until the next family event.
Reason #2: I wanted to learn about the outcome of having a whole family "off" of sugar for a year. I feel like I didn't really get any of that. There was a lot of reasons "why" she did it, I don't think she adequately explained any real benefit. From what I could gather, it seems like she lost her taste for sweets but aside from that and the fact her children were out of school less (which could also be because the kids had free reign to choose what they wanted to eat in school), I saw no real outcome from it, except she was doing more baking and exposed herself to the joy of figuring out how to substitute dextrose in everything (which seems like a pain in the butt and something that would be extremely difficult for many people with time strapped lives). So the book really left me unsatisfied because I was looking for a tangible outcome aside from that they now eat less sugar. Something along the lines of now we are fitter, happier, healthier, and here's why. It was really reminded me of a joke without a punchline. I feel like this book left me uninspired and thus despite the really engaging idea, I will be unlikely to recommend it to others.