Last week I mentioned that I’d received word from the fabulous folks at the ReDirect Guide that their office was inspired by SansLux and that they’d decided, as a team, to join in by giving up sugar and all sweeteners for the week. That’s an intense thing to give up, and I asked them if they’d be willing to write up a guest post to tell us all about it. Here it is! I’ll be back tomorrow with more from “No Restaurant Week.” I’ve already had to thwart a client meeting or two.
“Inspired by the SansLux blog and the idea of living without in order to appreciate the privileges we daily ignore, the Portland staff of the ReDirect Guide decided to do away with sugar and sweeteners for an entire week. In staff meeting Monday morning, we carefully drew up the rules.
“No honey, xylitol, agave nectar or anything of the kind,” Heather said. Our regional manager and area advocate, she is not often spotted eating anything sweetened, but when she gets the rare craving for a doughnut, it’s the fierce wild-eyed kind that signals woe to anyone between her and the pastry case at New Seasons.
Heads nodded gravely. It wouldn’t be easy: eliminating all sweeteners meant most of the sauces and half the prepared salad dressings on grocery store shelves had to go, as well as copious amounts of deli foods, most beverages and of course almost all traditional desserts.
We wished each other luck and the challenge began. That afternoon, we suddenly realized a coworker was starting to get ill. The entire staff sprinted for the refrigerator and liberally chugged Good Belly, a probiotic drink we hoped would ward off wayward germs. We congratulated ourselves on being proactive about our health until somebody thought to check the ingredient label and there it was in malignant little letters: SUGAR. There were groans all around. “We knew it wouldn’t be easy,” Heather said as we gazed at the offending juice container. “Now let’s get back on the wagon and keep going!”
The rest of the week was an eye-opening and community building experience. We shared unsweetened fruit dessert ideas (baked pears with cinnamon, yum!), talked about how different life would have been before refined sugars, and generally commiserated with each other about the lack of prepared foods we could consume. By the end of the week, most of us reported feeling a little more clearheaded, a bit more energy, and a lot more thankfulness for the abundance of food that we could eat despite our self-imposed sugar restrictions.”