Giving up processed sugar
At the end of SIGCSE 2018  a friend mentioned to me that they’d done their best to eliminate processed sugar from their lives. No cookies. No cake. No candy. No soda. It’s not perfect; they accept that they will sometimes have food, like spaghetti sauce, that adds a bit of processed sugar. But they do the best they can to avoid it, and have been doing so for the past five years.
While I love food that involves processed sugar, I know that processed sugar isn’t good for me . Hence, I thought I’d see what it would be like to give up sugar. I’ve been mostly avoiding processed sugar ever since. I’m trying to figure out how much of a difference it’s making. I haven’t been losing weight at a greater rate than I was before. I don’t feel substantially different [3,4]. But it’s been kind of nice to be able to say to myself
You don’t need that cookie; it will break your streak. I’ve also realized that I don’t really miss cookies, cake, and candies nearly as much as I thought I would. I also don’t miss some sugar-based products that don’t start with c’s. I thought I’d miss muffins . I was wrong. Or at least I’ve been wrong so far.
That’s not to say that it’s been easy. I miss the opportunity to have alcoholic drinks based on ginger beer [6,7]. I also know that when I’m sick, syrupy colas and ginger ale often feel really good. But I think I can do without them. We were at a really nice Italian restaurant the other night, and it was really hard to say no to tiramisu or the sweetened coffee they offered. But I still managed to say
no thank you.
Are there things that I expect that I expect I will miss more? Certainly. Ice cream. Good chocolate. And it will be a real challenge to say
no to Laura’s trifle or to the Fannie May candy at Easter . However, in the end, something inside me tells me that I’m better off without processed sugar , at least for now, and embrace the power and freedom that come with saying
No, I don’t do sweets. Still, it seems strange to make it a permanent decision. I may revisit the issue in a few months.
At some point, I should probably can artificial sweeteners, too.
Postscript: Does real maple syrup count as processed sugar? At some point, I’ll have to decide. For now, the answer is that I’m not eating pancakes or waffles or french toast.
 25 February 2018, if I remember correctly.
 Corn syrup is even worse.
 Well, I do feel more tired. But I don’t think the two are related.
 I didn’t feel that much different the first three weeks. By week four, I began to realize that I felt a bit less hungry each day. I don’t know if the that’s related to the sugar, but it may be.
 Also danishes and donuts.
 I like ginger beer and tequila, which I think some people call a Jalisco Mule.
 While I am Jewish, at least culturally, my family is not. They celebrate Easter, and I join them in the celebrations.
 And without corn syrup.
Version 1.0 released 2018-03-27.
Version 1.0.1 of 2018-03-28.