Year of No Sugar: A Memoir
by Eve O. Schaub

Sourcebooks, 2014. ISBN 978-1-402-29587-4.
Reviewed by Khadijah A.
Posted on 08/30/2014

Nonfiction: Memoir; Nonfiction: Food/Cooking/Kitchen

If you are looking for a how-to book on quitting sugar, this is not the book for you. If you are looking for an entertaining, insightful, funny read about a family who took on the challenge of quitting all forms of fructose for a year, then this is it. As the title makes clear, this is a memoir, not a program. That being said, anyone wishing to cut down on sugar could follow the author's example and make a good job of it.

After watching a Youtube video on the dangers of fructose by Dr. Robert Lustig, Eve O. Schaub takes it to heart and decides to see what will happen if she, her husband, and her two daughters cut fructose out of their lives for a twelve month period.

She allows three exceptions: one family dessert a month that can contain sugar; one personal exception (her husband, Steve, chose diet soda, her daughters chose jam); and the birthday party rule, where the children are permitted to choose a treat at a birthday party or special event. I really liked that they allowed for these exceptions, reflecting the reality of life for most of us, especially those of us with children. She also admits up front that having the money to do this made it easier for them all.

As Schaub takes us through the year of their experiment, we see the reality of the challenge of implementing dietary changes, which is something that so many people who advocate this sort of thing seem to forget about. She is serious about the subject and knows her stuff, but she is also, dare I say it, human—as are we all.

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.

Eve Ogden Schaub likes to write. A lot. She holds a BA and BFA from Cornell University, and a MFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Her work has appeared in many publications, including Camera Arts, and she is co-author of The Figital Revolution with her husband, Stephan. Eve lives in Pawlet, Vermont with her husband, two daughters, one cat, and five chickens. Visit her website.

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