Going no-sugar-added: take that, eyeabetes!

A few weeks ago, my middle school friend Miriam, aka Amazon Genki Girl, and I were at home for her dad’s (crazy adorable, super fun) third wedding when she broke the following news to me:

Mir: “Em, did I tell you? I have eyeabetes.”
Me: “Oh no! DubTeeEff is eyeabetes?”
Mir: “It’s when the optometrist says I have the eyes of a diabetic because I’ve been literally eating, like, a whole bag of Dove chocolates in one sitting. Every day.”

Oh. Yeah, apparently that’ll do it. So now my eyeabetic friend Miriam is on a slightly modifEYED (oh, snap!) diet that involves avoiding products with added sugar five days a week. With some exceptions. Monday through Friday, baked goods, candy, chocolate, and pretty much all processed convenience foods are OUT. Sauces, dressings and condiments are IN, in moderation (ketchup and hoisin are biggies in Mir’s household, as they are in most Chinese-American kitchens). And of course, foods containing natural sugars, like fruits and veggies, are allowed in abundance. On the weekend, it’s back to normal. Easy, right?

Actually, as far as modified diets go, it IS pretty easy.

Inspired by Mir’s commitment to eyesight, I hopped on the bandwagon four weeks ago, and it’s not a bad way to go. Aside from sounding like that chick in the office who’s on a stupid, self-prescribed no-added-sugar diet (oh wait, that’s me), this No Added Sugar thing has more pros than cons. During the week, it prevents me from chowing down on the cereal bars, jelly beans and ice cream that our office stocks in the kitchen — and on the weekend, I can wisely treat myself to deereeshus sugary splurges like Fat Apples cheese puffs (similar recipe), Love at First Bite cupcakes and The Mix’s fancy Strauss Family Creamery frozen yogurt.

Now, there’s no telling just how long I’ll be able to stay off the (sugar)cane. But as we roll toward the sugariest seasons of all, it can’t hurt to purge a little of the excess glucose from my system. I’m feeling good. I’m even — dare I say — gradually losing a smidge o’ pudge. Best of all, my empty-calorie snacks have been almost completely replaced by tastier, more nutrient-dense whole foods like fresh fruit, almonds and years-old Gouda.

As Ina Garten would say, how bad can that be?

Obsession: Cray for J. Crew + GDL love
Recipe: Braised meatballs with bacon & chard