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Year of No Sugar

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  4,411 ratings  ·  724 reviews
It's Dinnertime. Do you know where your sugar is coming from?

Most likely everywhere. Sure, it's in ice cream and cookies, but what scared Eve O. Schaub was the secret world of sugar--hidden in bacon, crackers, salad dressing, pasta sauce, chicken broth, and baby food.

With her eyes open by the work of obesity expert Dr. Robert Lustig and others, Eve challenged her husband a
Paperback, 303 pages
Published April 8th 2014 by Sourcebooks
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Heather G Yes, it's well-written and often humorous. Don't expect a book about the paleo diet or even a Whole-30 type diet. The family avoided fructose as much…moreYes, it's well-written and often humorous. Don't expect a book about the paleo diet or even a Whole-30 type diet. The family avoided fructose as much as possible; this effort was inspired in part by Dr. Lustig's book that includes any and all science explanations about fructose. (less)

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Apr 07, 2014 rated it liked it
3 1/2 Stars
I'm a little mixed on this. I did enjoy it, very much actually, but the title is a little wrong. I don't want to be pedantic but it was not 'a year without sugar', it was an attempted year with no sugar; and there's a big difference. I know because Ive done it myself.

I had "no sugar in any shape or form, no substitutes and no cheating" for 18 months, several years ago. Yes, I had a health reason for doing so (and therefore more impetus) but I'm just saying it can be done. Diabetics do
Read, Run, Ramble
Feb 12, 2014 rated it did not like it
Title: Year of No Sugar
Author: Eve O. Schaub
Genre: Non-Fiction/Memoir
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication Date: April 8, 2014
Format: Egalley from

Find this review and much more at Read, Run, Ramble 

Thank you Sourcebooks via Netgalley for providing me with an early copy of this book!

I abandoned this book at 79%.

There were a few things I was expecting from a book that exclaims the author and her family went without sugar for a year:

1. That the family would actually go without added sugar
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, arc, food, non-fiction
Really fascinating. Also, there is sugar in absolutely everything. My phone probably has sugar in it (actually, I'm sure it does, since I'm always eating while I use it). I've included it as part of my 2014 Summer Reading Guide:
Make it stop, someone please make her stoppp.

Annoying American complaining about how hard life is without sugar? Ugh check your priviledge lady. And the writing, please don't get me started, who gave her a book deal? Its tedious, and quite frankly reads like a teenager wrote it. No, scratch that. It reads like I wrote it, and that isn't a compliment...

The issue I have with this book isn't the subject, it's the fact that it reads like one overtly long complaint. "We cant drink fruit juice!" "We
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir, health, net-galley
I am actively interested and engaged in reading food/nutrition science and information. I also like a good memoir. Unfortunately, this book did little more than make me angry and worried that people will be getting the wrong message. There are so many wonderful, smart books about food and the industrial food industry that promote a message of eating whole foods, mostly plants (Michael Pollan, anyone?) that would be much better guides for the average reader.

One of my major issues was the author'
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Got me a jumbo-size bag of Jelly Bellys to eat while I read this.

This book served as excellent motivator for me to stay on track and remind me to be vigilant about limiting sugar intake. However, it is a memoir, and thus does not provide much scientific information for those who are new to the topic. Use it as a supplement for meatier books on health and nutrition and the evils of refined sugar in its various forms.

If you think you know what causes heart disease and other modern lifestyle epidem
Apr 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
First things first: This is a memoir, not a diet book. If you're looking for a diet book, you'll wind up 2-starring this in the end. Relax and take it for what it is, though, and you'll be fine. It's just one Vermont mom's rage, rage against the ubiquitous sweet toxin, is all, told with a sense of humor. In fact, the writing is fairly laid back and informal, so it's a breezy read, start to finish.

What Eve, her husband, and two daughters did is to try and abandon ADDED sugar in their foods for an
May 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
Eve Straub, a food blogger, wife, and mother of two girls, decided in 2010 that her family would spend an entire year without consuming any fructose (except for the fructose that naturally occurs in fruits), and thus this book was born. They have a couple of exceptions to the "no fructose" rule, which was plenty onerous (no sugar, no honey, no maple syrup, no fruit juice, and so on): they were allowed to have one regular dessert per month as a family, and the girls were allowed to indulge in cak ...more
I'm sorry to say I had a love-hate relationship with this novel when I finished it. The information on how much hidden sugar is found in American's diets was amazing and horrifying at the same time, and by the fourth chapter of the book i had started carefully checking all the foods in my cupboard and I found some truly shocking things. The powdered onion soup mix I like to use, contains sugar, why? I feel much more aware of "hidden" sugar in the food I eat and I have this book to thank.

So what
(Nearly 3.5) An engaging account of the author’s family project to cut out all added sugar for the year of 2011. It reminded me most of Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (from the multiple family narrators down to the poultry processing and a trip to Italy) and Gretchen Rubin’s happiness books. Like Julie and Julia, this book originated as a one-year foodie blog, and Schaub shares some of Julie Powell’s conversational wit. I think this is an important book, but possibly limited in ...more
Jenn Ballmann
Feb 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
I was sent a copy of the book for review through Net Galley, as always, all opinions are my own.

Much like the author I’m concerned about how much sugar I consume and the lengths manufacturers go to hide it in an ingredient list, which is why I thought I would like this book. Unfortunately rather than truly going a whole year without sugar time and time again the author found reasons to deviate from the experiment and even went so far as to replace fructose with dextrose which is still a type of
Julian Pecenco
Jun 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Overall, I liked this book. However, especially having recently read numerous critiques of both Dr Lustig's laser focus on fructose and the similar tack taken by the new film Fed Up!, it was hard to get past the idea that cutting all sugar at the expense of other key elements of good diet is a useful exercise. As a journalistic experiment/experience, it makes a bit more sense, and she does touch on some of that in her summary chapters.

Still, I found it hard to take dietary advice from a self de
Jul 19, 2014 rated it liked it
I did something with this book that I almost never do--I checked out a few of the reviews other goodreads members had posted. It cracks me up that so many people got bent out of shape over the title of the book, saying that it's misleading because the author's family still indulged in some sugar. It's called marketing, people! "Year of Mostly No Sugar" just doesn't have the same ring to it. Rational people will understand the reasons for the sugar exception rules.

Schaub did not take on the "no
Oct 15, 2014 rated it did not like it
How can someone entitle a book "Year of No Sugar", and then proceed to do nothing but eat sugar all year? This book purports to be about a family who stops eating sugar for a year, but that's not really what they do. At best, they attempt to stop eating processed food that contains added fructose. But, they constantly make exceptions. Once a month, they choose a dessert and eat that, things like chocolate cake with frosting, banana cream pie,. The children, daughters aged 6 and 11, are also allo ...more
Mar 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2017-reads
I am surprised by how strongly I disliked this book. The author comes across as self-congratulatory and pompous, based on a decision to undertake a project that was, to me, questionable in matching its claim. I truly don't care if they had a dessert every month. That part doesn't bother me. I believe that reducing our sugar consumption is only a good thing, but they would make these tremendous desserts that admittedly lasted more than one day. I acknowledge that I don't eat very much sugar, but ...more
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
Eliminating as much sugar from my diet as I can in 2017 (without being tedious and self-righteous and boring about it) is my New Year's resolution, so I picked this book up on New Year's Eve and dove in. While I liked the "reality" of it (the author and her family didn't give it up entirely, just mostly, a moderate approach I can appreciate) and the science was interesting and alarming, the writing and repetition of information got irritating after a while. The italics especially: she just could ...more
Jul 19, 2014 rated it did not like it
while there are a couple funny parts to this book it is basically the 'twilight' of dietary references. also lets clarify she doesnt avoid sugar for an entire year- she only avoids added fructose- not other types of sugar, and certainly no restricting carbs (which hello turn into sugar in your body). she does repeatedly say that fructose is a 'poison' and gives a variety of reasons but when pressed for something scientific she basically says 'oh science is hard' or 'i may be paraphrasing this wr ...more
Feb 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
I had high expectations for this book and it came up short. First, the title is catchy but misleading. The author didn't give up sugar for a year and instead had monthly desserts and substituted sugar with dextrose (which is often made from GMO corn starches) and brown rice syrup. I thought this would be more about eating more whole foods and less about trying to find ways to eat desserts without sugar. The author also mentioned several instances where she had little to no choices (especially br ...more
To my Romanian sensibilities, USA food culture seems like a dystopian novel so I think this book gave me a clear appreciation for my parents cooking and respect for the way my grandparents grow chicken and pigs for us to eat. It also explains why I find most processed sweets too sweet (except ice-cream).
Jul 08, 2017 rated it liked it
The author writes about her frustrations with the unquestioning blindness of American society to their sugar consumption. Yet I feel that same frustration with her agonizing over their exemptions and rule bending (though at least she recognizes she is awfully privileged to have that ability). Those of us with dietary restrictions for religious, ethical, allergy, lactose intolerance, or health reasons don't get that luxury to splurge or the luxury to not feel "cut off from the community" or frust ...more
Apr 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Like the other reviews say, this isn't a science book about why to avoid sugar and the metabolic processing of it in our digestive system. Those books have been written by many and will continue to be written, as long as there is an obesity epidemic and people try to figure out why and how to combat it. This is a memoir about a family that heard that science (specifically, the YouTube lecture of dr. Liustig called sugar: The Bitter Truth, which should be required viewing) and decided to avoid al ...more
Feb 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I know many people belittle the fact that she didn't actually go a year a without sugar (or fructose). They had normal desserts once a month and a few things in between. I don't begrudge her efforts though. It is very hard to eat without getting some, even when you think "this can't possibly have sugar in it", it usually does. Unless you make it yourself and you know every single thing that goes into it. I found it hard to find canned tomato paste or organic canned tomato sauce that didn't have ...more
Rebecca Jo
Aug 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: audiobook
I'm not sure I get the point of the book. Spoiler alert - they did NOT indeed go a year of no sugar.
& what the book is telling us is basically, its IMPOSSIBLE to do. So there's that.
I did find some things interesting in the book - but most of the things I found interesting were facts she shared from other writers on the subject.
She never really mentioned anything about how it effected her family, except little snippets of her daughters journal, who basically felt tortured & hated every m
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs
4.0 Stars
As someone who personally loves reading these "do something for the year" memoirs, I found this one to be both entertaining and informative. I do believe the health research that suggests that sugar is a dangerous substance that should be consumed in moderation. (Although I still need to decide how to put this into practice in my own life.) A lot of readers have criticized the fact that this family's "year of no sugar" involved so many exceptions. However, I feel that is actually a stre
Rachel M.
Apr 06, 2017 rated it liked it
The title of this book is misleading as it's not the story of a year without sugar - it's the story of a year of EXCEPTIONS to the rule of "no sugar." The author allowed her family to make lots of exceptions, so in my mind, it invalidates the title and the effort behind the book. Also, I'm not sold on her use of dextrose as a "good" substitute for added sugar. I get her point - that added sugar is hidden in everything we eat, from ketchup, to protein bars, to dressings, and even meat - but does ...more
Feb 15, 2016 rated it liked it
When when I learn to stop reading all these stupid "a year of _____" books? (Apparently, the answer is "never.")

As with most, this book was okay to start with. By the middle, it got pretty repetitive and by the 3/4 mark, I was skimming a lot.
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a great funny book. I think I would do it this way if I could get people on board in my family. Very scary. She did not do this like a militant but did it honestly. Really enjoyed this book
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've been wanting to read this book for a very long time. I believe it's been in my to-read shelf for 3-4 years. As a long-time sugar addict, I wanted to peer into the life of someone who had gone an entire year without using. Now admittedly, I did not finish this book because I felt that it went on for too long. Mostly because the author absolutely loves writing about the intricacies of her family - which is fair because, as it turns out, the book is about her entire family doing a Year of No S ...more
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: food, non-fiction
The author appears to be pretty easily influenced. She watches one YouTube video (literally) and then commits her whole family to a year without sugar (A standard which, as you might notice in the other reviews, is even inaccurate. Her family has a dessert every month, and then uses a subjective barometer like "this has less sugar than this other horrible thing, so we ate it.").

I was hoping to learn more about the science that motivated her decision, or the nutritional impact that followed, but
May 25, 2017 rated it did not like it
Should have been called "Year of Less Sugar". "No Sugar" doesn't mean no sugar in this case. Sugar treats once a month, or when they're in Italy or made from dates and bananas or whatever she can find to satisfy her sweet tooth - instead of just biting the bullet - doesn't translate into no sugar to me. Absolutely no information on any health benefits they may have seen - except the kids didn't miss as much school as in previous years - which I found odd as Dr Robert Lustig started her on this j ...more
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“So what do you call something that our body has no need for and that, when we take it in, creates toxic by-products in our bodies resulting in debilitation, disease, and untimely death? Well, doctors call that a poison.” 4 likes
“Unfortunately, our culture doesn’t seem to remember much about how you celebrate things without buying a bunch of unnecessary stuff and without consuming a bunch of unnecessary sugar.” 2 likes
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