Are You a Sugar Addict?

This topic is near and dear to my heart because I am a long-time sugar addict.

In many ways I have reformed my addiction and reduced the sweet stuff from my diet, but since having a baby and getting only four hours of sleep a night, I’ve noticed that I’ve developed a “healthy” sugar addiction to keep me going.

My old habit of York Peppermint Patties from years ago are no longer my crack. As of late, it has morphed into raw so-called “healthy” desserts, like our beloved Raw Brownies or other sweet treats. One day I caught myself daydreaming about what sweet treat I was going to eat later in the day and I realized I had a problem.

As we teach in our programs, vibrant health is a lifelong pursuit, it’s about correcting course and getting back on track when we veer astray. So when I felt like I wasn’t able to shed some of my baby weight, and my energy was low and moods a bit erratic, I knew I had to ask myself the question I had been dreading; “What foods do I love and crave the most?”.

The answer was plain as day. It was sugar!

Jo and Ilse as a baby

Although I wasn’t eating “the bad” sugar, I decided for myself – and the health of my baby, to take the sugar-free plunge.

It’s been two weeks now sans all types of sugar – fruit, dried fruit, maple sugar, honey etc. And I’m happy to say that I feel fantastic!

I should also mention that I’m completely grain-free too. For those of you considering  a clean break from all forms of sugar, just know that grains can awaken the sugar beast as well.

This new level of health tastes so much better than my healthy sweet treats at the end of the day. I’m sleeping better, waking up more refreshed even with little sleep. The bags under my eyes are going away. I have more energy. And a bonus is that my physical body is responding and I’m releasing the extra baby weight.

If you think that you might be addicted to sugar, take our Conscious Cleanse Sugar Sensitivity Quiz below.

Please leave me a comment below. Are you a sugar addicted? Are you ready to take the sugar-free plunge with me?

We’re here to cheer on and love you up!


P.S. If you need some extra TLC, we’d love to coach you in our Conscious Cleanse program. Come join us now!

Sugar Quiz
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Showing 21 comments
  • Samantha guerrero

    How do I become a part of the sugar plunge? I am in desperate need of it.

    • Jo Schaalman

      Hi Samantha,

      I’ll be posting a sample meal plan of what I eat sans sugar very soon. But, I’d suggest that you join the next Conscious Cleanse on April 8 so we can guide you to a sugar free meal that is right for you. For now, focus on limiting your sugar to 1/2 cup of fruit a day. Supplement your diet with greens, nuts, seeds, fish and lean cuts of meat. A good meal would be salmon and steamed broccoli. Make sure to check out the post above where I shared the smoothie that I’m making right now. If you have any other question, please let me know!

  • Dani A

    First, omg what a sweet baby! Congrats Jo! Second, I totally relate. Sugar is a beast that I’m constantly battling. I am on day 13 or so of no sugar or grains (breads, rice) etc. I’m still having fruit (maybe I can take a break there too!?!) And still the cravings come pretty strongly once in awhile. The freedom is that my moods are more stable, I feel more sane, and when I’m hungry, it’s more subtle and less ravenous (meaning my head isn’t yelling feed me know or I’ll die). Great insight, thank you sharing. And of course my score on the quiz is exactly what I predicted.

    • Jo Schaalman

      Hi Dani,

      Thank you much! I am enjoying motherhood very much, minus the no sleep thing:) Congrats on taking the now sugar plunge!! It sounds like you’ve found your blueprint for health and vibrancy. Keep us posted with how you feel as you continue down this road.

  • Robin

    I was diagnosed with “reactive hypoglycemia” from an endocrinologist many years ago. When I took the 5 hour glucose tolerance test, I crashed below the fasting level within the first hour. The doctor tried to confirm her diagnosis by having me fast, wait until I had an ‘episode’, and take my blood. I fasted all day with no incident so she just said to follow the south beach diet, sigh. Had she asked me to eat some white bread, I would have crashed and she could have taken blood for examination.
    I am convinced that I am sugar sensitive so I have cut all possible sugar out of my diet. I still have fruit and whole grains but as long as I pair them with some good protein I do well.

    • Jo Schaalman

      Thank you for sharing some of your story, Robin! Hope you’re feeling great since cutting out the sugar. :)

  • Virginia mackinnon

    Ok. I’m definitely a sugar junkie (and so is everyone in my family). Now what do I do about it? I need recipes, grocery lists, tips on what to do when the cravings are overwhelming. I’ve done the cleanse several times but never without the “healthy” sweet treats or grain. Just don’t how I’d do it. (Especially being allergic to all tree nuts and have vegetarian leanings/preferences – I was a vegetarian for 20 years but eat meat now because it’s the only way I can combat overeating.)

    • Jo Schaalman

      Hi Virginia,
      I’m going to do a blog on a sugar-free diet very soon, so stay tuned! I posted the smoothie that I’m currently eating in the post above. Use this as a guide to make a smoothie that you will enjoy. If you can’t do tree nuts, put seeds in your smoothie for more good fats. I’d love for you to join our next cleanse so we can help you create a meal plan that is sugar free. It is very possible by eating greens, seeds, good fats, fish and healthy cuts of meat. Thank you such for sharing your experience!!

      • Chelsea DeBernardis

        Hi Jo,

        I’m getting ready to start the Cleanse on Monday and my intention is to cut out as much sugar as I can bear. I am totally addicted and realize that with discipline I can eliminate the “bad” sugars, but am still super dependent on the “good” sweets like fresh fruit, dates, maple syrup, honey, Larabars, etc.

        Did you ever post a blog about a sugar-free diet? I am searching around the site but haven’t been able to find anything. Thanks!

        • Jo Schaalman

          What a fantastic intention for the cleanse!! We’re here to cheer you on every step of the way! Make sure to reach out to us via email so we can give you our Conscious Cleanse sugar free meal plan.

  • Christ Prasad

    I have a sugar addiction too. For me it’s the mid–afternoon snack and post dinner treat that I crave. Jo- what do you eat for breakfast without fruits or grains?

    • Jo Schaalman

      Hi Christy,
      Thanks for sharing your experience with sugar! My morning smoothies do have 1/2 cup of blueberries and that’s all I do for the day. I make sure to add more good fat into my diet because it helps to balance my blood sugar and gives my smoothies more substance. The smoothie I’m making now is 1 cup water, 1/2 blueberries, 1 tbs hemp seeds, 1 tbs chia seeds, 1 tbs tahini, 1 tsp cinammon, and 1 handful of spinach. I’d suggest you try getting more good fat and protein to keep your sugar cravings at bay.

  • Susan Allen

    Jo, You nailed it! I have been realizing recently that I have a real problem with sugar. I don’t care about cookies but fruit crisps, chocolate and dried fruit are my downfall. It is really difficult! I eat really healthy food ever since I have done the Conscious Cleanse but I crave sweets after dinner every night. Unfortunately when I eat a little bit I just want more…

    • Jo Schaalman

      Hi Susan, I’m right there with you! For many of us, we need to remove sugar altogether from our diets, even the “natural” stuff. Right now I’m just doing 1/2 cup of berries in my morning smoothie and I have to say it’s made a world of a difference. Thanks so much for sharing your experience too. We’ll be sure to do more on this topic, as you’re not alone!

  • Sofia Knutsson

    Hi Joe,

    Inspiring to read your story, so easy to think you and Jules are cleansing or 80/20 all the time, it’s so inspiring to read that you are right here with us! The battle with sugar! Not an easy one & the healthy sugar is not easier!! April 8 it’s Good bye : )

    • Jo Schaalman

      Hi Sofia,

      I hope the April 8 cleanse was helpful! How have you been doing with your battle on sugar? We hope you’re feeling great!

  • Rachel Izakowicz

    Hi Jo,
    Thanks for this post and all the wonderful info on your site. I found your through the cleanse on Gaiam, which I would like to participate in. I am definitely addicted to grains & sugar in a big way, but just can’t take the next step. I could give up most of it (I think!), but the fruit is where I really struggle. I am also 15 weeks pregnant with my 2nd child (have a 3 year old boy) and I don’t want to do anything too extreme. I already drink a green smoothie (though with more fruit than yours) and I will participate in the cleanse as appropriate. Any words of wisdom on how to approach things, considering my current situation? I put on too much weight with my 1st and ended up developing (or maybe already had it, but unaware) polycystic ovarian syndrome and I would love to feel more in control this pregnancy and not have 40+ lbs to lose in 6 months! Like you mentioned, I tend to make a lot of ‘healthy’ treats (e.g. using date syrup, maple syrup, etc) and end up just overdoing it regardless…Any advice greatly appreciated!

  • Jamie B

    Congrats on your adorable bundle of joy! The most challenging part of motherhood over the past 3 years has been sticking to the 80/20 plan and not falling into a 50/50 (or realistically, 20/80!!) pattern. I love getting emails from the Conscious Cleanse as reminders that when I fall off the wagon, I can always get back on with a little conscious pre-planning. You guys rock and the Conscious Cleanse has changed my life and the way I look at food! I recommend to everyone I know!

    • Jo Schaalman

      Hi Jamie,

      Thank you so much! I’m so glad to hear the emails help you keep on your 80:20! Sometimes a little Conscious Planning is all we need. Keep up the great work! :)

  • Sarah richards

    Hi Jo it’s so great to be part of a community of people who are on the same page :) I can’t eat any sugar, I seem to okay with bananas though. I haven’t tried no grains as it makes me panic slightly as I’m already gluten, caffeine and dairy free. Is it grain free for good or can you reintroduce them after you’ve allowed your gut to have a break? Thanks a mill

    • Jo Schaalman

      Hi Sarah,

      Great question! Often once we’ve given ourselves a break and allow our guts to heal we can reintroduce some things, it really just depends on the person. If you suspect you are sugar sensitive it might be a good experiment to try cutting out grains for just a little while and seeing how you feel. Good luck, and definitely feel free to reach out if you have any questions along the way!

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