It’s September 11, 2011.

Today Matthew and I make a bet that we will pay an astonishing sum of money to each other, if we eat sugar anytime in the next year. (He has been texting me, “OMG! There’s sugar in my SOUP! It’s in Corn Nuts!” On and on goes the list.) Check out this video for the details.

Making a Sugar Bet keeps you accountable.

We negotiated for what natural sweeteners we’ll allow:

Not allowed: white sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, aspartame (Nutrasweet)

Allowed: real maple syrup, molasses, organic/raw agave, raw coconut sugar, dates, fruit, stevia, raw honey

JOIN US, and find yourself a partner! Make a sugar bet. State your intention here! What is your length of time, and what do you lose if you eat sugar? Matthew wanted to have shooting each other in the butt with his BB gun, or eating silkworm larvae, or zapping each other wearing a shock collar, part of the deal. He’s kinda odd like that; his colleagues and he do this all the time to accomplish their goals. But even if you’re not motivated by fear of physical pain like he is (I said NO), say yes to an amount of money that blows your mind, whether that’s $50 or $500 or $50,000. That will keep you motivated.

Because sugar is the Nice Girl’s Crack Cocaine.

I am giving it up because it’s my only vice. I don’t eat fast food, soda, fried foods, or chemicals. Not that I eat it very often, but I do have a thing for chocolate. I go “off sugar” completely, often–for weeks or even a few months. And what sugar I DO eat is an unrefined kind from the health food store, usually, eaten only after a mostly-raw meal—but it’s still a concentrated sweetener I’d be better off without.

I want this challenge, to see what happens if I literally NEVER eat it for a whole year.

I’ll be blogging about what happens to us, as we go through the year, here.

Tell us about your own Sugar Bet, and come BACK to give us updates! You can remember where to find it because it’s on this blog on the historic date of 9/11/11! (Plus this blog is searchable.)

Tell ALL your friends about your Sugar Bet so you’re not tempted in social settings. Tell everyone you know, to keep you honest.

I’m excited to hear what your specific, detailed health benefits are, as you kick the habit. Read the seminal book The Sugar Blues by William Dufty, for some education and motivation as you start your journey away from addiction!

57 thoughts on “SUGAR BET!

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  1. WOW! What a challenge!!! I don’t think I could bet for that much because it’s ridiculous to think I’d be able to FIND that much money… but I think it’s a wonderful idea to make it deem ridiculous to “buy” a brownie for that much money. Really put it into perspective – your body doesn’t need this sugar – it’s costly to your health. LOVE it! And Matthew is so adorable! ; ) I’ll have to find a friend to Sugar Bet!

  2. Robyn,

    I haven’t eaten any sugar in 3 years now except that which is in natural whole foods like fruits.

    I stopped eating sugar when I read about the dangers it poses to our bodies in The Metabolic Plan by Stephen Cherniske, M.S. Sugar steals nutrients from our bodies.

    Thanks for all the great work you do.

  3. Hello,

    For all that want to know more of the “why” some of us eat/crave sugars please go to this book that I have just begun to study for some new research I am working on for my first book! Showing the scientific communities and real people (including herself) what brain chemicals are reacting to in sugars! Our genetic links to sugar “addiction” is amazing knowledge known since at least 1996.

    “Potatoes Not Prozac” by Dr. Kathleen DesMaisons

    We all need to read & re-read all of the labels in our food and be totally shocked by the contents that are included in our healthy natural organic diets!!

    Good Luck to all! Hello stevia!!

  4. Robyn,

    How could he (your friend) even consume that “nasty” diet soda? Oh my, has he never read the label on that drink? Check out the Ancestoral Nutrition information so you can “discover” where some of your propensities for foods you consume! Good Luck!!

    In Health & Healing,

  5. Robyn, I have been sugar free for over three years now and I love it. I may get some when I eat at girls camp and at my mother in laws but that is only when I am not cooking and can not control what is prepared for dinner. I try to not eat things that I know have sugar at those places but there are times that I have no control over it. I have been so much healthier with the no sugar and I know that I will be stronger as I go on. I now need to work harder at the raw diet that I know will heal me.

  6. How about demerara sugar? My sources say it’s unprocessed. (It’s also the only sweetener in Lindt 85% cocoa extra dark chocolate bar.)

    1. Stef, not true. Sugar isn’t something I eat much of, but I did occasionally eat it (usually in the form of chocolate, not candy or drinks or anything, and I never ate corn syrup)–no more though!

  7. I’m Sorry Robyn,

    I think that agave Syrup is the same as sugar. All the molasses maple syrup etc is really the same to me. I have been off ALL sugar for almost 2 years now. The only think I eat on the list you have is dates and fruit.

    IUt changed my entire personality.


  8. Nevermind…. You already answered my question about the raw honey. I went off refined sugar for 7 months. I felt amazing! I went to Jamacia for my 10 year anniversary and gave in to some treats…Big Mistake! I thought I would have more restraint since it had been so long but as soon as I had sugar I started craving it. I am going to take this challange on. I never felt better in my life when I was off sugar.

  9. Hi Robyn: Best wishes on your no sugar for a year. I can see that this would be an easier transition for you than most. I look forward to hearing about your sugar free year. I’m happy with sugar and don’t want to be free of it. However, you never know I just might want to or need to at some point in my life. Enjoy! Kristine 🙂

  10. I went off soda/sugar July 31!!! Glad you are both joining me 🙂

    I am excited to watch what happens when more start to join us.


  11. I did a “quit all sweets” challenge on my blog for three months with ten other participants over a year ago. But I went right back to sweets. I’m guessing it’s because I wasn’t off of all refined sugar if it existed in some of my food too? So the craving didn’t go away. At the time I ate a lot of processed food because I lived up North in a fly in only community (long story) so oh man……sheesh I’m writing this in hopes that I could maybe do it but I’m worried I can’t. Oh man…I really want to. I mean when I was five my eye doctor told my Mom I needed off of sugar. This isn’t new news LOL!!!

  12. That’s an easy bet for someone like you. There are so many naturally great things that can satisfy your sweet tooth you will breeze through this bet.

  13. This is wonderful! $10K is a little steeper bet than our 1 month sugar bet and if we caved having to clean the other person’s house. I’ll have to find someone to make a deal with! Thanks for the inspiration.

  14. I love it! I loved reading sugar blues, and have also found Kathleen DesMasions books really enlightening. She wrote The Sugar Addicts total Recovery Program, to name one of her several, but is one of the nations leading experts on addiction and nutrition, writting her dissertation on her findings of how diet is effected by nutrition. She has really interesting, scientific finding on how sweetness effect our brain chemistry. People become really concerned with aspartame vs sugar on your blood sugar, but they both stimulate the brain the same. Anyway, we are all going off sugar, my son, who is 5, has been having absence seizures, so our motivation was to see if it would help, and the first week of no sugar, he went from seizures several times a day, to none. After that first week, we’ve been not as consistent, and there have been more seizures, but it certainly was startling to see the contrast. We are wanting to avoid medicine, and so if we give up sugar to do so, it seems like a win-win to us. It’s great to see others doing the same, thanks GSG, we appreciate you!

  15. We bet our kids $150 to go off sugar for a year, and our 10 year old has gone since January, and is still going strong! He has refined sugar in NOTHING he eats. He was diagnosed as ADD before, but we felt it was linked to sugar. He’s doing great in school, and doesn’t even need to be reminded to do his homework when he comes home! It use to take all night for him to focus long enough to write 12 words 3 times each. We have LOVED the SUGAR DEAL at out house!!! Good luck to both of you.

  16. I have been trying to do no sugar since 08/16/11 but at times I do give in. This will be a great challenge for me. I am allowing myself real maple syrup, molasses, organic/raw agave, raw coconut sugar, dates, fruit, and stevia. I do not have a partner in crime yet but I am starting today and will think of a motivation. I have not been able to figure one out yet. If anyone has any ideas that aren’t financial I’d consider them. (I don’t think the pain would motivate me). Thanks for giving this challenge!

  17. Sorry gsg, this is no biggie for me.. I haven’t eaten refined sugar in probably Fourty five (yes, 45) YEARS or more – – maybe even 50 years now. I eat fresh fruit only . .. and raisins – – not even Stevia or those types of things. Yccchhhhh! Don’t understand why people like them. I don’t even eat the raw deserts.. too sweet; they’re gross, and its junk food for raw foodists..

    Giving that up for a year is easy – – easy – – easy!

  18. I am betting my family to the challenge. No sugar for a year. The winner gets $1000 dollars. I think it is great. The kids are so inspired and I really think it will help them in athletics and school. I am so excited thanks for the inspiration. It will also help all of us in the challenge to read food labels and find the sugar that is lurking everywhere.

  19. Hi Robyn,

    Inspiring bet, good luck! I’m going to find a partner to do this with (I know just the person, she’ll probably read this!)… my husband would never go for it but I can refrain eating his surgary stuff, no problema!

    I’m in CA and cannot find raw almonds that haven’t been pasturized… and I want to sprout! Can you provide a resource for purchasing almonds that are sproutable (is that a word? :^)).

    I’m hooked on green smoothies because of my friend who got hooked because of you. I appreciate you so!!

    1. JoAnn, we hook you up with a direct-from-the-CA-farm unpasteurized almond buy oct. 1 through nov. 30 every year. Stay tuned here on the blog / facebook / newsletter for when we kick it off.

  20. Robyn,

    This is so funny and coincidental that you started your “sugar bet” today, because a few girlfriends and I also started that same thing today (w/o knowing about yours until now). We are doing it until Halloween! We also have basically the same list of things you CAN have-stevia, raw honey, agave…I have done it before and it wasn’t that difficult except that there are small amounts of it in things like bread, salad dressings, etc. But it is do-able!

    I have loved reading your blog and website and agree with almost everything you preach. I will be attending your seminar in Boise, can’t wait to meet you!

  21. I went off sugar 2 years ago and my eyesight improved from -2.0 to -1.0 as a result. I’m 58 years old and eyesight doesn’t improve at my age. Or so they say!! My eye doctor definately attributed my improved eyesight to diet.

  22. Robyn — this is great and so timely for me. I think this challenge is such an important one and will be happy to take part in it as well. I’m challenging myself to be processed sugar free until 2012 — through the holidays and everything. Your web site, blog, and videos are so inspirational for me. Thank you so much — can’t wait to take this journey and watch us succeed!

  23. My Husband and I are committing to no sugar for a year–he has already pretty much stuck to this since the beginning of the year and I cook like this but it is the going out with others that makes it a large commitment for me–We Will Do It!!

  24. My husband and I made this commitment in February of this year. With both of us having digestive track issues, we have gone grain free (thus gluten free), lactose free, and processed sugar free. The only sweeteners we agreed to allow are fruits, dates and honey. Basically only monosaccharides. That has meant… you guessed it…. almonst everything that comes in a package. Our newest evaluation of what we put in our mouth is ‘if it came in a package we probably should not be eating it!’

    Now that we are over 6 months into our commitment, we have never felt better! We will likely make this a permanent nutritional lifestyle. I am already vegan and 90% raw so there really is little change for me, but my husband is really liking the change he is experiencing. We have challenged many of our friends and they just think we are nuts…. They may change their minds in the future. We are not giving up on them… we are cooking for them instead!

  25. I’ve been doing this since January… my husband has been for years! It’s amazing how much more intense and delicious everything tastes after you’ve given up sugar and other refined sweeteners. Good luck! You can DEFINITELY do it. I’m never going back!

  26. Robyn,

    I wanted to be held accountable, so I made my own facebook group called Amy’s Sugar Bet. I’m excited. I even linked this blog to it, so friends can see what exactly you are doing. I am going to start with just 3 months and hopefully go much longer!

    Thanks for all your wonderful insight!


  27. Dates and syrups still contain high amounts of sugar, refined or not. Come on guys! – have some real guts and quit the “real” maple syrup, molasses, agave, raw coconut sugar, and dates. I am definitely prone to sugar addiction myself. I have found that when I’ve given up all sugars, that all cravings go away even for my favorite fruits. Shockingly, eating sugar becomes an aversive. And, you won’t even have to bet $10,000 because you won’t need that amount of an incentive — your sugar cravings will just die out. So right here and now I pledge to give up refined sugar, dates, maple syrup, coconut sugar, molasses, agave and honey. I”ll minimize my banana intake to one a week and keep to the lesser sugared fruits such as the berries, kiwis and green apples. Here we go! How about you? I’m challenging you to cut the so called “natural sugars” which are highly addictive and promote the cravings for the refined sugars such as chocolate and the like. Are you in? Lori Sash-Gail, Dog Trainer and Photographer

  28. My husband and I have a similar bet going – only ours did not include the money, as it is all the same account! 🙂 However, we’ve bet high stakes…. a plastic yellow LIVESTRONG bracelet! We each wear one, and if we eat sugar of any kind (or refined flour of any kind) – we have to relinquish our bracelet to the other person. Sounds simple but it works! Neither of us want to have to hand over our bracelet to the other, and our kids are cheering us on! Fun and a great reminder of why we are getting healthy and staying healthy. [Marry Matthew already, would you? The love is clearly there between you! 🙂 ]

  29. K. I’m going to say what I think alot of others are thinking.

    You two are way too cute for just BFF.

    You are a very cute couple.

    And I’m with some of the others……I think a much more “telling” bet would be to go off all sugars, except for fresh fruit. Then I think we’d really see how amazing we’d feel!

  30. What I love about this challenge is it’s only a few things to give up – white sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, aspartame. Now, I know it comes in many forms and you have to read labels. But, the trick is not to buy anything with a label, or a label with just a few ingredients. I like that the decision is “No, because it has sugar etc.,.. or yes because it doesn’t..

    Then maybe we can add white flour down the line!

    I do wonder why Splenda/sucralose is not on the list though..??.

    If anyone wants a buddy, or wants to set up a group please private message me at the FB website I mentioned. I looked for the FB group mentioned by Amy above but couldn’t find anything.


  31. I did this in 2009. No sugar (not even fruit) for three months. Then, only unrefined natural sugars (fruit, honey, maple syrup…).

    I have an intermittent bet with my co-worker. We got for 3-4 months at a time. It totally works! And the bonding is fun. :]

  32. Hey Robyn, just curious, why do you not do salt? I am a local UT guy as well and I am a big fan of dr young and I have been living on his diet for a few years and I am downing a teaspoon or more of raw salt and sodium bicarbonate a day and it seems to be doing very well in toxin removal, energy etc. I like your bet idea and listened to the video soup to nuts but that one comment on the salt caught my attention. Why remove it when it is so full of essential minerals and elements the body uses for the removal of acids. Just curious if you heard something I have not. Keep up the good work! I am really loving the Lotus! Newfie.

  33. If you really want to cut the addiction you shouldn’t have any type sweetener except maybe stevia and xylitol. Otherwise the cycle will continue. Not even breads, pastas, grains, or rice. Good luck.

  34. I’m looking for the full recipe of the favorite blueberry dessert. The video demonstration of the dessert is inaccessible unfortunately (says the video is private).

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