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Robyn Openshaw, MSW - Sep 11, 2011 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

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!

Posted in: Lifestyle, Whole Food

57 thoughts on “SUGAR BET!”

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  1. Hi Robyn,

    Big fan here. What about stevia? That’s the sweetener I have been using in my smoothy.

    Also, what about 70% or higher chocolate? Would that be a no no?

    Thanks and keep it up. Love what you do for us.

  2. WOW! This is incredible!!! Love it and good luck!

  3. p.s. LOVE this quote:

    Because sugar is the Nice Girl’s Crack Cocaine.

    Can I use this for my blog quoting you?

  4. 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!

    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      yes raw honey, yes stevia!

  5. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

    Mo, of course you can.

  6. 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.

    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      Sandi….that’s inspiring!

  7. Anonymous says:

    What is the point of the bet? All the things allowed are sugar. Just a different way of sweetening.

  8. Anonymous says:


    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!!

  9. Anonymous says:


    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,

  10. Hi Robyn,

    Hmmm….am thinking about this bet. Tell me, why not raw honey?



  11. Oops, forget it. I saw the comment. Thanks!

  12. Anonymous says:

    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.

  13. Anonymous says:

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

  14. Anonymous says:

    Wait, I don’t get it…you never eat sugar anyway? Why is this a bet?

    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      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!

  15. 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.


  16. P.S.

    I have your smoothie book and I think your great.

    You and your web site have been very helpful to me. I lost over 100 lbs, changed my way of looking at the world, and believe I can keep it off for the rest of my life.


  17. Anonymous says:

    What about raw honey? Is that a refined sugar?

  18. Anonymous says:

    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.

  19. 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 🙂

  20. Anonymous says:

    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.


  21. 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!!!

  22. Anonymous says:

    What about fructose?

  23. Anonymous says:

    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.

  24. Anonymous says:

    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.

  25. Anonymous says:

    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!

  26. Anonymous says:

    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.

  27. Anonymous says:

    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!

  28. Anonymous says:

    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!

  29. Anonymous says:

    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.

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