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Columnist cuts out sugar and loses pounds, but not his love for doughnuts

Have you ever wondered what it's like to be a healthy person who is disconnected from the joy of ice cream or the wonder of chocolate chip cookies? I have been to the other side and discovered some surprising things.
Steve Eaton, Deseret News Modified: June 27, 2014 at 12:29 pm •  Published: June 28, 2014

Let me say this first: Doughnuts are a wonderful thing. Chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream is a joy. I believe one of the key reasons God put us on earth was so that we could appreciate the wonder of a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie.

I have discovered, however, that there are people out there who would violently disagree with those statements. And while I don’t know what it’s like to live in a head that turns quickly away from apple pie and chocolate, I can see that many of those people are more pleasant to look upon than some of the rest of us.

That is, if you can see them. They are always running about, paddling away and climbing up cliffs.

I have two such people in my life now who offered me a chance to participate in a contest that lasted nearly two months. To win the contest, you had to eat three “healthy” meals a day, work out at least 45 minutes for six days a week and eat lots of vegetables and fruit. I was also expected to drink about 40 gallons of water and go to the bathroom every five minutes.

The hard part of this “challenge,” as they called it, was the fact that you were expected to take all the food that makes life worth living and leave it behind. There was no pizza or Fresca allowed! No “salty junk food.” The evil ingredient to be avoided was sugar. If God put sugar in an orange it was OK, but if a corporation injected sugar into something, well, you couldn’t eat it.

I threw in my 20 bucks and soon discovered there’s sugar in everything. It’s in croutons, it’s in nearly every kind of bread, it’s in salad dressing, it’s even in Fruit Loops and I’m pretty sure it is in this wooden chair I’m sitting on.

Oh, I got very hungry and grouchy.

I think the point of this exercise was not to teach us to avoid all sugar the rest of our lives, but to teach us just how abundantly it is polluting our foods.

I see it differently. I see sugar as a wonderful and heavenly substance that adds color and joy to our world. I also noticed, however, that without sugar in my life, I was losing about a pound a day and feeling sort of “cleaned out” inside.

When the contest was over, I had lost about 25 pounds and won $150, but that did not stop me from planning in great detail a sinful meal that would include some of my favorite foods.

We had Stromboli pizza, a favorite we save for birthdays and special occasions, ice cream and chocolate chip cookies. I also drank the last can of Fresca that I had in our refrigerator. The Fresca was wonderful, and I think I could hear angels singing when I partook of it.

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