Sugar is the Unconscious Food- Part 1

I've been listening to Barry Friedman tell me about how many days he's gone without sugar for nearly a year. He knows to the day. And he is proud. But until he sent me this article, I did not really understand the power of his story.

Barry tells a story that I hope you will try on for yourself. You will never know how addicted you are to processed sugar until you make your first effort to make a change. This article is about the DECISION to make a change.

In between Barry's two articles, have a think about your relationship with sugar. After the second article, Barry's got some great support and community resources for you if you decide you're ready to do something different with sugar. We're going to do something cool together.

With love, Corn on the Cob, Becky.

Sugar is the Unconscious Food- Part 1

I'm at my local cafe where I come to put the final touches on anything that needs a final touch. Today's project: an opening for an article I promised Becky.

The article has everything I look for in my writing except an opening that gives me (and hopefully, you) a reality check that I'm not just spewing my opinions. I aim for a mixture of storytelling, research, and examples.

I am ordering a bowl of yummy, organic chicken/vegetable soup.

She is about 35-years old, holding a cell phone in her right hand and shaking her keys in her left hand. Interrupting the woman working the register who was taking my money for the aforementioned soup. She was frustrated that she had misplaced, or not taken in the first place, the yummy heart purchased from the bowl on the counter.

""You ate it while you were standing here"", answered the sweet cashier with a smile, as she handed me my change.

The woman stopped moving. Silent.

Embarrassed, perhaps, that the two of us were witness to her grand display of unconsciousness and aggressiveness?

I hopped in to break the silence, ""Well they say sugar is the unconscious food. Looks like it's true.""

As I approach my one-year anniversary of life without any refined or processed sugar, this incident reminded me of exactly what led me to attempt such a seemingly drastic dietary change on February 29, 2012.

My Story

This photo was taken on February 27th and it was the last processed/refined sugar to pass over my lips.

I remember it well. An unusually warm February day, I took my 10-year old son for a frozen yogurt. We talked and laughed, he sucked mint-yogurt-coated gummy worms in and out of his mouth while I played the part of a responsible adult by telling him to stop doing that in public. The laugh in my voice, however, only made him do it faster. That caused me to laugh harder which encouraged him to add sound effects and the whole scene could have been captioned, When Good Parenting Goes Bad.

We hopped into the car to drive home and those familiar feelings appeared in their typical order: heavy tummy, increased heartbeat, not feeling welcome in my own skin, a grimy coating on my teeth, and the sense that maybe I should have grabbed a smaller bowl.

I'd been there before, spent most of the previous week thereafter five days at my in-law's house where all meals end with a dessert.

From the backseat my son told me that he heard about leap day in school and wondered why we did such a thing. Being the joker that I am I decided to play him for a while.

It's a day that we all leap instead of walk. It usually gets tiring around noon, or one o'clock.

No, really dad, what is it?

It's a day we all stop doing something that we would normally do, like eat sugar.

That's definitely not going to happen, he assured me.

With my post-sugar-blast symptoms fully engaged, I decided that for me, it was going to happen. I was going to start on Leap Day and go 30-days without any sugar that had ever seen a factory. The instant surge of empowerment was textbook beginner's optimism; my stomach felt lighter, my heartbeat slowed, I relaxed, and my teeth felt clean.

A few years earlier I had quit wheat/gluten and within weeks my swollen, painful knees were normal-sized and I was jumping off walls with my son. If I could drop beer, pizza, and cookies, I could go a month without sugar.

The Plan

I used Feb 28th to prepare, create a game plan, and see who might want to do this with me. That night, without thinking it through, I logged into Facebook and posted this:

Those 41 comments arrived within a few hours and were all over the map: fears, well-wishers, doubters, kindred spirits who were already on the path, and those opting in for the challenge! The group was complete before I went to bed.

I slept late on February 29th. I wanted to be unconscious for as much of the day as possible. If I woke up at 10:00 a.m. instead of 7:00, that was three less hours I'd have to fight the temptations waiting in my pantry, refrigerator, and End of the World drawer that holds the richest sweets imaginable which I will dive into with a fury if the apocalypse arrives!

Check it Out

I just watched this one today. A Raspyni Brothers in action on TED talks. You'd never know you were watching a sugar dude (getting ready to become conscious), would you?

From You

I love your magazine and I am pleased that they will be more random this year, allowing yourself some freedom. I like random.
Andrea, New Zealand


I think, at a child's birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.
~Eleanor Roosevelt
About the author

Barry Friedman

Barry learned how to survive very early in life. At 9 he was stealing his own clothes and food, and getting nightly abuse from an angry step-dad. During the summer of his 15th year, he learned to juggle, it was the first time in his life he felt like there was a reason to live. As one half of the Raspyni Brothers, he began performing a comedy/juggling show with his partner at age 20. Thirty years later their credits include over 100 television appearances, 2-world championships, and a Presidential Command Performance at the White House. They are one of the most in-demand acts on the corporate entertainment scene, performing annually at more than 75 events around the world.

Barry is an entrepreneur (he has no choice since college was the worst 2-weeks of his life) who runs an online membership site and group coaching program that teaches entertainers the business of show business. He also inspires other experts to share their knowledge with the world through his program at He has been married to Annie since 1987 and they have a 10-year old son named Zed, who loves juggling, has already won a national unicycle championship, and is homeschooled.