Desugaring My Coffee

I love sugar. Sweets might be my only dietary vice. I like bread and enjoy a bit of wine. But I can go months without bread and often forget to drink the glass of wine I promised myself I would have. But… raw sugar, sweetening the heat of my black French vanilla coffee? That bit of heavenly knowledge dances forever alluring in the heart of my taste buds. It’s reveille in a cup.

Some years ago, while my doctors where trying to figure out if some of the foods I ingested were responsible for my tummy misery, I was instructed to have my coffee without sugar or milk. I hate milk, so that was easy. I tried a cup of coffee without sugar, spat it out, and cursed my gastroenterologist in the most creative ways I could imagine—and I’m really good at imagining.

I quit coffee…
…for about a year.

Tests and time said sugar was not the problem. So, coffee and I sipped and made up. It was a glorious moment in Magaly life. If you followed this blog at the time, you probably read my screams of delight. I celebrated for days.

This could be the reason why both my nutritionist and gut doctors gave me such strange looks when I told them, “I’ve decided to desugar my coffee.”

If you know me, and thought about my desugaring decision for a moment, you’re probably not as surprised as they were. I despise being forced to do things, but I love challenges—they are great at reminding you (and yes, by “you” I mean “me”) that you are alive and kicking and grinning madly.

Also, I like carrying around between 128 and 131 pounds. More than that is hard on the breathing department And, of course, as my flesh and bones and mind and I shimmy sexily towards vintagehood, staying in balance with our favorite jeans can’t quite happen while sucking on sugar. I like my jeans.

I started desugaring a week and a half ago. First, I reduced 1 of the 3 sugars I took in my coffee. Next Tuesday, I’ll go down to 1.5 teaspoons of sugar. I will continue cutting half a spoon until I get to, um… half. Then I shall half and half and half again… until my coffee is just hot, dark, and delicious.

Giving up sugar in my coffee is not particularly easy, not at all.

But tough things are much easier to do (even enjoy) if we are the ones who decide to do them. It’s almost like ending a long friendship with someone you know to be toxic but have remained friends with because they brought you some pleasure. When another friend says, “Let that energy vampire go or else!” You cross your arms and bare your teeth and hold the bloodsucker closer to your neck. You might even let it go, but rarely happily.

But, my Wicked Luvs, when you are the one choosing to ram in the stake, sugar turns to dust… and you realize that few things are as pleasurable as detaching a leech is a leech is a leech (regardless of how funny it can be).

I’m not quitting added sugars completely. But after coffee and I are totally happy in our hot and unsweetened darkness, I will continue the desugaring with yogurt. If my daring persists, I might even move on to steel cut oats.

Tell me about your dietary vice(s), my Wicked Luvs. Have you (or would you) ever seriously consider choosing to give up something you enjoy, in order to feel more comfortable in your garb (and, perhaps, in your lungs)?


all right, so I can’t remember the last time I bought coffee at Starbucks
(mostly because I don’t like coffee made by anyone but me),
but The Force was just too strong with this photo not to share it with you