Sugar (Travel with Intent’s One word Sunday)

Sugar, Sugar, Sugar

To join in with One Word Sunday – here are some sugar treats to start off with:

I think this needs a frosting fix!
Homemade biscotti
This cake fell over in the box on the way to event. We salvaged it and served it with a bow.
Bitter chocolate bars with 85% cocoa, coconut shavings, almonds, raw sunflower seeds, chia, coconut oil….


Sugar Talk

I have written about sugar before:

Here with some yogurt treat highlights and a sugar rant

Here with a story about how we cut into a cake early and then used a #frosting fix to repair the cake


We recently had a birthday party and any time my husband and I have an event (or bring food to a party) – we have to talk about what the people want and not necessarily what we would eat.

My husband and I have both stopped eating sugar (shooting for low to no sugar 95% to 100% of the time). He did this by choice (2017) and I did this in order to rebuild my immune system (2014). It has been an adventure and learning process. 

We sometimes consume small amounts of sugar  – like from berries, or from the sugar in the 85% cocoa bars from Aldi, or from foods or dinner recipes that have sugars with the acids – but not having everyday sugar is “going against the grain” in our current culture. I need to post more about how I got off sugar – but this post shares some of our everyday experiences with sugar in our culture. 


getting back to hosting an event or bringing food to places.

My spouse learned a tough lesson when he brought some keto-friendly, low-sugar desserts to a small group. Many folks spit the items out and one said, “Yuck.”

I once brought some bitter dark chocolate candy bars to a class for snacks and the students tossed them with disgust (money in the trash). A few students in a different class loved the bitter, but lessons have been learned about how not everyone has the same sweet threshold. 

We have learned that you must CONSIDER your audience and think of them when you serve food. Similar to the way a writer must think of the audience with word choice, readability, and writing style. 

So in mid July we hosted a birthday party and one of the questions that came up — 

Do we serve sugar?

Seriously, this question came up and was quickly answered with a, “Yes.”

There must be cake at a birthday party.

Even if “birthday cakes on birthdays” is a tradition that is old and maybe not the healthiest – cake was on the list for this b-day party!

A simple classic b-day cake (vanilla-cream sheet cake) and then we ended up having a sugar table. LOL

Long story – but the table had the sheet cake, cupcakes, biscotti, and a small lemon cake for Jennie (she had a birthday a few days after the party).

However, Jennie’s 3-tiered lemon cake fell over on the way to the event – oops – but it was the only casualty of the night. 

And one sweet guest (pun intended) looked at the cake and said, “Now I bet that tastes wonderful,” and she sliced right in.

Cake Talk

I just started a “cake category” for my blog. 

The cake topic seems to come up a lot. 

I recently told Joey how a cake photo (a round white cake in this post) reminded me of her.


Also, I have an idea for a blog post –  about how “we cannot always have our cake and eat it too” – because sometimes we need to realistically accept cannot have it ‘all’ – (certain choices will limit other realistic options). 


But today’s post is about how SOMETIMES WE JUST NEED TO SERVE CAKE!

I have shared before about how we went to a wedding (in 2006) that did NOT serve cake, which was quite the disappointment. Our little group acted like big babies when we all squawked, “No cake, what?” It felt wrong. It was wrong. Have you ever seen the little signs with the phrase, “I am only here for the cake.” 

That was not exactly us – but the conditioning was there:

wedding = cake 

(wait, make that – wedding = cake with frosting) 


Of course not everyone agrees that we should continue to serve cake for events like weddings and birthdays. For example, some of the “die-hard non-sugar eaters” might remind us that “sugar is always a negative food and when we eat sugar it briefly arrests the immune system.”  Some might also add that “sugar can feed pathogens that might be contributing to illness of leading to malaise.”

I agree.

However, there are times when we NEED to serve cake. Just my opinion.

Please note that I did NOT say we need to have sweets all the time in moderation.That is a terrible phrase. Daily sugar foods will pull from health. I apologize if you are feeling defensive.  If you are in stellar health and have the energy, zest, and mood you desire – please keep doing what you are doing.  But if you feel like shit all of the time and have health issues – let me tell you the emperor is NOT wearing any clothes and SUGAR IMPAIRS IMMUNITY and so no, you canNOT eat it in moderation if you want to get well. 

I think it was Mark Sisson who said that, “If you eat refined sugar in moderation you can expect moderate health.” Mark also shared how sometimes he enjoys sugar treats and to not do so would be to miss out on some fun in life – like when he is at a speciality place in Florida – to not have Key Lime Pie would be missing out. (Something like that… and this week, Mark’s blog has keto- coffee popsicles here)

Not only did we serve cake – we ended up with a Sugar Table

The Sugar table had the cake, cupcakes, the recovered lemon cake, and more than 200 Biscotti:


To wrap up the post, wanted to share the ultimate Biscotti recipe. Maybe for times when sugar IS on the menu.


Easy Biscotti 

4 cups of flour

2 tsp baking soda

1 cup of sugar

1 cup of grape seed oil (or vegetable oil – do not use butter they will crumble)

4 large eggs

2 tsp of almond oil (or vanilla)

1 1/2 cups of sliced almonds

Topping can be melted chocolate, frosting, nut cream, etc. 

Preheat over to 350 

mix flour and baking soda and set aside

Mix oil, sugar, eggs and almond oil (use a wooden spoon because tradition says it mixes with more flavor this way) 

Slowly add the flour mix until dough is formed. 

Roll into logs and bake (at 350) until halfway or a little done. 

Cut into slices and bake some more – (maybe use a cooling grill to get them even toasty)

Let cool and add toppings. 


The biscotti will not have preservatives so freeze after a few days (or give some away or just toss leftovers).

Recipe adapted from Chef Cohen via Denver Post (1997).

recipe here

Okay readers – thanks for joining me as I “explored” SUGAR with One Word Sunday – go here for more takes on SUGAR

To join in with One Word Sunday, go here.













55 thoughts on “Sugar (Travel with Intent’s One word Sunday)

  1. One of these days — hopefully, before I’m forced into it — I would love to eliminate sugar from my diet. Apparently, I’m not there yet! HA! Doesn’t help being married to a sugar addict! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I get lost in the welter of information sometimes, and misinformation, Yvette. It’s a minefield, isn’t it? I hadn’t ever thought of toast as harmful. It’s my standard breakfast. I don’t have a weight problem and can’t abide artificial sweeteners but I do have a lot of sugar in my diet, including white pasta and rice. My husband is much worse and would live on custard cream biscuits if you let him. I’m going to have to rethink. What does worry me is the power of the pharmaceutical companies. They have a vested interest in people being ill.
    I’m reasonably healthy for my age but what started me reading this is that my son’s girlfriend has an ongoing battle with her stomach. At 15 they thought she had IBS, but she’s now 26 and no nearer the truth, despite allergy tests and trying to eliminate irritant foods. She seldom has a meal without her stomach bloating afterwards and often debilitating pain. You have me wondering if sugar could be an issue. Just thinking aloud, after reading this and the previous ‘rants’ 🙂 🙂 Glad that you’ve been able to sort your own health issues.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Jo – I enjoyed your comment – thanks for taking the time to chime in.
      and glad you are doing well with what you eat – and I think heritage and blood type plays an important role in over all food. So you are likely eating what aligns with your body – and I would also assume that your flora and enzyme levels are good.

      I think a problem we are seeing with the younger generation is a combination of things. They have sometimes been exposed in utero to certain things – and then eating certain foods while growing and likely getting antibiotics as a teen or younger – and then the food is GMO and sometimes tainted with other things.

      — Of course it is difficult to know all of someone’s details right off the bat – but a starting point for anyone with IBS would be to think of repairing the gut – it sounds so foreign – but intestinal health is where 85% of the immune system anchors from. The intestines and gut are the second brain of the body and our GI has as much neurological activity as the brain of a small animal (it really is our second brain).
      And so for starters (just for educational purposes) if it were me, i would take daily enzymes right away (they are the sparks of life). Enzymes with meals and then there are systemic enzymes taken on empty stomach – like serraptase that can help heal leaky gut.

      and maybe even Monolaurin would be a nice easy starting help – it is from coconuts and can boost immunity. Also, a good probiotic and then a mineral (a good one with cal/mag/zinc and I really like the ones with three types of mag – but she would need to experiment).
      And so quitting sugar is part of the recipe for health – but sometimes before we stop anything – we work at building and adding in support.
      – and John, from a company called Logos – who sells vitamins that helped me heal (I hope to blog about it later) – well he has so many tips and i recall him telling folks to work at supporting the liver before any cleansing.

      Cleansing the GI can be done – and often NEEDS to be done – but should be done slowly (herxheimer reactions) but sometimes just adding some enzymes and good flora to the diet (via supplements) is powerful.
      And staying away from grains will help.

      The key is to experiment – and to go slow.
      Herbs are a key part of cleansing – but some can be too sterile and so if adding in the good guys is on the list – it has to balanced with timing of other supplements.

      ahh – that is likely enough for now.

      I am eager to let you know that I am working on an e-book (hope to have it ready in October) that has about 100 tips for healing the gut – along with tips for eating more good fats!
      but it mostly will just share my healing journey – with the goal of sharing so that folks can experiment from there. I will reserve a complimentary copy for your son’s gf-

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much for the detailed reply, Yvette. I do appreciate your time and trouble. I will print this out because I am quite ignorant on the subject, never having needed to be otherwise. Fantastic about the e-book! 🙂 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It is my pleasure and I think the topic of health is something I will never grow tired of chatting about.
          However, the book is a thron in my side – sadly I am not working on it like I need to be and tried to have it done by last Xmas (have two people waiting on it – so I really feel bad ) but I dread the project because as you and others have noted – it is such a layered topic – oh my goodness and I don’t have time for a T. Harry Williams book (he wrote 944 pages about Huey Long – whew – long book) – and then I just would rather point people to other places (and I have a few links for you) – but the thing is that I need to share my little tips and have a resource rather than sending little pdfs of long comment replies – so fingers crossed I can whip out something decent – meaty and comprehensive and “doable”

          check out
          Mark’s daily Apple for good tips
          and love
          Dr. Axe
          also – would suggest researching some heavy metal chelating – will share more in a minute – but forgot that sometimes IBS has a metal toxicity component -(dental work, flu shots, random exposures)


        2. Darlin, I can imagine how absorbing/frustrating the whole thing is. Wanting to share what it’s taken you so long to learn and yet you have a life and a family and work! Thanks again-it is appreciated. 🙂 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t have sugar in my diet since April and I am amazed at the difference in my health! Lost 40 pounds, rarely really sick, no more stomach or pooping issues. The Standard American Diet really is SAD!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oh thanks for your comment – and good for you! right on! also you brought up another good point – getting sick less. It really is cool – or if I do get something – the recovery time is speedy (knock on wood)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, I have largely eliminated sugar and refined carbs from my diet, and feel better for it. I do eat fruit, and a small amount of dark chocolate …but nthat’s about it!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You are right, “no sugar” foods are not for most people. Most people will not eat anythings that they dislike the taste. That is a good lesson to share if you plan for a party. I think it would be a similar problem for vegetarian people to host a party for non-vegetarian people.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love dark chocolate and Aldi has some that’s excellent and at such a good price. Although I work part time in a patisserie that also sells truffles, I don’t really like most of the things that much as they’re too sweet. I make biscotti, too, but they don’t have a large amount of sugar. I prefer my sweetness from berries and fruit with some dark chocolate thrown in sometimes. 🙂


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi – yes – I like Aldi’s 85% cocoa bars (but at our nearby store they are snatched up quickly) anf they have five little bars to a pack.
      We sometimes break a bar into pieces and add it to a baggie of nuts- dense and healthy treats.
      thanks for chiming in on the topic


  7. I totally agree with you about allowing sugar in on special occasions. We told the boy-child (who didn’t really like sweet food until it became a peer-pressure thing) that there’s food — and then there is party food! And when you’re at a party, you’ll probably be hungry and eat whatever is there. And that’s ok. I did have friends who monitored their kids’ eating and made them special packs to take to parties with them. I get that if the kid has a food intolerance, but it does make everyone’s life a bit more complicated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds like a good way to put it, Su – the difference between party food and then “food”
      You also sounded very gracious about your friends and their monitoring habits – 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks 🙂 I was lucky that most of the boy-child’s friends came from families that are health-conscious but pragmatic. I did once take him to a birthday party where each child was given their own “birthday” cupcake — individually made to cater to their particular food intolerances. The hostess, a lovely woman who obviously had more time on her hands than me, was slightly horrified when I told her my “party food” strategy. I think she thought me guilty of child abuse 🙂


  8. That cake though….poor, poor cake but good that you managed to salvage it. Hope it tasted lovely…cake is cake 😊 I really like what you’ve said about the gut and healing the gur to Jo. That really is where the nourishment starts right after we chew and swallow our food.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi M – and you are so right – cake is cake –
      and you are also right that it is what “happens” after we eat
      I learned it is not what we eat that always matters
      but what WE ABSORB FROM WHAT WE EAT eh?


      1. So true, what we absorb from what we eat. And to absorb what we eat, we need certain nutrients. For instance, you can consumer food rich in calcium but your body won’t usually absorb it that well unless you have sufficient Vitamin D in your body.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. You are so right -or at least that sounds right from what I keep learning – all the minerals work
      Together and so magnesium and calcium need each other for absorbotion too – and the D makes sense (and is likely why my cal-mags of mineral blends have d3 added.
      And we had tons of rain this month and I was not outside a lot and was a little exhausted and took some extra d3 for almost a week and huge difference !
      Oh and enzymes (sparks of life) are something that also makes minerals more bioavaikabke – and some mineral
      Blends have enzymes -ahhhhh
      Thanks for the sharing


      1. That’s it, all the minerals work together for absorption. Good to hear that the d3 supplements work for you…I’ve been prescribed that and maybe I should stick with it…

        Always good to have science-y discussions with you, Y. You share very insightful thoughts with a lot of level-headedness 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Thanks for such a nice comment Mabel! And to think I was against supplements for many years – so I had thick headed-ness and had to learn the hard way- by needing to rebuild my immune system – but it is what it is and I am where I am ! And I “am what I am”
      And you have such wisdom and a social side that sees like 50 Angles when many people see half that –


      1. Lol Y, thanks. I’ve been told I can provide different perspectives…sometimes that wears me down, all the thinking. Like you, I was against supplements for so long, thinking they are artificial. But thinking about it logically, some of our bodies won’t be able to absorb or are allergic to certain foods, and that’s where supplements and science comes in.


  9. I’m glad you were open to serving cake. For some reason, this reminded me of a wedding reception that I was at a few years ago. There was pizza as an option on this long table with a lot of food choices. This one woman staked herself out at the pizza and made a point of telling everyone that took any that they were going to feel sick later because dairy “is bad for you” and she “never” consumes it. It’s one of those things, that I’m cool with people eliminating things from their diet and even talking about it, but the way she went about it was just annoying.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Amy – I know exactly the kind of person you are talking about – but I have never seen it with pizza.
      and wow – that is sure a buzz kill and not at all the best timing.
      but I was surprised that the dairy was the reason – the pizza-haters we know are usually griping about the DOUGH (glue-like GMO flour and stuff like that)

      and sadly I was a buzz kill recently – well not too bad – but two ladies were running a lemonade stand for childhood oncology – with an array of sweets on the side for your dollar donation – could choose rice krispy treats or dipped oreo cookies etc.
      I just felt to drop a seed.
      I said – maybe you could offer some tyoe of non-sugar snack for someone who wants it -I was very respectful – or tried to be – but I sadi something like maybe not terrorize pancreases and have donators crash later from the sugar rush –
      I think we have just gotten into the habit of these sweet treats “baked sale” fundraisers -maybe some quiche bits – mini sandwiches – meat pieces on a stick – and dare I say it – a veggie tray? Or how about chips and hummus – oh I dunno – but I got mean crusties for the rest of the day

      Liked by 2 people

        1. You’re not alone! I had the soccer conversation when my kid was little too. And I had an argument with his school when he (along with every other kid there) was sent home with a box of chocolate bars to sell as a fundraiser. OMG; in a country that has frightening rates of childhood obesity — make that obesity generally (not to mention all the other health issues sugar contributes to). A global confectionery company packages its chocolate bars up into special packs and markets it to schools and sports clubs as a fund-raising idea. I was, and remain, appalled.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. I hate saying no to the poor kids selling them, but there is no way I’m going to buy the stuff. It’s not only terrible to have around, but it is also a marketing (and revenue-generating) exercise for big confectionary companies. Grrrr.

          Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh Amy and Su
        -we are touching upon a big topic – for years I was the one bringing that kind of stuff – and sometimes got the expensive little Gatorade bottles -for everyone – and that Gatorade is a big ol sugar drink – and wait! High fructose corn syrup drinks are the worse cos regular high sugar drinks terrorize the pancreas but the high fructose corn syrup has been found to scar the liver – whoa!
        So for sure not all sugar is created equal –
        And in later years I brought oranges (not really for the health part – it was the only acceptable
        Thing for teens – cos older socccer players cannot have a parent bring snacks – but if you are casual and slice or oranges and hand them to an asst coach – everyone wins


  10. I’m with you on the bitter bars at Aldi. Most of my sugar is full-on JOY, like my soda addiction (I’m on day 6, I’m thinkin I’ll make it to Thursday, lol) and ice cream. But I enjoy when my bosses put Tootsie Rolls in the conference room and I eat PBJ at least once a week. I have no intention of giving up sugar. I don’t think of myself as much of a sweets eater. Or, I don’t seem to be in comparison to my family and friends… My sweet tooth tends to hit me once a month 😉 Oh wait, I eat a lot of fruit. A lot, alawt of fruit. Daily. Veggies too, but hellafruit. Carrots are sweet, but no one judges them about it!
    One of my bosses seems to live on candy and Diet Coke. I don’t know how she keeps her figure or stays awake, lol, she’s got ten years on me.
    I love that the white cake made you think of me! White cake is THE BEST cake! (Course, I scrape icing off, too, so I’m not good at cake. My husband is good at icing, so it works out!)
    I totally want that dark chocolate coconut seed thingy there in the photo. If you care to share the recipe, hit me up on my Contact Me, I’d love to make it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The recipe will be coming soon- they are super easy! And this recipe is actually not my normal melted mix – this was quick like –
      Ready –
      One melted bar (the Aldis dark 85% cocoa)
      Dollop of coconut oil melted with it (love that dollop measuring-lol)
      Then the goodies
      Raw almonds
      Chia seeds
      Trader Joe’s coconut flakes (2$ a bag)
      Sometimes I add a dash of cayenne pepper
      Stir into melted base – let harden in fridge –
      Warning – melts rather easy if you take
      It on the go
      – when I make bigger batches (without the Aldis bar and with cocoa powder – or bakers blocks of dark choc and then I add stevia – and lots of walnuts cos my body does well with walnuts – and does not do well with a lot of almonds – )

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Oh and thanks for your sweet comment (bad pun there) but it was fun to read – this topic of sugar is one that really could go in many directions
      Talk to you soon

      Liked by 1 person

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