Sugar Isn’t Sweet
My kids are always so impressed by the word total of my book “Why Can’t I Stick To My Diet”.
It is over 32,000. The number I am intrigued with is 370, the number of the times, I typed the
word “sugar”. Sugar is a major theme of my book and how it impacted my life and why I believe
most people need to cut it out of their diets. I am fully aware doing the Holiday, sugar is a major
player. We can’t have a cookie decorating party without the sugar cookies now, can we?
Sugar is given to most children in America by the time they are 1. The first birthday cake picture
is a right of passage in most families photo albums or clouds I should say. We can’t have a
birthday party without a birthday cake.
What if we gave a 1-year-old heroin on her birthday? everyone would be horrified, right? But
sugar is eight times more addictive, and the hardest addiction to kick. Why? Some of it is
because it’s so readily available – you can find sugary snacks at every grocery store, convenience
store, and office supply chain across the land. But mostly, it’s because, as researchers have
found, sugar is more addictive than even cocaine.
In the food addiction world, we like to use the term “hijacked.” It is a rather strong word
nowadays, but give me some time to explain the reasoning. When we are being held hostage by
sugar, we are impaired. We cannot make independent decisions on what is in our best interests
for our health or our bodies. The introduction of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) into the
modern diet only complicates the hijacked situation. HFCS was genetically modified to make us
crave if we stop eating it.
What should we do about the holiday baking and the cookies and the gingerbread houses? Do we
simply shake our heads and say “that is just how it goes” and grab a spoonful of buttercream
frosting and eat it? Do we go into hiding in mid-January when it is safe to come out? I strongly
recommend not eating added sugar and limiting naturally occurring (fruit and certain vegetables
such as carrots) to a small portion early in the day. I do this because it is the healthiest way to be
no matter what month of the year the calendar reads.
It is important to have as many Holiday traditions that do not include food as the star player.
Let’s take the focus off of food and put it back where it belongs, with our friends and families. If
you have to start some new ones this year, that is fine. Having an annual trip to NYC to see the
lights vs going to get a Milkshake the size of your head would be a great place to start. Another
option is volunteering at a soup kitchen vs hosting a giant cookie swap. I am not advocating
inviting over your friends and family to a dining room table of tap water and broccoli. However,
let’s work on taking the focus off of food in general.
When we think about the Holidays, food often comes to mind. It is only natural. However,
going on a sugar bender for 6 weeks doesn’t have to be part of it. Just because Starbucks is
selling super cute little snowmen cookies with scarves, you do not have not buy one when you go
into to get a cup of coffee. The box of fudge in staffroom, doesn’t have to be eaten by you. What
if you were to give it to the security guard on your way out of the parking garage? I bet you
could still have a great Holiday Season. The person who gave it to you most likely didn’t put a
tracking device on the bottom of it.
Tomorrow’s topic: A day in my old life
If you have any questions or comments during the 31 days of Wellness, feel free to email me at
email@example.com and we can figure out a solution to your Holiday dilemma.
Together we will be Happy and Healthy this Holiday Season.