As you probably know by now, I’m a sugar addict. Not in the traditional sense like gulping down a gallon of soda every day or eating snickers bars as snacks (not sure who I turn into when I’m hungry…). But I’m definitely addicted. I crave sweets after lunch, all afternoon, and after dinner.
So I’ll scour the office or the pantry for anything that might suffice (a handful of M&Ms, hot chocolate from the Flavia machine, or even granola). If the craving strikes in the evening and someone else in the family has a craving as well, we often end up at the legendary Whippy Dip on the other side of downtown Decorah (which is not that far).
Well, I’ve read enough about nutrition to know that sugar (and refined food in general) is REALLY bad for you. Not just directly, but indirectly as it relates to the nutrients you’re NOT getting when you eat too much refined and processed foods. In fact, some would argue that a good amount of people in this country are malnourished. Our brains are not getting the nutrients we need to feel good.
I really want to rid myself of this addiction. At the same time, I’m not a fan of absolutes when it comes to diet. (As in, “I’m never going to eat dessert again…”) So I’ve devised a plan. It’s called the “Special Occasion Sugar Plan.” It’s pretty self-explanatory. You eat/drink sugar only on special occasions.
What is the definition of a “special occasion?” you may ask. That’s a good question. My mom has a knack for making almost any occasion a special occasion (which I love!), but that won’t work so well for this plan. I’m thinking more like birthdays, holidays, and similar celebrations.
I thought today would be a good day to post this, because it’s our 16th wedding anniversary. We went to dinner at the hotel and ate some pretty great food and, yes, dessert. It was a special occasion. (I can’t eat cheesecake every day and feel good.)
Think about any books you’ve read about “the olden days.” Little House on the Prairie and Anne of Green Gables come to mind. I remember stories like how excited Anne is about getting to eat ice cream at the annual picnic and Laura’s delight over getting a piece of candy in her stocking on Christmas Day. Special occasions.
I always try to think about what we were meant to eat. What is available in nature? There is certainly much sweetness in nature (I had a perfectly sweet pear earlier today), but it is accompanied by fiber which prevents you from consuming ridiculous amounts of it. It’s when the sugar and other carbohydrates are extracted from their original food that it becomes dangerous. It’s not natural.
So I’ll replace my soy chai with herbal tea, dessert with fruit, and wine with (gulp!) sparkling water. Until the next special occasion…
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