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Friday, May 20, 2005

Sugar Sugar, Oh Honey Honey

I realized I was addicted to sugar when I worked at the homeless shelter. I was pretty up-close-and-personal with what addiction looked like, and also with hippie vegan shelter volunteers who tut-tutted every time I gobbled down a chocolate bar...or two...and eventually I put two and two together.

Quickly I learned that claims of sugar addiction are not taken very seriously, especially among caffeine-dependent smokers who quit the sauce.

Sugar is pervasive. It's delicious. Combined with chocolate, it's a powerful medication for maladies from the old-fashioned blues to PMS to broken bones.

Listen. I couldn't get through the afternoon without a sugary treat. I needed to have dessert after dinner. NO, FRUIT DOES NOT DO THE TRICK. I've heard there are mythical enlightened beings who can eat a square or two of a chocolate bar. I am a voracious predator: if I hear the crinkle of foil in the underbrush, the whole bar is doomed.

I've tried shaking the sweet monkey off my back before, but it never worked. What's different this time? Whole foods. I'm not eating white bread or pasta. I'm not eating foods laced with sugar by the Corporate Food Man. I didn't even eat grains for a few days. It's the same reason that the (dubiously healthy) Atkins diet worked for so many Americans: We are a nation addicted to sugar, and it's in everything we eat. Like my homeless coffee-drinking smoker friends, who must avoid the Near Occasion of Alcohol, so too must we avoid pasta sauce sweetened up with evaporated cane juice. Oh, c'mon, it's just a little cane juice. It can't hurt you. Live a little. Nah man, if I hit the cane juice, I'm gonna end up eating a few Snickers. Then the wife'll kick me out again.

I've heard that sugar dulls the senses. Not eating it this week, I think I can see better. It's nice. Of course, I want a chocolate chip cookie, but I'm Not. Having. One. So there.


Blogger Emma Goldman said...

You're right--sugar is tasty AND evil. But tasty! Luckily, I can have little bits of it (relatively speaking), and I've convinced myself that honey in my tea isn't nearly as evil as, say, refined sugar would be (talk about your denial, baby) . . . but giving it all up would be surpassingly difficult for me. So, once again, you rule (verdant effluvia notwithstanding).

12:02 PM  
Blogger Ann said...

It's kind of insane how many things have sugar or corn syrup in them. It makes me suspect that big-food corporations have other interests in mind than my health.

I bet McDonald's even grows a lettuce-sugar hybrid for their salads.

3:27 PM  

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