Sasha here, once again, on assignment from Alpha Mom who is sleeping.
She’s been doing that alot the past few days and finally told me to just go “write something about sugar.”
“I’m going off sugar.”
Alpha Mom has been saying that for months, well, weeks anyway. She picked January 1 because, well, why not, I guess. And she told anyone within ear shot. She said it was to “increase peer pressure,” whatever that means.
The more folks who know my plan, the more I’ll be held accountable.
In the run up to sugar-divorce land, she made three batches of Christmas cookies and a few batches of date and nut bread over the holidays. She’s never done that before. I won’t mention what she did with the entire package of baklava that came from Ohio a few days later.
You do know you just mentioned the baklava, don’t you?
And then there was New Year’s Eve.
The choices were vast.
She settled on these three — a lemon square, a piece of flourless chocolate cake, and a coconut macaroon — as her last
meal dessert. She grabbed them at 7:30 and downed the last bite at about 10:00. One per hour.
The decision to load up on sweets, was, in hindsight, a terrible one. What was I thinking?
Who’s writing this post? You’re supposed to be sleeping.
Sorry; continue. I’m going back to sleep. Will you tell them about the dark chocolate covered cashews I keep in the china cabinet? And don’t forget JAMA.
I know nothing about chocolate covered anything. I stay away from chocolate. It’s very bad for me. Just as, it turns out, sugar is bad for humans. Very bad. But everyone knows why sugar is bad. What many don’t know is revealed in this article from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that came out in 2016.
The way Camila Domonoske at National Public Radio put it, “the authors of this new article say that for the past five decades, the sugar industry has been attempting to influence the scientific debate over the relative risks of sugar and fat.”
As a result, as Low-Fat and No-Fat became the norm, the food industry began adding sugar. To EVERYTHING, at least everything that’s processed. Sugar is ubiquitous.
Sugar is also addictive. That’s why going off it can be so difficult.
But what, really, does “going off sugar” mean?
Processed, refined, white sugar is easy to spot. It’s the stuff that shows up in cookies and pies and yummy little homemade things that people bring to various gatherings. That’s what most people cut out when they do one of these sugar-free diets.
But fruit, bread, potatoes and lots of other stuff all break down into sugar once in the body and Alpha Mom was afraid eating any of them would make this going off sugar thing harder. She wanted to detox from it all. Except, she wasn’t sure what that meant.
Should she abstain from the honey she puts in her tea each morning? What about potatoes? (Bread was easy). Condiments? Fruit?
Alpha Mom decided, to tough it out for the first
three days two weeks, then decide how to best proceed. That means no honey, potatoes, and certainly none of those chocolate bites, no matter how small.
Be sure to mention Adelle Davis.
Back in the 1970s, Alpha Mom read Adelle Davis, the whole foods proponent of the 1940s and ’50s, who held that not only is individual wellbeing impacted adversely by unregulated sugar, entire civilizations have risen and fallen because of it.
She’s the one who wrote that Germany defeated France in World War II because German black bread and beer were nutritionally superior to French white bread and wine. And, she warned that Russians ate much less of the “illness‐breeding refined foods” than do Americans.
Alpha Mom has this political bent, you know, and I think this appealed to her inner political hack.
Adelle Davis was my socially acceptable revolutionary.
Alpha mom also has this “keep it simple” motto, and, since she’d adopted the addiction model, going cold turkey made the best sense.
IDIOM ALERT: going “cold turkey” means all at one time;
it’s the opposite of doing something gradually.
Here’s something she wrote before she wussed out and asked me to do it.
My problem with sugar is different than most folks. I don’t get a “sugar buzz;” I don’t go “high;” I go low. Very low. I get fuzzy headed, foggy to the point of falling asleep. Long ago I learned that if I wanted pancakes or waffles or french toast (so many good things serve as a vehicle for maple syrup), I have them for dinner, at the end of the day. Then I just go to sleep. If I ingest flour and maple syrup in the morning, my day is shot, long before lunch.
And may I just add here, “wussed” is not a real word. I have a terrible headache so just do your job.
See what I have to endure?
I’m thinking she just needs another week. Everything I’m learning as I write this post (for her) says the first two weeks are the hardest. And I know she was sideswiped by the Day Four headache.
Don’t forget to tell them about dopamine. It’s why I’m addicted.
I don’t care about dopamine. I want to know when you’ll be back to normal. I don’t like it when you sleep all day. We haven’t had a good hike in . . . too long.
I could have the flu. Leave me alone.
You don’t have the flu and you know it. Your body is just getting readjusted to not getting its fix of sucrose and glucose and fructose and lactose. Go back to sleep.
I wonder why milk sugar isn’t called luctose?
Ask them if they’ve ever gone cold turkey on anything?
Alpha Mom will be back next week, I
think hope, and in a much better mood. Stay tuned. In the meantime, I think she could use a little support. If nuzzling her under her chin (she likes that when I do it) isn’t your thing, maybe just a few words of encouragement.