Monday, January 20, 2014


I don’t want this to become a “food blog,” but I do want to write about what I am working on at a given time. And I have nothing against food blogs; I just read a bunch of awesome food blogs and I don’t have the time or the fancy dishes to compete. You won’t catch me grinding walnuts to make a pretty crumb topping, or spending money on all-white dishes because the food photographs better on porcelain. I am not a nutritionist or a success story in any sense. I enjoy junk food and I never feel guilty about eating something for lack of nutrition.

I am attempting to give up sugar. The idea itself is not accurate, of course, because the only way to truly give up sugar is to not eat. But I need to reduce my consumption, because I’m addicted to it. White, processed, granulated, comes in a heavy paper bag, sugary goodness. It looks like snow and cocaine and baby powder. It tastes like heaven. I have no idea what high fructose corn syrup looks like, but I imagine it to be extra glorious, so beautiful that I don’t dare look directly at it.

I won’t give you the WebMd version of why I’m addicted to sugar (and will, by default, be diagnosed with some weird form of cancer, because WebMd). Instead, my personal controversies:

I’m clearly lactose intolerant (I won’t tell you why, just trust me), but I still feel a compulsion to consume dairy products. My intolerance is getting worse with age, and if I don’t act soon I’m afraid I’ll have a roommate instead of a spouse.
I am a coffee fiend, but I don’t suffer typical effects of coffee, namely anxiety that prevents sleep. Caffeine isn’t my addiction. I figured this one out after I had a job that did cause this level of anxiety. If no coffee is available, I crave other sugary drinks. I also don’t like coffee without it being sweetened, not even a little.
Thanks to unemployment, I have a lot of free time. If I “watch what I eat,” I will usually have a fairly productive day, including a trip to the gym or the bike trail for some exercise, and a couple of dog walks. If I’m not tracking my food and activity, however, the dogs don’t get walked, I don’t get walked, and I end up inhaling the house. Like now, for example. I actually wrote this last night. I am touching it up as an excuse to not shower, not clean up, not plan for my day. I am on my fourth cup of coffee, I’ve eaten a bowl of oatmeal, and I’ve visited the kitchen twice to eat peanut butter out of the jar.
The overeating is usually done to the point of being uncomfortable. I’ve also been known to make coffee late at night and guzzle it on top of already having indigestion. Dining companions frequently ask, “Are you ok??” when they see the looks of despair on my face. “I’m fine. I just decided to eat a pizza when I wasn’t hungry. Are we getting dessert?”

So, my plan to break this addiction:
Natural sugars: add whole fruit to my diet throughout the day. Fruit contains phytochemicals, water, and fiber in addition to some pleasant blood sugar spikes.
Sleep off any initial crashes. I’m unemployed and have been avoiding napping in an effort to not feel like a worthless screw up. Build a bridge and get over it. Who cares if I’m 33? Nap time!
Distract myself with productivity. I have been using this strategy lately to combat anxiety about the job situation, and it works well most days. Cleaning, playing with the dogs, and some writing snippets have been immensely helpful.
Lastly, give up coffee habit. I’ve done this before and I mostly cope just fine. I do not experience “caffeine headaches” that others describe. Other than some cravings it’s easy. Giving up coffee also has a host of other benefits. I need to tattoo them on my arm. I’m going to do this last, however. Dairy is a far bigger problem for me, and I’ll reap the most benefit from going that way.

I am also starting something else today, which I will post about on Tuesday. Or not. I might write something unrelated to food for Tuesday, just so people will come back.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a fabulous day.


No comments: