Tuesday, March 26, 2013


I don't really have anything to say tonight. I should go straight to bed, but I'm not going to. I know it. I just finished having my second salad for the day. It was one of those salads you buy at Whole Foods that's all put together and ready to eat, yet it had so many cranberries and candied nuts in it that it was like having dessert. I managed to push half of the sugary part aside to eat later. I hate when candy parades itself as something healthy. So just now, I put together the remaining cranberries and candied nuts, the part that I so dearly love, and added more greens and ordinary nuts. That way, I spread that candy out across the whole day instead of just one meal. The last time I succumbed to that salad at Whole Foods, I ate the whole thing in one sitting and felt completely sick afterward in what I know is a glut of sugar coursing through my veins. I very nearly fell asleep on the drive home. This time, I was a bit smarter, but only a bit. I should have divided the candy part in half and saved it for a salad tomorrow. Better yet, I should have pushed my cart past and resisted the siren song of the sugar disguised as real food. Those Whole Food salads used to be balanced perfectly, with a thin layer of the nuts and cranberries on the top. Lately, the greens are a thin bed on the bottom of the plastic container.

Oh, it's not the fault of Whole Foods. People are moving toward more sugar, craving it. It's as if I can see it happening as I struggle to keep my intake in check. It was years ago when I realized, while eating MacDonald's french fries that what I liked best about them was that they had a hint of sweetness under all that salt. Salty sweet. My downfall. That, and cereal. Since then, I see Tony the Tiger prancing about on the soccer field pretending to represent a healthy cereal. "It's a part of this healthy breakfast!" Does anybody really fall for that? I see the healthy moms in the commercial tell me they don't mind giving yogurt to their kids, but there's more sugar in them than in ice cream. Then, you add the layer of granola. Oh, granola. I remember the days when I used to love having granola for breakfast. It's no wonder. It's dessert.

And have you ever noticed that teriyaki and even the sauce on beef and broccoli is just a hip way of serving the meat and vegetables dripping in syrup?

It sucks to have to pay this much attention to sugar, but even now, I can feel it in my system, a pressure behind my eyes, an uncontrollable need to sleep. Really, the noises of a five year old boy could not wake me up when I've had too much sugar, I was that far gone before I changed my diet. It's too bad we all thought I was just napping all those years. I might have been diagnosed earlier. But it means that I'm watching, with envy, how there seems to be sugar in everything these days. There's even high fructose corn syrup in the breakfast sandwiches Nick and I used to have for breakfast! Why do you need corn syrup in what is supposed to be bread, egg, and sausage? You don't, but our taste buds just love that savory sweet. Mine do too!

I'm sorry I'm complaining so much. I need to get back on the wagon and walk studiously past those yummy salads at Whole Foods.

At quilt night tonight, my friends offered me cake, berries, and ice cream. As they loaded one plate after another, I had to ask three times that they leave off the cake and only give me a half a scoop of ice cream with my berries. Thankfully, the berries didn't have added sugar, but the plate they finally gave me had one and a half scoops of ice cream. I should have said 'no thank you' but I didn't. It's almost as if they want me to slip into that dreamless sleep right there in my friend's living room. The last two times I went, I ate the polite amount and pushed the rest around on my plate. I was given a look, a subtle look, but it was a look. My mother used to use that look when she found too many green beans under the edge of my plate. Then, as everyone laughed and stitched, I proceeded to slump down into my chair and struggle to stay awake. I don't have fun at quilt night after I've eaten the requisite sugar. I need to remember always to say 'no thank you' when they offer. I can still have tea. But I want it the way an alcoholic wants his next drink and I can't resist when it's on my plate.

It was hard to drive home from there. I opened the windows, turned the music up loud and scratched at my wrists on the highway home. No, that is not fun. Not really.

So what am I doing finishing off my dessert salad? What was left of it was sitting in the refrigerator, beckoning me when I tried to slip in for a glass of milk. Tomorrow, I promise myself, I'm going to eat clean food. I'm going to keep it simple. I'm going to eat good clean food and walk right past the sugar saying, 'no thank you' with a smile on my face.

I know I'll feel better tomorrow.

Thank you for listening, jb

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