sugar addiction

I used to mix Kool Aid with sugar in a bowl
and eat it like Pixie Stix
When I was little, I heard about my dad and my grandpa having a "sweet tooth."  That's what they'd say when they wanted to eat ice cream after dinner.   I loved eating ice cream after dinner, too.  And I loved eating ice cream when the ice cream truck drove through our neighborhood.  And I loved going to my cousin's house, which was also a Knudsen Dairy, which had a freezer room full of ice cream and popsicles.  That was pretty wonderful.  On occasion, my mom would let me ride my bike to the little store down the road that had a really great candy counter.  I also loved to bake cookies so much that my mom said she's start calling me "Cookie" (thankfully, that nickname never stuck).  But I found that I loved sugar more and more as the years passed.

The first candy bar I remember loving -- chocolate and caramel and it seemed like it was about a foot long.  The caramel would stretch and the chocolate would flake when you pulled on it, but it was really fun.

I picked up my friend's book "Potatoes, not Prozac" one day because I was intrigued by the author's pedigree.  Kathleen DesMaisons had a PhD in Addictive Nutrition.  I found that this book was not only on how to battle depression with nutrition, but it also address what she said was 1/3 of the population, who (news to me) were different from the other 2/3.  They had a chemical make-up that triggered the need to eat MORE and MORE sugar once they got a little bit of the stuff inside them.  This was ME!!!

At the time I was working  on going "off of sugar" because I knew that especially during the holidays, I would eat sugar around the clock without any foods with any significant nutritional value.  It was exhausting and it frightened me. But if I got the sugar out of my system, I didn't miss it.  Well, let's just say that my body didn't miss it.  My memories did, but my body was happier without it.  It was those occasional thought patterns that creeped in that told me I needed sugar because . . .

Fill in the blank . . .
  • I needed to go buy ice cream because it was a Friday and we were celebrating that the week was over.
  • I needed to bake cookies because it was a mellow Sunday afternoon with the kids.
  • I needed to have some dessert so I didn't offend the party host.
  • I needed some chocolate because someone was really stressing me out.
  • I needed to bake an apple pie because it was fall.
  • I needed to buy some candy for the kids stockings, Halloween, Easter baskets, whatever. 

The list was endless.  But the further I grew away from those patterns, the easier it became to let them go.  I was able to develop new patterns that didn't involve sugar. 

This was my favorite gum -- it was super long and super sugarful.  I'd ride my bike down to Luna's Market and would buy either Watermelon or Grape for 10 cents. 
I'm not always successful with staying away from sugar.  It's those small moments where I tell myself that a little won't be a big deal that mess me up for anywhere from a few days to a few years.  I have learned one sure lesson -- if I just get a little bit of sugar into my body, my ability to reason changes.  I can only think of getting more sugar.  It's even hard to concentrate on the conversation before me at dinner.  It's sneaky, yet very powerful.  And I'm learning as time goes on to take care of myself more and not worry what others will think.  A little sugar may not hurt them, but it sure does me.

I'll end with a quote by Dr. Joel Furhman -- my favorite source on nutritional knowledge:
The most effective treatment for breaking any bad habit or addiction is abstinence.
Photo notes -- Bubble Gum photo courtesy of Tom Edler
(I figured if I posted pics of these candies that haven't been available in over 40 years, I'd be safe in not tempting anyone, including myself  :) )


  1. I totally did that with the kool-aid! I remember my finger being red from it! Also, my grandmother has an actual friend named cookie- kind of jealous of her for that...

  2. Ahh, yes! The colored finger AND then the colored tongue! :) And now that you mention the name thing, I remember thinking girls with the name "Candie" were very lucky!