proof that sugar is an addictive substance.

proof that sugar is an addictive substance.

I usually don’t go shopping.  I don’t go get groceries because I subscribe to the idea that in ancient times, men hunted the food, so…you know–I am a traditionalist–and I don’t want to take away the thrill of the hunt from my husband.

(Actually, part of it has to do with pregnancy complications, but I like the way my first explanation sounds so much better!)

I also allow the UPS guy the excitement of delivering non-perishable food items to my door.  One day, he delivered brown rice noodles while I was having a breakdown because of some misbehaving children.  I think he may have changed routes after that.  It was really embarrassing.

For some reason, I found myself in a store this week, and it was a huge mistake on my part.  You see, I forgot that it was already Easter candy season, it being February already.  So, I was innocently walking down the aisle when I saw them…

I could almost hear the distinctive, yet quiet crunch that accompanies biting into that powdery, pastel candy shell…

You Can't Even Tell The Tartrazine Is There!

$3.19 for a tiny bag of sugar, milk, chocolate, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, weird natural flavors, more sugar, gum arabic, and color with tartrazine (because you couldn’t have the beautiful pastels without it, I assume).  I don’t even want to know what tartrazine is, but I know it’s not worth $3.19 a bag.

But, what did I do?  I bought a bag. The imaginary crunch in my ears was overwhelming.  I couldn’t stop myself.

I tried to tell myself that because they are produced in Poland, I was merely getting in touch with my family history and heritage and identifying with my culture, but I knew I was just rationalizing.

I did it in a hurry, hoping no one would see me put it in my cart (as if I now had a gigantic sign on my head saying, “No Sugar Preaching, Artificial Color Hating Hyprocrite!”)

It was embarrassing. But, just for me.  I don’t think anyone else cared.  But, you know, there were angels watching.

I tried to hide it from my kids, because I didn’t want them to see that dark side of me.  But, I can’t hide anything.  I am an open book. So, I shared the poison.

Sharing The Poison

What is the matter with me?  And why do they stock Easter candy in February?

I tell you, there is no health food that can match the pleasure of Cadbury Mini-Eggs.  To me, that is proof that they should be classified as an addictive substance.  In fact, the entry for Cadbury Mini-Eggs on Wikipedia (the source of all true knowledge) states:

Not to be confused with heroin.

Honestly, I really do think sugar is an addiction, and it is a really serious problem, probably because it looks so pretty and can come in pastel colors.  I wish I could say that I wouldn’t have made the same mistake if I had to do it over again, but I probably would.  If a woman who is totally anti-sugar can be tempted, anyone can, so, to quote Shakespeare:

Beware the Ides of March!

And February, and probably April for that matter, because that is when those delicious little eggs are sold.  You don’t want to find yourself asking this question in May when you realize what they’ve done to you:

Et tu, Cadbury?

To make myself even more of a hypocrite, I will admit that I was just reading articles referring to scientists pushing to make sugar regulated like alcohol and tobacco because of its deleterious effects–AND I STILL BOUGHT THE BAG OF CANDY!!!  Can you believe it? 

26 Comments

  1. So funny that you would write this today! I was just thinking about this a lot and trying to figure out how to make some changes in my family. (While munching some really amazing chocolate chips.) Ha! I was reading what Dr. Robinson has to say about sugar on the site where he sells his curriculum. Then I was reading all kinds of other healthy eating sites. Then I felt overwhelmed and confused and wanted more chocolate chips. ( : I think I’ve come to the conclusion that the only one I can really trust is the Lord, because you can find a scientific “study” to support just about anything! I love science, but there’s only so much we know and it’s hard to do truly meaningful studies in this area. Good thing we have the word of wisdom and personal revelation because otherwise I’d never be able to sort it all out!

    Oh, and yes, it’s highly disturbing how early the candy for the next overblown holiday is put on the store shelves! I hate going to the store!!!

    Reply
  2. Since we have (mostly) kicked sugar, I can really, really tell the difference. We still have that occasional treat, but it really does affect our behavior. It IS nice to have personal revelation!

    I think part of the reason I get overwhelmed is because deep down, I really have a hard time admitting that it is really not good for me or my kids. It’s so hard to admit when we’ve used it as a crutch for so long…

    I just saw a commercial (I was at a restaurant with TVs…ugh), for some sort of chocolate and the closed captioning was on and it read something like “the reward for all the little things you do…go ahead, indulge…it will make you feel better…” and I thought–UGH! I grew up with this and it is in my subconscious! It is so hard to root out and go for something better…

    But, everyone arrives at that place in their own time. I think eventually I really won’t want even the Mini-Eggs. There are many things I used to LOVE that now taste gross to me because they are too sweet or are made from corn syrup. I am hoping that will happen with the chocolate, too. We’ll see… :)

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  3. Oh, this is simply a classic case of pregnancy craving. :) Wonderful confession, nonetheless!
    I hate how sugar-centered the holidays are in general – and ESPECIALLY here. Ohhhh my goodness, it’s crazy. But there you go:
    One good reason to stay away vs. 1,345,963 reasons to come.
    :D

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  4. Hahahahaha!

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  5. That was almost me last night! My whole family, other than the baby, were gone for the evening for a CSA event (pushing veggies & health) and I fantasized about a quick run to the store for an apple fritter – or 3 . . . maybe some toffee . . . a bit of ice cream . . . And I wasn’t going to share! The only thing that saved me was the fact that I said I’d finish my awful green smoothie first. By the time it was done I just couldn’t drag myself out the door. But I sure thought about it.

    Reply
    • I am right there with you, Amy. And, I do the same thing. Green smoothie first, and then I just don’t have it in me anymore. Most of the time. The mini-eggs really caught me off guard, though. I wasn’t even NEAR the candy aisle. They were just there, in the middle of the store, taunting me. :)

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  6. We have kicked sugar mostly out the door. It feels good. Food tastes so much better, life is easier, and it seems like our attitudes are also lifting. Wonderful.

    BUT, I still have a “craving” for a nice chocolate bar now and then. Good thing they make small, bite sized versions so I can have my little fix and be done. :)

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  7. Yeah, I have no doubt there is a difference, I think what I was saying in my comment was that you can find people on the internet telling you why you must eat X and how it will do Y guaranteed! There are so many bogus claims out there and it seems like no matter how “healthy” you think you are eating, there’s always someone to tell you that you’re doing it wrong. “You use olive oil? Well, that’s good, but make sure you don’t HEAT it or you’ll get cancer from the free radicals.” “You grind you whole wheat? Don’t you know that heats it too much and destroys all the nutrients? You’ve got to hand grind it, or just soak it and eat it as cereal. or maybe sprout it.” GAAAAHHHH!!!!!

    It just seems like no matter how hard you’re trying, there’s always someone who can tell you you’re doing it wrong and I’m learning to trust the Lord more and the internet and certain “studies” less. I’m trying to read the things I read with my Holy Ghost filter so I can decide what is true and something I should work on.

    Ooh, and I hate the TV in restaurants too. BLECH! And the subtle little bits like on that commercial trying to tell us we “must…have….sugar!!!!” Like the little sayings on Dove chocolate wrappers. Very sneaky.

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    • I agree completely, Holly. No matter how healthy I eat, there will always be someone telling me I need to do better, or try some new superfruit, or whatever. In the end, we really do need to rely on personal revelation.

      When I look at a study, I always look at the author–what was their motivation, their belief system, and who funded it? That usually helps me to understand how to weigh their “facts.” :)

      Reply
  8. Sugar is completely addictive, and it’s in EVERYTHING. I gave it up cold turkey for a while, and I could even taste it in our mustard. Why was it in the mustard?!

    It’s tricky to eliminate it completely from my house, though, much as I’d love to; my husband is type 1 diabetic (insulin dependent) and if he ends up in a hypo, we need to have something around to boost his sugars up FAST.

    I’m very uncomfortable with the amount of sugar we eat in our food, as treats, etc etc. Something to pray about for sure!

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  9. I wish my husband would shop for me! (I drag him along for the ride quite often, though.) We utilize amazon for a lot of non perishables.
    I have a love/hate relationship with sweets. Years ago when before I realized I had adrenal fatigue, I used sugar to prop me up in the form of haagen daz icecream (dark cherry chocolate chunk, to be precise). When I learned about AF, I saw just how much of a drug sugar was to me.
    We use maple syrup, honey and sucanat with the ocassional agave here at home, but I think we probably even use those too much.
    And Misty, I here you on those cadbury eggs. I can withstand all commercially produced holiday candies–but those? Those would be the ones I reach for too. My kids have never had a soda, and hardly ever have prepackaged normal treats
    (except from Primary) but I have the hardest time restraining myself at times. At YW this week, we had icecream with toppings and I had the teensiest scoop DRENCHED in a real caramel topping. That caramel tasted divine–and promptly gave me the worst tummy ache ever. I am slowly learning.
    I don’t know if I can get rid of all treats, but I do make them at home with natural sugars and gluten, dairy free to boot.
    Oh, and I jsut got the book Sugar Blues to further motivate me (off of PBS).
    I cannot stand using treats as a motivator. I know a couple of moms who do it with everything and their kids are so programmed Pavlovian style to perform for rewards. It is so tough to watch. It is so tough to get away from in our culture.

    Reply
    • My problem is that I have been programmed Pavlovian style! 8O So, it’s so much harder to figure things out.

      Sounds like you and are about the same with snacks…but sometimes, the years of programming are hard to ignore, and then I go and do something silly.

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  10. Good grief! I need to read through these things before I hit “submit”! “Years ago, BEFORE…” and here ought to be hear, ect. {blush}

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  11. Sugar addiction is very real. I feel like I can finally say that I have found something that works for me to keep it at bay. I stayed off of sugar for a long time, only to be re-addicted as soon as I let a little back in (a child’s birthday party).

    I am eating low carb, and after about the first two weeks (when blood sugar stabilizes), my body stopped asking for it. My mind might want it sometimes, but my body isn’t playing into it anymore. I do indulge in very dark chocolate (85% or more) on a small scale, and will allow myself to eat a sweet (but now I if I do eat a sweet, it has to be really good, and I savor it). I have found that when I am able to use my brain and think it through, my choices are better, and so far, I do not believe my addiction has come back.

    Case in point, I had a bookgroup last night and someone brought doughnuts. I wasn’t going to eat one, and then I said, “what the heck, I can eat one.” I planned on thoroughly enjoying that thing. I took a bite, and had no desire to finish it at all (it just didn’t taste good). Before, I would have just eaten the whole thing, because my body wouldn’t have cared what it was (sugar was sugar). Now, it is a choice. It is such a freeing feeling. My berries I ate that night were far better than any sugar sweet treat.

    That said, sweetness is an inborn desire, I think. I mean, mother’s milk is super sweet so our babies will drink it. To shun it completely would never work, but to use it wisely (if one can, being addicted to sugar, you can’t really), is a good thing.

    Reply
    • Erin, I think the key thing you pointed out that just doesn’t work for me is the part where I am supposed to use my brain! :)

      You are right, though. It’s the difference between acting and being acted upon. It is such a freeing feeling when you realize that you are in control of your emotional and physical body, instead of other things controlling you.

      I think we all struggle with this, but my kids don’t nearly so much. So, as Sister Beck once said, I’m improving the herd. :)

      Reply
  12. Oh so true! I bought three bags of jelly beans (my favorite) and am thinking of my next trip to the store!

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  13. This made me laugh right out loud.
    We keep things pretty healthy at our house, but those Cadbury mini-eggs are such a personal weakness of mine too. Seriously addictive. :)

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  14. once, when i was in grad school a bunch of us were working hard in a computer lab and somebody had candy and was sharing it around. one of our teachers walked in and we offered her some candy and she said something to the effect of, “oh no thanks. my mother never gave us much sweets when we were kids and as an adult i still don’t really like them.” we all had our jaws on the floor, but while i imagine the others were feeling sorry for her (imagine! a childhood without much candy!! how tragic!!) my jaw was on the floor out of sheer jealousy. i mean, i was, and am green with envy. i love my mother to death, but why couldn’t she have done this for me? i fight it so hard but sugar (mainly chocolate) is still my biggest demon. i remind myself of that when people make me feel like i’m depriving my children of joy just because i don’t shower them with sugar every single stinking chance i get. and i’m not really that great at it! anyway, good job misty! and i’m not a big fan of those mini-eggs, but once a year, at easter, i allow myself one of those cadbury eggs with the fake yoke inside. there so gross, but so good…

    Reply
    • My sister used to stockpile those creme eggs for the entire year. So gross, but so irresistable. One is probably more than enough for the entire year. ;)

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    • I am revisiting this. If chocolate is your main craving for sugar, it may actually be that you are deficient in magnesium. (many people are and chocolate cravings can be a symptom) I have used magnesium citrate with the best results (as in NAtural Calm.) You could supplement and see if your cravings subside a bit.
      i went from living for chocolate to enjoying it on occasion…just a thought.

      Reply
  15. This will be my first Easter since I’ve been sugar-free. And Easter candy has ALWAYS been my FAVORITE.

    yikes.

    You have reminded me to be BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!

    (eep!)

    P.S.– I hope you ate one for me!

    Reply
    • Unfortunately for me, I ate several for you!

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  16. I know I’m way late in commenting, but I HAVE to tell you about Amano chocolate, if you don’t yet know about it, which seems unlikely. It’s an unlikely high-end chocolate store in an industrial part of Orem, UT. I mention this chocolate because I find that when I eat really good, high-quality treats with high-quality ingredients, I only want a little bit and then I’m satisfied. Now if I eat a Kit Kat, I want 37 of them. Those candies are engineered to make us want more and more. So buying high-end desserts keeps me from buying them less frequently because they are expensive, and I don’t inhale the entire package in 15 minutes. I’ve had a pint of ice cream (Coconut Bliss by Larry and Luna, YUM!) last me a week. I eat just a little bit at a time. The end of my rant.

    Reply
    • Yes, I LOVE Amano. It’s like heaven–probably the best thing in Utah Valley… :) And that is so true–it seems like the better it is, the more real it is–the less you need.

      Now, I haven’t tried Coconut Bliss–but now I want to. I do like the So Delicious line of coconut ice cream. Yummy. Thanks for posting about that.

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  17. If you own an icecream maker, you can easily make coconut icecream–so easy, so good, and cheaper, too. Let me knwo if you want recipes!!!

    Reply
    • Yes, please!!!–I once made an Almond Joy Coconut Ice Cream but have lost the recipe–it was SO good. If you have any great ones, please send them my way!

      Reply

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