October 29, 2013 • Comments (0)
Amusement parks. Ball games. Stadiums. Movies. Concerts. Lunch break from grueling classes at school. Any fun or family-based activity you do, junk food will be close by and available. It’s easy to manufacture, package, distribute, and it’s a huge money maker for those who sell you the stuff.
Even though people might desire a cookie or can of soda while at a loved one’s wake, junk food companies will never line up to place concession stands or vending machines at your local funeral parlor for fear that you will forever associate their product with death, sadness, and tears.
Activities such as rides, ballgames, and movies are fun in and of themselves. Snacks are additional. Ask any football fan if they would prefer attending the Super Bowl or eating like they were at the Super Bowl. Chances are they’d like both, but if they had to choose food or watching the game, they’d certainly go with the latter. A problem arises, however, when consumers must eat some junk in order to have fun. If you can’t have a good time without indulging and consuming sweetened food as part of the event, then you’re exhibiting addictive behavior.
So where did we get the idea that sugary snacks are synonymous with fun? From our childhood, when sugar and fun were one in the same.
Eating a bowl (or three) of cereal before school meant reading cartoons, navigating back-of-the-box puzzles or mazes, and searching for a free prize inside before heading off to be boring and serious. Why couldn’t life be like a bowl of Junkie Junks all the time?
It doesn’t matter if you buy these cereal products or not. The association between sweet junk food and fun has been drilled into us our whole lives and it continues to happen. Advertising dictates that anyone who removes sugary junk food from their diet is depraved and constipated.
You can have fun without sweets and you often do. Look at the positive, happy, and good things that happen and accept them for what they are. There’s no reason to pepper those moments with flecks (or boxes) of sugar—at least not all of the time.
If you don’t see any fun when you look at your life then it’s time to face the music and Stop Being Sweet. Sugar alone, like drinks or drugs, will never make you happy in the long run.
October 27, 2013 • Comments (0)
Society is a complex whirlpool of competing values and ideologies. When you’re having trouble getting off sweets, the cause is often something you haven’t taken into consideration like peer pressure, conformity, availability, and the “say this but do that” practices taught to you at a young age. Below are five places where you expect to eat healthily but end up consuming junk instead and what you can do about it.
Advertisers know that food labels influence what people buy. That’s why corporations have fought GMO labeling laws and instead opt to write things like, “Natural,” “Organic,” and, “Healthy,” on the packages of their food products. The trick is to learn about food companies and ingredients, read labels, and avoid food shopping when you’re hungry.
If you’re fortunate to work for a large company that takes care of its employees, you might notice a strange discrepancy. After you’ve enrolled in the company health care plan and worked out in the company fitness center, you still have to navigate the open box of doughnuts in the kitchen, walk passed the soda machine daily, and ignore the large assortment of candy by the checkout in the company cafeteria. How to deal? Read 10 Tips for Avoiding Sugar at the Office.
On the one hand, our kids are presented with literature about eating well and exercising. On the other hand, they’re presented with a bevy of sweet foods and drinks at the cafeteria check out and are taught to celebrate every good grade with an ice cream sundae. Hopefully the new regulations will help to stop sending mixed messages to school children.
While some health club snack bars offer fresh smoothies and/or fresh fruit, many offer a large selection of chocolaty candy bars disguised as healthy snacks, sweet flavored powders in the form of power shakes, and sugar and caffeine laden energy drinks such as Monster and Red Bull. If you’re new to gym culture, beware of the extra products that get sold to you in addition to your membership. Bring your own food and water to the club. You’ll be more likely to avoid the hard sell if your stomach isn’t growling.
You might expect that hospitals—being a place where people go to heal—would offer healthy foods to their patients. However, many hospitals serve processed foods and food products. It’s not unusual to find free soda machines in the baby delivery room waiting areas nor is it unusual to see employees (especially night shift) eating copious amounts of sweets. If you go to the hospital, request fruit and retain your unsweet diligence when it comes to choosing what foods you consume.
October 22, 2013 • Comments (2)
My friend, artist and creative designer Ed Flynn, often shares poems in pictures like the one posted above. I was pleasantly surprised to find this one in my Facebook feed today along with the dedication, “This is for my pal David Vanadia. No candy for Halloween this year!”
Thanks for thinking of me, Ed!
While I don’t and won’t hand out duct tape (decent sized nails would be more my style) I did experiment with offering kids the choice of candy or glow sticks last year. I also wrote about 10 Trick-or-Treat Alternatives and am considering handing out something other than candy this year.
I don’t mind the jest and have gotten used to being the butt of many jokes. However, I want to set the record straight: I still like to eat sweets.
If I could, I’d eat nothing but sugary junk food every single day—but I don’t. For many people, that’s why I come to mind while they’re sinking their teeth into their fifth doughnut or as they finish a tub of ice cream.
I’m not the tiny angel (or devil) sitting on your shoulder and reminding you of your transgressions. I’m not a badge-carrying member of the food police. I’m doing something positive, so don’t cast me in a negative light.
PS - I joke too and reserve the right to call sugar “evil” whenever I want!
October 20, 2013 • Comments (7)
It’s been a long time coming and it’s finally here. I’m pleased to announce the Stop Being Sweet Sugar-Free support group!
Complete details: http://www.stopbeingsweet.com/meetings
Starting in November, we’ll meet every Friday from 6-7 pm to discuss living a sugar-free lifestyle and staying that way.
Meetings will be held at Vibrant Studios in SW Portland. It’s a lovely place.
Every first Friday of the month, Sophie Lippert (Vibrant Studios owner and master good food magician) will prepare food for us, which I’m totally psyched about! When you eat the food she makes you’ll know why and then you’ll be excited about first Fridays as well. Tell a friend!
Some of you won’t be able to commute to Portland, Oregon to attend the meetings. However, I’m looking into ways to bring the meetings to you.
This is another small step in what I hope becomes a bigger and better Stop Being Sweet community. If you’re in Portland, see you at the meetings!
October 09, 2013 • Comments (2)
It’s almost Halloween! That means I’ll soon be eating anything I want during my annual four days of sweetness. If you’re not familiar, I eat whatever sweets I want four days out of ever year—from Halloween until my birthday on November 3rd. The rest of the time I abstain from nearly all sugary junk foods.
After a close call with a cup of chocolate mousse at a garden party in late August, I’m ready to indulge. However, my desire to eat junk has lessened to the point where I would almost not mind skipping the sweets this year.
During my indulgence I plan to eat a pumpkin shaped Reese’s Peanut Butter cup or two, some kind of home-made chocolate baked goods, chocolate covered Digestive cookies, and ice cream. Other than that I don’t have anything on my must eat list. I do, however, have some exciting Stop Being Sweet stuff lined up.
Details to follow shorty…
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