Saturday, January 10, 2009

Is Book Club Bad For My Health?

I have two mottos:  "Sugar is the devil" and "The Devil made me do it".  The latter is the motto I turn to when I've succumbed to my addiction of sugar and I followed that motto throughout the holidays of 2008.  But on January 1st I went back to my no sugar diet (when I say no sugar I mean no refined, or added, sugar.  I don't count the sugar found naturally in fruits, milk, and veggies).  All was going well.  I felt well, dropped two of the three pounds I'd gained over the holidays, energy level was up, under-eye bags were down.  Excellent.

Then I went to book club.  Beforehand, I'd wondered if Dawn would there because she's the most tremendous baker and I knew she'd bring the most delectable of treats.....  wait!  I don't eat sugar; what could I be thinking?  I secretly hoped Dawn wouldn't find a babysitter.  But I like Dawn for more than just her cooking, so instead, I just hoped she'd have run out of time and not been able to make anything.  You see, I have little trouble passing up store bought goods and things like chips and dip, but homemade delights are my downfall.  I arrived at the hosts beautiful home to be greeted with a glass of wine, which I took, of course, because the wine is actually the real reason we have a book club.  Duh!  How much sugar is in a glass of wine, I wondered.  We all congregated around the kitchen island.  This is our standard arrangement as it provides the best access to everyone's conversations and of course we are cozied right up to the wine and food.  The island was filled with a dizzying display of the most tempting of treats.  Chocolate covered strawberries, bruschetta, cookies off all shapes and sizes, pita bread with hummus, cheeses, and salami.  Oh my!  It was a dazzling sight.  I didn't dare ask Dawn what she brought.  

I sipped my glass of wine and had a terrific laugh with the girls.  About an hour into the evening (and we had yet to discuss the book), I couldn't keep my eyes off of the chocolate covered strawberries.  It was all I could do to focus on Stacy and Kristina on the other side of the island rather than the beautiful combination of strawberries and chocolate that seemed to be in my direct line of vision.  They were calling to me and they were louder than the group of 15 tipsy girls surrounding me.  

I took one and savored its juicy sweetness.  It was a good choice because of the strawberry and it provided at least some nutritional value.  Right?  I had another.  Keleigh gave me the finger to eye gesture meaning, "I'm watching you".  I thought I'd give her a finger gesture in return, but I refrained.  How could I be touting the dangers of sugar and then eat it so unabashedly?  

After discussing the book for about two minutes, we moved to the living room and continued our girl fun, every now and then saying good-bye to a girl that couldn't "hang".  When about six of us were left, we moved back into the kitchen where the feeding frenzy began.  The six of us devoured more food in a matter of minutes than the whole group of 16 ate in the first two hours!  As I was the designated driver (hence the one glass of wine) I dropped off two friends, then went into my house with a plate of leftover cookies and chocolates, for the kids, of course, and took two aspirin to alleviate my annoying sugar headache. I wouldn't berate myself for falling off the wagon.  After all, the devil was back and he was the one that made me do it.

So, was it the glass of wine that set off a series of chemical reactions in my body leading me down a sugary path?  Was it the dazzling display of delicious deserts that lead to my destructive behavior?  Regardless of the reason, it confirmed in me that my sugar addiction still has a powerful hold on me.  

My good friend, Julie, is going sugar-free starting Monday, January 12th.  She's going to track her progress and let me know what she experiences.  She'll share her progress on this blog.  I'm excited and hopeful that she will see the benefits of a sugar-free diet just as I did. I'm sure she'll struggle but maybe with the two of us doing it together we'll be able to push each other along.  Wouldn't it be great to go longer than two weeks without sugar?  I've heard somewhere that it takes 21 days to change a habit.  Well, Julie, I'll be right there with you!  I know we can do it... at least until next book club. 

Other sugar related topics I'd like to blog are:  how much sugar we eat without realizing it; sugar substitutes; kids and sugar; how sugar actually hurts us.  Do you have any suggestions for future blogs I should consider writing?  Tell me!



Marlene Pellegrini said...

Cool blog E! I didn't realize you were on a sugar-free diet. I am curious on how you have incorporated this for your kids diets? For your next blog post, maybe you could do some tell us how much a glass of wine has for sugar - the difference between the sugar of a glass of red vs. a glass of white. I'll be reading if you'll be writing. :)

Kristina said...

Hi E, Great blog! I believe I see an authored book by you in the future. I am going to follow the blog and try to eliminate sugar from my diet and cut back on the sugar my kids eat as well. I've read all your blog entries and you bring up some valid points. Keep up the great work!

Dawn Cotner said...

thanks for mentioning me and I did bring a delightful concoction of grahm cracker crust with cocnut nuts and choclate! Sorry didn't know you were on and adventerous but torturous sugar free run! Best of luck maybe I can hunt down some sugsar free delights for next meeting.

Marla said...

I'd really like to hear your experiences with your kids, too. Mine think I am a witch when it comes to sugar - I cannot believe how much I have to vehemently battle my children and their sugar intake - I don't even buy it but it still ends up in our house. And why do children feel a meal is not complete without some kind of dessert? We only have dessert 1xweek and I think my children are considering contacting Child Protective Services on me because I am so mean. (Although, I did find out that by law I only have to provide them with milk and bread everyday - everything else is a priviledge - I also informed them of this) Alas, being a sugar free mom is also being a mean mom - I can live with that.

Elizabeth Hotaling said...

I'll be posting my no sugar nightmare with my kids in the next few days. If you become a follower of the blog, I believe it will notify you when new blogs are posted. I will tell you though that I've found that my kids consume WAY more sugar than I thought they did and it's WAY harder to curb them then I ever imagined. I wish I had the answer right now, but I don't. When I find it I would fully expect to become a millionaire shortly thereafter.... I'll keep trying though as the lottery isn't working in my favor...