More Ninja, Less Cookie Monster



On the bus this morning, something occurred to me.

I just set my lunch down next to me. If I close my eyes and someone steals it, I can just forget this for today and go buy a sandwich.

I knew I was addicted before, but the fact of that rather pitiful fantasy made it crystal clear. I need pasta. I need bread. I need cookies. Yoda’s voice in my head says, “Like a junkie you are.”

Today is the first day of my detox. I’m going cold turkey on pretty much everything I love. Sugar, cookies, bread, pasta, rice are all gone from my diet for the next ten days. I’m following the Blood Sugar Solution 10 Day Detox by Dr. Mark Hyman. I’ve seen my father die of heart disease, my grandmother die of pancreatic cancer, and pretty much all of my family go on high blood pressure medication one by one. There’s just been something in the back of my head that has said, “You need to get a handle on this, soon. Or you’re not going to see your daughter grow up.”

I’m not huge. But I’ve always had a tummy. And I’ve had asthma since I was in first grade. The doctors blamed it on allergies to grass and mold, but whenever I finish a big meal it gets worse. I had my gall bladder removed in 2005, and the day after my surgery, the hospital gave me a plate of pot roast and mashed potatoes for dinner. Something about that made me scratch my head. Really? I don’t have to change my diet at all? “Nope,” they said, “you’re good to go.”

Leave it to a surgeon. I’m starting to think they just wanted a chance at my pancreas later.

So I did. I went back to the way I’d always eaten. Not horrible. I cooked a lot of good food. But I also ate a donut (or three) for breakfast some days. And I loved a soda in the morning.

A year ago, I quit that. Soda was easy to quit. I just upped my donut intake. Almost every day. Stopped for a while. “I’ll only have junk food on Saturdays.” Lasted three weeks.

The problem is, I was still eating copious amounts of pasta and bread. I never got the sugars out of my system. I never went cold turkey, so I was always a junkie.

You probably are too. Most of us are. Research has proven that sugar is 8 times more addictive than cocaine. Rats will pass up cocaine every time if there’s a dropper of sugar water next to it. Every time. Think about that. Every simple carbohydrate we eat feeds the monkey, and we never get it off our back for even a day or a week.

So, here’s my first day. Had a run this morning. Had a bitter smoothie. (I’ll be trying a different recipe tomorrow) and I’ve got a pretty tasty looking salad in the fridge for lunch. Tonight I’ll be cooking a cod and veggie curry. And hopefully tomorrow it’ll be a little bit easier to pass by Dunkin Donuts without taking a deep breath and trying not to smell what the pusher is cooking.

I’ll let you know how it goes. And hopefully I’ll make more art because I will no longer go into a food coma after dinner every night.

That’s the hope at least.


(photo credit Andres Nieto Porras)

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