Gimme Some Sugar

Ahhh, the joy and pain of consuming sugar. I like to think of sugar as one of life’s necessary sweet rewards because after all life is full of much suffering, stress, toil and tribulation. I’m not a sugar nut. I’m not really big on desserts. Cakes, cookies and pies are not really my thing. My guilty pleasure is sugary soft drinks. I don’t gulp down soda all day, but I do drink it with my meals. It’s my beverage of choice. Modern day soft drinks are so bad because they contain one of the worst kinds of sugars on the market: high fructose corn syrup. Last year, I learned that these HFCS concoctions found in soft drinks may have toxins like arsenic or mercury in them. Well, people have been known to build up their defenses by ingesting small quantities of poison on a daily basis. Maybe it’s working for me.  I need the real deal. I need Sun Drop, Dr. Pepper or IBC’s black cherry. That cherry and cola mix found in Cherry Coke and Cherry Dr. P must have certainly been divinely inspired. Or how ’bout a real old fashioned Cherry Coke from a 50’s style diner? Pure effervescent bliss. But current popular opinion says I’m doing wrong by loving soda. It’s empty calories and too much sugar. Actually, it’s not really the sweetness that I desire. It is the sparkle of the “fruity” or cola-esque product. Some people will say: “well just get some flavored seltzer water”. No. Sorry, that’s no comparison. Diet soda won’t cut it either. Plus, diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners like aspartame and Splenda which have been known to promote cancer and a whole slew of other health disorders. I have even learned that artificial sweeteners can contribute to weight gain. Furthermore, the taste of diet soda is vile. I don’t see how people have acquiesced to what to me tastes like super sweet poison.

The fountain sodas complete with a skinny straw and ice are my favorite. I know that deep down inside it’s a comfort thing for me. Chalk it up to my South Node in Taurus. Taurus is a sign that is partial to la dolce vita. Taurus likes to indulge the senses to the max. I just want my decadent treats when I want them and I don’t want to have to worry about calories, carbs, fatty acids, extra pounds. See, I can’t just drop it like it’s hot. So what is a girl to do when she is trying to lose about 25 pounds? I could give up soda all entirely, but for me that is not realistic and it’s bound to have some terrible repercussions. I do not take too kindly to total restriction of my free will–especially when the restriction is self-imposed. Then there’s the sodium component. I know I have to cut down on that Na intake. Why does life have to have so many pitfalls? That’s right, Saturn rules this planet and he’s a mean mug. He is the chief party pooper, buzz killer, wet blanket. Soda is crack to me. It keeps calling me and calling me.

The health experts say, drink more water and lose water weight. Huh? Paradoxical statements like that just piss me off. Don’t do this, do that. Don’t eat this, eat that. Portion control, glycemic indices, eat red meat, don’t eat red meat. Eat raw meat, raw foods. Be a vegan and become an angry person–all the time. Gluten free. Eat only nuts, berries and tree bark. Don’t eat nuts, berries and tree bark. Now soy is bad for you and so is whole wheat I’m finding out. It’s now cool to not eat at all. You just breathe in your required caloric intake. Enough already! When did eating become so goddamn complicated?!! To be honest I can’t stand all of these dietary rules and maybe my holding on to soda is my way of rebelling. How can one be truly happy when the food industry is littered with land mines everywhere you step?

A few decades ago people could drink soda and not worry about putting on extra pounds and looking sloppy. I’m sure that Coca-Cola was more free-flowing than water from a spigot–probably coming in second only to alcohol. Back in the day no one was getting drunk off of designer bottled water. Voss anyone? It looks like a bottle for some kind of hair conditioner. Ugh! Prior to the Regan era, baked goods were bountiful and people ate them without guilt. People seemed happier and more vibrant. The lifestyle was different. I mean most people didn’t work jobs that required them to sit on their asses day in and day out and most people didn’t punish themselves at the gym for eating a cupcake.

So, I could make a compromise with my desire. Maybe I can keep my soda around as long as I cut out sugar and sodium everywhere else.  Probably in time, my soda junkie jones will fade away with my body being used to nothing but whole foods. But wait, I love coffee too–with just a little sugar not a lot. So soda stays, but I decrease the intake. Coffee stays, but I drink it only once a day. Hey I’m all for enjoying life. I’m no extremist and I’ll never be a total health food junkie. I’m conscious though. I understand what needs to be changed. I understand that I need to cut back. However, I also understand that everything should be done in moderation and for me that includes changing my dietary habits. One day at a time.

Maybe there is some good in sugar; the raw kind at least. If for nothing else, sugar brings smiles to a lot of faces. It can turn a frown upside down. When all else is falling apart, a sugary treat may be all you have to remind you of life’s sweeter side.

NAMASTE

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