Saturday, November 28, 2015

What Can I Say?

If you came here looking for a sugar fix, you're in the wrong place.

If, however, you're  here to fix your sugar, then this is the place to be.

Much as I quit a two-pack-a-day cigarette habit cold turkey 30 years ago, so I quit a 75-teaspoons-of-sugar-a-day habit cold turkey about six weeks ago.

How's it going?

Well, let me not hold you in suspense.

I'll tell you later.

Friday, October 9, 2015

So Much: Explained

Honestly, I just don't know what took me so long. How could I have not known? I'm a smart fellow; at least I like to think so, although no doubt many would quibble.

But how could I honestly have gorged on so much sugar all my life and not known that it was completely unnatural, that human beings were just not designed to ingest so much of this potent chemical? I mean, would I feed my cat chocolate, put sugar in his milk, force-feed him gummy bears? Of course not! Most people would blanch at the thought—it would be animal cruelty!

So why was I so ready to do it to myself?

It's plainly something I had no control over. The mere fact that it's behaviour that is not only completely legal, but actually encouraged, is a quick explanation as to how this parlous state of affairs could have come to pass.

Again, I hate the idea that I'm coming across as some sort of "born-again" do-gooder who has miraculously "seen the light"—I hate that idea—but nevertheless, I feel the need to just slap up people I know, and point out to them this incredible truth which has never hidden itself. It was there all along—I just chose not to see it.

Think about it. Think how unnatural it is to even ingest one teaspoon of sugar per day. Just two thousand years ago, the chance than any human being alive at the time—anywhere on earth—had access to, let alone the privilege of eating any sugar at all, be it in a fruit, or an incredible cache of natural honey, was vanishingly small.

It must have been so rare to be able to eat sugar back then that one might have gone through decades without it. Yet that was the natural state of being.

Mind you, people were dying of rickets and other vitamin deficiencies like flies, so I'm definitely not advocating the Middle Ages Diet, but you see where I'm going here. Sugar ingestion is just not a natural state for human beings; we just weren't designed to ingest so much sugar.

If you think of sugar as being just another abundant chemical, which today it is, and then imagine ingesting forty teaspoons of salt per day, you can see how quickly you would be poisoned to death. Yet that is the amount of sugar that many, many human beings happily put away per day.

It's not hard at all. Two Cokes, two glasses of orange juice and a hearty pasta dinner and it's all over. Forty teaspoons of sugar.

Can you imagine drinking four cups of soy sauce per day?

I rest my case.

It is plain that sugar is a powerful, mind-altering chemical. Over time, the ingestion of sugar at the pace I was ingesting it would have stripped twenty layers of paint off a Soviet-era apartment block. I distinctly recall a hilarious experiment we children used to do: when we lost a tooth naturally, we would put it in a glass of Coke overnight to see how brown it would get. I kid you not—even at that age we understood the corrosive nature of sugar.

The world is slowly—very slowly—waking up to the corrosive nature this plague is having on it. Forget climate change. We're all going to go via diabetes-related illnesses.

Already, my old sugar ways are carving deep inroads in my lifestyle. While I'm a comparatively svelte 155 lbs. at age 57, looks are deceiving. Inside, my lifelong sugar bingeing has wrought incredible havoc.

Both my feet are completely numb due to diabetic neuropathy. On the walks I belatedly conduct as many times as I can, they feel like two bricks at the end of my legs.

This condition is irreversible. I will never feel my feet again. The doctors just shrug. They've seen this too many times before. This is normal to them.

It's definitely not normal to me.

Is it too late?

I don't know. I have cut my sugar consumption to a personal low. No more pasta, my favourite food, next to rice. Next to potatoes. Next to chocolate. All gone. All of it deleted, do not pass go, most certainly, go to jail.

The next teaspoon of sugar I ingest could just be my last; I just can't risk it any more.

It may be too late for people like me, who bought the massive food industry lies—abetted by our own government's so-called "dietary guidelines" of  the "low fat" way to health, while shamelessly encouraging the consumption of "healthy" carbohydrates, but maybe it's not too late for you.

I think a good measure of "how much is too much" would be: would I feed this to my cat? If the answer is no, then I don't think it's a good idea for you to be feeding it to yourself.

On Portion Recommendations for Diabetics

Since I'm quite obviously a Type-2 diabetic, I have to watch them carbohydrates. And I try. I haven't had any form of pasta, no potatoes, very little rice (a couple of days) and no bread, in about three months. That is a long time to be missing all my favourite food groups, but it's got to be done.

And it's great to to have the Web for all this great info on what to eat and what not to eat.

But some things are just absurd. Get this, from the San Francisco Examiner:

"As a member of the grains food group, pasta contains a significant amount of starch, a complex form of carbohydrate. One diabetic serving of pasta is 1/3 cup of cooked pasta, or the equivalent of 15 grams of carbohydrate. One serving of pasta also contains fiber, another complex carbohydrate which helps to control blood sugar. Whole-wheat pasta contains the most fiber: roughly 3 to 5 grams of fiber per serving."

Did you get that? 1/3 cup of cooked pasta. Imagine a cup. It's about as big as your fist—smaller if you're not a man. Now imagine a third of that. That's about an area the size of one quarter of one of those ramen bricks you use to make your instant ramen. About FOUR TABLESPOONS. Are they out of their fucking minds? WHY THE FUCK BOTHER?

That's like saying, eat as many green peas as you like, but try to limit it to about 35, or you can have mashed potatoes, but only three tablespoons.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Coke Sweat

I don't want this blog to turn into an anti-Coke screed, but hey, they're sure not helping their cause.

This is remarkably similar to the tobacco companies' dilemma a while back because really, what do you do to defend a product that essentially has not one redeeming quality?

Desperately trying to inject some fun into what is turning out to be a joyless narrative, Coke is standing itself up to be a target for parodies, mockery and abuse, and it deserves every single iota of it.

For decades now, Coca-Cola (I remind you, it has a hyphen!) and whatever its parent company is (someone should have mentioned the possibility of abortion, in the case of baby Coke) has slammed the public with relentless campaigns of meaningless, drivel-filled slogans (I Feel Coke?) and targeted-to-children strategies, all to peddle a heavily sugared medication—because that's what it is, an addictive drug that, I repeat, has not one redeeming quality.

So as long as Coke keeps shooting itself in the foot, I'll keep mentioning it here.

It is really, really hard to feel sorry for Coke and its beleaguered executives, knowing they will ultimately ride off into the sunset of retirement with multi-million-dollar severance packages, come what may.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

A Day in the Life (Death?)

I've figured out just what my sugar intake was on a very typical day in around 2012.

Please note that I am not exaggerating in any way. This is only typical, and probably actually is a minimization of my intake—I distinctly recall days when I positively binged, possibly ingesting more than half again this quantity, having given up alcohol, and believing I was entitled.

Wherever possible, these are images of the actual brands of the stuff I was ingesting. Each is followed by my estimates of how many teaspoons of pure white sugar they amounted to.

5 Casal Domingo .05% wine coolers at 25g of sugar each: Total: 20 tsp. white sugar

1 packet gummy treats, about 40g sugar:  Total: 10 tspwhite sugar

8 Leclerc Chocolate Raspberry Truffle cookies : Total: 28 tspwhite sugar (not counting carbs)

1 plate Spaghetti Bolognese (2 cups at 45g carbs/cup) :  Total: 22 tspwhite sugar

1 large slice Black Forest cake :  Total: 7 tspwhite sugar

GRAND TOTAL, ONE DAY: 87 tspwhite sugar

That looks like this, give or take a couple of cubes (I cobbled it together in Photoshop, but you get the picture):

That is one day.

If you even approach HALF this daily, you're in BIG TROUBLE, especially if you've been consuming sugar like this for decades, like I had.

What do you do to remedy this?

Slash all sugars and carbohydrates IMMEDIATELY.

Three months ago, I did, and now I estimate my daily sugar consumption looks like this:

Still too much, but better than the preceding.

It's never too late.

Hilarious Nostalgia

Can you imagine your world without sugar?

Cahsssssst your mind baaaaackkkk . . . to 1974 . . . .

Read the words:


If it was that in 1974, imagine what it must be now.

Here's a fun infographic. Donald Trump must be pleased about the Mexican part (the United States is FOURTH, Canada is SEVENTH):

Health Myths and Sugar

Fresh orange juice is much healthier for you