Thursday, November 15, 2012

Battle of the Bulge: Sugar and the Shakes

When walking about in the Jewish community, it becomes apparent that as a people, we are as much susceptible to the so-called "obesity epidemic" as is the rest of Americana.

And again, my concern is not about our "model" society, or thinking that "skinny = pretty" (it doesn't). It's about being healthy parents, setting an example for our healthy kids, so we can live fulfilling lives. Not all illnesses are preventable, but a good chunk of them are.

The temptations are terrible. The one business that continues to do well even in the economic downturn are eateries. Every supermarket is packed with the boxed and ready, bottled beverages and the like. Now there is some research to suggest that these pseudo-foods are actually addictive.

Rats, apparently, after being cut off from a sugar-rich meal plan, begin to get the shakes, and practically OD when they are given access to it again. If children are given sugary snacks, like drug addicts or alcoholics, they soon require larger "hits" to become satisfied.
But funnily enough, "real" food doesn't encourage that sort of escalation.
“We don’t abuse lettuce, turnips and oranges,” says Dr. Brownell, co-editor of the new book “Food and Addiction.” “But when a highly processed food is eaten, the body may go haywire. Nobody abuses corn as far as I know, but when you process it into Cheetos, what happens?”
When foods have been processed, companies add insane amounts of sugar (and salt, but that is not the point of this post, so moving on). Whatever one adds to their own food is never as bad as having been churned out from a factory. 

When I quit suspicious foods, it wasn't exactly easy, but the end result was a body programmed to crave only the natural. One is just satisfied, and feels great, after such nourishment.

But it doesn't happen overnight. One has to hop onto one level, get it down pat, for however long it takes, then move on. So to begin: Water. 

Only water. 

No soda. No juice. No chocolate milk. No "vitamin-infused" H20.


"Juice is healthy!" one may protest. Um, no, it isn't. Even if it says, "no sugar added," the sweetness is through the roof; it has been nuked to make it shelf-friendly for an indefinite amount of time, and because of a loophole in some sort of law there is ingredients in it the companies don't have to acknowledge.

Nothing "diet," either. That stuff is just plain terrifying. Shiver. 

And coffee? If one adds a packet of sugar, that's OK. But if Starbucks is sweetening it, no way. No whip cream either. That's just a miserable waste of fat.  

When my nephew asks for water, he it's because he's parched. When he asks for juice, he wants sweet. 

Sure, going strictly agua will be, initially, a killer. But humor me; stick with it for a month. Get a Brita or some such, since buying water unless it is nasty from the tap is kinda stupid, as there is no regulation whatsoever on bottled water; they could be getting it from anywhere (cities actually have the best water supply, so if in NYC, no need for Poland Spring). For a little extra taam add a squirt of juice from a lemon; it has great health benefits. 


Anonymous said...

Another great option is also seltzer. We used to be heavy soda drinkers, and then my parents gave us a soda stream seltzer-maker for a chanuka present. We still have three-year-old bottles of soda in our basement from when we bought in bulk, and then totally went off it. Seltzer with a squirt of lemon juice is our household beverage.

Princess Lea said...

In the end, it's more about the effervescent fizz than the sugar when it comes to the bubbly.

Impressive! Abstaining with temptation still in arm's reach! Perhaps they would make ideal rust removers after percolating all this time.

One of the first things I was desperate to restock A.S. (After Sandy) was lemons. It's my "Aaaaaah!" every morn.

wellspring said...

Don't you have in the USA natural juice which is rerally natural? Here in Israel you can buy apple juice and orange juice in metal cans, and they have no addditives whatsoever. Fruits only. Acdtually, they are fruit concentrates and you use them as such - that is, adding plenty of water.

Mighty Garnel Ironheart said...

Fruit juice is great. Just make it yourself with a blender, that's all.

Princess Lea said...

WS: In Israel the food quality is superior in general. Big difference between the cheese here and the cheeses there, you know what I'm sayin'?

I have found concentrates of more interesting varieties on Vitacost; a little bit mixed with seltzer was quite rejuvenating.

I just bought something called tart cherry concentrate that's supposed to help with bedtime (I'm starting to think Dr. Oz is making up stuff now).

MGI: I never have the heart to pulverize perfectly good whole fruits or vegetables. Then I just prefer to eat them as is.

Tovah11 said...

(I'm starting to think Dr. Oz is making up stuff now).

Yeah...I've gotten caught up in the Dr. Oz 'you gotta get this" craze, running to order something online.

I'm taking a sabbatical from him for now.

I don't know how people drink a whole bottle of soda. All I can drink is about 2 sips.

I don't want the Arizona water here, Brita or not. lol.

Princess Lea said...

I'm now buying cinnamon extract for my mother. She can't quit him just yet.

the gelt said...

there ARE some solid juices out there [solid as a comment on their quality, not their material state]. i love the blueprint juices for a quick day-long detox. gluten-free and kosher, to boot!

Princess Lea said...

Ooooh, they look to chic to drink!