My Sweet Crush, pt 4 – Above Temptation

arrogance.jpgRead My Sweet Crush, pt 3 – You Really Got A Hold On Me

I want to leave you,
don’t want to stay here,
don’t want to spend
another day here
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
you do me wrong now

At last!  I was free.  First, it was a cautious one month, then a hopeful two. Months three and four itched some but I tossed my head and pretended I didn’t care. Soon, months five through seven showed that I was caring less. I could actually exist for days without thinking of that sweet-tongue devil. I met the better sides of the sweet family: adventurous apples, delightful berries, lush grapes (with seeds, of course); the gentle giant, watermelon, who made no attempt to bully or overwhelm me. So many relatives that helped me to realize that there were actually good ones out there, that I shouldn’t let sugar turn me off from truly living.

Eighteen months later, I realized that I had forgotten all about sugar. My thoughts cleared and so did my skin. I began to drop what I had thought would never leave me – extra pounds. I also befriended water which helped to flush further evidence of sugar from me – for my liver and kidney fought me for a long time to let the sweet stuff go. Water helped them realize that they actually felt and performed better without that bondage. What a revelation! My energy soared. I slimmed down and began to look really good. Headaches? What were those? All that political rumbling in my stomach went away; no longer were people staring at me when the left side of my belly launched a volley of missiles, to which the right side felt duty-bound to answer. It was – dare I say it – grand. Yes, grand!

Then I went on vacation. Secure and a bit arrogant in my new-found liberty, I was above temptation, having kicked sugar to the curb. One evening, while dining in my new-found confidence, I met carbs.  Carbohydrates or carbs, for short, was more subtle than sugar. Even the name was sophisticated, hinting at things unknown, teasing and drawing me inexorably closer. So simple carbs seemed, yet so complex so many facets to that personality. Carbs invited me to know more, to learn to delve into the secret places, except the last name… I also didn’t know that Carbs was a twin…

Now, what living breathing person does not want to know more about a budding love interest?      (to be continued) /

Posted in 11. Noble November, 2016 | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My Sweet Crush, pt 3 – You Really Got a Hold on Me

sugar1Read My Sweet Crush, pt 2 – Love Blossoms

I don’t like you
But I love you
Seems that I’m always
Thinking of you
Oh, oh, oh,
You treat me badly
I love you madly
You’ve really got a hold on me

~ She and Him

The moment I dreaded – having to decide in truth whether our relationship was going places. Other than the doctor’s, I wasn’t really going anywhere and then, too, a hint of annoyance was creeping in because I was the only one suffering. Sugar was just fine. Yep, my sweet thing kept doing the sweet duty. As I lay in bed, one morning, squinting at the ceiling through the small slits that my headache allowed, I realized that Sugar didn’t look half as attractive as I had first thought. I was sick of the saccharine platitudes that I allowed to propel me in a pendulum of peaks and valleys. That, they say, is the beginning of the end, when the rose tint wears off the glasses or, in my case, when the sugar no longer hits the lips.

Having heard little rumblings from different people about proper eating and healthy sugars, I endeavored to try something new. I was willing to try almost anything at this point, including standing on my head, were it not aching so awfully.

It took eighteen months of false starts, break-ups, make-ups and re-pledges before I could see Sugar without experiencing a pang. In two words, Sugar “got old.” I was tired of feeling and looking less than my best, of headaches and yellow tongue. What was I doing, really – auditioning for a role as a sick patient?

After abstaining and ‘ritualizing’ for a while, I realized, one day, that Sugar no longer had a hold on me. She and Him, you’re on your own. I leave you to your song and your fate.

To be continued


Posted in 09. Sagacious September, 2016 | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

September 12 – National Day of Encouragement

How easy is it to give a compliment or an encouraging word? Some people give good vibes with ease; some find it rather difficult. Today, we shan’t explore the reasoencourage2ns for that tendency or we will need to dig into our childhood and past experiences that we have allowed to shape who we are. No, for today, let’s focus on doing good for someone.

Doing good starts from within, so put a smile on your face, say something wonderful to the next person you see and then move on to the next one. Outdo yourself. Try to think of something different to say to each person.

Oh my! Look at you go! Wow, you did that so well!

There are lots more great words sitting inside of you, just begging to be unleashed on someone; someone who may be dying a little, inside; someone who will cross your path, today. You never know but you may be the person who prevents a catastrophe.

Don’t wait for a return; just give your gift and move on to the next. You will find that your actions have helped to encourage you. GO! GO! GO!

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My Sweet Crush, pt.2 – Love Blossoms

Read My Sweet Crush; pt 1

I remember when I realized that my attraction to Sugar was growing.  I was falling hard; I couldn’t go a day without a little taste. Soon, that one taste burgeoned into two tastes, then six. Soon, I had to have Sugar even when I didn’t need that sweet strength. If I had a meeting with Salt, Sugar had to close it out. Sugar went with me everywhere. We became inseparable. I then did the one thing that I shouldnlove-sugar‘t have but wanted above all else – I committed myself to Sugar.

Ah, what bliss! Every quart of Baskin Robbins, every bit of barbecued wings, every pizza, every cookie was approved by Sugar and I joyfully relinquished control. It felt good not to think so much about things. Sure, I felt a little uncomfortable sometimes, in my stomach but that’s normal with every new relationship, I told myself. I just needed to let myself grow accustomed.

A few weeks into my saccharine bliss, I developed a really bad headache. Sugar convinced me that the pain came from neglect, so that’s why I felt so low. I hadn’t spent enough time with Sweetness that day.  Well, we couldn’t have that! I effusively apologized by picking up a box of oatmeal raisin cookies. The two bars of Cookies n Cream would surely help to appease my sweet love later that evening.

Strangely, my headache grew worse. A cup of tea with sugar didn’t help. As the pain ebbed and surged over the next three days, I began to notice other things, too. My joints began to ache, especially my knees and my back.  The blotchiness in my skin worsened and pimples abounded, bringing their friends with them. My stomach did not feel quite right but I listened mindlessly to superior Sugar – ah, such wisdom.

Then my sweet soured.

Nausea struck. (to be continued)

Posted in 09. Sagacious September, 2016 | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

My Sweet Crush

I actually thought that I had this under control. I had gone through the ringer and the withdrawal and now, eighteen months had passed. I was cured- right? My love affair had ended. I declared it with pride,

“I am no longer addicted to Sugar!”

Sugar had done a number on me for years. Protein was faithful and had been a wonderful friend but I threw him over for Sugar. My sweetie, I thought, was perfect. I was horribly mistaken; Sugar was mean. Sugar hurt me, messed with my mind, wore down my body, constantly gave me colds and the flu, and made me sad. I couldn’t remember the last time that I felt good with my sweet crush. My eyes were yellowing and dark circles sat under them like little boats bobbing on an unstable sea.

Now, though, I was free! Yeah! I could stand and speakcarbs-and-sugar with integrity, without having to give a disclaimer that went something like, “I’m still working on myself, so I can understand/overlook your faux pas.” No, this was much better. My stomach was flat, my skin was clearing and, thankfully, so was my mind. Life was grand.

Then, I met Carbs.

Carbs was waiting for me when I went on vacation. Carbs, don’t you know, is sugar’s fraternal twin. They usually run together but sometimes, each takes a turn hiding behind the other, so, most people don’t realize that there are two of them. I’m still trying to figure out which one treated me worse.  (to be continued)


Posted in 09. Sagacious September, 2016 | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Laughing all the Way


Excuse me! I command you to laugh, right now !
Why didn’t you laugh? Well? You’re probably staring at your screen and thinking, ‘yes, she has finally lost it’, though what ‘it’ is, we are not quite sure.

You’re probably also thinking that I didn’t give you a reason to laugh. Why do you need a reason? I’ve been thinking that I just do not laugh enough. Guess what? Neither do you. Let’s fix that. [On a side note, have you noticed that it’s difficult to keep your eyes wide open while you’re really guffawing?]

The interesting, healthy, factual thing is that laughter does so much for the body, soul and spirit. Not only does it relax muscles and ease tension and stress, it strengthens the immune system, strengthens the heart muscle and increases circulation. Plus, it burns about 40-50 calories. Why are we not laughing?

Suggestions to start laughter

1. Listen to a baby or infant laughing. You won’t be able to stop your own smile. Go on from there.

2. Grab your favorite silly movie or book. More than likely, it’s one from your childhood or younger adult years. Note: cartoons work, too.

3. Find your friends or family members who are not self-conscious or team up with the ones who are and just pledge to have a good, silly time. Play a game or three, too.

4. Search for funny clips on Youtube.

5. Reminisce about all the silly times in your past. Instead of simply smiling, release that laughter as your mind pans through scene after scene of embarrassing times. Don’t hold back. It’s time to let go of the weird feeling, anyway.

If none of those work, just start laughing and keep it up. Eventually, it will become real and you’ll also laugh at yourself for being so 38-donkey-laughsilly.

Now, the next time that I command you to laugh, you can do so, while thinking that I might really have lost it – or have I? Maybe, just maybe, I’ve found it. So will you.

Posted in 09. Sagacious September, 2016 | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Killing Us Sweetly

Be honest – what do you do if, while reading a food label, you see an ingredient like Butylated Hydroxytoluene? Most of us skip right over it. Why? We can’t pronounce it, we don’t know what it is, and we kind of dismiss it as “not being really harmful or ‘they’ wouldn’t put it in there.”

cerealWould your feelings change once I explain that Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) is a product that is not only in cereal but also used in jet fuel and embalming fluid?

Why, you wonder, would food manufacturers add toxins to food? Well, they know you trust them, they know you’re not going to research the ingredients, and they add a lot of sugar to develop that craving and addiction in you that makes you want that product at all costs. Forgive me but I can’t call it food.

Rule of thumb: If there are more than six ingredients in the product, run! If there are ingredients that force you to s-l-o-w-l-y pronounce them (and start over at least twice), run faster! If an ingredient is competing with the alphabet for length, run for dear life!

This brings me to sugar. Many of us are now more conscious of our sugar intake and we dutifully read our food labels. Unfortunately, many are still consuming a lot more sugar than we realize.

Here’s a test. The following is a list of ingredients from a brand of crackers. How many types of sugar can you find in the list?

Chocolate Chip Bars 
Granola (whole grain oats, brown sugar, crisp rice (rice flour, sugar, salt, malted barley extract), whole grain rolled wheat, soybean oil, dried coconut, whole wheat flour, sodium bicarbonate, soy lecithin, caramel color, nonfat dry milk), corn syrup, semisweet chocolate chips, brown rice crisp, sunflower oil, oligofructose, polydextrose, corn syrup solids, glycerin. Contains 2 percent or less of water, invert sugar, salt, molasses, sucralose, natural and artificial flavor, BHT, citric acid


Answer (sugars are capitalized)

Chocolate Chip Bars  Granola (whole grain oats, BROWN SUGAR, crisp rice (rice flour, SUGAR, salt, MALTED BARLEY EXTRACT), whole grain rolled wheat, soybean oil, dried coconut, whole wheat flour, sodium bicarbonate, soy lecithin, CARAMEL COLOR, nonfat dry milk), CORN SYRUP, semisweet chocolate chips, brown rice crisp, sunflower oil, OLIGOFRUCTOSE, POLYDEXTROSE, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, GLYCERIN. Contains 2 percent or less of water, INVERT SUGAR, salt, MOLASSES, SUCRALOSE (aka. Splenda), natural and artificial flavor, BHT, citric acid

sugar1As you can see, labels can advise you that there are 10 grams of sugar in your cracker, when in actuality, there can be 5 grams of “sugar”, plus 5 grams of “malt syrup,” 5 grams of “invert sugar” and 5 grams of “glucose”, plus others.  Sugar names, if you notice, are dispersed throughout the list because most of us stop reading by ingredient number five, anyway.

How many names of sugar do you know?

Some sugars are disguised with long, scientific sounding titles or given attractive, artistic substitutes. Regardless of the name, the thing that’s flowing into your cells by way of your blood is still sugar. Here’s the list:

  1. Agave nectar
  2. Agave syrup
  3. Barbados sugar
  4. Barley malt
  5. Beet sugar
  6. Blackstrap molasses
  7. Brown sugar
  8. Buttered syrup
  9. Cane juice
  10. Cane juice crystals
  11. Cane juice solids
  12. Cane sugar
  13. Caramel
  14. Carob syrup
  15. Castor sugar
  16. Confectioners’s sugar
  17. Corn syrup
  18. Corn syrup solids
  19. Crystalline fructose
  20. Date sugar
  21. Dehydrated fruit juice
  22. Demarara sugar
  23. Dextran
  24. Dextrin
  25. Dextrose
  26. Diastatic malt
  27. Diastase
  28. Ethyl maltol
  29. Evaporated cane juice
  30. Florida crystals
  31. Fructose
  32. Fruit juice
  33. Fruit juice concentrate
  34. Fruit juice crystals
  35. Galactose
  36. Glucose
  37. Glucose solids
  38. Golden syrup
  39. Grape sugar
  40. High fructose corn syrup
  41. Honey
  42. Icing sugar
  43. Invert sugar
  44. Lactose
  45. Malt syrup
  46. Maltodextrin
  47. Maltose
  48. Maple syrup
  49. Molasses
  50. Muscovado
  51. Organic raw sugar
  52. Panocha
  53. Raw sugar
  54. Refiner’s syrup
  55. Rice syrup
  56. Sorghum syrup
  57. Sucrose
  58. Treacle
  59. Turbinado
  60. Yellow sugar

If you have not been doing so, make an effort to lower your sugar intake. Begin to wean yourself, after a while. Yes, it will be difficult for some but the end result – improved health – will far outweigh the discomfort.


Posted in 04. Abundant April, 2016 | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment