I think the word “Christmas” is a synonym for “sugar.” Strangers give it to you either directly or indirectly this time of year. Free candy canes are out at my gym; there’s a plate of cookies at the mechanic’s. You can’t even say the word without some form of sugar concoction appearing. Those sweet temptations show up everywhere and I’m already halfway down that road.
I dropped off some clothes at the local charity shop the other day. Drop-offs are taken at the back entrance that leads to a large volunteer room. As I was waiting for the receipt, I saw a woman eyeing a long table of cookies, brownies and assorted red and green coated baked goods. I was drooling. The temptation was so great it took willpower not to ask if I could have a morsel. I guess the volunteers saw the desperate look in my eyes and offered me something. Before I could even respond, I had stuffed a huge piece of peanut brittle into my mouth. I donate clothes. They donate sugar.
Sugar causes excess storage of fat. It triggers the body to produce insulin, which tells the fat cells to store more. I hate those fat cells. Sugar also creates an addictive cycle of hunger, fatigue and moodiness. This probably explains why I do most of my December writing in bed, in my favorite yoga pants. They magically expand in proportion to the amount of sugar I consume. Fat yoga pants. I eat a few less pieces of frosted gingerbread cake and they suddenly become smaller. I love those pants. They understand my moodiness this time of year.
As an optimist, I have hope. It takes just five days to kick the desire for sugar. But can I eliminate refined sugar in my diet for the next five days? Probably not. Studies show that foods to eat during your detox should be high in protein like hummus or pumpkin seeds. Who eats that stuff when there are peanut butter cookies with Hershey’s kisses in the middle? I’ve heard sour foods knock out a sugar craving. Right. Like I’m going to make sauerkraut with the turkey. Water is also a big anti-sugar aid. It fills you up and helps you lose weight. Okay, now I’m going back to bed with a big glass of water, wearing my yoga pants. And maybe I’ll grab a handful of those tiny chocolate covered pretzels that my daughter brought home from the office.