When was the last time you went a day without eating sugar?
Excluding the kind that gives life to a piece of fruit or attracts a bee to a flower, I think I have gone years with daily intake of some sort of processed sugar. It's in the obvious stuff like soda, ice cream, certain cereals, but it is also in the not so obvious stuff; bread, salsa, some hamburgers, and just about every juice you can buy. Now, this is plain for everyone to see. I'm not reporting any groundbreaking information or attempting to do so. I don't expect the last few sentences to be anything you haven't already read on a different blog or a health magazine you get for free because you subscribed to a celebrity gossip magazine.
Wait, wait. My worst fears are coming true. This post is going to sound preachy! oh man.
I may just delete it, or I may keep writing since I'm listening to the latest St. Vincent album and I'm feeling jazzed. Oh fuckshit! People are going to think I am being preachy because I mentioned a popular indie-rock artist casually in my writing... I should delete that bit too. Sun of a gun, this is becoming difficult. Perhaps if I push towards the point it will turn towards a picnic.
So, with that in mind, I have decided to try and not eat sugar or caffeine for the past few days. I started off doing a sort of vegan adventure and now I am solely slurping my smoothie/juice diet. It is quite a change for me. I always ate well and have a talented wife who cooks a variety of delicious meals all the time so I never concerned myself with my diet. Then, due to various circumstances, I started contemplating addiction in a new light. My thoughts ran the gamut: How can I be sympathetic to addicts? I have never been addicted to anything, and I don't see why they are. Addiction is not a choice. et cetera et cetera. I was just reading and witnessing addiction and processing the information through my sugar and caffeine fueled brain. Then a small bird landed on my shoulder and whispered in my ear. It said that certain products I was consuming daily are addictive. It also said that I have a chemical dependency to those items and they control me. Their grip has been marketed to be tight. Their lingering lure has been fed through my nostrils. Their processed pinch tickles a bit. I did not like what this bird was telling me.
Then, the anti-consumerist in me took hold. I freaked at the idea of some corporation pumping its product full of sugar and/or caffeine in order to lure more consumers (and teenage ones at that!) in and I was one of those consumers and they were luring me in and I needed to explode their headquarters from a helicopter. Then I took a deep breath.
Enjoyment. The hedonist in me whispered from a nearby hammock. Isn't the meaning of life to find enjoyment in all things? Your palette (which I always imagined was the flat bit of your tongue, is that right?) should be stimulated with the things you enjoy. Your body should dance to the music you enjoy. You should read the silly books about dragons you enjoy. What else is there in life?
It's a fair point.
But it didn't swing the scale in the dietary decision I made. And let me tell you, sugar and/or caffeine and/or gluten and/or the other things I haven't been eating have really messed my head up. My energy level is fine, my belly is fine, my dreams are crazy, but my head is constantly throbbing. I'm not a big headache guy. If my head starts to hurt, it's usually from dehydration or reading in the car. When I do have headaches, I just take a deep breath or get fresh air or pour a cup of coffee. However, when I have shunned coffee from my diet for the first time in 5 years or so, I am witnessing the effect it has on me. It is amazing. And while that headache throbs most hours and in two days when I am done with the juice diet, I am going to drink coffee again, it is empowering.
I control my body. Not that weird wizard on the starbucks cup. Not the keebler elf. and not Ben nor Jerry. Some day, when I am kicking back, living a life of leisure and have a basketball court in my yard I will stop drinking coffee. Or fuck it- maybe I won't. No- I will. Because the whole importance of all this is that these fucking drugs that are in my food that I eat all the time and my drinks that I drink all the time have potentially taken control of my thoughts. Now, today, without them, their lingering dying artifacts are gripping my temples as I try to flush them out with beet juice and banana pulp; they hold on tight. And that tight grip is throbbing. Its alright though. I remember being little and having a tooth hang on by a little sinewy string. It dangled from my mouth like a limp, useless corpse. It too broke free as will the caffeine and sugar fists. My head will not hurt tomorrow and my conscience will be pumped up.