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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sugar Sugar

I heard on FISH radio a DJ say, “Christmas cookies—proof that the Keebler elves do not work for Santa Claus.” Yes that is correct. Nothing says the holidays like fresh baked goodies oozing in butter and sugar that remind you of your childhood or a Martha Stewart segment that you wished had been your childhood.

Like a Pavlovian experiment gone awry, every time it rained I turned on the oven and baked something. Four dozen Mexican wedding cakes, two dozen bell-shaped short bread cookies, five dozen gingerbread people, and tins of rum-balls—the spicy air filled our house and made me feel happy. I managed to make a couple dozen raw truffles for my vegan friends but that was the only sane choice I created. I did not eat any of the treats. I waited for Christmas Eve. As I did Thanksgiving, I promised myself no diet restrictions on the holiday.

Meanwhile, neighbors brought by homemade goodies of their own—cranberry bread, sugar cookies, fudge, almond bark, almond brittle. My cousin brought her famous walnut caramels. Boxes of See’s candies arrived from nowhere. Mom brought pies and I made German chocolate cake. One friend delivered a basket of fresh mushrooms—a touch of reason in a season gone mad with sugar.

So Christmas Eve came with out-of-state-relatives as well as local ones and a hot soup supper before Mass. Christmas Day sparkled with baked brie, roasted pig, olive bread, black beans, tables full of snacks and treats. The following days we shopped, ate in restaurants, ate pie before bed, and drank wine.

The sugar hit my system like a linebacker in the playoffs. By Tuesday, my hands shook, pimples popped-up everywhere, and headaches became a cascade of pulses throughout my waking hours. Oh sweet heavens, what did I do to myself?

I found the detox tea next to the green tea made myself a pot and drank. For the next two days, I sipped water then detox tea then water. Today, Thursday, I feel I can walk into the kitchen without sucking honey from the plastic bear’s head. Better but not well. From July 1st to December 24th, I removed sugar, flour, and most processed carbs from my diet. In four days, it seems I destroyed the progress that I made.

To top this all off, I gained three pounds in one week which makes a net loss/gain of zero for the month of December. All for sugar, sugar.

I have learned my lesson. Next year I will only make raw truffles if I make anything at all. Homemade will include something not baked but crafted or sewn. Better yet, I will give oranges, apples or a fresh pineapple. I will not eat myself ill.