Friday, 4 February 2011

Sugar high

Happy people make me cross but to be honest, so does almost everything tonight. It might have something to do with tiredness or eating too many cakes and chocolates.
Trying not to eat sweet things, I fail miserably. It's other people, m'lud. They offered me the sweet things. I began the day as I often do with healthful homemade Bircher muesli and black coffee. My lunch is a little less healthy: bacon and cheese omelette on rye toast - but acceptable. A little lacking in green stuff but I was too hungry to make green things. Another coffee.

The rot sets in when I go to see Marcia and Ali with their babies. Ali has bought cakes (brownies and drop scones). They're the real thing from a Chelsea bakery, so why not? I remember with uneasy guilt that last night I sampled supermarket toffee cake, coffee cake and pannetone with gusto. It was not my cake - I was just sharing it. And the red wine.

THEN I go to the office where I work sometimes and, for fuck's sake, chocolates galore. A pre-Valentine's day sampling session of champagne and chocolates is in full swing. They're not sharing the fizz but a variety of chocolates (all in pink boxes) are passed around. Having already eaten my healthful vegetarian sushi and with many hours to go, I tuck in.

Let there be no misunderstanding, I have no issue with food. I eat with good appetite and relish. My BMI is right in the middle of what is considered healthy, nor do I believe in diets. In fact, I sneer at diets although I do feel sorry for people with eating problems. Probably the best statistic I ever heard was this: in women who always watch what they eat, the biggest single source of calories is diet mayonnaise. Fuck dieting. You can quote me on that.

But here is my Achilles heel: sugar gives me thrush and I should not eat it. It's not an allergy or an intolerance. It just is. The thrush organism thrives on a high-sugar diet. If anyone thinks that it is easy to cut sugar out of your diet I DEFY YOU TO TRY IT FOR ANY LENGTH OF TIME (most particularly when the sugar of other people is all around). Even if you conquer the cravings you will almost certainly become a health food shop WEIRDO. You will have agonisingly dull conversations with other misfits who are similarly afflicted (or affected) about what you do and don't eat.

With the exception of dentistry and  STDs, mainly for their comedy, shock and sympathy-generating potential, I am too young to wish to discuss my health at parties. There's plenty of time for that. (According to Marcia, health problems and your grandchildren are her parents' social circle's main topics of conversation.)

The Scene:
Virgil and I in the kitchen the other day, eating Ben & Jerry's half-baked icecream out of the tub:

Virgil: But there must be some evolutionary reason or benefit for why people naturally like sweet things.

Harlot: No there isn't. In evolution we have only been eating processed sugar for about a hundred years. There is no evolutionary benefit at all. In fact, it's evolutionarily suicidal when you think about diabetes and how bad sugar is for us. But it's like salt: once you get a taste for it you get addicted. Sugar makes all the nice chemicals like endorphins and seratonins come out and then you get an energy rush followed by a low so you want to eat more sugar.

Virgil: I don't care. I like sugar.

Harlot: Bastard.

By the way, while I wrote this I refused a chocolate donut and accepted an apple. It wasn't a very good donut.

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