Oh, honey honey…you are my candy girl and you keep me wanting youuuuu
I always think of the film Now and Then when I hear that song. Oh, Devon Sawa…be still my 8 year old heart.
Speaking of sweet tooths. Today I want to talk to you about sugar.
Now, growing up, we weren’t given a lot of sweets. It just wasn’t the way we operated. My mom would break out the ice cream every once and a while, and seeing as we lived near a pretty famous ice cream shoppe, summers were filled with trips for sundaes. But Mom isn’t a baker, so her creations were usually of the savory kind.
Perhaps that’s why I grew up obsessed with sugary food. My overwhelming dosha personality is vata, so I love sweet, warming foods (hot chocolate is like my favorite thing of all time). If you read my ‘About Me’ posting, you’ll see that when high school hit, I was a sugar queen. I lived on Ben and Jerry’s, Cadbury Creme Eggs, Vanilla Coke Floats (vanilla ice cream, Vanilla Diet Coke, and ice. NOM). These treats gave great joy to my heart…not so much to my waistline. I went up about three sizes my freshman year, and remained a size 16 until sophomore year of college, when even that was too tight. I realized I needed to break my sugar addiction (and my mindless, emotional eating patterns).
Enter my first sugar alternative lover: Splenda!
Now, is Splenda good for you? NO. It was made in a lab. Also, sucralose actually kind of tastes gritty and with an odd aftertaste, so I tend to avoid it now. But back then? Oh man. I dumped that crap into everything. I would make cookies and substitute all the best ingredients with light ones, and of course the chemistry of the cookie would be completely off. But it was healthy, so I could eat nine of them, right?
It has gotten to the point where if I eat the kind of sugar levels I ate back when I was bigger, I actually can feel my hands start to shake! I function at my best when eating natural, whole foods. And carbs. Lots of carbs.
When I see bloggers eating a lot of sugar, or talking about how they addicted to sugar, I feel for them. It’s truly an addiction. When I go through periods of eating a lot of white sugar (see: this entire holiday season), I feel completely out of whack, and going for a workout feels unbearable. Of course, I always feel better afterwards, but during? Oh, boy.
Nowadays, I tend to be a bit more lax about my sugar restrictions. But when I went to NYC two summers ago I fell in love with Truvia, and that’s what I try to use in my daily life. Truvia is a sugar substitute made from the stevia plant. It’s all natural and extremely sweet, so one packet goes a long way.
In short, I say there is moderation for everything. I love Truvia because it sweetens my coffee/fruit/yogurt without a bad aftertaste, but suffice to say if at the end of the day I want a cookie, I won’t be slapping together a weird combination of protein powder, applesauce and oats (although I HAVE done that before for a breakfast cookie and it’s GOOD).
Coming up later, a post on buying in season and when it’s okay to break the rules. But first, one of my yoga teachers quoted the Bhagavad Gita the other day before a rockin’ power class and it’s been resonating with me ever since.
It is better to do one’s own dharma imperfectly than to do someone else’s perfectly.
Dharma is, in my opinion, the constant ebb and flow of energies that circle and envelop our lives. You can call it fate, or destiny, or purpose, or whatever the word may be. But to live your own dharma means to live the life you are best chosen to lead.