Ugh, sometimes I really have a hard time with my world. When did Valentine’s Day become a week long extravaganza riddled with enough sugar to rot all the teeth in my neighborhood? My children have already received two “Valentine’s” each, Valentine’s Day is still four days away….god help me if these are pre-Valentine’s Day “valentines” or something. I use quotes because these are not homemade cards and hearts with sweet professions of friendship. These “valentines” are bags filled with
drugs candy. And not just a lollipop, each “valentine” held no less than 5 packages of candy?!
So, my kids are pretty awesome, they know I’m going to “edit” their Valentine’s booty and they don’t put up a fight. I laid out their treasure trove of cavity inducing sweetness and allowed them each to choose one (the rest will magically disappear). My elder child went for the Fun Dip and my younger, being the individual he is, grabbed the exact same thing. Now we have a mid-morning to late afternoon filled with finishing their own Valentines for friends, and I swear my kids are high. I’ve got music going as incentive to get out of your seat at any time and help your body burn that sugar, but the look in their eyes is CRAZY, like their brains are vibrating irregularly.
And at the same time, although I’m dripping with disapproval of this unhealthful not to mention wasteful custom, I’m wondering if my kids will feel their homemade cards with sweet sentiments and unique artwork measure up to plastic bags filled with pounds of candy?! The depths of parenting worry and guilt know no reason!
Now, to try and balance my toxic rant, I give you MY preferred way to get high with your Valentine, aptly named “Aztec Spirit” from Kris Carr’s latest book, I modified a few things, but here it tis:
3 cups nut milk
1/3 cup cacao
1 vanilla bean scraped or 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 shots espresso or strong coffee
2 TBS maple syrup (or stevia to taste)
3 kale leaves (stems removed)
Pinch of cayenne (optional although Kris says it’s a known aphrodisiac, so Happy Valentine’s Day to YOU)
Blend until smooth.
Grandmaster Flash might have been singing about another white substance, but for me it’s sugar. I’m a total addict. After an exceptionally indulgent month I’ve OD’d and need to give my body a break*.
Guess what the recommended daily allowance is for sugar?
That’s right, we have NO need for refined sugar.
What do we need? Glucose, which our bodies get from fruits and veggies. Since knowledge is power I’ve become well acquainted with the harmful effects of sugar but it’s still not stopping me from dipping into the cookie jar.
Back when I was a smoker I made a plan to quit – I enlisted the support of a nicotine patch and distraction techniques and I made some life changes, like no alcohol for a year (alcohol was my will-power destroyer).
With my sugar addiction I plan to follow the advice in this article. However, step one will be to play detective among my food choices, while cigarettes are pretty easy to identify and therefore avoid; sugar hides and can be trickier to thwart. It disguises itself under different names on labels, it can hide in foods until digestion – I know who you really are white rice, pasta and bread. Common culprits range from milk (even the nut varieties from the grocery store), to jarred pasta sauce and almost everything that comes from the middle parts of the grocery store.
*If I’m perfectly honest, I plan to further abuse this addiction until our end of summer/fall detox – spoken like a true addict, right?!!
P.S. For you sweet ones who were unaware of sugar’s addictive personality, here’s a little tidbit from Dr. Mark Hyman during an interview concerning sugar:
“One study out of France, presented at the 2007 annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, showed that when rats (who metabolize sugar much like we do) were given the choice between water sweetened with saccharin and intravenous cocaine, 94% chose the saccharin water. When the water was sweetened with sucrose (sugar), the same preference was observed—the rats overwhelmingly chose the sugar water. When the rats were offered larger doses of cocaine, it did not alter their preference for the saccharin or sugar water. Even rats addicted to cocaine, switched to sweetened water when given the choice. In other words, intense sweetness was more rewarding to the brain than cocaine.”
P.P.S. For more on sugar (and kids) check out Jamie Oliver’s Ted talk.