Yesterday was my birthday. I did nothing out of the ordinary. No party or gifts. No junk food frenzy. No balloons. I reminded Jack again today that he still owes me his promised “birthday drawing”, which he’s quickly losing steam over. But I did give myself the gift of one special book.
Read on. You’ll get to it. :)
Jack: Oh Mom! My project “the Scream” got picked to go in the school display case! (they did an Edward Munch project, which I cannot wait to see!) You can have that as your birthday present! (he just found the easy way out of THAT gift, but I’ll take it.)
me: Hey thanks. When do I get it? Next year?
Jack: Um, I don’t know, in a few days or weeks? Something to look forward to for YOUR birthday.
He points at me and winks. Sheesh.
Back to yesterday. We went to a trampoline bouncy gym kind of place. We played outside. We went shopping. Nothing exciting.
However, while we we were shopping Jack asked if he could go to the book section and just hang out. I said it was okay. Then, when I was done with my groceries I headed over to find him. That’s when I saw THE book. “Year of No Sugar”. By Eve (Something.) I’m too lazy to get up and check. I worked out TWICE today people! Ahem.
The book jumped off the shelf mainly because it had the word Sugar in the title haha! And someone was what? Deciding to not eat sugar for an entire year? Plus it was a memoir, which is something I LOOOOOVVVVVVVE to read. Maybe I’ll write one someday. Sighhhhh…
So anyway, this book is about the disastrous amounts of fructose that companies have pumped into all of our foods in the last 30 years or so, and how bad it is for our bodies and ultimately our health. The forward by David Gillespie, author of Sweet Poison, had me hooked. HOOKED I tells ya. Anyway, I’m halfway through and chugging along like a maniac. It’s really an eye opener.
The first thing I thought when I picked the book up and put it into my cart was “uh oh, I’m probably going to do this too”. As in, cut out most if not all of the added sugar in my foods. Natural sugars = okay. Added sugars = poison. I’ve already eliminated if not all, at least 99.9% of the HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) from my home. We simply won’t buy anything that has that ingredient listed. And then I’ve become skeptical about fructose and corn syrup, etc etc. Which is why, when I started flipping through the book, I realized just how ignorant I’ve been.
I brought the book home and Jack saw it laying there on the counter.
Jack: What’s that?? (wary look)
me: A new book that’s going to teach me how evil sugar is for us.
Jack: Why is it the year of no sugar? Are you going to MAKE US DO THAT???
me: Maybe. Baby steps of course, but we can start to –
Jack: (cuts me off) YOU’RE GOING TO RUIN MY LIFE??
me: Hey calm down, I didn’t even finish my sentence.
Jack: So you’re doing this!??
me: I think we should take a look at labels more closely and eliminate lots of junk food that we eat without thinking…
(Really, I didn’t think we were TOO too bad, as I generally don’t buy too many sweets or let Jack drink soda and things like that…)
me: Go get ready for bed and then we can read for awhile.
Jack got showered, brushed his teeth, flossed, and got into some clean clothes. He then noticed that I came up to his room, ready to read, carrying the Devil Book: Year of No Sugar.
Jack: Why are you reading that?? Because some crap scientist is telling you that all the stuff we love is bad for you, now you’re gonna believe him??
me: Hey, chill out! First of all, it never hurts to educate yourself on things that you don’t understand. So I’m trying to learn and maybe eliminate some of the bad things that we eat.
Jack: Like all of the FUN stuff?? My friends all eat junk food, why can’t I??? (Here is where he actually starts to cry and ramp it up a bit. Ugh.)
me: Why are you crying about a book that I’m only just starting to read? (Inside I’m kind of chuckling. He’s SO on to me…)
Jack: Why don’t you believe all the people that SAID THAT SUGAR IS GOOD FOR US!!?? WWWAAAAAHHHHHHHH! (full blown crying here)
me: Jack, come on! Relax! It’s okay! Right now we don’t eat most of the stuff that’s bad for us and we’re just going to read the labels better is all I’m saying. I’m not making you eat plain oatmeal for 3 meals a day, geez!
Jack: What are we gonna eat then… Gasp…SOYBEANS????!!!
me: Ha ha, nooo, well, maybe sometimes, but not —
Jack: What am I gonna eat at school. They have fructose in EVERYTHING!
me: I’ll start making your lunches again. (I hadn’t thought of what might be hiding in all of those pasta, chicken nugget, grilled cheese and hot dog lunches, AHHH!)
Jack: Wait, I can’t buy lunch any more? I have to bring my own?? I’m gonna be a loser??!! All my friends eat junk food and crap!
me: Well I won’t let you eat junk food and crap. That rule is not changing mister.
Jack: Well this is a dumb idea! (sniffling and snorting follow)
me: Calm down please and wipe your eyes. It’s just a BOOK. We’ll talk about anything I decide to do first, so nothing will be a surprise to you. Plus, think of your Tree Nut allergy. It probably happened because I ate some food that had bad things in it and then when you were in my tummy, those bad things affected you and gave you your allergy. We don’t really know, but eating bad things just isn’t good!
Jack: Well, I already have the stupid allergy so there’s no point in changing what we eat now.
me: If we eat healthier now, we’ll make our bodies better in the years to come. I don’t want to come down with some bad disease when I’m older just because I wanted to eat a bunch of chemicals in my food now. I’d rather us get used to eating better and it will make us feel better and then the junk food will MAKE us feel sick and we won’t even want it any more. Our bodies are good that way.
He starts to calm down and then gets ready to read his book. He tucks his feet up onto the bed and notices a blister that had formed on his foot. Naturally he picks at it until the skin comes off and I anticipate what he might do next.
me: Jack do NOT flick that onto the floor. Throw it away.
Jack: I might as well eat it, because it’s NATURAL!! (He literally eats his blister skin. Ugh.)
Then we both crack up into fits of laughter. His face is all red and puffy from crying, so it makes it even funnier.
me: You just ate a blister. Come on Jack. Seriously.
Jack: It’s better than soybeans and it DOESN’T CONTAIN FRUCTOSE!
We laugh some more. And then we read our books for awhile and let the subject drop. This morning I let Jack have his Honey Nut Cheerios for breakfast, knowing that once the current load of food has been eaten, I will be slowly replacing it with sugarless or LESS sugared versions. (insert evil laughter here)
[[Side bar... We had JUST gone shopping the other day and bought some Milano cookies. MMMMMmmmmmmm. The dark chocolate kind. Jack and I had a few each night as a treat. I knew there were about 4 or 5 left in the bag. Plus, I had some kettle corn that I had gotten from the Big E (read my last post...), which surely contains sugar (and salt and that heavenly smokey flavor known only to corn popped in oil in a KETTLE!) Gasp. I also knew that once I started reading this book I would be HORRIFIED by the fructose evil ingredient and the disgusting things it does to our bodies and I would NOT want to eat any more of the evil sweets. Therefore I sat down with my kettle corn to enjoy a few handfuls WHILE I continued to read the book. And then...I ate all of the Milanos. There. I confessed. I kinda feel better. Thanks for listening.]]
I didn’t want Jack to suffer from the evil sugar! I SPARED him!!!
Today when I got Jack from the bus, I asked what he had for lunch.
Jack: Today I had a hot dog!
me: Just one?
Jack: Yeah I was full from all the “snacks” you packed me. (He somehow air-quoted this word with only the tone of his voice. I had packed an apple, grapes, ham slices and a yogurt.) Plus I had milk and some goldfish.
me: No veggies?
Jack: No veggies. But guess what? The skim milk they have is 12 grams of sugar! I’m not getting it any more. I can just drink water.
me: Wow, Good choice!
Tonight, Jack’s before bed snack was plain Cheerios with blueberries and unsweetened Almond Milk. Hmmm, maybe this will be easier than I thought? Stay tuned!