God's Child, Our Joy

An adoptive family's journey in faith and life

Sugar Sugar

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Doing the right thing sucks.

Sorry to get so salty with my language. Eva is in her sixth month, and we are starting to incorporate “real” food into her diet. Right now it’s rice cereal, but soon it will be oatmeal, vegetables, fruit, etc. Then milk out of a real glass. Etc., etc. One thing that won’t be making that early list is soda. (or pop, or soda pop, or coke, or fizzy sugar drink, whatever you prefer)

It’s something that we decided a while ago. She’s still to young now for it anyway, but the reason it’s on my head now comes from a couple of reasons. In the span of three days I happened to read two articles about this topic. The first was a Newsweek article talking about the number of enriched foods we eat, all the foods with added sugar, etc. The other article was in Parents magazine talking about sugary drinks and limiting them.

The other reason I’m talking about this now, is it affects me. If Eva can’t drink a soda with dinner, what right do I have to do the same? Well, that’s not exactly right. It’s not a rights issue, rather a mixed message issue. If drinking a soda with dinner is bad for you, why do I do it? I picture myself walking into her room 10 years from now and there’s a 12 pack hidden underneath her bed, she’s got that glossy look after taking a hit of Pepsi and she looks at me and says “I learned it by watching you!”

This is your belly. This is your belly on Dew. Any questions?

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Note : I’m not going to get into a debate over sugar vs. high fructose corn syrup or any other sugar substitute. For this post I will refer to them all as sucrose.

There is a mob out there. They don’t get together in the traditional sense, maybe in message boards, but they are everywhere. You work with them, you have play dates with them, you see them in the grocery aisles (maybe checking out the organic fruits and vegetables), and sometimes they get elected mayor of New York*. They are the diet know-it-alls, and they will let you know what you are eating is wrong.

* The large soda ban is so ridiculous on so many levels. It infuriates so many people that it practically martyrs the soda, it has Jon Stewart pointing out the fact that the fine for the same amount of marijuana is less than the fine for the soda, and it is simple to beat. Today’s special, two 15 oz. sodas with a free 30 oz. cup!

The problem with the mob is twofold. They can be so annoying. Don’t tell me what to do! The other problem is that sometimes they are right. No one wants to admit to the annoying person that they are right.

What’s really annoying is when the mob tells you how great these healthy foods taste, and how crummy your food tastes. Now I get it! It’s easy for you to eat healthy because it tastes good to you. It’s hard for me because your healthy food makes me sad. This coming from the guy who wrote a post because he started eating salad like it was some sort of miracle.

Besides, look at this nugget I ran across in Parent Magazine this month :

A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology said tests showed that people who had a sweet tooth had a “sweeter” — kinder, more agreeable — personality.

See, my sweet tooth is just an indicator of my sweetness.

This isn’t about me though. This is about Eva. Sigh. Doing the right thing sucks.

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It makes sense to drop soda as an option. It has excessive sucrose, and the caffeine can’t be good for young kids. Fine, fine. They’ll just have to drink juice.

“You can’t do that”, the mob says

I know, I know. I’m not talking about those fake juices that are 10% juice (what makes up that other 90%? I don’t know, but I’d have to guess sugar, water, sugar water, and unicorn tears). These are the D movies that sit on the shelves at Blockbuster* trying to trick customers, like Transmorphers and Snakes on a Train.

* If you’re reading this post in the future (like say 3 months from now), Blockbuster was a store that rented DVDs to watch at home. Yeah, a store with actually employees, not a kiosk**. There was actually human interaction involved!

** If you’re reading this footnote in the future (say a year from now), we used to have to actually leave our homes to get a movie, instead of just streaming it. I know, there was a slight chance at human interaction while waiting in line!

The mob continues : “No, no. We are talking about all fruit juices.”

What?! Not my orange juice! Not my cranberry juice. Those aren’t fine? Apparently not. Doctors recommend limiting those juices to 6 ounces a day. I remember growing up, and we’d get a glass of juice for breakfast. Only, the juice glass was different than the milk glass, or water glass. Much smaller. I thought I was getting a kid’s size, so now that I’m no longer a kid, I drink a man sized glass of juice. Arh, arh, arh! I didn’t ever consider the sugar implications.

Fruit’s supposed to be good for you though. Why isn’t fruit juice?! What happens that if I squeeze an orange, only evilness comes out, and goodness stays behind (or as my mouth would claim, vice versa)?

Arg. This reminds me of what someone once told me. After seeing claims that this vitamin would give you the same amount of Vitamin C as an orange, they remarked, “Why not just eat the orange?” (You cannot sway me with this thing you call…logic)

Steph and I had this conversation a few years ago.

Me: What are we having for dessert?

Steph : Baked pears

Me : I asked what we’re having for dessert

Steph : The pears

Me : Fruit is not a dessert!

You can see I have a ways to go.

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Fine, fine. Fruit juice intake should be limited. Question though. What the heck does she drink? Coffee? (thinking…..) OK, that doesn’t work. You have to add sugar to coffee for it to be drinkable.

What do I drink? Tea?! Tea and I are like Big Bang Theory and I. Everyone I know loves it. I try it every couple of years, thinking that if everyone I know loves it, I should. Then I don’t.

I keep avoiding the right answer. What do you drink when it’s hot outside? What do you drink when you’ve played a ball game? What do you drink with dinner? What do you drink at the ballpark? What do you drink with breakfast? What do you drink when you’re judging American Idol? You could answer lemonade, beer, milk, orange juice and Coke. Or, you could answer one thing.

Water.

Sigh.

Water is the very definition of boring, but is does quench thirst. We need it to survive. I’ve already started to incorporate it into my everyday routine… and it hasn’t killed me.

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So, once the last two 12 packs of soda disappear at my house, the home soda ban goes into effect (I still maintain the right at restaurants and when visiting others). If I’m brave, I’ll do some before and after numbers and pictures (you know, the before picture where the light is slightly dimmer, the person is slouching and not smiling, and the after picture which is bright and smiley).

Until then, my soda and I will be sitting on the back porch, reminiscing about the good old times. Neither of us will talk of the upcoming separation, we’ll focus on how the other influenced us and how we’re better for having known each other. I’ll take my last sip as the sun sets on our last day, wipe away a tear, and hope that the sun comes up again.

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One thought on “Sugar Sugar

  1. Just remember that you can’t completely ban it (soda, juice, tea, etc.), especially when it comes to small children. I agree that you’re doing right by not letting her have a ton of sugary things but if you don’t let her have it ever, she will rebel and start taking hits of Dew when you’re not looking. So…….moderation. It’s always about moderation.

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