First with planning a Thanksgiving dinner for twenty,
then with recovering from such a large party,
but mostly with sugar.
There are foods we eat which give us power, then there are foods we eat which zap our power. Think Pac-Man: go for the big dots, avoid the ghosts. Sugar is a ghost, a haunted little power zapper. The more you eat, the more you want, the less power you have - both physical power and the power to resist eating more.
Since going Paleo, I've had no trouble resisting grains. I don't miss oatmeal or rice or pasta, and though I almost gave in to bread and butter on Thanksgiving, I was able to resist. My plate was full of turkey and veggies: power food. But the morning after, when I opened the refrigerator to get cream for my coffee, I could not resist a slice of nut pie, and then another. And when the pie was gone, I couldn't walk away from the bowl of almond brittle sitting on the counter. Don't even get me started on the pecan pumpkin cheesecake my neighbor brought over, which I washed down with a little something I like to call "apple pie in a glass": apple syrup, brandy, cinnamon, water, and ice. That was the climax of my power failure.
I spent the rest of the day in a funk. Not only did I lack the energy to get up and do anything, I was also consumed by a particular negative event which transpired at Thanksgiving. Rather than focusing on the 95% who enjoyed the evening, I was fixated on the 5% who left my house on a sour note. While I can't blame sugar for the unfortnate event, I'm tempted to blame sugar for my response to it. Sugar free Molly has better perspective and can see beyond the bumps in the road.
So I cleaned up my diet, got rid of the sugar, and all was well for a few days. Until the peppermint mocha incident. I sacrificed my power - and suffered a horrible night's sleep followed by an all day headache - for a cup of inferior milk, chocolate powder, and artificial mint syrup.
Why do we willingly chase down these sugary ghosts only to suffer at their hands? Yes, they taste good. But sugar free power feels so much better! I write this because we're on the eve of a sticky sweet season full of sugary indulgence. There will be cakes and cookies and chocolate covered nuts and minty confections. We will be tempted to give and receive such goodies as tokens of appreciation and symbols of affection, but at what price? Will we really enjoy the season if we're running on low or no power, living hand to mouth between sugar injections?
It's not just about the carbohydrates and calories. It's about exercising our personal power to make good decisions. It's about a holistic approach to our well being. Being powerful and feeling well are gifts we can give ourselves and others. May your plate runneth over with power food so you can energetically enjoy the month ahead, and if you run into an evil sugary ghost, turn around and sprint away. They'll consume you if you let them, nasty little suckers.