Engaging Each Day with Action Words

Sweeten. — In 1971, it was probably fine, but Charlie might think twice today.

on March 21, 2013

In the words of the prolific, Violet Beauregarde,  “What is this, a freak out!?” violet beauregarde

Well, maybe a little bit. Yes. Get ready. I’m about to ruin something for you.

I’m sorry in advance,  but I love you. And like any good, tough-lovin’-Momma would, I have to tell you….

 It is not the same factory anymore…

Sugar is not as sweet as you think it is.

There. I said it.

I am not a Doctor. I would not/could not/should not ever be a doctor. Ever. I’m not a researcher either, I’m just telling you what I have learned. And it is not about the calories or the weight gain or the rise of incidences of hypoglycemia or Type II Diabetes. But let me tell you about the moment when I decided that sugar is the devil in MommyVerbs terms. … Ready?

Last year, a longtime friend of a friend of a friend of mine was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.  She needed a PET scan to see where the cancer was. She was injected with a radioactive glucose (aka glow in the dark sugar). This sugar loves cancer and runs over to it as fast as it can and sets up camp with it.  In other words, this sugar tries to be the cancer cell’s BFF. Then the real Doctors come and take pictures of the neon green sugar-y cancer cells and let her know the results.

(Fast Forward some time and know that my longtime friend of a friend of a friend is doing extremely, wonderfully, well!)

But at the time, I was thinking, … Um. What? They use sug… sugar?…to find the cancer? So….. Sugar loves Cancer? And… Cancer feeds off of Sugar? Sounds like a match made in …hea…um…hell, actually.

And that is the exact moment when my family started to kick the refined white sugar to the curb.

We started with the soda. There is something like the equivalent of 22 packs of sugar in one can/glass of soda. As one new commercial says, “You wouldn’t drink 22 packets of sugar. Would you?” And we decided that we didn’t want to. Seemed like a bad idea to tear open little packets of sugar and throw ’em back. So we stopped buying the stuff and stopped bringing it into our house.

And then, out went the sugar-filled kid drinks that were in our refrigerator pretending to be ‘water.’ I started to notice that I wasn’t really seeing the highs and lows of emotion from Y that I once was. The kiddos were no longer getting all jacked up on sugar, only to come falling down around my ankles with tears and whining an hour later.

Then we started to pay attention to the amount of ADDED sugar on labels.  Yes, so many food companies add sugar to their products, just to make it a little sweeter. These food companies think we can’t take it, we won’t like it, we won’t buy it  unless it feeds our addiction to sweet.    Bread. Ketchup. Cereals. ‘Healthy’ granola bars. Peanut Butter. … the list goes on. We think if we avoid chocolate (Sorry Charlie) and candy and doughnuts, that we are avoiding sugar. But we need to get in the habit of looking closely at labels for added sugars.

“Little surprises around every corner, but nothing dangerous, ” said Gene Wilder as Willy.

Even the 5 year old, when negotiating for a snack food, will ask the question, “How many grams of sugar in this?”

Then we realized that sugar isn’t just sugar anymore. It has many aliases. More passports and fake identities than the evil spy, Slugworth.  slugworth Or … I don’t know…another fictional character who changes his name a lot.

Sugar… you might see it called corn syrup, dextrose, maltose, glucose or fructose. Sugar…by any other name is still pretty much … poison.

And then, there is the fake stuff…Aspartame, Saccharin, Sucralose.  If you really want to be grossed out, I mean really, really, make you nauseous, grossed out…google pictures of the little mice that have been fed aspartame over time. And for those of you who are about to do just that, let me warn you and apologize again.  On second thought, don’t go look. Just trust me on this. You can go ahead and throw out your Splenda …  now.

“We must remember there are many more important things, many more important things . . . off hand, I can’t think of what they are, but I’m sure there must be something.”

– Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory newscaster willy wonka

And then there is Stevia, Truvia, PureVia. The research is still undecided. But the decision makers, the food lobbyists, the FDA, seems to think that if it hasn’t been proven harmful, then it must be safe. Um. What? Shouldn’t we be focused on proving something is safe first?

“You should never, never doubt something that no one is sure of.”
-Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 

So, now we are very aware of sugar and are trying to get rid of it…one thing at a time. We are using some organic coconut sugar and some agave nectar right now for any kind of sweetening need, subject to learning more about those, too. We are making our own bread. We even made our own ketchup not too long ago.

And as I went into the grocery store last night to get an avacado so I could make my green smoothie that I love this morning, I was overwhelmed by the amount of Easter candy and chocolate bunnies that were all over the place. Next weekend, kiddos are going to come downstairs looking for their baskets of goodies. And I’m not saying that my kiddos won’t do the exact same thing. But I’m working a deal with the big bunny…there will be a lot less of the sugary stuff in there this year.

charlieBecause it is not the same as it was in 1971 when Charlie got the golden ticket and then inherited the factory. Sugar is just more dangerous now. The food industry has meddled with our food supply and it is different now. There are more toxins in our environment that make us sick. I don’t share any of this to scare you. But I thought you should know. There are a few things we can all do to be aware. To be healthier. To take back control of how we …. you knew it was coming…. EAT WELL. PLAY MORE. 

“If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it. Anything you want to, do it; want to change the world… there’s nothing to it.”


“We are the music makers… and we are the dreamers of dreams.” 

Let’s all, Go. Do that.

Images from Google Images

4 responses to “Sweeten. — In 1971, it was probably fine, but Charlie might think twice today.

  1. Jan says:

    Thanks for the enlightening post. We have come to the realization that all the pain C has been in could be from aspartame poisoning from chewing mass amounts of gum for months and months. Now she has stopped chewing and we are waiting to see if the pain stops.

  2. […] they search for Violet Beauregarde, they end up landing on a blog about how my family gave up […]

  3. […] You know how I feel about sugar. It is the devil. This game might be […]

  4. […] told you about it here in the MommyVerb: Sweeten. (Which, by the way, is still THE most-viewed MommyVerbs blog post ever for some […]

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