This is a short post this week because of Halloween, the World Series, the U.S. election craziness . . .
> Our phrase of the week: Never quit.
> Our DIY project was of course, homemade gummy candy (as described in last week’s Post-Hump Day Post), with our assorted silicone moulds, including LEGO minifigs and robots. So happy to see that the Boy found a project that he was all gung-ho about, from start to finish, all by himself.
> We ate homemade gummies, including vegan ones made with agar agar (a gelatin substitute derived from seaweed).
> We were thrilled to read of this happy ending to the story of the lost dog, as mentioned last week. But what does this say about humanity? One generous human being makes a personal sacrifice to make a stranger happy, and on the flip side, a family decides to do what most of us would consider to be “the right thing”, but only if they can make some quick bucks off the situation. Then Expedia and kind strangers step in to fund the generous person. My faith in humanity is riding a roller coaster right now.
> We learned what can happen if your child moves out of the booster seat too soon (so if your child is still too short or not heavy enough, don’t give in, no matter how much they beg to grow up and out of the seat!) > And finally, we found this great web site about a fantastic award for eager, constantly learning, constantly achieving teens like the Girl, who just want to keep doing and going. Not crazy about the Royals connection, but oh well . . .
I’m more than halfway through, and in the past few days, have realised just how absolutely we are inundated with sugary temptations in our daily shopping. Of course, I’m sure that we’ve all seen the options for impulse-buying at the check-out counter. They’re all the same, whether they’re from mom-and-pop convenience stores or large chains: about 90% of these offerings are sugary treats. Chocolate bars. Gummy candies. Fudge. Lollipops. Cookies and snack cakes. New “bite-sized” versions of all of the above. Coolers offering more pop than juice or milk.
I guess I never really took a close look at how easily accessible these snacks are to us all. I mean, I was never the type to automatically reach out and buy junk food at the check-out counter, but I could have. The idea that anybody (including kids, at whose eye-level so much of this is targetted) with as little as $1.50 in their pocket could easily fill up on a small packet of sugar and fat, is scary. So okay, I get it now: With last week’s report that almost 75% of Ontarians are overweight or obese, we have to realise that a huge factor contributing to this has to be the easy availability of the cheap, quick, sugary pick-me-up ready at our fingertips at the end of every shopping trip.
The good news is, I was only artificially tempted by all of those snacks at check-out this week. I didn’t feel a hunger for them like I would have, two weeks ago. I mean, I know that I will still from time to time be tempted in the future by a candy bar at the counter, but I’m seeing it all with a more watchful eye now.
What started off as a conversation with the Beloved Husband about the Boy consuming cotton candy at the fair (too much of it, in BH’s opinion) has resulted in me getting the short end of the stick. Now, I’m off sugar for a month, in a friendly bet. In brief, this is what our conversation sounded like (not for the first time):
BH: He eats too many sweets. So do you.
Me: No, we don’t.
BH: Yes, you do. You’re addicted.
Me: No, I don’t even have dessert every day, like a lot of people do. I just like my snacks sweet. Some people like salty stuff.
BH: But you hide sweets all over the house.
Me: That’s because you give me this conversation about being addicted. Which I’m not, by the way.
BH: Well, I bet you couldn’t go a month without eating something sweet. No desserts, no candy, no sweets of any kind.
Me: Oh yeah? You’re on!
. . .
Sigh. So now, I think I might have backed myself into a corner which will make the next 27 days very tough. I mean, I’m sure that I can only come out of this for the better. Still . . . I feel a sense of loss. Though I still don’t believe that I’m “addicted” (I haven’t gone through withdrawal symptoms like the headaches described by some people who go off sugar), maybe I am immediately trying to replace sugar with something else, to fill the void. And possibly, I’m going through some of the stages of grief for my loss. BH would say that I’m already at Denial and Bargaining (see below). And I’m sure the Anger and Despair will set in pretty soon. If I can just get through to the Acceptance stage fairly early on, then I’m sure the rest of the way will be a piece of cake (oops, Freudian slip).
Day 1 was especially hard, because all I could see around me on the streets were people eating sweets. It’s unbelievable how many foods-on-the-run are sweets: ice cream, cookies, a chocolate bar, a stick of licorice, or a handful of M&Ms. Where were all the hot dogs and turkey drumsticks?
On Day 2, I honestly think I had a dream about eating something sweet.
On Day 3, while grocery shopping, I was shocked to see that an entire aisle was filled with nothing but sweet snacks of some kind. I had never skipped that aisle before today.
Now entering Day 4, I’m hoping that the Boy will at least want to follow my own good example and join me on my sugar-free journey. (I don’t worry about the Girl–she never whines and begs for anything, least of all, sweets.) I wouldn’t expect him to be as strict on the plan as I will be; still, misery does love company.
Stay tuned, to see if I can come out of this a better person, or will simply end up curled in a ball, stuffing my face with gummy candies.
. . . . . . . . .
BH thinks that the fact that I’m bargaining at all is a sign that I’m addicted; I’m just setting the parameters, so that when I win this bet, he can’t call it on a technicality. So, these are some of the terms that we’ve set out so far (which amendments and more negotiations to follow, I’m sure):
fruit, unprocessed (already consume lots every day)
juices, pure—no “beverages”, “cocktails” or other “partial juices” (already follow this rule anyway)
pops that are “diet”—i.e. containing no sugar, but Aspartame or Sucralose is all right (don’t drink a lot anyway)
reasonable amounts in tea or coffee (which I don’t drink every day)
reasonable amounts in regular cooking (but no cooking or baking of desserts, of course)
muffins—healthy, fibre-filled/fruit-based only
pancakes or waffles are fine, but only without maple syrup on top (that’s okay—I have a great recipe for cheese waffles)
gum—they contain only minuscule amounts of sugar, if you can even find any that contain real sugar compared to the artificial stuff
cookies, cakes, pastries, etc. (even homemade “healthier” versions)
chocolate and chocolate bars
any dessert that has added sugar
pops that have sugar
sweet teas and coffees (example: a regular coffee is fine, but a Tim Horton’s Ice Cap is a no-no)
For the past few months, the Boy has had it in his mind that he’d like to make a piñata (which I think he kept calling a “petunia” for the first little while). He must have seen it on t.v. and asked me what it was. When I explained about papier mâché, and that a piñata was basically a vehicle for candy, his eyes lit up; you could practically hear the little voice in his head say, “You had me at ‘candy’.”
So, with this and that coming up, and general heat-induced sluggishness (and okay, I admit it: I dislike the messiness of papier mâché), we had been putting off the project for a while. But today, we finally got around to it.
And all that talk about candy? Disappeared out the window. Within a few short minutes, the Boy declared how much he loved doing papier mâché, and how getting his hands messy and putting on the hundreds of strips of paper made him happy. He was simply content with the process, and not just the end result of having heaven candy rain down upon him.
I like that. Once the papier mâchéd balloon dries and we paint it up, I’m hoping—though it’s not likely—that just that will be enough to satisfy him.