Sunday, February 27, 2011


I know I've gone on and on about how much I love candy and now cake and how wonderfully delicious it all is. But no matter how much I love it, I still have reservations about the ridiculously enormous amount I've been consuming as of late. For instance, on Saturday I ate roughly an entire bag of Dove chocolates. "I'm fueling up for my 17 miles tomorrow!" I joked. Not so much. Candy isn't exactly a slow burning carb that'll stick with you in your next workout.

I've tried a number of times to chill on the sugar-fests but to no real avail. Admittedly, I wasn't trying that hard. It was more like I'd have a few pieces in the morning when I got to work (you would really not believe the insane amount of candy we have there, I'm literally shocked any of us still have teeth) and then swear that'd be it for the day... But an hour or two later I'd be deciding between chocolate with caramel and chocolate with mint. I think part of my complete lack of success was due to that mental phenomenon that happens when you're told you can't have something: you just want it more.

So I read a while ago in a magazine article about diet tips that there was another way to look at situations like this. Instead of telling yourself you can't have something, the article suggested looking at other types of foods that you actually need to be eating and focus on getting those. So instead of saying "OMG I really really really want some delicious cheesecake but I can't have it" one could try "That does look mighty tasty, but I've only had one serving of fruit today... Maybe I should try an orange instead."

And I swear it totally worked. I had zero candy or cake today. Booyah! The real test will be tomorrow at work, but for now, booyah.

But wait! There's more! I think something else that's helpful for me to keep in mind is why I need to eat more fruits and veggies and whole grains and candy... I mean....Low fat dairy and lean protein. It all offers vitamins and minerals and antioxidants and phytochemicals that your body needs. It's not just some weirdo and debatable food guide the government made up on a whim, you really do need all the vitamins and everything else they say you do. And it turns out, you need the sugar, too. Your brain, just like the brain of a tiny little ant, runs exclusively on sugar. Yes, protein breaks down and all it's little amino acid parts make different funcitons happen, and healthy fats coat the neurons and cells, but sugar is what fuels it all. However, the source of all that sugar makes a big difference. The sugar from candy and other sweets gets used up really quickly (check out any little kid on Halloween) but the sugar in fruits is diluted with water and all the other nutrients in there so it's released more steadily and lasts longer. It's the same principle behind the whole "whole foods are better that processed foods" idea.

So anyway, there are all these foods out there that do all these amazing things for your body. Like seeds all have most of the amino acids (not to mention heart healthy fat, vitamins, and important trace minerals) which do all kinds of extremely important things like producing antibodies, transmitting signals in your brain, absorbing and using vitamins and minerals, and coordinating muscle function. Spinach has tons of vitamins and minerals including iron, vitamin C, and vitamin K which is essential for helping your blood clot (and if your blood can't clot, you could, theoretically, bleed to death from a minor cut). There's this cool website that lists all of the macro and micro nutrients, what their functions are, and what foods they can be found in (gummy candy is not listed anywhere). Reading about all of the functions really made an impression on me. I thought if I'm busy eating crap and not getting these nutrients, what could be going on inside my body? Are all the little cells freaking out because they aren't getting the things they need? I put my body through a ton of stress on a daily basis so right now I'm feeling really guilty for not feeding it properly. But I'm also looking forward to the possibility of feeling more awesome once this eating better ordeal is in full swing. This was just day one, but I'm feeling optimistic!

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