I was watching a program on PBS the other day that thought I’d better pay close attention to.
Brenda Watson was delivering her message of “HOPE.” I knew she was talking directly to me because she was discussing food.
Her message of “HOPE” was: High fiber, Omega 3s, Probiotics, Enzymes.
I “hoped” the tricycle-tire-sized cinnamon roll I was about to bite into had all of those in it.
Just as I was about to clamp my jaws into that luscious confection, she uttered something about “sugar being the root of all dietary evil.”
Not my sugar!
Then she launched into all the ills that we see doctors for — arthritis, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol … whatever you’re ailin’, trust the culprit to be sugar.
It took both hands to put that gigantic cinnamon roll back down onto the plate.
I instantly had a fleeting thought, “But isn’t cinnamon supposed to be good for you?”
It is, but not mixed with sugar. Just with honey.
Miz Brenda went on to explain just how sugar does its damage.
I really didn’t want to hear it, because I am a definite sugar junkie.
I like my mini-wheats frosted. I like my Little Debbie Swiss Cake rolls. I like to make a pan of fudge now and then. I like sugar in my coffee, but not in my tea, unless it’s iced tea.
As I watched the cinnamon roll slowly lose the heat that was keeping all that sugar frosting in a gently liquid state, I saw how as it cooled, the sugar hardened. Gads.
Was that what was happening to my body?
No wonder I was walking around here like the Tin Man from “The Wizard of Oz.” The sugar had hardened my joints.
The headaches I endured from time to time. Sugar headaches? Very likely.
Ear problems. Blurry vision.
I never paid much attention to the pain that sugar was causing me, because everything tasted so good.
Why have a bowl of fruit when I could have a Snickerdoodle?
Why bother cooking up some fresh veggies when I could pop a Twinkie in my mouth instead?
And what is the deal with salads?
If you think that regular lettuce is gonna be your high-fiber favorite, think again. It pales in comparison to spinach, which is the way to go. Or cabbage. Miz Brenda suggested sauerkraut or cole slaw, but spinach has got bucket loads more fiber than just plain ol’ lettuce.
I’ll tell you how I like to eat my spinach.
The way they make it in the South. Creamy cooked spinach in cheese, butter, onions … girl. Ever tried to eat a spinach salad? Like chewing through a sheet of construction paper.
I even tried to cook some spinach in a bit of olive oil once. I left it just a little too long and it dried up on me like seaweed. Which, according to Miz Brenda, is also good for you. You see someone comin’ outta the water at Tybee hollerin’, “Lookee here, Ma, I done got us some seaweed fer supper!”, keep movin on down to the Dairy Queen, cause that corndog is gonna be a lot better than that Tybee seaweed. Ew.
Miz Brenda had some breakfast items on display. Two eggs over easy and some bacon. A major no-no.
A steaming hot bowl of oatmeal was the better choice.
With brown sugar?
No, just plain or with some fruit.
How about a plate of grits?
They’re OK, just not with loads of butter.
Allrightee then, how ’bout drizzled with maple syrup?
Sorry, hon, that’s sugar.
OK, Miz Smarty Pants, what about French toast?
Only as long as the bread is whole grain. Not white.
With butter and powdered sugar?
Better with just a shake of cinnamon.
Or how about the way Hubs likes it, with butter, powdered sugar and maple syrup?
Sorry, he’ll be diggin’ himself an early grave.
OK, how about the way Sunnybuns likes it … with butter, brown sugar and maple syrup?
Give that boy a bowl of oatmeal.
Well, Miz Brenda, how would I rate if I ate an egg-white omelet with chopped peppers and onions, cooked it in a tablespoon of olive oil and had a slice of whole grain toast with no butter?
Perfect! Are you going to have any fruit with that?
Only if it comes on top of the cheesecake I’m having for dessert.