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Marshmallows are probably my favourite. I can just pop them in two at once and in no time at all the whole bag can be gone, leaving nothing…
Marshmallows are probably my favourite. I can just pop them in two at once and in no time at all the whole bag can be gone, leaving nothing behind save a sugary dusting on my finger tips. Sometimes I do this thing with them and my wife tells me it’s one of the most disgusting habits I have. But to me it is perfection. I like to mash them between my (clean) fingers, squashing and stretching them until they become a sticky goo with a texture like liquid soap. That’s when they are at their best. Squish, squish, squish.
When I was a kid, living at home with my parents, my frugal father would drive me mad with this phrase he would say every time I spread Nutella on bread. He used to think it was so original, and it was fine the first few hundred times he said it — but after that it started to grind a little. He would wait until I was putting it in my mouth and then ask ‘do you like a little bit of bread with your chocolate spread?’ My mouth was always full at this point and by the time I had chewed enough to speak, the moment had been lost and my carefully rehearsed comeback would fall flat like buttered toast on an unswept floor.
Now, I don’t think I have a sweet tooth. When I’m lucky enough to be out for a meal, I always take a look at the cheeseboard before the dessert menu. Granted, that doesn’t mean I actually choose the cheeseboard, but I at least give a little more interest than most others at the table. I like to think it makes me look more cleverer and sophisticationed.
So this is what I’m going to try to do for Lent. I’m going to try to give up the sugar. Not just sweets or chocolate, but any kind of sugar outside that found naturally in fruit, vegetables and beer. No spoonful of brown in my coffee. No drizzle of syrup over my porridge. No jam on my toast.
I want to do this for two reasons. Firstly, there is the element of control. I just want to see if I can resist it for that long; to see just how strong my cravings will become. But secondly, I want to find out a little more about how much is in my food already.
Last year I got my first filling. In fact, I got three of them. All in the same week. I had never had any problems with my teeth before that — in fact, one of my previous dentists had told me that my teeth were so good that, without a drastic change in diet, I would probably never need a filling in my entire life.
We’re not with that dentist now.
Anyway, the unpleasant experience of having someone drill into my skull with a mosquito got me thinking about my diet. I might not have a typical sweet tooth, but I still tend to have a little spread out over a lot of things. And that little probably adds up.
We’re told that a lot of the calories we eat are hidden within other foods. Ketchup, for example, is basically sugar and salt which has been left in close proximity to a tomato for a couple of minutes before bottling. I do a lot of cooking from scratch, so I like to think that I already know what’s in my food.But I probably don’t. That’s why they are called ‘hidden’ calories. Either way, I want to know. Doing this might help.
So, this is the start of my experiment. Maybe it will work. But even if it doesn’t, I hope to learn a little bit about myself along the way.
Let it begin.