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7 reasons not to suck the sugar ring pop

Have you seen the trailer for the animated film Inside Out? I thought it was hilarious. I have referred to the “voices in my head” countless times. Haven’t you? I saw the trailer for this film just one day before boarding a flight to Philadelphia from San Francisco. My husband, Joe and son Joey and I are visiting New Jersey together for the first time in four years. I miss our life in New Jersey and reminisce frequently, and I figured it was about time to remind myself why we moved to the other side of the country. My first reminder came on the flight over.

my yummy flight food

my yummy flight food

My internal dialogue or voices in my head can be very loud and intense sometimes. I’ll just admit it now. It was nuts on this particular flight. 

I’m listening from an observer standpoint to my internal dialogue as opposed to letting it consume me. I had to take a step back because I was beginning to feel overwhelmed. I’m on a jam-packed full flight to Philadelphia from San Francisco. It’s almost a five hour flight across America.  It’s peculiar to me how many children are on this flight. Just in front of me, there are two children under ten years old, as well as to the right, and even one behind me-and I’m only three rows from the back of the plane. I overheard a flight attendant requesting more apple juice to prepare for all of the children’s requests.

This is typical for me. These overwhelming thoughts and noisy internal dialogue. I almost opened my mouth; it was if the voices in my head had their hands prying open my lips with all of their might. I just took a deep breath and swallowed. I heard a calm voice interject, “Lana, not everyone wants to hear.” Really? This is just negative self-talk, right? But what if it could improve their lives? Screw it. I’m going to speak my truth.

photo credit: Frankie Foto

photo credit: Frankie Foto

In my head, I began a conversation with the woman next to me. You know those shiny, brightly colored “ring pops” that you just gave to your two sons? Those little things are eight times more addictive than cocaine, and arguably more detrimental to health. They curb immune system cells that attack bacteria, which I believe is the LAST thing you want to do while you’re traveling on this germ infested airplane. I’m sure their little bodies are strong, but why put them at any risk? These ring pops are causing a massive spike in blood sugar levels which leads to an insulin burst. The liver responds and turns the sugar into fat. Shortly after, when the liver dumps more sugar into the bloodstream and receptors in the brain become blocked; the result is drowsiness. The dopamine increases now and stimulates the pleasure centers in the brain, and voilà-addiction! This is the same way that heroin addiction works. This whole process drastically alters how the body feels and digests food. To lift the mood after this “crash” sugar craving beckons. Depression can surface when serotonin-the happy chemical, is depleted from excessive sugar consumption.   Sugar becomes acid in the body to a potentially lethal degree.  This is the statement that clarifies: “If it wasn’t for your body’s response, which is releasing massive amounts of calcium from your bones and teeth-to nullify the acid from one sugar cube, it would be enough to kill you!” The potential consequence here is osteoporosis…

I feel my blood boil when I see parents offering their children sugar. Anyone offering anyone sugar should be hung. Welcome to Lana’s world. Did I get your attention? That was a joke, my husband Joe blog sizechimed in and voiced that while I was re-reading aloud. But really. With this knowledge, there’s no reason to keep poisoning one another. This beautiful thing called the internet allows us to purchase a gazillion sugar-free delicious products. Joe likes to joke when we have dinner with friends and dessert is offered at the end. He slaps the veins in his arm, and says, “who wants to get high?” It’s a joke of course, but it can also be a powerful wake-up call. I’m so grateful for the conscious eating community that we’ve connected to in California, and am grateful everyday that we moved West!

We are amazed however, at the desire that we’re encountering here in South Jersey. There’s a strong desire for a shift in eating. A new tasty spot just opened up right on a busy street, and I’ll be writing about it next week. Greens and Grains has been our savior! Anyone can choose an apple over a ring pop any day. The kids will be saying thank you when they’re happy, healthy and fit. When is now the best time to just to decide, and commit?

disclaimer: these statements are not based on my (Lana Baumgartner) own scientific research
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