Food attitudes.

A food post for my group ‘Totally open minded keto’.

Sugar…..the non-treat ‘treat’ and the the sweet addiction.

First, a quick note to readers ; especially those on Facebook.     When i retired from nursing i determined that what i would do was both go off sailing for a while and write about the experience in my sailing blog , along with that i would create video ‘films’ about the places and the sailing.       Last year i didn’t do any filming on the boat because of some technical problems but i took lots of photographs and did lots of writing.  As well as writing blog posts i started on my small boat book project and as of this winter i’m about half way through that.

Why i mention writing and blogging is that it’s a bit unusual to see a writing and photography blog in the era of you-tube when it’s so relatively easy to pump out video and tell stories in that manner.  Some say that the internet and Youtube is the modern version of the Gutenberg press….that it brings mass information and mass communication but also that it pushes writing to one side ; in one sense that it makes writing slightly obsolete.  My written posts are quite long , some of the groups that i post my material on have got used to that although others just can’t handle long-form posts : it’s almost as if there is a short attention span endemic to platforms like Facebook.

There might well be a natural limit of post size/word count for general Facebook posts beyond which people are just going to lose interest.  With the sailing groups they seem ok with posts up to about 2,500 words but that seems to be a lot less with other groups ; the hikers for example and at the bottom end of the feeding chain seem to be the canoeists and bushcraft crowd who can neither deal with long posts or anything that’s remotely not to do with talking about a new canoe, new knife etc !.

For this group i want to see how far i can maintain any interest in long-form writing as a means of putting ideas across or whether for example it would be a better use of time to go out to the workshop and film it all.  Today then i’m going to talk about one of the aspects of food attitude that i grew up with and which suddenly ‘turned sour’ a few months ago……grab a coffee and settle in……

So, i was a bit of a fat kid until i had a huge growth ‘spurt’ (fnarr) in my teens….for a few years my ideal role in life would have been a hospital drip-stand !.     I grew up in a small market town and on a fairly traditional ‘country’ diet for the time.  Most meals had meat and vegetables and nearly all main meals had a sweet ‘pudding’ to finish ; things such as apple crumble come to mind….and does anyone remember Angel delight ?…well, my mum used to make an amazing dessert with chopped up apple, digestive biscuits and butterscotch Angel delight all in a tall glass like a modern Latte glass.  I can still salivate when i think of that one .

We would occasionally have fish and chips and it was often my job to walk up to the chippie and bring that home, all hot and wrapped up in greaseproof paper….still hot in my hands.  I know , because i remember, that we didn’t have a Chinese takeaway until we moved to the city and i’m pretty sure that i hadn’t eaten Pizza or had a curry until i left home !.  What i had, disastrously i think, was an attitude to sweet food that it was both normal and a treat, rather than a treat staying as an occasional thing it became an all the time thing ; a standard diet if you will.

I don’t know if this was a sugar addiction or more simply a long term sugar habituation , it’s something that iv’e been reading up on a lot recently and it does seem that sugar does act on the same Dopamine receptors and Cocaine does….it’s that addictive and gives a similar ‘hit’ and it’s even likely that some people need a higher ‘dose’ and an increasing dose to get the same effect.  I think that this was something that was happening to me progressively over the last few years and i’d like to give a quick example.

One of our regular ‘treats’ is to go out, usually on a Sunday, and have coffee and cake in town ; a regular venue is Costa in Tavistock or when sailing it would be whatever local cafe and patisserie we could find.  In Costa i would always have one particular cake but recently i really noticed that ‘one isn’t enough’ and i was craving another one.  Just to say that i never actually did that but it was one of the major points that made me realise that i possibly had a sugar craving/addiction or habituation which was slowly losing it’s dose response and losing it’s ‘kick’.

This week in food week i’m starting to talk about actual food in a very practical way so the very first thing that i want to put across is that i took out sugar almost completely from my diet and right from the start.  I did have a couple of sweet biscuits as a ‘treat’ in the first week but no other sweet-stuff.  I can’t describe what i experienced was like an addicts ‘cold turkey’ but i did miss the sweet ‘kick’ with my coffee.  That did take a few weeks just to settle down and an odd thing is that my taste has altered to some extent and i think now that sweet things taste ‘very sweet’ as though my taste receptors have returned to normal.

In ‘Totally open minded Keto’ i want to talk about food and food experiences so there’s my first one in a short ‘long-form’ post.  Please comment, it really helps.

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