Addicted to that white powder
Back in November, I was scrolling through one of my social media newsfeed and I clicked on an article, which I can’t find anymore, that detailed how artificial sweeteners break down in your system and – get this – encourage your body to store fat. Can I just say, damn. I’m a tea drinker. I start my day with tea. I drink tea while I write. I have a cup in the evening while I watch tv. I drink a lot of tea. And I liked my tea sweet and creamy, so I was using 4 packets of fake sugar plus a big splash of creamer in each cup. I’d often drink 5 or 6 during the first couple of hours of a writing session. I was consuming 20 – 24 packets per day at least 5 days a week. In November I was trying to make a deadline so I was writing 7 days a week and pummeling my body with up to 168 packets per week. And I’d been doing this for years. That’s an obscene amount of artificial sweetener.
As soon as I read that article I contacted my daughter the chemist, to ask her about the article’s science. “Yeah, I saw something about that.” …and….? “We’ll chemistry related stuff that I don’t quite understand that went on for a while.…” followed by, “you understand?” No, not really, but I’ll trust you.
Getting rid of the evidence
After that horrifying conversation, I dug around in my pantry and chucked my stockpile of fake sugar packets in the trash. And the boxes in the recycle bin, of course. And now I was faced with a harsh reality. What the heck was I going to do? I hadn’t drunk unadulterated tea in thirty years. Except for that time the Denny’s waitress brought the fake sugar with my bill. I was tempted to leave her tip in one of the empty packets. As a former waitress, I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
The first morning after the purge, I made a cup of tea sans natural. Yuck. Determined to make it work, I headed to the grocery store and bought a variety of herbal teas with strange names that guaranteed to temper my twitchy demeanor and keep my butt in my swivel chair for a typical eight hour writing day. All the experiment did was piss me off as I thought about how much money and time I’d wasted.
A new devil…
Then I thought, okay, I’ll just switch to real sugar. I happened to be up in Orlando hitting some roller coasters and stopped by the Coca Cola store for one of their sugar shakers. For about a week, I used real sugar in my tea. I was happy. And in my own way, medicated. Then I read another article on one of my social media timelines. Why, do I do this?
According to the article, I really need to learn to bookmark, a woman is only supposed to consume six teaspoons of sugar a day. Bad things happen when you go over that mark. At the moment, I can’t remember any of the bad things, but according to the article, there were many.
So. I was back to square one.
And then, I stopped into the book store to browse the isles and caught sight of a tin of
cinnamon tea. OMfreakingG, this stuff was amazing. Especially if you steeped it with two bags. Very spice, lots of flavor. No sugar. No cream. No nothing extra. Quite a bit of caffeine though. Especially made my way, with two to three bags. But yes, they do have decaf and yes, they have loose leaf. (And no shipping costs for ground at the moment) I bought a tin. And then another.
And then another.
And guess what happened? Besides my new hobby of collecting empty tea tins. Thanks to my boycott of fake sugar, I lost four pounds. Almost immediately. I also lost my sweet tooth. This week, about two and a half months into the switch, I’m almost down another pound. My clothes fit better. I feel better. My checkbook is speaking to me again. (I was about to up to the next size in shorts)
Now my life is sunshine and puppy dogs. Well, not completely. My next makeover involves sleep. Or the lack there of. Perhaps my insomnia is linked to my caffeine intake. Hmmmmmm.
Are you a tea drinker? Have you got a favorite flavor to recommend?
Drink lots of tea and Write On,