we’re leaving Candyland.

Daryl and I love testing the bounds of our relationship, so we have decided we’re going to attempt to give up sugar. Or at a minimum, reduce the intake of sweetness into our diet. We’re waving goodbye to “Gumdrop Mountains,” “Lollypop Woods” and “Peppermint Stick Forest.”

It sort of started as we finished up a 24 ounce bag of multi-colored marshmallow circus peanuts the other night while watching a rerun of the GLEE episode entitled “Funeral.” I turned to Daryl and loudly declared, “No more sugar will be allowed in this home!” in a voice that sounded like Columbus shouting “Land HO!” upon seeing the shoreline of America for the first time. Daryl looked up from a bag of Twizzlers like a dog that just got caught eating a stuffed chair, nodded and proceeded to quietly seal the bag. I’m still not sure if it was out of respect to my latest declaration, or just out of plain fear.

Having near perfect communication techniques, we paused the DVR and briefly discussed this newest lifestyle change as we jointly decided that our goal will to become more AWARE of the processed sugar in our daily diet in an attempt to alter our snacking habits as well as the actual snacks that we consume in the smorgasbord of our condo that we call the coffee table.

I gazed wistfully at the pretty blue bag of “Family Size” Herr’s potato chips, a 2 pound zip lock bag of Twizzlers, the empty Circus Peanuts bag and a half eaten container of Pumpkin Seeds strewn all over our round coffee table. I decided that I needed to take dramatic and drastic action immediately so I tossed all of the snacks into the trash (well… immediately after Daryl left the room). I truly value the honesty in our relationship, so I also covered the discarded snacks with a few AARP mailings I received earlier in the week just in case Daryl decided to throw something out later in the evening. I was not in the mood for him chastising me for throwing away perfectly good food. I did realize later that some of the snacks tossed were already sugar free, but when I get overly dramatic I don’t think properly.

I must admit, however, that I always feel a little proud when we make a joint decision to choose a lifestyle change for the better. We did it with quitting smoking a year or so ago, so a sugar free diet should be a piece of cake!

The challenge continues.

While out with some of our health-conscious friends at a recent Sunday evening happy hour while enjoying my second “punch-a-tini,” I solicited suggestions for low or no sugar snack-like alternatives. Some of the standard (albeit caring) responses included yogurt, fruit, granola and rice cakes. Perhaps Daryl and I should move to southern California, break out the Rit dye and some rubber bands and tie-dye our wardrobe as well? I feel like we’d be impersonating that health food guy who used to be on TV in the 70’s wearing flannel shirts while munching on a piece of wheat who touted eating whole grain cereals by plucking the product directly from a sun strewn meadow with birds flying around his head. I read that he actually died of heart failure a few years after that, which brings up a point of doubt and contention.

What if we actually eat healthier to live longer, but we die early anyway?

What if our last meal before we get hit by a bus should consist of a dry turkey burger (without the bun), spinach salad and a few legumes thrown in for digestive purposes, when it COULD have been a trip to Five Guys Burgers with a stop at Dairy Queen for a shake? I guess like everything else in life, we’ll have to learn balance and moderation.

Sigh.

The stress of all this eating healthy may kill me first. The stress of shopping for healthier items might kill me as well. Who truly has the time to spend reading every label for sugar, fat, sodium and caloric content at the grocery store? I’m suggesting a personal shopper. Have the Super Market chains take all those extra text-manic teen “baggers” and turn them into something truly productive, right?  I’d imagine that you’d enter the store and you’d have a choice to pick a trained personal shopper who would accompany you and assist in selecting food items for you depending on your particular diet or requirement. Need low sodium items? You chose Sally Saltfree. Perhaps you’re on a low cholesterol diet? Ask for Bernie Bypass. Need to shop strictly to lose weight? Miss Anita Waist is your gal!

I digress.

Daryl and I will give this latest health conscious decision a go. We really enjoy testing the bounds of our relationship with healthier choices, however, I shall miss it when Daryl uses Twizzlers to spell out “I love you!” on the counter as a romantic snack. I hope I can truly get over the fact that a pack or two of “Smarties” really DON’T make me smarter, and I plan to avoid Ben and Jerry like the plague that they are. I’m still stumped by trying to figure out which soda mixers to use for our cocktails, but perhaps we’ll just go directly to doing straight shots.

Hopefully, our relationship will survive this denial of the sweet tooth. Last evening, while watching TV, we made snacks (that honestly looked like something the cat threw up) in our matching “HIS” and “HIS” ice cream bowls of Chobani Greek yogurt with fresh strawberries, blueberries and granola. I looked at Daryl and sighed, “See? This is pretty good isn’t it?” to which Daryl grinned and replied, “Especially with the sugar I sprinkled over the strawberries first!”

Stay tuned.

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “we’re leaving Candyland.

  1. Allison

    So proud of you guys. Sugar is in everything. And is so addictive it should be considered a drug. In fact, withdrawal from sugar can really by similar to withdrawal from drugs. It’s hard, but so worth it!

    Also, you guys should definitely check out “Forks Over Knives” (http://www.forksoverknives.com/). It’s playing in Philly at the Ritz, which I know isn’t super convenient, but it’s a movie that everyone needs to see! Just throwing it out there. 🙂 xo

    • Allison

      PS – We use organic stevia instead of sugar – check it out! You can get it from Whole Foods or stores like that in liquid or powder form. It’s basically an herb that has sweetening properties like sugar, without any health repercussions. A little goes a long way. It would have perfectly sweetened your snack last night, without affecting your blood sugar! 🙂

      • Allison…
        THANKS for reading my inane take on our newest venture into remaining healthy! Thank you also for the wonderful ideas and support as well. Daryl and I always find time to head into the city for a date, and getting to the Ritz for “Forks Over Knives” might be a good way do that.
        I HAVE read the positive articles about stevia and will give that a hot once we get the basic act of watching WHAT we bring into the house.
        Peace.

  2. Woman Wielding Words

    Congrats on this challenge, but I’d also like to suggest something else. I’ve been using caloriecount.about.com to try and get control of my diet. (Well, I was using it, and intend to get back on track with it). It helped me really eat healthy because it keeps tabs of the nutritional value of food, not just the calories. That allows me to figure out what I need more of on a given day, and what I need less of. It also allows me to eat the occasional sugary treat, but just a small portion of it–because I look at the portion sizes and then eat much less then they suggest. That way I don’t feel completely deprived, but I’m eating more sensibly. Even though I haven’t been keeping tabs recently, my eating habits have really improved.
    (Also, I just taste a sugar free dark chocolate from Trader Joe’s that was awesome!)

    • Thanks for the wonderful ideas Lisa!
      Daryl and I are simple (literally) men who can barely operate a GPS between us, so counting anything other than shirtless joggers might be a challenge for us. That being said, we are starting out basic and will eventually graduate to more complex nutritional programs. Thanks for reading my simple rants.
      Ed

  3. Too much candyland makes your chutes and ladders slide all over the place…
    Spread the humor: charlywalker. WordPress. Com

  4. Can you please give credit to the candyland iage you are using, belongs to me. Please add this link
    Candyland

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