Sweet and Salty

I’m coming up on 2 months now since the cleanse, and overall things continue to go surprisingly well. I still have not had any cookies (other than the ones I made without sugar, flour, butter, etc), cakes, brownies, pastries, etc. I actually picked up a cake from the bakery for work, and while it was in the car I thought “WOW!! That smells like sugar!!” I can honestly say I didn’t really want it. I had thought when the time came I would have a sliver, but in the end I passed…I didn’t want it enough to have it for the sake of having it.

That’s not to say all has been perfect. While I have been doing great on the sweet front, I seem to have traded it for salt! I previously could easily binge on sugary items, and while I won’t lie – I might have eaten no-sugar-added Breyer’s vanilla ice cream to excess recently – I have noticed that if I start to have a salty snack, like Chex Mix or salted peanuts, I can easily tip into overboard mode. I had to switch to unsalted peanuts, and it seems I really just need to not start on a salty snack altogether.

What gives? I did a little googling, and it turns out, according to a buzzfeed article, “that salt activates the same neurological pathways that narcotics do, triggering the brain’s ‘pleasure center’.” This seems awfully similar to recent new articles about sugar and artificial sweeteners. What the heck, body, does everything fun have to trigger a craving for more?!

Worse, it feels like the food companies really truly are out to get us; snack food is mostly just garbage – empty calories designed to make you want more and more and more, and it just does nothing for you (except make you feel guilty when you look at the carnage). I found an article on mercola.com that mentions a book called “Salt Sugar Fat” by Michael Moss: “food manufacturers go to great lengths to find the perfect blend of salt, sugar, fat, and additional flavorings to excite your brain’s reward center, thereby assuring you’ll be back for more.” Awesome.

One other thing not going my way is that I started stress “chain chewing” gum again at work. I will have to do some research on how bad that is, though I do feel like all the packaging and tossed gum can’t be good for the environment.

Otherwise I’m reasonably happy with things, though my weight really isn’t budging. It will drop down a pound or two for a day, but it keeps reverting to just under 130 pounds. I’m not complaining, 130 was my first mental milestone, but I would like to be making progress towards the next milestone (getting into some pants I haven’t been able to wear in a looooong time).

I had purchased an on-line deal for a massage several months ago; it was supposed to be my reward for hitting that next milestone. But here it is about to expire, so I would up using it this weekend in spite of not getting to that goal. I rationalized that it was a reward for being focused on my 2015 goals and having a successful January. Even the week where I skipped yoga I managed to “catch up” the following week; for my goals of cardio and weight training, I averaged out to better than hoped for. That totally justifies a massage, right?  Sweet!

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