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The Price of Popcorn and a Donut

I’m sweating and its only 77 degrees out. My back against the car seat feels like I’m standing in front of a furnace or like my body is the furnace. My eyes kept closing for a second too long on blinks during the drive back from the city today. My upper back is contracting, the flesh and muscles pulling in on themselves. Getting out of the car my hip and knee joints feet like they needed an oil can. And I am SO tired I feel I could fall over.

All this because two days ago I ate half a bag of SmartFood (popcorn covered in cheese) and finished the bag for breakfast the next morning. I also gave in to the lure of a chocolate-covered custard-filled donut. I didn’t even eat the bottom half, just the chocolate top and the custard..

I’m slipping. I’m not eating and drinking as well as I did the first two months in my car.

The more time I spend in my friend’s moldy house, the more I crave food and drink that is bad for me. And the more I give in to the cravings, the worse I feel.

My experience is that mold creates sugar cravings.

Many people laugh at the idea of sugar addiction. But brain scan studies have found that sugar is as addictive as cocaine. Brain changes of rats on sugar are similar to those associated with addiction to nicotine and narcotics.

Canadian researchers found that corn syrup is also as addictive as cocaine. That’s a big deal, sinc most retail juices and beverages as well as a huge portion of the rest of our food supply list corn syrup as a primary ingredient (read the labels).

So the next time you are craving your favorite beverage, be aware that it might not just be the caffeine in it that hooks you. Sugar and corn syrup can grab us and not let go. For a lifetime. Until and after we develop diabetes or obesity or depression or other health conditions that could have been avoided if we had not been a sugar addict.

I avoid corn syrup like the plague because it makes me hurt all over, as well as vinegar and other fermented foods because they cause intestinal cramping. But the sugar, beer and the very rare popcorn still trip me up.

Is it an overstatement to say that if I had not spent the last decade living in a moldy house, I would not have put on the 50 pounds that I’m now losing? (Although that weight loss will stop if I don’t do better at the convenience stores and gas stations.)

You laugh (or snort in derision). I understand. These insights are still on the edges of our culture, and not yet taken seriously by most in the medical professions.

My personal experience is consistent with the research cited above (and on my “MidwestHawk” Twitter account, which connects the national food supply to gut health.

But my cognitive acceptance of the facts is not enough to kill the cravings.

Only complete abstinence does that. 

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