A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Candy Counter

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It’s been a month since I received my osteoporosis diagnosis. During this month I have done more research on bones, calcium, trace minerals, nutrition, and healthy living than I ever would have dreamed possible. I have learned A LOT and have experienced a very strange phenomenon along the way.

Accompanying my diagnosis was a red highlighted line on the lab report sheet that my doctor handed to me. It indicated that I was a tiny bit low on vitamin D. My doctor recommended that I boost up my daily dosage of this essential vitamin, which I did. Along with this, I also began taking a “bone booster” combination of calcium, vitamins, and strontium. I was feeling pretty good about my attack on this disorder (I refuse to call it a disease).

As the poster girl for cookies and chocolate of all kinds, I have enjoyed more than my share of sweets over the years. Hand me a bag of peanut butter cups, and I am out of control. I’ll eat the whole bag! Don’t let me pass a table of Girl Scout Cookies! I’ll buy a couple of boxes, and finish them off in a day! And cake icing! Don’t get me started on that! I’d much rather eat the icing than the cake. It’s pathetic! Even though over the years I have eaten a pretty healthy diet, this has been my downfall. Chocolate – oh my! I have once stated that I would eat sawdust if it was drizzled with chocolate. Knowing that all this sugar wasn’t good for me, I would do my best to curb my cravings and make up for it by eating nutritional foods to complement my sweet cravings.

For several years I even gave up sweets for Lent, only to stuff all of the chocolate eggs I could get my hands on as soon as I woke up on Easter morning. Knowing that I was defeating the purpose of what true sacrifice and fasting was about during this holy season, I gave up on this habit, feeling like I wasn’t doing it for the right reasons, and went to another practice during the Lenten season.

But back to my current situation. About a week after beginning swallowing my new assortment of pills, I was walking down the cookie and candy aisle at the grocery store. I stopped to browse the chocolate selection, and was not tempted. What??? I didn’t want any! As I stood there looking at all the chocolate, I realized that I hadn’t eaten anything sweet for almost a week. And the odd thing was that I didn’t want it! I finished my shopping, puzzling over this discovery and wondering what was going on inside of me. What had happened to Jennie, the cookie monster? Where had she gone?

Back at home, I went to my computer and did a quick search on all of the vitamins and supplements I was now ingesting. To my surprise, I read on a website about healthy eating for cancer patients that sufficient amounts of Vitamin D sometimes curb the desire for sugar. This is especially important for people fighting cancer, because cancer cells thrive on sugar. AHA! That must be it! Reading further, and checking it out on a few more sources, I was convinced that this was what I was experiencing. Whatever the reason, I was delighted.

It has been a month since I have put anything with added sugar into my mouth. Mostly. And really not on purpose. It just happened. I know that there is sugar hidden in a lot of the food products that we eat, and I haven’t gone to the extreme to exclude everything that has a little sugar in it. But my sugar consumption has gone ‘way, ‘way down. I am trying my best to follow the advice of a doctor I went to many years ago when I had gained a little weight and didn’t want to keep up the good work of stockpiling fat onto my body. She recommended that I limit my sugar intake (from refined sugar – not fruits) to a maximum of 15 grams per day. I think that this guideline will work for me now as it did then.

I am continuing my reading about nutrition and diet, as I marvel over this new adventure. I am seriously considering a vegan diet (with a few modifications) in my future. In the meantime, I am adding more fruit to my daily plate, enjoying tasting the sweetness of a cantaloupe, orange, apple, or prune, and marveling at how wonderful they taste!

Stay tuned as I wander this strange new Highway 70 that is now my life. I think there are more sights to see and experiences in store for me.

I plan to head down this road without a box of cookies in my hand!

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