There's a battle being waged in the United States, at the moment. Actually, there are several; however, it's the fat war that is probably the most significant to people on a personal level. It should be, at any rate. Me? I'm all into the fight for the environment, because that's all about what we can do for our kids and our grand kids, etc, but, people being mostly self-focused, the war against food should be more prominent. I say the war against food, but, perhaps, what I should say is the war for food, because a lot of what we (that being the collective we, not me) eat is not actually food at all. It's just chemicals and additives, and it's destroying lives.
I'm going to get off the soap box, now, because this really isn't a post about that. Besides, you can go pick up any random package of food in your house and look down the list of ingredients and see how many of them that you actually recognize. And how many things don't start with "high fructose corn syrup."
A few years ago, my wife and I made a huge lifestyle change. Let me just make it clear that we didn't go on a "diet." Diets don't work (don't argue with me about that, statistics back up what I'm saying as an actual fact, not an opinion). Diets don't work, because people see "going on a diet" as a temporary change to reach a desired goal. Once said goal is achieved, they revert back to what they were doing before the diet, and, of course, end up back where they started. Or worse. So... my wife and I didn't go on a diet; we made a lifestyle change.
It was actually a fairly simple thing to do, although people always stare at me in disbelief when I say this and, inevitably, respond with "I could never do that." To a certain extent, I can understand that. However, having done it, I can't. I reacted the same way when my wife said she wanted to do this, although it wasn't the thing in and of itself that was the issue for me; it was the soda. See, my wife said to me that she wanted us to cut sugar out of our diets. Not just sugar, really, but simple carbs. That means sugar, HFCS (high fructose corn syrup), and white flour. There are some other things, but those are the big ones.
I grew up on soda. I mean that. Didn't drink anything else. Not even water. Well, there was milk at school. Chocolate milk (which has just as much sugar). Because that was the only option (the milk, not the chocolate), but, otherwise, I drank soda. Coca~Cola, preferably, but, as long as it was carbonated, I'd drink it. Almost. So the idea of giving up soda, which had pretty much been my sole beverage for 30 years and more, was pretty daunting to me. I wasn't sure if I could do it.
It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I just quit buying it.
Now, there are a lot of directions I could take this, at this point. For instance, I could tell you about the weight loss. I could tell you about the increased health. Increased health not just from the weight loss but from eating better food. After all, when you cut everything with HFCS in from your shopping list, you have to replace it with something (for us that meant more raw foods). I could you tell you about mood improvement. However, I'm going to tell you about just one thing: taste.
I don't think you can understand how much flavor fruits and vegetables have just on their own. I never knew. We process the flavor out of everything. Or drown it in sugar. Everything! It's horrible. Carrots are sweet. Did you know that? So are bell peppers. And they taste different depending upon what color they are. I like the red and orange ones the best. I never knew they had flavor variations before we dropped the sugar from our diet. It was all AMAZING! Trying new foods suddenly became something I wanted to do rather than dreading it.
We live in a culture that wants to homogenize everything. The big melting pot. Food. People. Entertainment. Fit in. Go with the flow. Drench yourself in corn syrup and blend in. I'm not for that. I'm for cutting the sugar out of our lives. The real and the metaphorical. Don't blend in. Don't be like everyone else. Have your own taste. Your own flavor.
I'd like to say that writers have a leg up on that over other people, but I look at what's available on the reading shelves (especially after some huge hit of a book), and I know that's not true. We are just as prone to jumping on band wagons as everyone else. What I'm saying is that it's time to find our own wagons.
And to put just one other slant on this, as writers, we often get stuck in patterns. We have our own "sugar" that we coat everything with. I could name authors who started out good (and I mean good) but had their own brand of sugar that they poured all over all of their writing so that it all ended up tasting the same. The problem with that is that you only need to read that author once and you've really read everything they've ever done.
Don't sugar coat your lives. Or your food. Be different. Change things up. Develop your own flavor and your own taste!
Next: How this all affects... coffee!