I’ve Got Some Number of Problems

But salt ain’t one

Source: Wikimedia Commons

I’m not as concerned with sodium as health authorities want me to be. Not my doctor, by the way, but rather social justice warriors who take it upon themselves to spread anti-sodium propaganda.

Everyone is so worried about sodium. How much sodium is in that? Don’t want to exceed the maximum daily recommended amount for the day. It could kill me! (Ahem, nerd alert!)

I don’t care whether a serving has 2 grams of sodium or 9,000 grams. I don’t know what the maximum daily recommended amount is, and I don’t want to. As Jay-Z famously said, I’ve got ninety-nine problems but salt ain’t one.

While you’re spending valuable time scrutinizing the nutrition panel, trying to do math on the fly to gauge your sodium consumption for the day, I’m already eating. I don’t have high blood pressure, so it’s not going to be a problem for me. I’m tough like that. It’s my superhero power, really.

But here’s the rub: I’m not even into salty food; I’ve got a sweet tooth. With irritable bowel syndrome to contend with now and diabetes looming in my future, the outlook isn’t good. Sugar love-hates my body and my body love-hates sugar. I’m weak like that.

I strike a balance by eating cheddar popcorn mixed with caramel popcorn. The very definition of moderation.

P.S. — Can anyone tell me why I crave Coke every January?

Sweet Tooth

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Scientists claim that a rat will choose sugar over cocaine any day. What I want to know is, why are these a rat’s choices? What kind of high-octane party life are these rodents living?

“Welcome to the club, Mr. Rat. Would you like sugar or cocaine?”

“Oh, I’d take sugar any day!”

The insight from this scientific study is supposed to frighten us into eschewing sugar. But who can eschew something sweet that activates the pleasure center of your brain? We’re talking legal, affordable drugs that you can pick up in your local grocery store’s cookie aisle.

Let’s review the findings of the study over a package of Oreos, shall we? Just kidding — I’ll take the Oreos and not the information. No conclusion is a sufficient motivator to give up sugar!

Despite it having occurred nearly a decade ago, I vividly recall picking up a glazed vegan donut at DK’s bakery in Santa Monica, which I waited to eat until I was standing on the Pepperdine campus overlooking the Pacific Ocean. As I bit into the pillowy donut, my brain instantly registered the sugars and fats as though I’d won the food lottery. If I were hooked up to electrodes, the visual of my brain would have been flashing like a disco. Eyes widening, my “Mmm!” echoed across the canyon. I regretted having purchased only one donut and driven so many miles away from the bakery. I needed a second donut as a chaser.

Once I was at a coffee shop and a man who watched me dump five packets of sugar into my cup raised his eyebrows and said, “Ooh — you’re gonna have a real energy crash later.”

I was like, “Oh, yeah?! Well — (yawn) what’s it to you, anyway?”

You know those long cigarette holders women used to use? I wish there was an equally elegant way to hold a candy bar. I never see other adults eating candy bars. I feel like I’m buying contraband every time I go into the store to pick up Whatchamacallits. And because I can’t buy just one, it feels all the more shameful.

If anyone looks my way, I’m ready to say, “These are for my kid’s party. Gotta lotta kids coming over!”

I’m like a ten-year-old spending her allowance on sweets that won’t make a difference to her well-functioning metabolism.

If I ever go into manufacturing, I’m going to launch a sugar cane company called Rat’s Choice.

All of this is to say, I understand the humble rat’s preference. I’m in good company.