It’s B’s birthday tomorrow, and the house is already full of goodies.
From yesterday, when she and I mixed a cake that got finished (badly) in the microwave after the oven decided to break down half through the baking process.
From today’s Halloween Party at her adult programme.
And there will be more tomorrow, because everyone knows how much my daughter likes cake. As do I.
But my excitement at the prospect of a cake feast was tempered when I read this article suggesting that everyone should stop eating sugar and most other carbohydrates to avoid Alzheimer’s Disease. Which I do want to avoid, and I suspect you do too. More than that, none of us would wish this dreadful disease on our children.
What a way to bring me back down to earth, and all the other families who are getting ready for the annual Halloween sugar fest, and a mid term break that may be peppered with pizza treats.
I wonder how families can follow this kind of dietary advice, unless they can keep the whole world at arms length, including the internet, the telly, schools, definitely hospitals, grandparents, pals and eating out at most restaurants.
Obviously sending your child out trick or treating is the last thing you’d want to do.
I would love to hate sugar and all its evil relations but I don’t. I didn’t really eat sweets as a child, but dinner was always followed by dessert, and good times always meant ice cream or chocolate or something sweet and delicious.
It was the way it was. No one in my family who had a sweet tooth got Alzheimer’s, and I’ll always remember my granny’s eyes lighting up at the sight of cake and cream even in her late 80s when she had Type II Diabetes, yet her eating habits seemed to have no impact on her very sharp brain. Ditto my Dad.
That’s not to say I don’t greatly admire people who can give up sugar and refined carbs. I agree they are empty calories, and I’m not a scientist, so I can’t argue with the latest theories that suggest that sugar and refined carbs are the real reason for the diseases of Western Society. My problem is that similar claims were made for other food types during my lifetime.
Now medical problems mean that I already have a long list of foods to avoid or cut down on, including so many things that make healthy food tasty, like garlic, spices, tomato and onion, as well as lemon and lime. I’m also supposed to eat a low fat diet, avoiding red meat and dairy too, plus chocolate, coffee and wine (I may ignore some of this advice). Cake is one of the few culinary treats that does not upset my digestive system at all, though obviously it doesn’t do much for my high cholesterol.
My diet would ideally be limited to white chicken and fish and a few green vegetables, plus a few nuts and seeds, and I would be thinking about food. All. Day. Long.
My children need me to be present and content, not cranky and hungry.
The mad thing is that apart from the treats, most people think I eat a healthy diet, mostly made from scratch, and including sugar free muesli, homemade soups, salads and dips, and lots of toast!
Everything in life is a risk, even the basic stuff we do without thinking: many people die each year getting out of bed, and more die when they can’t. Food is one of the things in life that I enjoy, and I intend to do so for as long as I can. And when there’s delicious cake and chocolate sitting in the press just waiting to be eaten, what am I to do?
My biggest fear would be that I’d miserably give up all the foods I enjoy and then get Alzheimers anyway. Or something even worse.
So for now I’ll stick to the old advice:
Moderation in all things
A little bit of what you fancy does you good
(Especially at Halloween)
Have a good one!