The Saccharide Wars

Willpower is overrated. I’ve heard about people going cold turkey on bad habits – too much smoking, cracking knuckles, alcohol, gnashing teeth, biting your lip, etc. “Yeah! I woke up one morning and decided enough! And from that day on I never touched another cigarette!” I don’t know about that. I just don’t believe in superpowers. But I believe in powerful and persistent intention subconsciously leading to realization. If you train your mind to want something, believe in it, try it over and over again, one day you will achieve it “cold turkey”. For me, I was consuming an inordinate amount of cane sugar in my tea. Boatloads. I knew if I didn’t do something about it I’d probably join the long list of those making big pharma very rich on my meagre resources. But my willpower had failed me too many times.


So by the time I decided to try quitting on sugar consumption in my tea, it was almost just to humor myself because I’d given up trying. I had just watched that TED talk on the 30-day challenge where you try to change a habit by doing something for 30 days. I got my cup, wrote “Sugar-free zone” on it, and used it as a visual reminder to stick to my challenge (that trick was not in the TED talk). I posted it on Facebook as my contract with the universe. Now everybody knew, and they would be watching.

Day one of sugarless tea was nasty. So was day two, and three… By Day 10, I knew I wasn’t cut out for this sugarless shit. I needed my fix. That was also the day I read about the sugar poisoning in Kenya. Some political mafia had imported tons of sugar not meant for human consumption and released it to the market.

The Sugar Mafia

Behind every addictive personal habit, there’s a cartel reaping big from your weakness. An inquiry was launched by the government, and the report that came out was also contaminated with bribery, sugar baron names missing from it, and total acrimony in parliament. The issue died there. Kenya’s parliament is a graveyard, not a birthplace of a people’s aspirations. Calls to boycott sugar consumptions were met with a profuse production of funny memes by Kenya’s social media. The very people who were victims thought the whole issue was funny. It’s what people who get schlonged by the system over and over again do – they turn their abuse into humor.

The day I was about to give up my sugar-free quest was the day I read about that Sugargate scandal. I decided I was going to finish this sugar-free race. This was proof that when you sign a contract with the universe and make it public She will throw you a lifeline at your weakest moment and bid you finish your race. 30 days was nothing. I merged my personal challenge with a national quest for justice, and I didn’t care who was or was not boycotting. I posted my sugar boycott and dared to look silly. I was all the way in the US, far from ground zero of Kenya’s sugar contamination war.

Winning the Saccharide War

By the time Day 30 came around, my taste buds were adjusting very well. I decided since I had done very well, I was going to reward myself with a replacement for sugar after the completion of the challenge. I started taking tea with honey. Science told me the metabolism of honey, a monosaccharide, is different from that of sugar, a disaccharide. Knowing my digestive system issues, I knew there were benefits to be reaped from that mono guy. I also knew I wasn’t necessarily changing the eventual saccharide content in my body by doing honey. Making it easier for my small intestines to absorb the sugars was apparently the only gain, and a very good one too because we don’t want to talk about leaky gut syndrome. Oh, I also got a little bit more nutrients from raw honey.

Then a wonderful thing happened. About two months down the line, I ran out of honey, and my tea has tasted just fine without it since then. My taste buds had come full-circle into a joyful saccharide-free zone. I get plenty of my necessary sugars from other food sources.

I don’t know if I’ll live a longer life and that’s not for me to worry about because the way human existence is configured, chance lords over us all. I’ve known a chain-smoker who died of old age at 97.

“I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happens to them all” – the Bible.

Let’s just say it’s agreed that healthy living often has longevity as a side effect. I’ll take that side effect if I experience it. More than anything, I’ll take the high that comes with winning small personal victories. My care is that I am lord over my choices.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *