Interesting Times

A Piece of Cake?

The phrase “a piece of cake” usually implies something that is easy or simple and often even pleasant to do. Often though when this phrase is used in regards to many different tasks the reality turns out to be something quite different. For example when told by someone at the hardware store that changing the leaking parts in your toilet bowl will be “a piece of cake” when it actually turns out to be several hours of hell and eventually involves calling a plumber!

A similar meaning phrase that seems to have creped into the vernacular these days is “easy-peasy”. The use of which seems for some reason to make my skin crawl and a nearly overpowering urge to slap the crap out of whoever just said it comes over me.

However, I plan to address this phrase, Piece O’ Cake, for purposes of this Story Telling group by turning it into a question, approaching it in very concrete fashion and then twisting into a LGBT call to arms! Which reminds me of a criticism I used to get flung at me much more in the 1970’s and 1980’s which was “why does everything have to be political for you”. So here goes.

The issue for me, and most of us aging LGBT folk, is the cake. The last fucking thing we need in our lives is cake. Specifically the sugar that comes with the cake to say nothing of the processed flour it is embedded in.

It is now indisputable that many of our chronic health problems are aggravated if not directly caused by what we put in our mouths for what passes as food. Over the ages we queer folk have often been accused of diabolically putting in our mouths things god and nature did not intend to have in there. I want to redirect the conversation away from tongues and genitalia to the real evil shortening our lives and compromising the quality of the golden years and that would be the sugar we put in our mouths!

The literature and science to back it up on the true poison of sugar is voluminous. I would refer you though to the writings on diet by a man named Joel Fuhrman. I need to extend a H/T to Betsy McConnell for turning me on to this man’s writings about a year ago. I had been a neurotic student of diet long before being turned-on to Fuhrman’s writings but I currently consider him to be the last word on matters of food, at least for now!

The first step, and this is true for me, is admitting that I am a sugar addict. Disturbing research using brain scans has repeatedly shown that the same parts of the brain are titillated and light up from sugar as they do from cocaine.

A close friend just sent me a piece from The Sun over the weekend that was an interview with a fellow named Daniel Lieberman. A short quote from the article sums things up nicely in regards to the evils of sugar:
“Sugar as a modern, industrialized product has created an incredible amount of misery, starting with slavery and the plantation system. Today it is increasing rates of disease and death because our bodies can’t handle it. But we love it. We are addicted to it”.

The litany of health problems related to poor diet is a long one from diabetes to stroke to heart disease to obesity to several forms of cancer. You can actually without too much effort connect the dots and relate global warming at least in part to sugar and certainly processed foods. Animal product of any source is of course a bigger culprit in regards to global warming but that is a topic for another time.

As with many evils in the world sugar often creeps into our lives in very insidious ways. The first step for me was becoming aware of the staggering amount of hidden sugars in our food. Reading labels is a great way to begin raising one’s consciousness in this regard. Of course as one of my many health gurus, one Robert Lustig, has emphasized we should be eating real food and that would eliminate anything that comes with a label on it.

There are no “healthy sugars”. Fruit juice for example has as much sugar as equal amounts of any soda and your pancreas and liver could not give a rat’s ass where the sugar comes from, it all has to be dealt with the same be it O.J. or Pepsi.

I can hear the hue and cry now that there are no bad foods and if we just approach things in moderation no harm no foul. Bullshit! The words of the great Texas populist Jim Hightower apply here: “the only things in the middle of the road are yellow stripes and dead Armadillos”.  And I would guess those Armadillos had type 2 diabetes.

So in my admittedly very biased opinion the LGBT community, particularly the over 50 crowd, would be much better served in the long run by moving the issues of diet and climate change ahead of marriage equality and military service. This sea change in queer priorities I think would bring us much more in line with a whole host of other pertinent social issues from racism to income inequality to the devastation of the planet.  And it would go a long way towards reducing our unwanted belly fat.

 

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