Some people have a sweet tooth. Some people have whatever we call the salty version. I’m an equal opportunity glutton; I just love food. In fact, my favourite flavours are a combination of sweet and salty: peanut butter and chocolate, salt and caramel.
(I fell asleep last night writing this post. Sorry.)
But when I want an indulgent snack, I usually go for potato chips. (Have you ever had chocolate covered potato chips?!) When I wrote my resolutions for the year, I put “quit french fries” on my list, but that’s not exactly correct. Eating vegan for almost two years taught me that, even though I can, eliminating food is not the way to eat.
I quit drinking pop more than 10 years ago. While it was never an everyday drink in my childhood, pop (specifically root beer) was what I ordered every time we ate in a restaurant, and my grandparents kept their basement fridge stocked with everything we loved for when we visited. Today, I drink pop a handful of times each year, usually at Christmas or in an indulgent root beer float.
I want to quit eating french fries the same way. Nearly every meal one eats out is served with fries, but most places let you substitute something else, like salad. My resolution isn’t to quit eating them all together, but to quit the habit.
Since January, I’ve eaten fries three times (first, I forgot to substitute; second, the burger was the best thing on the menu; third, I didn’t realise my meal came with fries). I figure once a month by the end of the year will count as success.
But something I’ve noticed, and I’m not sure yet if it’s a side effect of my new habit or my medication, is my sweet tooth has taken over. I’ve been craving sugar like I don’t often do. I love peanut butter toast, but now I want honey. I make oatmeal with nuts and fruit, but now I want brown sugar. I eat pancakes and waffles at home with PB or jam, but now I want syrup. (Do you know the price of maple syrup? Even in Canada?!)
A very common side effect of a lot of antidepressants is an increase in appetite. My doctors ask me, are you finding a way to control it? “Well, I’m broke, so that helps.”
But food makes me happy, like almost nothing else does. And I grew up lower class in the 1980s, so my childhood comforts are not the most healthy meals. While my parents help me out with the pantry staples (flour, beans, grains), my weekly groceries are simple: soy milk and a green vegetable (frozen peas were on sale yesterday).
I also bought Doritos. However, I didn’t eat the whole bag, so, yes, I guess I’m finding a way to control it. But what would they taste like covered in chocolate, I wonder?