I’m not quitting


I’m not quitting sugar.

I’m not diabetic or pre-diabetic and therefore I can see no particular reason to stop eating a large range of foodstuffs that are pleasant, available, culturally significant and contain a bunch of nutrients that my body likes to use.

I’m very happy for you that you have wealthy-looking glowing skin, heaps of energy and your incurable autoimmune disease was magically cured. Oh, and that you’re not fat, like I am. Well done.

I personally don’t blame the currants in my hot cross bun for my autoimmune diseases. Also, since I eat a lot less sugar-added foods and ‘junk’ food now than I did when I was younger and thinner, I’m not pointing accusing fingers at the occasional ginger biscuit either.

I thought it was worth it going without much sugar for six weeks, to see if it made any difference, but since I still had autoimmune diseases for the duration, I think a spoonful of honey in my tea can be reasonably tolerated.

I’m not blaming my lack of energy on that apple I just ate. If you had pain levels of 4-5 as your everyday norm, I think your diet of chia-kale smoothies wouldn’t prevent you from feeling pretty low, either.

I am pretty sure the jam in my fridge isn’t plotting world domination or hacking into government websites. I think it may still be a nice way to preserve summery soft fruits so that I can enjoy a bit of sunshine on my toast in the middle of winter. So I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest it isn’t pure evil.



Not actually evil.

Certainly it seems reasonable to not eat too much sugary stuff. (It’s horrible doing so anyway, I hate that coated-teeth, faintly nauseous feeling after eating a rich pudding.) I am so lucky that I am wealthy enough not to have to rely on processed foods that are full of different sorts of sugars. I hate that many of the most accessible, cheap foods are. But that strikes me as a society failing, not a personal failure on the part of the person who has to consume them.

You are most welcome to quit sugar and then spend the rest of your life obsessing madly about alternative puddings and sweets. And how AMAZING it is that a bunch of highly expensive, hard-to-find ingredients can taste almost EXACTLY like the real thing, even though the result looks like a dropped undercooked meat pie, and took two hours and a four thousand dollar electronic device to make. And obsessively eat sweet things every day because it’s constantly on your mind how little sugar you are eating.

I’m going to keep having the occasional after-dinner treat when I feel like it, which isn’t that often because I know I can chuck in a baked apple for pudding whenever I want.

It’s great that you quit sugar but me? I’m grumpily judging you for making such a huge deal of it.

I’m not quitting grains.

I did the elimination diet and am pretty convinced that I don’t have any allergies or intolerances to grains, even the gluten ones. I did learn that grains are really filling and help me to feel satisfied after a meal, whereas not having any made me want to eat three times as much food, so I was uncomfortably full yet still hungry.

I also was reminded that grains are inexpensive, easy to store and cook with, and there is a lovely large variety available for all sorts of different dishes.

Given the fact that my body has digested and metabolised all the grains I’ve been eating, I have reason to assume that I am not one of these humans who hasn’t evolved to eat them. My stomach seemed to know how to manage, anyway.

Once again I am impressed that quitting grains gave you boundless energy, bright eyes and a shiny coat. And also magically cured your autoimmune conditions. I evidently have the wrong sort of autoimmune diseases. They have no respect, with their refusal to disappear entirely, and their insistence on responding more to medication and careful lifestyle management than a diet trend.

I’m not quitting cooking.

I like a lot of raw foods. I really do. In fact I love a combo of raw and cooked ingredients on my plate, especially during summer. A big pile of crunchy, slightly bitter raw greens is a perfect side to a nice piece of steak. And I adore fresh pomegranate seeds in a warm couscous dish. Perfect.

But I also love cooked food, especially slow-cooked food, and especially especially during the colder months.

I don’t actually know how many nutrients I lose when I cook my porridge. Also, my failure to ‘activate’ nuts and seeds before I eat them – no idea what terrible effect that is having on me.*

I don’t sprout stuff or dry stuff because I either don’t have the equipment or can’t be arsed. To eat nothing but raw food seems to involve huge amounts of dedication, plus a heap of expensive equipment, plus a whole lot of food preparation skills I haven’t learned, plus a degree in nutrition, plus access to all sorts of very hard-to-get ingredients (algae, mosses), plus time and the ability to shop for huge amounts of bulky foods every couple of days, and then there’s the sheer amount of time spent chewing.

I am already a martyr to constant TMJ pain and bruxism. I do not want to spend more time chewing.

And after my initial grumpy, reluctant experimentation with smoothies I have gone off the idea of drinking my beetroot and my kale. It’s bad enough that I’m eating trendy foods in the first place. It’s a slippery slope that ends in a mason jar with a striped straw, or wearing pastel separates while running on the beach: and then there’s nothing for it but the old choppy-chop.



Start of a slippery slope.

If cooking my beetroot keeps me from this terrible fate, I’m firing up the slow-cooker right now.

I’m not quitting being an uninspiring sod-boring waste of a good disability.

It’s embarrassing, really. I’m not inspirational at all. I haven’t cured my afflictions by quitting anything.

I have not run any marathons. Or swum the Bass Strait for charity fundraising. Or created a thirty-day challenge to raise awareness for my rare nerve disease.

I haven’t written a cure-your-[rare autoimmune disease] cookbook and e-published it. Or created a beautiful, madly popular blog full of inspirational photos. Or come up with a National Day of Awareness.**



Here’s an inspirational photo for you. Does it help?

I have taken up yoga, but it has not magically cured me. *** I don’t wear expensive dove-grey fair trade cotton moisture-wicking garments while I do my yoga, nor have I released a You Tube channel showing me gracefully Downward-Dogging**** while I serenely explain how it Cured My Life (TM). I am not serene.

My skin does not glow. My hair only shines when I put shiny stuff in it (or when my silver hair catches the light just right. I love my greys.) I am not bursting with energy. I have lost some weight, which I chalk up to my daily average pain levels decreasing by several steps. Which is a result of taking strong painkillers, and not working as much. And I’m still fat.

I am a totally rubbish excuse for somebody with an invisible disability. I haven’t even come up with a ribbon colour, for heaven’s sake!*****

I know, there should be a law that all people with chronic diseases need to immediately quit something, so they can inspire others with the power of their inspirational quittage.

So, I’ve quit quitting.

(So far it’s working out well. Perhaps I should start a movement, or something.)

* Actually I don’t even know what ‘activating’ means. Does it mean you are making them start to germinate? If that’s the case, why can they sell pre-‘activated’ stuff in plastic packets, wouldn’t things just go mouldy? If not, what is actually being activated? Are the seeds/nuts starting to actually become … MOBILE? Are they developing legs? Are they becoming sentient? Answers on a postcard, please.
** Somebody else beat me to it.
*** It does help a heap with pain management, though.
**** Also known as Upward-Butting, while Nasal-Grunting. With bonus Arm-Trembling.
***** But if I ever did, I’d be torn between peach and chartreuse. What do you think?


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