In a recent guest post, Lily Gael alluded to the idea of eating only food, not treats. Many of us know that for millennia, sugar was a rare and costly commodity. It was only in the middle of the 20th century, that chemistry allowed sugar to be cheaply created from beets and cane and it became plentiful and cheap. And many of us have gotten fat as a result.
In my childhood (1946-1956), sugary foods were rare, except for homemade jam. Ice cream was a big occasion and not eaten at home. Cakes appeared only at birthdays and was another big deal. We did eat pancakes and waffles with maple syrup. When I was 10, we moved to a neighborhood (Milwaukie, OR) that had a Little Store (that's still its name) two blocks down on the corner and I discovered candy and what my allowance could buy. And from then on treats were sugar related. And although I was addicted quickly, my allowance was limited so it still was a treat.
But when I got to college and had control over my money, I eat sugar every day: candy bars from the machne, doughnuts from the cafeteria line, dessert at lunch and dinner, soft drinks. I probably ate as many treats as food. And that went on a long time. At some point, alcohol became my main source of sugar, and because it did, I switched to salty treats (chips, popcorn, pizza) to offset the sugar overload.
And all that time, I collapsed snack into treat.
Now I'm trying to uncollapse that and make my snacks food. Real food. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, soup. A snack size portion of something real, not something special. It's a hard habit to break. I want treats, I deserve treats, I need treats. Or so I think. But I know that this too will pass and my body will thank me.