Between 1999 and 2007, the kind people of Mexico doubled their intake of sweetened beverages. This year they have become the most obese country in the world. Some people still deny a link.
Today was yet another day to get myself acquainted with the lovely people at United Airlines, to sample the goods of airport cuisine and to deal with the startling assumed power of airport security folk.
It started at 6am with a flight across this diverse and scenic continent. A banana muffin and a decaf coffee at the aerodrome kickstarted the engines with a combined 9 teaspoons.
I landed at the stopover point, went over some notes and felt the familiar pangs of a body craving sugar. It was there that my eye landed on a gleaming yellow bottle of ‘Carnations Breakfast Essentials’. This ‘complete nutritional drink’ from the Nestlé Health Science department was the American answer to Up and Go. I had been searching for an equivalent Sanitarium brethren and so rushed to the refrigerator and then handed over my flimsy yet coveted paper money. And boy did it not let me down. I can only really describe the taste as what I imagine a mouthful of sediment from the bottom of the Yarra near Crown Casino may taste like, with 10 teaspoons of sugar added to it. The level of scientific jargon and bullshittery on the bottle was at a new level. It even had ‘twice the protein of egg to help build muscle’. I look forward to a day when the bottle will be a neutral colour and the label will simply say “look it’s predominantly milk and sugar, it’s an odd texture and please refrain from getting it anywhere near your precious children.”
Lunch was had late and I ate it on the plane (which was clearly a no no judging by the audible tut tuts I was getting from Grumpy Sally in 8F). It was a delicious corn beef wrap with salad and low fat mayonnaise (3 teaspoons) and a ‘Blueberry monster’ smoothie which was made from a whole banana and blueberries, on track, but then drowned in apple juice concentrate (the monster part). That last addition brought the drink to an even 15 teaspoons but made working on the plane much easier as I drip fed it into my system with slow sips and dragged the sugar buzz out at 30,000 feet for a solid 2 hours.
Landed, new city, beautiful scenery and have just had the best and freshest meal of the whole trip. My palate actually wept at the touch of kale and soba noodles and a green salad made with care and love. I feel like my palate and I are friends again. It had thought it had lost me forever but tonight I reminded it that before too long we will be reunited again in glorious, salivating feasts of whole foods and sugarless produce. I did shatter the moment though with the sweet sauce on my katsu don (3 teaspoons of coitus interruptus).
Now it’s bed and a much needed sleep in. Tomorrow I am drinking a high sugar low fat milkshake in a huge machine to see what effect sugar has on certain parts of the brain. Wish me luck.
For those of you still reading this, thank you. Your comments of well wishes and support have been more valuable than you can imagine. It has made an enormous difference.
46 and 40. So close now.