Addictions?

I had some lovely comments to the last post on my garden. Some encouraging words–my lantana and my hibiscus might make it over the winter!–and a warning from Mickie– “WARNING….gardening becomes addictive.” LOL. I read this comment after I arrived home with these in the back of my car:

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I can’t help it! Plants are a great bargain. You get such a lot of pleasure for such a little bit of money. To say nothing of the fact that they are full of GLORIOUS COLOR! (Lori–that is a Hot Papaya cone flower that I found at the nursery!)

I spent the day driving to the Bay Area and visiting with my mom. And that brings me to the topic of another addiction. Sugar. Holy toledo. That stuff, for me, is as bad as some of the more traditional addictive substances, like cocaine. (Not that I have personal knowledge of that!) When I say its as bad for me, what I mean is this: when I do give in and eat sugary stuff, I eat too much. Then I throw some of it away. And then I eat some more. Then I stop. But then I see some at the store and I buy some more. And then I get home and I’m upset that I bought that last bit, so I decided to portion it out and put it in the back of the freezer, and throw away half. And then I eat some of it before breakfast. Ouch. My stomach hurts.

Don’t know how much sense that paragraph makes. And I want to say that that is MY experience with it. My experience does not include lasting consequences or “the afters.” I’m lucky that way. I got right back on track today and ate exactly what I planned. I ate such healthy stuff, and it all tasted so good and so satisfying, I wonder why I ever strayed. I’m very pleased with myself tonight.

So regarding sugar being addictive, and my explanation that this is MY experience with it–I’ve been thinking about this since I watched this video of a UCSF doctor explaining exactly how sugar is a toxin and works just the same way as alcohol does in your body. It all made sense to me. And I thought “if sugar is a toxin, why would anyone ever eat it?” And then it occurred to me that alcohol is also considered a toxin, but many people drink alcohol and do not have a problem limiting their consumption. But we all know that that is not everybody’s experience. Some of them end up going to Weight Watchers Alcoholics Anonymous for the rest of their lives. LOL. Got my illustrations mixed up there. Anyway, that was what I thought about. How some people can eat a bit of sugar every day and not have a problem with it at all. And others have a problem with limiting their consumption once they start. I’m so very thankful that I never liked the taste of wine.

So that’s it. I have an addictive personality(?). I think my gardening addiction is a good thing. I don’t think it will get out of control because I am lazy. And a tightwad (I’m only willing to pay MLG so much to take care of and build more gardens!) With this addiction, I’m willing to tempt fate and see where it leads. What could be bad about having a beautiful garden to enjoy for a season? With the sugar, I’ll be keeping a tight rein on that one. I’m not going to say never. I’m just going to continue to limit the amount I have on a daily basis. And I’m going to give myself grace when I do eat more than is healthy for me.

The new plants awaiting their places in the garden–tomorrow morning’s work!

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14 thoughts on “Addictions?

  1. More gorgeous flowers. What is the name of the blue (purple?) flower in the photo? Just learned from my friend that 1/4 cup of Epsom salts mixed with 1 gallon of water is a super fertilizer for new plants. It makes plants fill out much quicker than normal giving her lush plantings at a fraction of the cost of MiracleGro. Will be using this today. What state do you live in? Lady at my garden center said that their remaining plants will be reduced beginning first of August…I DID NOT need to hear that. (smile) That means more hydrangeas for me.

    • Hi Mickie, That is Plumbago ‘Imperial Blue.’ I think it is a beautiful blue and a prolific bloomer. The guy at the nursery told me that they use it as highway plantings–meaning that they are very hardy. I said that made it less special! But I still love it. I live in California, but in the foothills, so we get some very hot weather, and then it routinely freezes a few times in winter. Not like the Bay Area, where I grew up, and where you could grow anything at any time!

      Thanks for the epsom salts idea. That is very interesting. And I always have it on hand–if it makes me feel better, why not the plants. I used to love MiracleGro. I switched to Osmocote, because I am lazy LOL. Which is ridiculous that I keep saying that, considering the time I am spending in the garden these days.

  2. I knew long ago that sugar was addictive for me. If I eat a candy bar, I want one just as bad when I finish eating it as I did before I ate it – so why eat it to begin with? The end result is the same; I want more. I do better if I eat no sugar or limit items to no more than 4gm of sugar per serving. My exception is natural sugar in fruit or milk. The closer to the natural state a food item is, the better my body likes it.

    • I meant to make that more definitive–I was only talking about stuff made with refined sugar–NOT fruit or milk. There’s so much good in a nice piece of fruit. And it does not make me want to eat 20 more pieces of fruit LOL.

  3. Once again, I’m reminded of how much I miss the availability of such gorgeous plants and flowers that California has to offer…love what you chose and I think your garden is a healthy addiction! And it feeds those of us who face the same dumb few choices in our garden center, so you’re spreading the wealth!

    As for the sugar addiction, YES. It’s not as horrible for me as it is for a very good friend, but I have my triggers (milk chocolate), and once I have some, it does set off my craving for all kinds of stupid things that I don’t normally even think about, much less eat!

    • Yes, I guess I should appreciate it too, having lived in Texas. I still tend to compare our area of rocks and heat and freezing to the wonderment of the Bay Area!

  4. Oh how I could identify with your hilarious scenario with the sugar. Not funny, in reality, but so real. Once I start, it’s like a rolling snowball until I can somehow put a stop to it and then all of sudden (just like you said) all is well again and I find myself thinking “now where the heck did that behavior come from? Thankfully, when it’s over, it’s over. No lasting consequence which leads me to believe that my “addiction” is a mental one rather than a physical one.

    • Oh, I know exactly where that behavior came from. I still have a little issue with traveling and food. So that part is mental. But I do still believe that sugar has a certain physical effect on your brain. I just think it affects different people differently.

  5. I hope you love that cone flower as much as I do! I am going to try rooting some cuttings. I had someone come to my garden for some to see if it will work and I figure I might as well give it a go as well. Not that I have anywhere to put the plants, mind you, but I have that addiction 😉

    I truly believe in sugar addiction. John doesn’t quite get it, but I do. I experience it, so I get it.

    • I was pretty excited to find that flower at a local nursery. Its been in the yard for almost 24 hours, and so far, all the buds are still intact! Do you think Sophie can actually recognize pink flowers (her favorites) before they even bloom??

      See, you and John are a good example of how two people can be affected at different levels by the addiction.

  6. Dr. Lustig doesn’t mince matters. He is passionate. For me I can eat something sweet today and stay in control. If I eat something sweet tomorrow I’m on a slippery slope of terrible cravings. These days I prefer to limit sweet to vegetables and a little fruit and maybe a piece of bitter chocolate. There are times when I really miss cake or dessert and there are days when dessert is part of the meal but I definitely need to be disciplined.

    Gardening is the best addiction ever. I try to sneak a plant into the car everytime we go into town. Not always successfully. Spent today weeding starting to get ready for spring planting. Lots of smiles.

    Blessings

    • Miz! You live in the best place in the whole United States to garden. The perfect climate! You can have tuberous begonias and fuchsias!! Just go and buy one plant that appeals to you! Maybe Tornado will like it too. That’s when my love of gardening started. It was dormant for a long time (hello years in Texas) but its evidently come back full force!

  7. Debby, glad you are blogging about sugar addiction. It effects us all differently. I look and live a whole better and different life without it. The next 40 years off processed sugar and grains are mine! Better late than never. Makes the second half much easier to look forward.

    Keep those garden pics coming. 🙂

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