Turning Down Sweets: Rude or Smart
Liver disease from cirrhosis or Hepatitis C can put us in some sticky situations when it comes to sweets. I threw away a piece of chocolate S’mores cake this week. After taking one sugary bite, my whole mouth was so pinched up that my eyes watered. As a dinner guest at a friend’s home, I felt obliged to scoop some on my plate …. But it made me feel anxious. After taking a deep breath and looking around to see if anyone was watching, I made my move. There wasn’t a trash can in sight, so I discreetly headed toward a corner of the kitchen. I sat the plate on the counter and gave it a little shove, and then I made a beeline back to my chair.
That’s when I saw my niece watching every movement. Her eyes widened, then she looked away.
Rude or Smart?
Well, I don’t know about you, but the thought of a sugar high after supper makes my neck hurt. It must be from the tension created when my jaw tries to hold my mouth closed. Honestly, when the big hit of processed sugar hit my mouth, my tongue involuntarily poked out from between my teeth. The chocolate and white melty mess was there for the whole world to see. Clamping my lips together and making chewing motions was painful. But I didn’t want to be rude. Good manners are always important, especially when people have gone out of their way to serve something delicious.
In this instance, my brain over rode my conscience and quickly gave me permission to go dump rest of the chocolate goo. I swallowed hard and fast with a bad rush going down my spine. My smart self knew that it was never rude to take care of my body. Settling back in the chair, I wondered what my niece must be thinking about me. I sat up straight, using my best posture just in case she tried to look at me while she decided. My mind kept up the chatter. I was dutiful in my attention to the thoughts that pinged around in my head.
I didn’t want to offend anyone or appear rude. My desire to please others is well known. But really? Eating food that could land me in the hospital isn’t rude… is it? I was polite. I didn’t make any announcements. I simply snuck over and laid the plate down.
When we have liver disease it automatically adds a burden to our ability to process food. Sugar is hard on our liver. Because our liver is a warehouse, storage facility, and processing plant for all of our food, we have to give it the right foods at the right time. Sugar can be eaten, but it should be done in small, healthy doses. My transplant doctor even got me to give up my Pop Tarts when I had cancer. Now my sugar comes from raisin cereals and occasional dark chocolate. My fruit addiction is legendary also. Let’s be aware of what sugars we are eating, and not just automatically eat something because it’s offered.
What do you think about when you’re making a food choice?
Sit up straight.
Tuck your chin.
Shoulder blades together.
You’re smart to be listening to your body.
Inhale slowly through your nose.
Your body is a miracle.
This moment is a gift.
When you go to bed tonight, you’ll thank yourself.
Find the leftover squash from dinner and make that your desert.
Chew it slowly.
Drink a glass of water.
Way to go girl.
I don’t know if you have very many moments like that. Where someone you love has gone to a lot of work to prepare a meal, or a special dish and you’re thinking, “Really”? We want to be polite. How can we show our gratitude and not hurt our body? That’s what it is about.
We have to decide: Do we hurt someone’s feelings, or do we hurt our body?
Sugar hurts me. When I eat sweets, I feel it in my joints. The neuropathy tingles and shoots up and down my arms and legs. My head gets fuzzy and I start to talk fast. That means my word filter doesn’t have enough time to kick in. Pretty soon, I’m saying the first thing that comes to my mind. Then I get embarrassed. It’s been like that for years with hepatic encephalopathy or HE. Talk about an epic mess.
So, I’m over worrying about feeling like I was rude. It’s NOT rude to live well. Being on my best behavior means I do what is best for me every chance I get. If that bothers anyone, I just smile and drink water. Who can be mad at you for that? In the meantime, my sugar high comes from fruit. Watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, and peaches. They’re in abundance this time of year and I hope you are enjoying them too. It’s the liver loving way to eat.
I love you like I love peaches. A bushel and a peck! Xo Karen
BTW the dinner was in honor of my niece who is a brilliant and beautiful young lady. She is a healthy eater, and has always supported my efforts. She’s also too polite to question my dietary needs… beside, we adore each other.
Turning Down Sweets: Rude or Smart? I’ve decided it’s smart. For more about making healthy choices, click here.