As a kid I was ravaged with health concerns. My mood, mind, and body were a complete wreck. I spent my days bouncing from one junk food to another. I became toxic at a very early age, I had no concept of health food, and I had zero palette for anything other than fast food, soda, snacks, and chemicals. I was, for lack of a better word, useless.
I couldn’t run, I couldn’t breathe correctly, I couldn’t focus. I was irritable, I was emotional, I was bloated, overweight. I had acne, muscle and joint pain. I had non stop gas and bloating. By the time I was a teenager, I had been diagnosed with depression, IBS, GERD, anxiety, and ADHD. I was prescribed multiple medications and had never once been asked about my diet.
In fact, things were kind of tough at home as a kid. My parents had accumulated a severe amount of debt and were working 60-70 hours a week for most of my life up to that point to dig themselves out of a hole. I had tons of love from cousins and my extended family, but I was lacking access to something important and that was very clear.
These influences led to me being nurtured through junk food. When I would show signs of unhappiness, I would be offered the one thing that would make me happy, food. McDonald’s, Popeyes, Roy Rogers, Dunkin Donuts, Wendy’s were all more a part of my diet than home cooked food. When I would sit and watch television after school my loving and well intentioned Aunt and Uncle would offer me a few dollars to walk to the 7-Eleven. Here I would get a sugary drink and a 1/4 pound hot dog. It wasn’t uncommon for this to happen multiple times a day and every day of the week.
Besides all of this, my bedroom was a glorified vending machine. I always had a two liter bottle of soda under my bed. Oreo cookies and Doritos would also be found, a little treasure trove of chemicalized comfort.
When I was bored or couldnt sleep, I would go downstairs to the kitchen and fill the largest bowl in the house with sugary laden cereals and dairy milk, always leaving the box of cereal out so I could refill and refill and refill. I would eat and drink the cereal milk until I felt nauseous, this would help me sleep. If I woke up in the middle of the night I would reach for the warm 2 liter of Coca Cola under my bed to ‘quench’ my thirst.
My mother regales me with stories of my growing addiction (or as she saw it LOVE OF) to these foods. I recall when McDonald’s first introduced the 20 piece chicken nugget as a regular menu item. A super size fry and a 20 piece nugget was no problem for me to down. I would tear ketchup packets open with my teeth and squeeze them into my gullet in between greasy ‘chicken’ pieces. I would always wash it down with the largest soda offered, that fizzy and candy like sweetness would give me the illusion of digestion long enough to choke down more food.
I wasn’t just using these foods for emotional support and energy, I was literally addicted to them. I would hazard to say that most children who eat this way are addicted to the chemicals in them more than they actually like the food.
Sugar has been shown to be 7x’s more addictive than cocaine. I have never had cocaine, but I did live in NYC for ten years, so I seent it. I have had sugar, and of all the habits I’ve kicked in my life, sugar was the toughest.
Children who are fed food that has refined sugar added to it are drug addicts. It’s not cute. If you are offended by this statement, you are likely just feeling guilty. Don’t, your choices were likely influenced by your family’s habits, these things have to change at some point.
Look at it this way… If I were to sprinkle cocaine on a bowl of rice and beans and feed it to kids (I’d be weird, but indulge me), the kids would likely come back after the cocaine wore off, asking for more beans and rice. Wow, this kid really likes beans and rice, amazing, what a healthy appetite. Give them the next bowl with no cocaine, see what happens… not so interested. The metaphor is crude, but is it?
Refined sugar is a destructive chemical that offers zero nutritional benefit and actually steals nutrients from the bones, the muscles, the tissues, the brain. In effect, eating sugar is a net negative to your overall nutritional profile, meaning you would be better off fasting (maybe not starving, but perhaps).
Kids grow up and all of their favorite foods are loaded with refined sugar. Kids who are fed like this are not interested in food, they are interested in sugar, and all of their favorite foods are delivery systems for this drug. We are raising nutritionally deficient drug addicts. In fact, that is exactly what I was. I was addicted to sugar, to chemicals, to meat by products, artificial colors, and flavor enhancers. I was tormented, like any addict would be, within my own body, it was my prison.
It was at 15 years old that I first smoked cannabis, and it was revelatory. For the first time in my life, I was able to feel my body, to acknowledge the weird cravings I was having, to feel pleasure without food. Cannabis truly was my saving grace. Each individual has their own path to awakening, and cannabis was mine. Cannabis increased my sensitivity to the things that were happening around me and within me. I noticed that drinking water felt good and that overeating caused me to be sick for hours. I opened up to new foods and tried broccoli for the first time. I had so much energy, I felt positive about the future.
All of these new and exciting possibilities made me want to get more out of my life and my body. My journey into healthy eating had begun with the simple act of stimulating my endocannabinoid system. Over the next 10 years, I would move all the way to juice fasting and a raw food diet.
One change, however, stands out amongst all of them, and it is the one that has stood the test of time. That was to eliminate soda from my diet. I am not exactly sure what motivated this change. but it stuck and was so quick. My cup went from soda to water, overnight. I was quite a consumer of this brown sludge. It would not be uncommon to drink 5-6 cans or 1, 2 liter per day.
When I made the switch, I also noticed a dramatic increase in energy. Soda had left me chronically dehydrated which causes fatigue and lack of mental clarity. With the switch to water, I was activated. My friends and I began smoking a bowl each day and then playing basketball until the sun went down. Our hobby was to drive around and find different public courts and play with strangers.
Within two months of making the switch, I went from a bloated, pale, confused looking kid with boobies, to a lean, muscular, and handsome young man. The transformation saw me go from 150 lbs down to 125 in a matter of two months. In fact, since this transition, I have stayed between 120 and 132, over 20 years now, all since I dropped soda for water.
This was the beginning of my health revolution. I didn’t know how bad soda was at the time, I was just guided, and I am so grateful for this.
There were a litany of other health changes that I made in the coming years, all of them with varying amounts of impact on my personal health. Soda, however, is where it all began.
Soda is as toxic as anything you can put into your body. The sweetener used is more of a byproduct than anything. There is no real food in soda. It is the equivalent of melted candy made drinkable with added artificial colors and caffeine. The video below is amazing, and shows you how global obesity is linked directly to soda consumption.
Soda producers have even created so called “Diet” products under the guise that they are somehow “healthier”. They are so obviously not, and anyone who thinks that they are, I’m sorry, you have been misled. The ingredients used in diet soda are damaging to the body in an entirely different yet powerful way. Diet soda affects the brain and is linked to early onset of mentally degenerative diseases like dementia and alzheimer’s.
In fact, diet soda tricks the body into believing it is receiving sugar. The body responds by looking for the connected energy, when it doesn’t find it, it craves actual sugar. The sweet flavor of these artificial sweeteners causes the body to crave more sugar. So, while neither regular or diet soda is good for you, I would hazard to say that if you were going to “pick your poison”, regular soda is a better choice. Not a good choice by any means, you’d be hard pressed to find something less healthy than a coca cola, a sprite, or a commercial ginger ale soft drink.
These products, in my book, are not food. They are drugs, and shitty one’s at that. Offering a short high followed by a sustained crash and intense cravings. The long term effects of drinking them is such that the high makes it not even close to worth it.
A Call to Action
Want to make a change to your health? Maybe you have already quit soda, if so, thank you for reading, and share this information with other people.
If you do drink soda, diet or regular, take a moment to read through this graphic, just be honest with yourself. If you still choose to drink it, at least you are being compassionate towards your reality. These companies would never tell you this information, you have to educate yourself.
Create a housewide ban on soda. It sounds intense, but there is no room in a healthy life for these products. You wouldn’t allow your kid to bring cocaine or meth into your home, why would you allow this addictive chemicalized garbage in your temple? This is something worth debating with your kids. Their health, when they are young, is largely in your hands, teach them now that you have standards and that these changes will only improve the rest of your life.
When you go out to eat just don’t order a drink, bring your own filtered water. Watch how much soda is consumed around you. People get refills like it’s nobody’s business. Notice how prominent the signs for Coca Cola or Pepsi are at every establishment. This is an evil operation that adds no benefit to the world. Bless yourself and be free from it.
Amethyst – discipline, recovery from addiction, seeing better choices
Fluorite – focus, starting new habits, productivity
Selenite – alignment, strengthen bones and teeth, clarity