Diamond-Cut Life

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Humbled By Haagen Dazs

June 16th, 2012 by Alison · No Comments · food & drink

Ice cream season is here. If you were reading DCL in June 2009, you may remember today’s rueful post. I’m reprinting it because this spring I had an ice cream relapse. Evenings on end of root beer floats after dinner. My eyes were glazing over, and I wasn’t responding to Thor’s attempts at conversation as well as a spouse should. It wasn’t pretty. While I’ve been clean and sober again for several weeks now, I need to renew my vow of abstinence as we enter the season of temptation. Can I get a witness?

My consumption habits are definitely still a work in progress. Not only has Carpool Guy pointed out to me that I’m crazy to do a 100 mile commute three days a week (something I had actually admitted, plus he’s overlooking the fact that I AM in a carpool)  I also have a pathological relationship to Haagen Dazs ice cream. Here is the deal, and my plan to get the better of my seductive adversary.

About ten evenings ago I’d been working diligently in the garden after dinner, and realized I was really hungry. It was warm out, and so ice cream was definitely the ticket. Rather than get the bike and helmet out and cycle down to the QFC on East Burnside like a normal, sustainably-minded Portland woman dealing with a yen for sugar and butterfat, I actually got in the car to fetch it. (Right there, the addictive, gotta-have-it-now-at-any-cost attitude was evident. So demeaning.)

Caring as I do about the social equity part of the triple bottom line, not to mention that marriage requires sharing, I made sure to take Thor’s order for soy ice cream before I left. Our housemate and fellow urban farmer Evan wasn’t around, but I knew he doesn’t much like ice cream. His winsome girlfriend Jasmine is vegan, to boot, a good influence on all of us.

I bought two pints of Haagen Dazs — mint chip and vanilla swiss almond — and a pint of Soylicious Chocolate Decadence for Thor. Back at the house, I opened a can of Hansen’s grapefruit soda, poured some into a glass, and mixed, oh about half the pint of vanilla into the soda to create an ice cream float. It tasted every bit as good as I’d hoped. In the moment, that is. Addictions are all about the moment.

Thank the goddess I am not a diabetic. It’s bad enough just to have a mindlessly addictive reaction to top-of-the-line ice cream.

Three mornings later I woke up woozy, with all the ice cream and grapefruit soda gone, and a sick heart to go with my sick stomach. Eating super-rich food isn’t just bad for me, it’s bad for the planet — it’s the truth, not a myth, that the methane cows emit is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. And I knew from past experience that I would crave ice cream again that night. Addiction is like that, feeding on past consumption, gathering momentum with every episode of indulgence.

The action plan is this: I am not eating ice cream this summer. This m.o. worked very well for me two summers ago. Not eating it leads to not wanting it or even thinking about it. Heaven knows our culture offers us hundreds of other tasty things to eat. We have more food choices than ever before in human history.

I considered including a photo of ice cream to dramatize my point, but decided against it. That would likely just trigger your own set of cravings for sugar and butterfat that are delivered in an icy, calorie-and-methane-loaded package. Mindful of the contagious nature of addiction, I spared you that visual imagery.

I will leave you instead with a report of how I feel having eaten normal, mostly vegetarian food only for the entire past week, sans Hagen Daaz or other ice cream. Alert. Light. Bright. Clear. Calm-hearted.

Humbled by Haagen Dazs and its addictive powers, I am back on track in pursuit of the diamond-cut life.


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