Overcoming Junk Food Consciousness
What does all that sugar do to warp our perceptions?
July 24, 2012 - 1:00 pm
There is a complex of consciousness that arises from consuming lots of refined sugar, which I call “Junk Food Consciousness”.
The main features of Junk Food Consciousness are: foggy thinking; irritability; low, depressed mood; low energy; pessimistic thoughts; and inability to escape ANTs (automatic negative thoughts).
All of this is so depressing, that people caught in Junk Food Consciousness then drink lots of coffee (or a 24oz sugar-laden Red Bull!) to wake up and get some energy. And then they’re so wired and stressed by the end of the day, they need to go out and drink a few beers with their friends to “blow off steam.” And then they wake up groggy and hung over, so they go to the psychopharmacologist (or just their general practitioner) and pop some Prozac or Zoloft for their low mood…
And pretty soon, they’re not just in Junk Food Consciousness, they’re in Junk Food-Coffee-Red Bull-Beer-Prozac-Zoloft Consciousness…
Which is a really fucking ugly place. Trust me. I know, because I’ve been there. (Read my Forbes piece about overcoming Bipolar II) Thank goodness I got myself out.
Clearing my mind of Junk Food Consciousness (by clearing my body of junk food, coffe, and alcohol) felt like a clearing of the skies- it felt like fog and thunderclouds and storms lifting, and sunny, clear fresh sky entering.
In his book “The Ultra-Mind Solution” (in my opinion the best book ever written on the connection of nutrition and consciousness), Mark Hyman, M.D., writes:
“If you drink twelve cups of coffee a day, or eat half a pound of sugar a day (the amount consumed by the average American), or have an inflamed brain from eating gluten, it is very difficult to talk [via psychotherapy] or mediate your way out of suffering. I believe you must address the biological causes of the problems first, before psychotherapy can be effective. Fix your biology. Then get psychotherapy and do your soul work.”
Think about what Dr. Hyman is saying, for a moment. He’s saying that the *average* American, cannot even begin to do real personal growth work–in fact, cannot even derive benefit from psychotherapy–because of the amount of effectively-toxic junk they are putting into their system each day, which is fogging up and clouding up their minds and souls.
I am completely, passionately pro-democracy. And I am against paternalistic Nanny-State laws like Bloomberg’s, which tell people, by government mandate, what they can and cannot put into their bodies.
But, times like these show the dark side of democracy and freedom. People are free to completely cloud up their consciousness, and sell the tools of clouding consciousness (32oz Pepsi bottles and so forth), and make ads promoting the clouding of consciousness, and stuff their kids’ faces and throats with cloudy-consciousness delivery mechanisms (i.e., candy, soda, Froot Loops, etc.)…
One aspect of eating better that isn’t mentioned enough: it doesn’t need to be either/or and there’s no rush to immediately abandon sugar and junk food. I’ll eat burgers and still consume more junk food than I should. But those cravings’ strength seems to diminish as my body drifts away from foods that don’t digest as well.
How about this for a rule of thumb: eat what you want, just be aware of the positives as well as the negatives. Is sugar’s energy burst worth the price we pay in unhappiness? Is that Taco Bell worth the 20 minutes spent in the bathroom the next morning?
And seriously: the homemade juice works.