by cheri sabraw
While we were walking down Liverpool Street in London last month, Glenys, my new friend, asked me if I was familiar with the scientific work of Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist from UCSF. Had I seen his lecture on YouTube? Had I read his book, Fat Chance?
“No, I haven’t,” I replied, trying to keep up with her long stride, “…should I, and if so, why?”
You have all seen a shuttle launch into the atmosphere with smoke and fire from Cape Canaveral, the burst and then energy thrust of Thoroughbred horses from their Kentucky Derby gate, the pump and then red and gold flash of fireworks into a Fourth of July night, right?
Such was the energy behind Glenys’ answer.
Well! Cheri! Dr. Lustig’s thesis is simple: sugar is poison!!
I tripped over a slight bump in the sidewalk, regaining my balance without Glenys’ knowing. My glasses clouded from my breath. My hair, usually straight, began to frizz a bit in the London humidity. While trying to catch up with her (the men were far behind), my taste buds—one in particular—reacted bitterly to her statement.
And then the silky images of my favorite foods and drinks swirled into the part of my brain where I bake and serve my dopamine. Apple cobbler with vanilla bean ice cream, soft deep-chocolate brownies, Mojitos, buttery Chardonnays, oatmeal raisin cookies. It surely was a mind-trip from Clockwork Orange.
That night Glenys and Richard and Ron and I ate dinner in the bar of our hotel. I ordered my customary buttery Chardonnay and was just about to order the fish and chips (smothered in ketchup) when I looked over at sweet (and fit) Glenys who gazed at me with a pleasant and loving smile, like that of a therapist I once saw.
“ I’ll have the salad with the dressing on the side, “ I told the server robotically, who looked at me sadly, with sympathy. Out of some projection and perhaps defiance, I chugged my Chardonnay.
Two weeks ago, in my post office box, I found a book shipped to me from across the Pond.
I am reading it. And shall report to you all. By the way, I have just added a link to his You Tube lecture, sponsored by the University of California, San Francisco.