Do you have a food that is just impossible for you to stop eating once you’ve started? I have two, homemade chocolate chip cookies and Skippy natural creamy peanut butter. If I have to say which one is worse there is no question that it’s the latter. Mostly because it is a staple in our house where the cookies are easier to limit since they take time and effort to make.
Peanut Butter Equals Happy (NOT)
My peanut butter addiction began early. I remember being pretty little and asking my mom for what I called a “peanut butter spoon” which was exactly what it sounds like, peanut butter on a spoon. Later I advanced to a peanut butter spoon dipped in chocolate chips. This became a treat that I developed a strong emotional bond with and has stuck with me for my entire life since then. Unfortunately, on many occasions, it has also taken complete control over me.
Everyone has different relationships with food. One very common relationship is when certain foods bring us comfort, even though it’s mostly temporary comfort. At one point I was eating a giant spoonful of peanut butter with a side of chocolate chips every single night before bed. I would be tired or stressed after a long day and I honestly felt like I NEEDED it to feel better.
Sugar Is The REAL Enemy
I actually would feel better, too, because this high sugar snack was spiking my blood sugar and triggering an endorphin release similar to what happens with cocaine! Then the sugar crash happens, the high is gone and leaves you craving more. Many times I have fallen into this vicious cycle, to the point where I would get myself a spoonful of peanut butter, just one, I’d tell myself, then minutes later I’d go back for another, then another and then end up just eating the peanut butter directly from the jar. YIKES! (I don’t keep chocolate chips in my house anymore, only when I plan on baking something specific with them are they purchased, that has at least helped me avoid the threat of the peanut butter plus chocolate binge.)
You might be wondering where on earth I ever heard sugar being associated with cocaine! Well, I recently watched an incredible documentary called, That Sugar Film it’s all about how sugar affects our health. I was familiar with the comparison of sugar with cocaine and how it is considered almost as addicting, but this movie really explains all those details well. They also cover the facts about sugar’s role in heart disease and the nasty truth about the sugar companies and their incredible effort to keep information about sugar and our health as pushed under the rug as possible. (A lot like big tobacco!) I highly recommend everyone watch this. It’s available to stream free with an Amazon Prime membership. (Check out all my recommended documentaries and books in my free RESOURCE LIBRARY!)
I never felt better after a peanut butter binge. It was ALWAYS regretted. Why was I doing this to myself?! Because, my friends, I am a peanut butter addict. Truthfully, I am probably a sugar addict that reveals itself in the form of peanut butter.
You might be thinking, but peanut butter doesn’t have that much sugar! Two tablespoons (one serving) of Skippy natural peanut butter has 3 grams of sugar which equal 3/4 of a teaspoon. According to the American Heart Association, the maximum recommended intake of added sugar for women is 6 teaspoons a day (9 for men, 3 for kids!). When you look at it like that it’s a bit shocking, isn’t it!
There are things I’ve attempted in my effort to deal with this condition. Things I could do to remedy my problem. The biggest one being, switching the family to REAL peanut butter, with no added sugar or oils. (Skippy Natural, which is our typical peanut butter, has added sugar and palm oil- not the best option, but better than versions with partially hydrogenated oils.)
I doubt I would binge on REAL peanut butter considering it has no added sugar, but hubby can’t stand it. I’ve tried multiple kinds with no luck pleasing him. He enjoys peanut butter on apples or brown rice cakes and does it in beautiful moderation. Same with my kids, they actually don’t care too much for peanut butter, but when they do this is the kind they prefer. UGH! There it is staring at me every time I open the fridge (Skippy Natural is fairly runny, so we keep it in the fridge for a better consistency.)
I feel like this will be something I might always struggle with. I will always be a peanut butter addict, but that doesn’t mean I have to let peanut butter win over me. I have a game plan this time and I am going into it with a very good mindset and motivation (thanks to that movie!) I’m using a similar tactic to how I beat my diet soda addiction. The big difference being that peanut butter will still be in my house.
I’m Ready To Be A Quitter
My peanut butter quit plan has three simple guidelines:
- Cold turkey. No weaning, I’m making a clean break.
- I am not allowed to open the jar or handle the peanut butter in any way. (Sometimes just the smell makes it too tempting) If hubby or the kids want some they will be getting it themselves.
- Use alternatives to curb cravings. I’ve learned to enjoy one ingredient, no sugar added almond butter. I’ve even made my own almond butter. It’s not quite the same as peanut butter, but that’s good! I don’t have any urges to binge.
Do you have an addictive relationship with a certain food? It’s a beast of a battle, but for the health of ourselves and to set good examples for our kids it is a battle worth fighting no matter how continuous it might be. This is not my first attempt with peanut butter, but I do hope it will be my last. Wish me luck!