Friday morning as we were on our way to school, sitting at the red light, you looked over and saw what you assumed was a tanker truck delivering gas to the gas station.
“Actually, that’s a soda truck. Soda makes people sick. It’s not healthy for people to drink it,” your health nut dad explained.
Your immediate response:
“Daddy, we should pour soda over the heads of the bad guys.”
Now, maybe if an outsider somehow heard that conversation, they might suggest it’s a prime example of a parent brainwashing their child.
I don’t know, though. I don’t know if it’s common knowledge that drinking soda leads to diabetes (type 2), like it is common knowledge in our family. Fortunately, Diabetes.org recognizes this on their website:
“The American Diabetes Association recommends that people should limit their intake of sugar-sweetened beverages to help prevent diabetes. Sugar-sweetened beverages include beverages like: regular soda, fruit punch, fruit drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks, sweet tea, and other sugary drinks.”
Plus, I don’t know if this is common knowledge either, like it is for our family, that diet sodas are no better for a person who is trying to avoid cancer or disease. Even WebMD doesn’t outright deny or dismiss these claims:
“The most recent headlines have raised concerns that diet sodas boost stroke risk. Diet and regular sodas have both been linked to obesity, kidney damage, and certain cancers. Regular soft drinks have been linked to elevated blood pressure… Observational studies like these can point to possible concerns, but they can’t prove that sodas do, or don’t, pose a health risk.”
But over time, like smoking cigarettes, regularly drinking soda is the sort of like playing Russian roulette.
The way I see it, it would be an act of mercy to pour soda over the heads of the bad guys. Better on them, than in them.
Honestly, I would be very upset if I found out that someone let you drink soda when I wasn’t around. That would be extremely offensive to me; even if you only had a few sips.
Aside from the overdose of sugar, and the mysterious chemicals, there’s also the caffeine to take into consideration.
“According to a study conducted by New Scientist magazine, 90% of North American adults consume some form of caffeine on a daily basis, making this legal, psychoactive substance the world’s most widely used drug.”
As for you, you just drink water all day, then almond milk with dinner.
Soda is not for drinking. It’s for pouring over the heads of bad guys; at least, according to you it is.
You’re nicer than I am, though. Again, I think making the bad guys drink that stuff would be a lot worse.
(Your health nut) Daddy
Note: This is an opinion piece of the author and does not reflect Parents magazine or the medical establishment.
This letter was supposed to be a funny one about how I’m a typical dad in the way I hide your toys when you refuse to put them away when I ask you to.
But seeing that this is my last letter of 2013, I want it to have a more retrospective perspective.
So I’ll save my originally intended programming for next week and/or next year.
Instead, I can’t help but think of what this year, 2013, has taught me on this gloomy and rainy December night; letting this all soak in.
It’s been an interesting year for me in that it’s been like a dichotomy.
Three months into the year, I became a (new wave) vegan, which proved to take an epic psychosocial toll on me; yet physically and psychologically, I’ve never been healthier, and more at peace and in a state of gratitude.
(I have even sworn off caffeine for the rest of my life, as well; because I see it as the most unregulated addictive stimulant in the world.)
One of my favorite bands ever, Third Eye Blind, sings one of my favorite songs ever, “Motorcycle Drive By.” My favorite line of it serves as a bit of a motto to describe the private challenges I’ve dealt with inside my brain this year:
“And there’s this burning like there’s never been/And I’ve never been so alone/And I’ve never been so alive”
Before it sounds like I’m throwing myself a pity party, let me just clarify. I’m not alone. I have you and Mommy. I have family. I have friends. I have plenty of meaning in my life.
I have joy!
But there’s an undeniable disconnect that I suddenly became aware of during the weeks following my denying of animal products for nutritional sustenance. It was like cutting myself off from the rest of the world. I by default ostracized myself from what is normal in society. After all, I no longer participate in that historical human shared experience.
Then a few months later, for all practical purposes, I did something similar when I “quit” Facebook.
I went from spending a minimum of 30 minutes to 60 minutes a day scrolling through my Facebook feed, commenting and corresponding, and accidently instigating polarizing conversations based on my opinions that half my friends agreed with, while the other half didn’t.
Plus, I confused a lot of people whenever I used sarcasm.
So since June, I have made a conscious effort to spend only 30 to 60 seconds (!) a day on Facebook. Perhaps, in a sense, it’s selfish to my Facebook friends, but for this 2nd half of the year, the only news on Facebook I have known about is what shows up at the very top of my news feed; which is what the free market of my 960 Faceook friends decided was the most relevant that day.