High Fructose Corn Syrup, it’s everywhere. It’s in everything from ketchup to Special K, non fat ice cream sandwiches to sald dressing,  . High in calories and low in nutritional value, it is created by changing the sugar in corn starch to fructose, another type of sugar. The result is cheaper than sugar itself, and extends the shelf life of the product.

I am not a chemist or a nutritionist. There are studies that suggest that HFCS does not register in the brain the same way that sugar does, and thus we do not receive the same triggers to stop eating that we might with real sugar. There are also studies that say this may not be the case and HFCS doesn’t deserve the bad rap.

I’m going to try to sit this one out. HFCS in moderation may be non harmful, but who wants non harmful? I want enriching and strengthening, nourishment. Also, I don’t need all this extra sweetener in my food. Food is good as is. Plain yogurt is not less than artificially sweetened blueberry pie non fat yogurt, it is plain, and that is enough.

So, avoiding HFCS is hard. As I said, seems to be added to everything today. The answer is whole foods, fruits and veggies, whole grains, etc. But HFCS is insidious and you have to watch for it, actively cut it out.

Here’s the part that hit me the other day. Life is full of metaphorical High Fructose Corn Syrup. It might take the form of committee meetings or clubs or new work projects or reciprocated dinners. If you have a family this might be soccer practice and dance practice and birthday party after birthday party and more.

Now, the above are important. Soccer and dance for children, supporting your local zoo or taking on a new project at work to get a promotion. But if we aren’t careful, these things overwhelm us and we don’t realize we are full. We don’t realize we are stretched to the max,  bellies distended and chowing down more non fat rocky road.

They key is conscious living. What do we get out of what we are putting in. Is it nourishing, strengthening and does it build us up? Or is it more noise, something to keep us from feeling less than?  

Re-educating ourselves may be called for here. Quiet dinners at home, time to read a book, a night with the family looking at the stars at the beach or camped out in a field, or just sitting still and listening to the bugs while the sun sets, these are enriching and meaningful experiences. We can benefit by placing as much value on them as the latest work project that will help climb the ladder.

We are not less than if we choose to slow down, eliminate some of the metaphorical HFCS in our lives. We feel fuller earlier, we look for nourishment over distraction and we live with greater peace.

Om Shanti.