Chocolate: would you rather be addicted to it OR have your body reject it and make you ill for eating it?

What about popcorn?  Candy?

First a story about chocolate, from Kevin Gianni of Renegade Health:

It’s amazing how sensitive the body can get once you’ve eaten healthy for a while…

Yesterday, I decided to have some chocolate while I was watching the Steelers game (U.S. football). I usually don’t eat chocolate at all based on my past history with it — adrenal stress and eventual low hormone production — but yesterday, I wanted to see how I felt afterwords.

I only intended to have a small one centimeter square, but it turned into about 1/3 of a regular sized chocolate bar. This happened to be a raw chocolate bar that wasn’t too tasty, so I’ll spare the name of it here.

Within minutes after eating it, I started to feel pretty ramped up. For me, the caffeine totally whacks me out and I start to get antsy and unable to sit still. What’s worse is that this feeling lasted for almost 12 hours — of course, more intense at the beginning — but at 12:45 am, I was still unable to go to sleep. It was quite an experience and something that I don’t want to repeat anytime in the near future.

What also was interesting, was that my experiment didn’t end when I went to bed. This morning, I’ve been almost completely useless in terms of productivity. I’ve also felt in a funk — which means that it’s about as close to a mild depression as I’ve felt in 10 years or so (and no, I’m not depressed because my team lost! LOL!). I can’t say if it was specifically the sleep or the chocolate that has caused all this, but I can tell you that I’ve gotten less sleep before and not felt this same way. So, it’s a combination of both, but I’m putting a little extra weight toward the stimulant.

Is that how your body reacts to chocolate?  Is that how you’d want it to?

What about something worse for you, less natural, more chemicals, more sugar? In the next story, Shannon has a violent reaction (pardon the gross factor) to movie popcorn and candy:

We got seated in front of the dark screen and as the trailers began to roll, I noticed that the popcorn was going down rather well and the butter didn’t hurt either. Did I mention that I avoided the candy aisle at the grocery store? My husbie didn’t. As the movie starts, he pulls out a huge bag of peanut M&M’s. My logic kicks in again!! I’ll just have one, or two, three max. […] Before I knew it, the action kicked into the film, sweet and salty commingled in my mouth and my senses went into overdrive. It was all so good. I worked out for an hour, went hiking for an hour, I deserved this.

Well, yes, I suppose I deserved exactly what I got. Later that evening, […] when I went up to bed, I was feeling – okay. Not for long.

A few minutes after lying down, my stomach started to kind of roll. The first waves of nausea passed and I thought everything was going to be fine. This too shall pass, I was so tired. I wanted sleep. But sleep was not to come. Within 30 minutes of going to bed, I was up and in the bathroom and that popcorn and those M&M’s were coming out both ends. No kidding. Lemme tell you, I do NOT know what they put in that so called butter, but whatever it is, it doesn’t break down in stomach acid. What does that tell you? It cannot be good for you. It was horrible, nasty and awful. I was sick sick sick and there was no stopping it until it all came out. I had my logic, but my body had other ideas. It was clean and pure and how dare I pollute it with that crap!!

Why do I share these stories with you?  Because it is an interesting dilemma, one I don’t even have an answer for myself.

I’m a huge fan of fasting, cleanses, and detoxing.  I believe we should do our best to help our body rid our systems of toxins, chemicals, pollutants, and other crap (both literally and figuratively) that accumulates due to the food we eat, air we breathe, liquids we drink, things we touch and rub on our skin, daily exposures and habits, and the life we lead. And that by ensuring our body is clean, purified, and well-functioning we can live healthier, happier, longer, more energetic, disease-free lives. That all sounds great, right?

What if that longer, healthier, more energetic, disease-free life meant never having chocolate, popcorn, or any candy ever again? Would that be better? Would the life-happiness factor diminish if you felt like crap every time you had an indulgent creamy bite of chocolate?

How clean is too clean? How pure and detoxed is too squeaky-clean?If a body really is that clean, shouldn’t it be better able to handle, metabolize, and excrete (preferably non-violently) anything that doesn’t sustain and nourish it?

Is there a point at which a body can still remember and effectively eliminate that which it doesn’t want while still maintaining a healthy balanced system? I, for one, occasionally like to eat chocolate, or popcorn, and even sometimes candy, but I still want to have a healthy long-term outlook and I also don’t want to feel like crap daily nor immediately in response to such consumption.

What if the dichotomy was:

  • Acute situation: super clean body, great energy, bright skin, no long-term susceptibility to disease, but any small intake of comfort or junk foods sends your head into a spin or you running for a toilet.
  • Chronic situation: frequently lethargic, less than clear mind, stored body fat, high likelihood of metabolic syndrome or cancer, but you can eat processed or junk foods whenever with no distinct or adverse reactions.

Which would you choose?

Or, better yet, is there a happy medium? Is balance with the best of both worlds possible?