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There is no magic elixir

Saturday, February 16, 2013

So - when you were a kid did you pretend you were a magician and stir up a magic potent. Did you wish you had a homework drink that would give you speedy homework finishing powers? How about one to make you smart enough to make straight As? Did you dream about the elixir that would make you beautiful? strong? rich? fast? Something that would turn you invisible or let you fly? That would bring your dolls to life or activate your G I Joe or Masters of the Universe action figures?

I was prompted to remember those days and those longings after reading today's dailySpark blog on energy drinks.

Those things really creep me out. Fear not - this won't turn into a rant, mostly because rants stem from a failure to control other people while I believe we all have free will and don't get much out of letting others tell us what to do. Nevertheless, energy drinks really make my flesh crawl.

Yes. I am a black pot commenting on a kettle's ebony hue. I do drink coffee. Cookies pass my lips at an alarming rate. I can quickly fall victim to the siren song of the Cheeto bag.

It's just that I don't expect coffee, cookies or Cheetos to make me feel stronger, healthier, more powerful - to give me 'quick' energy. I might foolishly want them to comfort me, to make me feel like the booboo is all fixed - even to indulge some urge to disobey, to break some constraining rule - to resist a truth that I don't like. But junk food and junk drinks are always going to be just that - junk - and to paraphrase the old computer data adage - junk in, junk out.

Fortunately, the packaging in those energy drinks also offends me, creeps me out, turns me off. The black and silver and red zig zags streaking across the back view of some model's biceps; the red and yellow star bursts - these colors and shapes have a hostile look (to me) that are enough to keep me from even walking down those display aisles, much less picking up the product. Even the energy bars and protein bars are packaged that way and if I decide to buy one I have to make myself pick it up and read its label. Usually I put it back, too and hunt around for a banana.

That packaging is supposed to make the consumer feel like she has aggressive power - that she can beat the other, win the contest and yes, resist constraints. Mostly, though, it makes me feel like it's encouraging a world of bullies and victims. It's the food equivalent of those old 90 pound weakling ads for weight lifting programs that used to be in the back of comic books.

I am SO grateful that I've come to the point in life where if I want energy I think Dark Leafy Greens and if I want stamina I think Protein.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Atta girl!!! I'm right there w/ya! emoticon
    1919 days ago
    Awesome blog! It's frightening how our society is about quick and easy. I get a similar creeped out feeling when I see a commercial for 5 hour energy. That stuff just scares me.

    I've yet to come across a fruit or vegetable that frightens me. :)
    1919 days ago
  • WEDDWT case you are wondering about the first 2 ways - they are fight and flight:
    Fight is meeting violence with violence and flight is fleeing, to flee is to yield to violence.
    Food for thought :)
    1920 days ago
    I am thankful too, that the "lo-energy"cues I get from my body results in reaching for healthy options. Perhaps feeling tired and weak, in the minds of some, make them feel power-less and the energy drinks promote power-full, so the appeal is there. A quick fix. (Except when you end up in the emergency room later with a racing heart - very time consuming...)
    This reminds me of Parker Palmer's 3rd way. The third way is a commitment to act in every situation in ways that honor the soul. In this case, honor the body.
    The 3rd way is the way of non-violence. There are so many ways to practice non-violence and dark leafy greens is just one of 'em!
    I honored my body with ten fresh blackberries in my oatmeal this morning. I can feel the simplicity and peace in that!

    1920 days ago
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