It’s summertime right now in the Philippines and the heat is punishing. The sun is like a big yellow blot seared on the sky. It burns and sizzles. It’s during days like this that I thank God air conditioners have been invented.
I don’t usually hate summers, but this particular one I do. The stress at work, personal issues, and the scorching heat are driving me to eat more of the food that I usually stay away from. I think I’ve downed more cold sodas in the past few weeks than the total I’ve drank the entire year last year.
I’ve been doing a good job these past years of steering clear of soft drinks and any other cold drinks because it worsens my sinusitis. We’ve stopped placing water pitchers inside our refrigerator at home to avoid the temptation. Our mineral water dispenser at the office only has “hot” and “warm”. Suffice to say it’s been a while since I’ve last had a cold drink.
But when summer hit last month, the craving brought on by the burning heat and emotional blahs were too much. Short of squeezing myself inside the refrigerator and staying there until summer ends, I had no choice but reach for the icy drinks as well as the comfort food to chase away the heat and the funk.
On Saturdays, the day my Dad’s newspaper goes to press (I write for, edit and proofread the weekly, aside from my full-time Mon-Fri job. Didn’t I tell you I’m superwoman?), I eat biko for lunch (that’s the one in the photo above).
Biko (rice cake with caramel topping) is perfect with icy-cold Coke.
Want to know what other wonderfully unhealthy eating habits I’ve been indulging in in this hot weather?
Hi-Ro (top left) is a childhood favorite (again, a perfect match with a cold Coke poured inside a plastic bag with straw) while the Häagen-Dazs (top right) is a new discovery. These two are all sugar, sugar, sugar.
A cold mug of Milo drink (top left) and one of Bo’s coffee drinks topped with generous dollops of heavenly cream.
Can you see the formula in this? Stress + summer = sugar overload. A deadly combination.
I’m turning to food for relief from the heat and the stress. I know it’s bad, oh do I know it. But though the spirit is protesting, the flesh is weak.
I know that I’ll have to put a stop to this nasty eating habit at some point. Otherwise, by the time summer is done this year, I think I’ll need a whole new wardrobe to keep the bulges tucked in. Right now, I can’t afford that.
The heat is easier to deal with. It’s the stress and the personal issues that are trickier.∗