We’ve never had addictive personalities, obsessive yes, but addictive no. We don’t drink we don’t do drugs, these things have never appealed to either of us, for when we did try drinking in high school a handful of times it always ended like the Joy Camp video we posted, with hangovers for days. We did not see the fun in this at all, and to this day even the slight whiff of tequila makes my stomach turn, for in the eighth grade I nearly drowned in my own vomit when on a camping trip in the woods of Eastern Oregon with a bunch of friends all upper class man. I had never drank before, and I was ready to see what all the hype was about. 

When we arrived in the woods around fifteen or twenty of us, we began by setting up tents.The two of us watched as our upper class man friends Eric and Scott, pathetically attempted to build a camp fire. These small town city slickers were trying to light logs on fire. We quickly moved them out of the way, gathered some kindling out of the back of one of the trucks and some news paper, stacked the kindling in a criss cross manner and lit the paper. We had a roaring camp fire within minutes, and we made sure to make fun of them, even though we were only in the eighth grade entering into our freshman year. We were in the click of cool kids, in part to our athletic talent that moved us up in the ranks at school. 

Once the bonfire was set, night fell, and the booze came out. There was a ton of alcohol thanks to someone in the group old enough to supply the party. I had never drank before, and started with cheap wine, and would move onto tequila. No one told me this was the absolute worst idea ever, for cheap wine will give you a the most excruciating hangover of your life, and everyone knows what tequila will do. Within an hour I was done for, sick as a dog puking all night. My best friend at the time Carry took care of me by wiping off my face with a wet washcloth with water she fetched from the creek near by, pulling my face out of a pool of vomit I was drowning in. She did not leave me alone after that. Amber was equally as sick, and that experience would derail any desire to ever drink again. I literally only drank a few times throughout all of high school, for it always ended in a similar situation as the first. It was no fun. I tried a beer bong my senior year, and that was the end of it, I was done in five minutes sick for the rest of the night. This whole drinking thing was way over rated, and I always turned a shade of green whenever I drank. It made me look horrible, my poor liver wanted nothing to do with it. 

Even though neither of us drank, we were always at the parties, making sure everyone was safe. We were the watch keepers of all of our friends.

In college when Amber was hanging out with a her college boyfriend and a bunch of professional snowboarders from the Mountain, they were all sitting in a circle passing around a bong and drinking tequila. When the tequila shot was slid over to Amber she declined graciously, “No Thank You.” She had already turned down the pot, which we both had tried a few times and hated for it made us hungry and tired. The group could see they had a party pooper on their hands, and badgered Amber to take a shot of tequila. 

Her revolt to tequila was the same as mine due to our early experience with it, and she continued to say no. After ten minutes of non-stop peer pressure from all of the pro snowboarders and a bunch of cool kids, she caved and took a shot. As soon as she downed it, an uncontrollable, unstoppable belch from deep within her body exited her mouth followed by a lurch as her entire body convulsed. The party was now buzz killed, and all eyes were on Amber, as someone exclaimed, “awwh man, she’s gonna puke.” One of the snowboarder’s jumped up, grabbed a garbage can and stuffed it in Amber’s face. As Amber struggled to gain her composure and not barf, she stood up, said, “fuck all you assholes, I told you I don’t like tequila,” and stormed out of the party. The overrated, overindulgence of drugs and alcohol just wasn’t our bag.

We ate mushrooms at 20, but not enough to do anything, it was a small sliver, and the only thing it did was take us down a dark trip of fear. I literally had a bad trip, but it wasn’t a visual experience, it was a dark, dark presence of doom. All of those experiences combined summed up never wanting to touch drugs or alcohol, and we felt the running high we had experienced from athletics far exceeded any other high. The running high could not be touched, not even close. As a serious runner for many years, the insane euphoria and blissful love that was experienced from the running high was unmatched by any substance. I think this is why none of that other stuff appealed to us, hence the importance of athletics, to give people the natural high.

People have often asked us what our vices are? We don’t really feel that we have any vices, for this is a negative dependency on something. The closest thing we could relate a vice to would be chocolate, however we don’t eat the really bad for you, processed milk chocolate garbage they sell you in the grocery store, we consume the superfood raw cacao chocolate that we most often make ourselves, packed full of nutrition. However before Cacao was mainstream in and years before the organic movement even existed, we may have had a few vices in regard to chocolate.

As we said before, neither of us were inclined to addictive behavior whatsoever, it just wasn’t a part of our DNA, however we started to recognize something odd with food.  We had a few cognitions that some of the processed food we were eating that was deemed healthy such as Wheat Chex cereal, left us feeling hungrier. This happened with yogurt and other processed foods as well that were labelled healthy and good for you. We began wondering what was in the food making us hungrier? 

The real moment of clarity came when we bought a container of Betty Crocker chocolate frosting and Graham crackers, a childhood indulgence repeating in our adult life. We busted into the package of Betty Crocker frosting, peeled the seal, and were hit with the strong aroma of chocolate. We slathered the chocolate frosting onto the Graham cracker, and said we would have just one, but the insatiable desire to have another and another with a full conscious awareness that there was indeed some sort of addictive additive in this frosting, because we pretty much ate the entire container of frosting. We just don’t roll like that, it’s not our style, we have plenty of will power and restraint, but in this moment we said fuck it, we are going to eat the whole jar and never buy this stuff again. We had to get it out of the house, because if it sat in the cupboard, it would haunt us with its gravitational pull, beckoning us to eat more. We vowed to never by any frosting ever again and we stuck to it, knowing that whatever was being put in the frosting was highly addictive, made us hungrier and crave more. 

Kevin Trudeau wrote about the chemical additives “THEY” were adding to food to make people addicted, hungrier, and fatter, in his book Natural Cures They Don’t Want You To Know About, which we had not read yet. He exposed the Big Food chemical industry who had armed guards making secret ingredients at their factories, to put in the processed food. The Kevin Trudeau radio show covered some of this as well, and in his book he goes into detail of how he talked to the armed guards, who prohibited visitors from the property. What were these Big Food chemical companies really doing behind their barbed wire fences and armed guards? They were, and are whipping up chemicals to put in your food to make it your crack.

It wouldn’t be long after our Betty Crocker incident that we would find our first naturopathic doctor, who would teach us the foundation to organic and health, changing our life and putting us in a new direction. Out with Betty Crack, onto raw cacao. There are an array of raw desserts that are guilt free superfoods, that took hold around 2014. We discovered Matthew Kenney’s raw dessert cookbook as well as a handful of vegan youtubers making videos on raw desserts. This is where the magic is at, not in processed guilt latent poisonous desserts, but superfood rich powerhouse desserts raw and uncooked! It’s an evolution of food!

The manner in which these Big Food companies, create their addictive products, from inception to deception, is a process that is intricately mapped out to stimulate the five senses and get you hooked. 

This brings me back to the Hostess Ding Dongs in my early twenties. I knew if there was a box of these in the house, I would have to set daily limits for myself, for these treats were irresistible. There is an entire psychology of aesthetics behind the Hostess Ding Dong. You have the rectangular box, waxy white with colorful red writing, a perforated opening that you peel the paper seal off, and the divine smell of the Ding Dongs, when you open the box, all stacked beautifully inside like a gift. The perfectly wrapped cakes in a one of a kind delicate shiny foil was mesmerizing. The ritual of the entire process would unfold as I gingerly unwrapped the paper thin foil and held the cake covered chocolate. Would I nibble off all of the outer shell exposing the naked spongy, vulnerable, chocolate cake, and bite into the filling, or would I go for the gusto and bite into the entire desert, outer chocolate shell, soft spongy cake, out of this world cream filling, that rivaled all of its competition? What was in this stuff? It was unbelievably tasty. I found the most satisfactory experience of the Hostess Ding Dong was to just go for it, biting into the entire dessert as an explosion of flavor erupted on every taste bud in my mouth. It was delicious, and as good as it was, I knew it was bad. 

These delicate treats would phase their way out of my life and eventually out of everyone’s life when Hostess went under and out of business. People just weren’t buying these killer deserts anymore, latent with man made chemicals, preservatives, artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners. The Betty Crocker frosting and the Hostess treats are the closest thing I could ever relate to addiction, but I always had my boundaries and bought them with caution a rarity.  

The moral of the story is there is a lot that goes into all aspects of the Big Food industry to get you hooked, from packaging to the aesthetics colors, flavors, smells, textures, all designed to stimulate your five senses, but as your sixth sense kicks in you will eventually give all of that up and discover the healthy alternatives, equally as seductive and delicious as a Hostess Ding Dong!