Hello Kitty Café, Friends and Sydney

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Sydney in Autumn is a sight to behold. We walked around to drama, dodging trucks and construction of the light installations for Vivid, which starts this weekend. There were buskers and tour groups taking in the history of The Rocks. My daughter has a ritual before her class. I give her money and she buys a strawberry donut from a takeaway shop at Circular Quay. The elderly Vietnamese man sees her approach, and has the donut in the bag before she asks. My daughter says they are the best donuts in the world. We weave our way through wedding parties and photographers, my daughter entranced by the gowns, but grossed out by the romance and smooching. I call our day in the city my caffeine day. When you have such extraordinary coffee and barista’s at your disposal, why wouldn’t you indulge? To redeem myself, I order the best salad in Sydney. Spoilt for choice, it is hard to settle on one, and they are a triumph of assembly. The sort that you wouldn’t bother making yourself at home, unless you had a spare hour or so.

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Scenes such as the one above take my mind off my physical pain. Thank heavens my daughter’s balance is better than mine! On this particular day, I decided to travel over the Harbour Bridge on the train, to see friends. I insisted we try the quirky Hello Kitty Café at Chatswood.

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My friend and I are under the care of an endocrinologist. Both of us are sugar-impaired, shall we say, and we try to behave. This was something of our last hurrah on that front, which is just as well.

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Yes, I drank/ate the Freak Milkshake above, and was suitably buzzing and silly afterward! To my delight, they had a tofu burger on the menu.

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It was a sweet little café, and we enjoyed our outing. It has taken me two days to get over our big day out, but you gotta live, right? I had seen this place had opened over a year ago, and determined to go one day and check it out. It niggles at you, doesn’t it? The events you miss and promise to get to the next year, the things you want to do and people you want to see. Sometimes you just have to do it. We are looking forward to the next adventure! Sydney is brimming with them!

That Sugar Film

Sugar… The issue is close to my heart. I watched my beloved Grandmother endure the horror diabetes inflicted on her. Her legs were eventually amputated. I was a healthy vegetarian when I fell pregnant, and I was then diagnosed with gestational diabetes. My endocrinologist and dietician looked at my food and exercise diary and could find nothing amiss, nothing that needed changing. I wanted to do the right thing for my baby so dutifully injected insulin and walked several kilometres after each meal. Diabetes runs in my family, so genetically, the gun was loaded. I have a little girl in love with sugar (as most kids are), and I was excited at showing her this movie. She had to see it for herself, rather than through a series of lectures. I am aware that if I become too much of a sugar-free officer, she will rebel, and gorge when I am not around. Everything in moderation.

That Sugar Film
That Sugar Film

Damon Gameau is the hero of That Sugar Film. He ate only (supposedly), healthier choices throughout his experiment. His weight shot up, he was well on his way to cirhoisis of the liver, heart disease and  type 2 diabetes. Interestingly, his calorie intake remained the same, as did his level of exercise. The only point of difference was his sugar intake. We saw a young American man with all his teeth rotted from drinking ‘pop.’ Images that remain. My daughter ate an apple as a snack today and has not asked for anything sugary. I resent sugar’s inclusion in almost all processed foods. How can you have control over how much  you are ingesting?

When I had gestational diabetes, I had to stop eating out. I would select the healthiest option on the menu, such as steamed veggies, only to have my sugar levels go through the roof. The dressings and seasonings they coated the meal in were often to blame. I make most meals from scratch in our place, and we have a big box of seasonal locally -grown produce delivered each week. My supermarket bills have gone down as a result. The film was an eye-opener as is the accompanying book. My daughter will still ask for fairy bread and donuts, but she knows she can’t live on them. The movie inspires critical thinking, and as a result, I owe Damon a debt of gratitude.