America has managed to export many of the holidays it created. Valentine’s Day and Halloween are the top two which come to mind, two dates which a generation ago were almost unheard of outside the United States.
Thanksgiving is perhaps my favorite American holiday and one of the most meaningful holidays of them all in my view, yet somehow it has never been exported. I have done my best to share this holiday with my non-American friends over the years and this year I once again hosted a group of business partners, colleagues and clients on this special day to show appreciation for them being in my life.
For better or for worse, America has also exported a lot of its food and beverage culture, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s being the first to come to mind. But in recent years, the Krispy Kreme brand has been one for me which has represented a sweet and excessively tempting indulgence, especially when the first outlet opened in Singapore a few years ago. It quickly became my go-to spot for a quick fix of comfort food (i.e., sugar hit washed down with some coffee). I never managed to eat more than 2 at a time (a friend tells me he can put away a dozen in a sitting if he sets his mind to it), but when I last year adopted a grain-free, low-sugar diet to work on my cholesterol it was time to ban Krispy Kreme from my life.
My new diet has in fact done wonders for my health, including my cholesterol numbers. I also lost almost 10kg (over 20 lbs), which I’m happy to say I have kept off.
I had a hard time at first dropping the carbs and walking by Krispy Kreme was tough for a few months. I decided, however, to allow myself one annual visit, and thus indulge in one donut a year – on Thanksgiving Day.
Last year, I was waiting in eager anticipation for the day to come to finally eat that fried, sugary dough. Yet when the day at last came I was decidedly let down and I found that the experience left me about as fulfilled as the hole in the donut’s center.
I’ve had this same experience at other times in life when I’ve let my thoughts run ahead of my soul in terms of imagining or thinking what will fulfill me and make me truly happy.
So this year I approached my annual donut indulgence as a much more enlightened glutton, knowing full well that a glazed donut and coffee would be exactly only that – a glazed donut and a coffee. Nice for the few moments it lasted but now gone and hopefully with minimal damage caused to my arteries.
I will continue my little tradition next year and will once again be thankful for the freedom I have found from my Krispy Kreme craving, achieved not by running in fear at the site of a Krispy Kreme sign but simply by being fully conscious of the fact that a donut is only a donut, not the source of any real fulfillment.