Maybe There's Something to a Relative That Steals the Limelight —

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A relative of mine, I’ll call her “Sue”, has a need to feel important.  I know we all have one in our families.  A person who has to shine, be loud, draw attention, drink too much, etc.  It took me my whole life to realize why Sue acts the way she does.

Sue has had a hard life.  I know she felt her parents favored her sibling, which was really a terrible way to live growing up.  I know she felt she was never good enough.  Her old stories would come out once in a while and she used to comment on how her sibling could do no wrong in the eyes of her parents.  I don’t think she has ever let it go.

Sue’s husband was unfaithful.  That is probably one of the worst things, besides an illness, that you would have to go through.  In seeing her experience this horrible situation, I told my husband, before we were married, that if he felt he had to cheat on me to let me know, that I would release him from our relationship rather than go through what Sue experienced.

Sue remarried.  I know her relationship with her new husband is good some of the time, but he has moments when he is truly unkind.  I also think that he values hunting and watching sports on TV more than spending time with her, which is really sad.

So Sue looks for ways to make herself happy.  She shops and she bakes.  Baking has become an obsession.  She makes cookies, chocolate or cakes and brings them to family functions, work and parties.  When she brings the baked goods to an occasion she has to show off the dessert — even at inconvenient times.  I never could understand it.  You could be pouring out a pot of boiling water and Sue would be there with a cake in your face telling you to check it out and to see how beautiful it was, etc.  When Sue bakes, the baked goods MUST be the center of attention, no matter what the occasion — even during a Sweet 16 or a wedding, when baked goods really should not be all that important.

I never really thought much about it except that it would annoy me to the point where I would become frustrated and angry.  I knew Sue meant well and had worked hard to create whatever she baked, which made me feel even worse that I was frustrated and angry over the whole attention seeking situation in the first place.

I have been reading a lot and things have become a little clearer to me lately.  A book I read, The Answers, by Karen Garvey, talks about people doing the best they can at the present time.  The fact that I could not figure out why baked goods had to be such a big deal annoyed me.

Today the lightbulb finally went off.

I don’t think Sue has ever felt important.  Not in her whole life.  Not to her parents, her first husband, or her second husband.  She needs to feel important.  And she feels important when she shows off her baked goods.

Think of others you might know that buy flashy cars, fancy clothing, maybe things they cannot afford, or someone who does things that are shocking.  Why?  I guess they are looking for something.  Maybe they’re trying to find a way to fill a void.

So I realize that, sometimes, we need to look a little deeper into why someone is doing something to understand.  You know Newton’s Law, to every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction — even though this isn’t physics related, I think this could apply here.  Sue’s feelings cause her actions.

acknowledging why she behaves the way she does will allow me to modify my reaction.  Without much effort, I know I can make Sue feel important and shine.  And, maybe, one day Sue will realize she is important and enable herself to be happy.

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What's in my Chocolate? What is PGPR???!!!


So… I try to eat natural foods.  Organic if possible.  No chemicals, no preservatives, no antibiotics.  No fungicides.  No genetically modified foods.

Why?  I truly believe the food we eat is making people sick.  I believe that food is contributing to diabetes, heart disease, autism.  Just do some research.  Things you read will surprise you.  Things I read surprised me.

For the past few months my son has been complaining about brain fog and inability to concentrate.  He’s convinced he has ADD and wants to go on medicine.  Did you ever read the side effects?  So today we went to a naturopathic doctor who thinks gluten is contributing to his issue.  I stopped eating gluten, myself, around Christmas time — after suffering for over 5 years with significant back pain.  I had read a book which discussed arthritic symptoms that people get after eating gluten and figured I’d give it a shot to see what happened.  I have no more back pain.  It’s not a coincidence.  And, by the way, gluten is now bio mechanically engineered.  It’s not what we used to eat when we were younger.

So. . . bread and pasta with gluten I can do without.  Even cake or cookies.


WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO MY CHOCOLATE?  I totally had a chocolate craving yesterday.  I was at the food store and figured I’d read some labels (like I always do) to choose the best item.  I saw the words PGPR in the ingredients.  I didn’t remember ever seeing that ingredient before and pulled it up on my blackberry in the store.  I couldn’t believe what I read.  It’s a manufactured fat that they now use in what they call “low cost chocolate”.  It’s in Hershey’s, MARS and Nestle products.  I didn’t get buy any chocolate that day after reading about PGPR.

Per Wikipedia, “[PGPR] is primarily used to reduce the fat content of chocolate. Since 2006, commercial-grade candy bars, such as those made by Hersheys and Nestle, made an industry-wide switch to include PGPR as an ingredient – a possible indicator of a cost saving measure by the commercial chocolate industry. Makers of PGPR (see source link below) such as Danisco and Palsgaard indicate that PGPR can be used to replace the more expensive cocoa butter as an ingredient in chocolate. Palsgaard’s website asserts, “Cocoa butter is an expensive raw material for chocolate manufacturers. By using PALSGAARD 4150 the chocolate recipe has lower costs in terms of less cocoa butter but also gives the benefit of having less fat.”[2]

PGPR is a yellowish, viscous liquid composed of polyglycerol esters of polycondensed fatty acids from castor oil. It may also be polyglycerol esters of dimerized fatty acids of soya bean oil.

PGPR is strongly lipophilic, soluble in fats and oils and insoluble in water and ethyl alcohol. In chocolates it is used as a viscosity-reducing agent.[3] It is virtually always paired with lecithin or another plastic viscosity-reducing agent.”


I feel betrayed, actually.  Not only do I love chocolate, and eat it all the time, but I actually fed it to my kids.  For years.  Research does not know what long term affects PGPR has on a person.  A fat insoluble in water just doesn’t sound healthy.  I don’t think big business and food manufacturers should compromise our health to give their shareholders more profit.

Do you?

What’s in my chocolate.

What’s in my food.

It’s time for people to start asking.

Embrace the philosophy:  You have to be healthy, happy, have money and have a work life balance to have quality of life. provides all types of resources to help you have a better life.  NEW: poetry corner for people to post their words and self expression and the “Ask Dr. Matt” column where you can confidentially ask relationship questions.  It’s time to enjoy life.