It all started when I had to close my business in April last year. The panic made me go back to my childhood drug habit. Cheese Puffs. It started slowly as I wondered around the grocery store isles looking for something to bring me calm. As Covid continued into the summer months the cheese puffs were flying off the shelves. Especially Barbara’s Gluten Free Cheese Puffs.
It started small for me with a two cup snack of them daily. I thought to myself that’s not bad if I just stay with this. My kids both wondered what was going on. Cases with twelve bags each started arriving from Amazon. Then Amazon was running out of them. I thought to myself, there has to be other places on-line that has these in stock. So I ordered from another company and they sent me a refund and apologized for running out of them after my order.
I live in a small town and I know which stores carry them. Slowly they started running out and couldn’t restock them. It became my obsession. They always have the other flavors but not these with the light blue label. I thought about this injustice while heading over to the chip and snacks isle. You may think this article is silly but let me tell you, this is about pure joy, overeating and loss. It all started as a child. I loved Cheetos and getting my fingers covered with fake cheese and licking them after. It was like I was attacking something and then licking my wounds and not hurting anyone but my waist. Even my late grandmother knew to bring a bag of Cheetos for me when she took me to the beach in the 70’s. I think my love for Cheetos started when my mother passed in 1973. Something about them gave me comfort even though they weren’t healthy and made me gain weight. Between eating those and watching I Love Lucy on television it eased the pain of losing my mother at the young age of eight years old.
There are two foods that can make me feel happy and content. Cheetos or now the healthier version Barbara’s Cheese Puffs and a big bowl of large green organic grapes. After my mother passed I remember sitting on a rocking chair at my grandmothers and eating a big bowl of large green grapes from her garden until I felt ill. I loved them that much. The best thing about Barbara’s Cheese Puffs is they are always in season, are made with real aged cheddar and blue cheese and are gluten free. You may think that this is an ad for their company but I assure you this is just plain food obsession. The gluten free part made it even better for me since I started cutting down on wheat last year. Also the real cheese part with the addition of aged cheese. They are also less calories then Cheetos.
So it got to a point where Amazon raised the price of the twelve bag case I was ordering. Obviously people were ordering their drug also and there was a big demand. Originally I paid around $39 for the case of twelve bags and by the time I was into my third order they raised the price to $50. I was so angry! I wanted to write a review about this to warn people! Out of principle I decided not to buy from Amazon anymore and hit my local markets again. Sometimes I had to go weeks without until they restocked. I felt proud that I didn’t give into the price hike. I even thought to myself maybe this is best to eat less and try to get myself into other foods so I have less binge eating at home.
One day I was at my local market and grabbed a small bag of Lesser Evil Grain Free Egg White Curls with Avocado Oil and Himilayan Pink Salt. They didn’t give me the quick fix that Barbara’s Cheese Puffs do but after one bag I was into them. I considered these a good back up if I can’t find any of the cheese puffs at my local markets. So, I was now getting away from my Cheese Puff obsession. I felt good about moving on and letting go. Then one day my local market had a big stand of Barbaras Cheese Puffs displayed. It was like having a big party with myself and I grabbed a lot of bags. One of the ladies at the register said “It’s you isn’t it.” Like I had stolen her favorite food with a employee discount. I smiled with a cheeky grin. “That’s right, I said.” She put them all in a few bags and did not look happy.
So in November I decided to slowly get myself off the drugs. Now snacking on both cheese puffs and egg white curls made it easier. I ordered a case of Lesser Evil Egg White Curls in December to keep in my car and at home for healthy snacking. I stock my car with snacks like fruit (bananas, apples) and other stuff for when I’m on the road and I don’t feel like stopping anywhere.
By December my cheese puff drug habit was disappearing. It seemed like I could go a week or so without them. I didn’t even think about going to get them at the market or ordering them online. I started to cook more at home and try new baking recipes. I bought some new fun things to make from Trader Joe’s. I was starting to feel like I had kicked my habit and then Christmas came.
Over the years I have tried to rid my home of clutter so I don’t really want things I don’t use anymore. Not knowing what to get me I was gifted two cases of Barbara’s Cheese Puffs from Swansons on-line under the tree. I have just eaten two cups of them while writing this article. Thank you for funding my drug habit. Happy 2021.