Halloween gets all the credit for being the holiday of candy, but Christmas is in it for the long haul. With Halloween, you have candy a couple days before, and a couple days after. With Christmas, you start eating candy on Black Friday, and don’t stop until you go into insulin shock on New Year’s Day.
Which got me thinking: how far could I stretch my candy intake? (Side note: Dentists, stop reading now to avoid potential stress aneurysms.)
While a month of eating nothing but candy seemed like an exciting feat, I assumed it would end in something less exciting: my death. So I thought a week of eating exclusively Christmas candy would be a great excuse to test my sugar endurance, and eat pounds and pounds of candy, which I love. Plus: probably no death. Bonus!
The day before the experiment, I made a shopping trip that is every ten-year-old child’s dream. While at Wal-Mart, my basket overflowing with sugar, I felt I had to buy some random non-candy items just to dilute my cart: like when you get flagged for buying a lot of bombmaking materials at Home Depot, I was worried about being placed on a sexual predator watch list.
My lunch and dinner on Wednesday were my last chances to get some real nutrition before my fast from vitamins and minerals, so I really had to make those meals count. So, of course, I had Taco Bell and pizza.
Day 1: Thursday
Most of the time, my breakfast consists of Fruit Roll-Ups and soda, so making the switch to candy wasn’t a terrible shock to the system. Still, I figured I should start with a serving of fruit.
Cordial cherries are the elegant cousin of the Cadbury Creme Egg. Both candies feature chocolate shells filled with disgusting slime, but only one has a red thing resembling a cherry in it. Fancy!
As you can see, the cherries inside aren’t exactly a bountiful harvest. But after eating the whole box, they probably add up to maybe 1/10 of a serving of fruit.
This probably wasn’t the best candy to start with. The (I’m searching for a more polite word) slime inside uses some sort of weaponized version of sugar, taking it to a sweetness level that could almost give you superpowers. My teeth are still throbbing.
In a surprising turn of events, the cordial cherries weren’t very filling. So for my mid-morning snack, I decided to go with something more substantial.
Some might say that Peanut M&Ms aren’t a Christmas candy. To that I say: Look at their colors, you fool! Red and green! It was either the Supreme Court, or possibly Kid’s Court on Nickelodeon, that upheld the ruling that anything colored red and green was automatically Christmasy.
Since Peanut M&Ms have actual peanuts, which contain protein, they’re nutritious. I don’t know if it was the peanuts, or the fact that I ate half the jumbo-sized bag, but I did get pretty full.
Later on, I started to get sick of chocolate, so I went for something more reasonable. What seemed logical at the time was a foot-long candy cane.
The novelty of the foot-long cane wore off fast. The rest of my day was made up of various fun size candies, which I figured were less conspicuous and would delay my wife asking why I was eating so much candy. Well, more than usual.
Day 1 Results:
Hunger Level: 2
Mental Stability: 10
How much do I still like candy? 10
Day 2: Friday
The sugar from the first day was sending my mind into overdrive. My brain was frantically fretting over one of the age-old questions: why does everything you eat after brushing your teeth taste like crap?
I quickly worked out a solution: simply make sure your breakfast tastes like toothpaste. The transition between brushing and breakfast is seamless!
So I had a bag of York Peppermint Patties for breakfast.
Anyone who says this is an unhealthy diet has never opened thirty individually-wrapped candies. Surely, that has to burn some calories.
At lunchtime, I thought it might be fun to get a little football going. No, I don’t mean going outside and exercising. I mean eating a chocolate football.
Thank God this was hollow, because a solid football of this size would have accelerated the schedule of my diabetic death by at least three months.
The back of the box had ten NFL trivia questions, of which I knew the answer to one. So between eating chocolate all day and being ignorant when it comes to sports, I’m slowly turning into the comic strip character Cathy.
Later on, feeling extra hungry and needing some protein, I thought some arctic meat might do the trick. I decided on a chocolate walrus, since walrus is a traditional Christmas meal in northern Europe. (Fun fact: that previous statement was a complete lie.)
Unfortunately, it tasted more like a chocolate-scented candle than it did actual chocolate. Full disclosure: I’m only assuming what a chocolate scented candle tastes like.
Rounding out the day’s meals was a box of Christmas Dots. If you are one of those lesser-evolved people with peanut allergies, these are apparently a great snack since they have a giant logo of a crossed out peanut on the side. I wouldn’t expect Dots to have peanuts in them anyway, but I guess you can never be too careful.
Day 2 Results:
Hunger Level: 2
Mental Stability: 10
How much do I still like candy? 9.5
Day 3: Saturday
Speaking of peanuts, I tried to get Saturday off to a filling start by going with some protein-packed peanut candy. Unfortunately, twelve fun-sized bags of Reese’s Pieces didn’t have that trail-mix-fill-you-up quality I was hoping for.
Since I am apparently going to eat peanut butter candy every day, I went with Reese’s Peanut Butter Bells. Then after snacking on Nestle Crunch Bells, Gobstopper Snowballs, Christmas SweeTarts, and gummy reindeer, by night time it was becoming somewhat clear: candy isn’t very filling.
It’s filling enough to ruin your appetite for a meal, but it doesn’t work that well as a meal replacement. I’m thinking the key is just to eat more of it. So I ate a giant plastic candy cane filled with Reese’s Pieces. It was only about two hours later that I realized I had already eaten Reese’s Pieces for breakfast. Maybe the candy was starting to affect my brain.
Day 3 Results:
Hunger Level: 3
Mental Stability: 9
How much do I still like candy? 9
Day 4: Sunday
Sunday, the day of rest. But not for my taste buds! (Insert commercial jingle here.)
You know what would have been a good idea? If I had saved the chocolate football for when I was actually watching football.
I filled up on Dove Dark Chocolate snowflakes instead. The dark chocolate was a good decision, since it’s good for your heart. And if there’s anything that this week’s experiment is intended to do, it’s emphasize the importance of good nutrition.
The rest of my day consisted of eating little foil-covered chocolate snowmen, “Candy Cane” Pop Rocks, gummy gingerbread men (which were root beer flavored [?]), about two weeks’ worth of chocolate from an Advent calendar to catch up, and Christmas-colored jelly beans. Well, really just the red, which were cinnamon. The green were sour apple, so I threw those away. I mean, I have standards.
Day 4 Results:
Hunger Level: 4
Mental Stability: 8
How much do I still like candy? 8
Day 5: Monday
I’ve passed the halfway point! I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel, but that could also be symptoms of early-onset blindness from the sugar.
Most of my day will be made up of this monstrous box of chocolates, which came stacked in four mouth-watering trays.
My biggest worry is that they didn’t include the map. Luckily there are no revolting flavors in a Zachary candy box, so it’s not as risky as a Whitman’s Sampler. But still, I don’t want to bite into maple, expecting lemon.
After the first few it’s pretty obvious: these aren’t very good. Good thing I only have about sixty more to go! They may not taste great, but it should provide the energy to keep me going. 3,800 calories’ worth of energy, in fact.
It didn’t keep me full for very long, but on the plus side it did give me enough of a violent stomachache that I didn’t feel the need to eat until bedtime. Then I polished off a forest of Reese’s Peanut Butter Trees.
Day 5 Results:
Hunger Level: 6
Mental Stability: 7
How much do I still like candy? 7
Day 6: Tuesday
The almost complete lack of nutrition was taking its toll. I drastically overslept, despite the fact that my alarm was blaring in my ear. The next thing I remembered was sitting down at work. No lie: it was a complete candy blackout.
Assuming these mental roadblocks were a result of a lack of Omega-3s, I thought it best to start the day off with some fish.
I really, really hate fish. Any kind, except Swedish. But I figured an eight inch, crispy chocolate fish wearing a Santa hat would taste okay.
It still didn’t taste that good, but it was still better than a real one.
Later on, I devoured a bunch of foil-covered chocolate Santas. I kept trying to figure out why the Santa in the middle was smelling a pine tree air freshener, until I realized it was his glove. He is making a “shh” gesture. Which normally wouldn’t seem so threatening, except in the other wrappers he has a pimp cane, is grabbing at his belt, and in the last one is in mid-bitch slap. So if this Santa is telling you to be quiet, you’re in for something unspeakable.
After mentally refusing little foil-covered Santa’s sexual advances, the next meal was appropriate: coal.
Chocolate coal, that is. As I chewed the coal, I realized my week of sugar was shutting down all kinds of systems in my brain. The coal was covered in black foil, which was now in my mouth, zapping my fillings.
For my last big meal of the day, I went with something I knew how to operate: a Pez dispenser.
The Pez didn’t get off to a great start, since I got screwed and only got one pack of grape out of about twenty packs. But it was okay. Because any food that comes out of Santa’s trachea is automatically delicious.
Day 6 Results:
Hunger Level: 8
Mental Stability: 4
How much do I still like candy? 5
Day 7: Wednesday
This was it: the final day. I woke up exhausted again, since having a blood sugar content of 1.7% results in terrible sleep. You’d think that my near-permanently shaking legs would wear me out, but it doesn’t work that way.
After the previous day being filled with a lot of crappy chocolate, I wanted to get off to a good start. So my breakfast was a bag of Dark Hershey’s Kisses, chased with a bag of Almond Hershey’s Kisses.
When I had the gigantic candy cane, it got tiring pretty quickly. So I figured the problem must lie in fact that it was one candy cane. This time, I tried a bunch of smaller candy canes. Sixty of them, to be precise.
My calculations were incorrect. By the third candy cane, I didn’t want any more. But since the box was already open, might as well polish off the other fifty-seven.
Is there such a thing as having breath that is too fresh? My eyes were practically watering every time I exhaled.
Hours later, my breath was still too minty to jump back into chocolate. To ease the transition, I went with a box of ribbon candy. You might know it by another name: “Old People Candy.”
Eating this was probably the most annoying food of the week. My mental faculties were as sharp as a Fisher Price knife. So when grabbing a piece of the candy, I forgot how to maintain a grip, and dropped it on the carpet.
Remember before when I said “carpet”? That didn’t stop the ribbon candy from shattering into eighteen thousand pieces. Oh my GOD, I hate this stuff.
As something of a reward, I saved two of the best candies for last. Almond Roca is fantastic, I think because it’s mostly just butter and sugar.
I devoured these, as my body was craving food, and butter was close enough. Then for my last meal, I went with the most elegant of dining experiences: Ferrero Rocher (which sounds like an Italian lingerie company).
I don’t know if eating these was so enjoyable because they’re so good, or if because I knew that after this I could eat real food again. It’s a chicken or Cadbury Creme Egg situation, I guess.
Day 7 Results:
Hunger Level: 9
Mental Stability: 3
How much do I still like candy? 5
After a week of candy, a few things became clear. I should specify only a few things became clear, because by that point a large portion of my brain had been starved to death.
First of all, candy is not filling. Sure, it may spoil your appetite, but that’s about as far as it goes. Secondly, it probably eats away at your brain faster than it does your teeth. This week certainly put me on the mental road toward becoming a mongoloid. Finally, apparently candy is really good for you.
To see just how much destruction this week had done to my body, I had weighed myself before starting. Somehow, I lost four pounds. I believe this is because candy is the new miracle weight loss secret! You might argue that it is due to violent malnourishment. I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.
All I know is, I am very grateful to be able to return to the world of normal food. So if you’ll excuse me, there are some Christmas cookies I’ve been putting off for far too long.