I have been meaning to blog about this for some time, and with it being July and all – I decided the time was now. Why July you ask? Well, it’s the holy month when I was born – which means my brain automatically associates July with: birthday cake, candy, ice cream, smoothies – and all sorts of (evil) yummy treats.
So, it is time I confess that I am somewhat of a Hypocritical Blogger … or a Blogging Hypocrite.
I blog every week about eating a superb diet, no sugar, no white flour – everything to be pure and organic as possible, and yet late at night I sit in bed rifling through my baking cookbooks thinking of goodies to bake!!! Now, here’s the real horrible part. I don’t bake for me or my hubby!!! I bake yummy treats, and whisk them off to my In-laws house – “here’s a cake for Shabbos!” or “here are cupcakes for the campers!” – sure, they don’t mind – (who would ever refuse a treat??) But deep down, it’s wrong that while I value health and wellness, you’ll find sticks of margarine in my freezer and bags of sugar in my top cabinet waiting to be mixed into a concoction of ooey ooey goodness.
When I was single – and I was dieting my tushy off, whenever I brought cookies or cake to my Boss’s house for Shabbos – she would always comment, “Duby’s baking again that means she’s back on her diet!!!” I don’t know what it is but something happens that when I restrict my sugar intake – I suddenly CRAVE baking. Not eating – but BAKING. Isn’t that the weirdest thing ever ????
Well, we’re not here to discuss my psychosis and obsession with chocolate chips — I’m really here to discuss my shame that my values don’t line up properly. I told the hubby the other night, “so I’m willing to give someone else fat and calories but I won’t let my own husband eat it?” What will I tell my kids – when I am so quick to bake for other people’s families, but never allow my own children to sample my baking prowess?? Something is terribly off kilter.
Epiphany!!! HEALTHY BAKING!!!
Here is where we get into the concept of “healthy baking.” Truth be told – I get a little shiver up my spine when these 2 words are put together. (kind of like how Zack Morris on Saved By The Bell reacted when the principal decided to put the words “Summer” and “School” together.) It just feels wrong. On my birthday – I want REAL cake. REAL ice cream… none of this “healthy Greek yogurt crap.” But real chocolate with real sugar — the kind that gives me a stomach ache, 10 extra pounds and a guilty feeling afterwards !!!!!
I have a friend in NY (maybe she’s reading this now? Who knows?) she’s a firm believer in the Bethany Frankl method – which states NEVER deprive yourself. Once you start telling yourself no, you are more likely to binge and overeat – which will certainly cause the 10 pound weight gain. According to her, the trick is to eat ONE piece. One piece of cake, one donut and that’s it. And this works well for her. My friend lost over 40 pounds and she seems to enjoy this lifestyle.
Is this about our weight or our health?
For me, I don’t think in terms of weight loss or gain. I focus on HEALTHY LIVING. Which means – plain and simple – chocolate cake, Cheesecake, cupcakes, brownies – these things are NOT good for us. AT ALL. As in – not even a piece!!! My husband said to me “one piece of cake will NOT make you fat or hurt us terribly.” True – one piece won’t kill you, but at the end of the day – its really NOT. (think of it in terms of Torah and Mitzvos – would your mother ever allow you to sin just a ‘little bit’ or ‘part way?’)
In any case, I’ve been thinking more and more about this “healthy baking” term – and while it still gives me the shivers, I can’t help but think I may have to change my ways just a little bit. For starters, it is nice to have a little treat on Shabbos and holidays – and I am the total Jewish mother (did you know, you could be a “Jewish Mother” and not have kids???) – I like feeding people with baked goodies. And who knows, maybe I will actually like it.
What is “healthy baking?”
Thanks to my good friend Dena in New Jersey – she’s opened my eyes. She really has mastered the whole Healthy Baking thing – which according to her, is really all about a ONE keyword: SUBSTITUTION. No need to throw away your Mrs. Fields Cookie Book or the Taste of Home Baking edition — its all about knowing how to substitute. When the recipes called for Butter and we all wanted to make things pareve – we switched it to Margarine – same concept.
Dena sat down with me and went over some her basic rules on Healthy Baking. Next week, (if I could just get her to give me some recipes) I will give a crash course on the whole substitution thing!!!
How about you? Have you ever felt bad or guilty for cooking healthy but indulging in baked treats afterwards? How do you reconcile both?