Friday, December 19, 2008

Holiday Baking and Eating and Eating and Eating

I finally got the holiday baking bug. On Wednesday, I was a bundle of nerves, waiting for the doctor to call with my mom's biopsy results. So, I scrounged up all the baking ingredients in my kitchen and made gingerbread and chocolate chip cookies for my yoga students.

The gingerbread was amazingly good, especially straight out of the oven. And I'm reluctant to share the secret but here it is: I used Trader Joe's Gingerbread box mix. I added all the ingredients, no substitutions and truly, it was very yummy and not "box-like" at all.

I also made chocolate chip cookies, using the Nestle recipe from the back of the package. I made one substitution with the flour. Instead of using regular flour, I substituted spelt flour which gave the cookies a really nice, nutty taste. Spelt is a great substitution for wheat and it never fails in baked goods.

Whenever I bake, I use Smart Balance products for oil and butter. Smart Balance is a great spread that does not have the artery clogging saturated fat of butter or the hydrogenated fat of margarine. And it "acts" just like butter - easy to melt and virtually fool-proof. For cookies, I use the sticks of Smart Balance and when vegetable oil is a necessary ingredient (like for the boxed gingerbread), I use Smart Balance oil.

Now for the eating part of this post. As I was polishing off my FOURTH piece of gingerbread, my THIRD cookie, and waiting for the telephone to ring with my mom's medical results, the neighbor showed up on my doorstep with a GIANT home-baked coffee ring. The thing was truly enormous and smothered in icing, pecans and M&Ms. I was stuffed with my own goodies but stressed about my mom's health so I double-dipped into the coffee ring and didn't even bother to use a plate.

The point is, we can fill our cabinets with the healthiest possible assortment of food but when emotions are involved, good habits can fall by the wayside pretty quickly.

I felt pretty sick to my stomach that evening. AND, I had to go teach a yoga class.

The following day, I told a friend about my eating episode. "And I have a blog about health," I told her, shaking my head.

Then I decided not to be so hard on myself. When it comes to food, I will always have slip-ups and set-backs. It's just the way I'm wired. In the past, I would have hit the treadmill for two hours and cursed myself to no end. I guess I'm getting wiser because now I can forgive myself and move on pretty easily.

I did make sure that none of the cookies and gingerbread came home with me. As for the coffee ring, my mom is happily enjoying it - at her house - piece by piece (using a plate, by the way!).

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