Tuesday, January 12, 2010

cookie, you are my american idol.

Tonight, to celebrate the premier of my favorite television phenomenon and self admitted guilty pleasure... American Idol, I am making vegan chocolate chip cookies and popcorn, sans butter. Which is okay, since I have this amazing, super spicy Creole seasoning that is wicked hot and stands alone just fine without the meltey (delicious tasting), heart clogging substance we know as butter. I have been staving off recent cravings for sugar with some carob chips, but well it's carob. So, tonight, to reward my hard efforts of the past 12 days I am going agree with Simon, miss Paula, get annoyed by incessant ill-timed commercial breaks, and eat what is hopefully, delicious chocolate chip cookies and homemade popcorn.

Funny, how I use the word "reward." I was raised in a family/culture that praised good work with sugar, fat and homemade goodies. My grandma, mom and now myself show love for others by baking treats. My fondest memories of my grandma are centered around her cookie jar. She made the most tempting raisin cookies that to this date I have been unable to recreate.

Embarrassing Confession Time. Once the cookie jar ran dry, I would sneak down to Grandma's very scary basement (no icky spider webs or supposed ghosts were going to keep me away), and sneak/steal as many frozen cookies my chubby hands could carry. There is no way of telling how many cookies I would consume in one Sunday afternoon at Grandma's house. I can tell you this though, if good food=love, I definitely left feeling very loved (and gassy). 7 years after my grandma's death, my family still talks about how much I stank up the big blue van on the way home from Grandma's. Let's just say that massive amounts of butter (as found in the raisin cookies in question) and my boohiney are NOT a pleasant combination. With that off my chest I feel like a new woman. Thanks blog.

Moving on. My parents used food as a motivator. I was bribed with a Dairy Queen blizzard for ending my fingernail biting addiction. My brother received a Lolapaluza, the worlds largest ice cream sunday for giving up thumb sucking. And Mom's warm cookies were consistently a welcome home present from school. I bake sweets for my husband, I bake sweets for my neighbors, I bake when I am bored, when I am in need of comfort, when I need to say "thanks," and I bake when I have the ingredients in the house. This isn't a bad thing, but when I bake, I eat. Like all sugary things, once I start, stopping is difficult. Remember my all or nothing personality? Well, that includes cookies, cupcakes, friendship bread (the demon I attribute 74.3% of my last pregnancy weight gain), homemade granola... you name it I binge it.

I am opposed to sticking the label "addiction" on everything and its mom, but I can say with great certainty that I am a sugar addict. I would venture to say that most of America is, with how foods are processed, but we are talking about me here. So, back to me. Here's the justification for the diagnosis: I start and I have difficulty starting. I use sugar to change my mood. I feel guilt when I over-indulge. I feel the need to get others to be as addicted as I am, as to avoid feeling different from other "healthy" people (think peer pressure to eat a second piece of blueberry buckle). And I have hidden my sugar binges from loved ones, ashamed of my behavior. Wow, this is a hugely vulnerable topic for me.

It is my goal, that through my Vegan experiment I will learn to find more balance in the way I approach sugar. I have a belief that my addiction to sugar, like any other addiction is directly linked to several areas of my life. But one of those areas, most central is my diet. When I am consistently eating nurturing and balanced whole foods, sugar becomes less of an issue. It is easier to walk away from and not a constant thought in my head, as in, "man, I really could go for some ice cream with carmel and peanuts." With this vegan thing I am already noticing that my food choices are becoming more diverse and wholesome. Plus my focus is not on what I am putting in my mouth, but how what I am putting in my mouth affects me, my relationships and the world around me. I had this same experience when I first became a vegetarian, but somehow over the years that focus grew dim.

I don't want to completely eliminate sugar from my life, I just want to find a way to enjoy it without it controlling me. I envy those people who buy a package of Oreo's only to eat one, shelf it and forget it is there. Balance, that is what I am seeking.

Tonight, in my attempt to reach balance, I am going to revel in and enjoy the experience of making cookies without eggs and butter and then, without guilt enjoy my "guilty" pleasures, Idol and cookies. Is there really anything better than that? Let's see if I can stop after just two cookies. Hey blog, wish me luck!

1 comment:

  1. Those cookies look amazing! I would love the recipe, if you want to share. ~Amy B, fellow sugar-addict :)