In my dieting days I would do my absolute best to stay away from puddings, deserts and cakes. They were the epitomy of everything that was ‘bad’. They were full of fat, laden with sugar and refined white carbs, not to mention other foods high on the forbidden list such as chocolate, nuts, golden syrup and so on and so forth. So fattening, so unhealthy! One of my golden rules of dieting was: NEVER HAVE SWEETS, OF ANY KIND. Other golden rules I had randomly inherited from the many diets I had attempted (and invariably failed at) were: YOU MUST EAT 5 PORTIONS OF FRUIT AND VEG A DAY and BUTTER IS EVIL.
The irony is that while I sometimes managed to politely but firmly say ‘no’ when offered a slice of cake or faced with the desert menu at a restaurant, I often ended the day stuffing my face with anything sweet I could get my hands on – usually something from the petrol station or the corner shop – a bar of chocolate, jaffa cake muffins, caramel digestives…hardly slimming…and hardly healthy.
In my life Beyond Chocolate, I don’t have rules, golden or otherwise. And I don’t confuse ‘high in calories’ with ‘unhealthy’ either. I have a slice of cake, a pudding or some sort of ‘sweet’ every day. There is always a cake in the cake tin. Mostly it’s a variation on the current favourite, a stupidly easy yoghurt loaf cake to which I add apples or bananas or raisins or lemon zest or chocolate chunks or whatever I fancy really. It’s got a short list of simple, unmucked about ingredients and it tastes infinitely better than cheap chocolate and processed junk. I’m also – after years of vowing that M&S did the best ones and why would I bother – making steamed sponge puddings, the best: a cocoa and orange marmalade one which tastes like Terry’s Chocolate Orange, only 1000 times better. Lately, I’ve developed an obsession about baking these amazing chocolate cookies with a peanut butter centre – truly divine. When I have one of those with a cup of tea in the afternoon I feel no compulsion to raid the corner shop for a binge later. I’ve had my chocolate ‘fix’ for the day, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it, it’s made with quality, tasty and wholesome ingredients and I know there are another 31 waiting for me in the tin. Ready for when I next fancy one.
Looks like I really do get to have my cake and eat it. Just another happy consequence of ditching the diets and being my own guru. Yipee.
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