Last night the husband popped as many candles as he could find onto a strawberry and marzipan cake, the little one helped me blow them out and then the 5 of us demolished the entire cake in one sitting. Sugar-free evangelist Yours Truly included.
The cake wasn’t really calling my name but the kids were so excited and in the spirit of things I had two pieces (and of course it tasted good). As strict as I am with the no sugar thing, I think that one can have some cake on their birthday without overthinking it or making a big deal of it.
I could have skipped it like I skip all other desserts that the rest of the family eats, but I don’t want to become Samantha Brick*. I don’t want to become a woman who growls at people when they hand her a box of chocolates as a present. I don’t want to become a woman who doesn’t eat her own birthday cake.
My plan was to make a sugar free/gluten free cake but we just had so much fun in the morning that I ran out of time. Cest la vie, Café Paul does beautiful cakes (it baffled me a bit though when I asked for a whole cake and they asked “To eat here or to take away?”)
I think that birthday cakes are the meaning of having ‘treats’ once in a while – they will not break my general clean eating streak.
My kids, of course, have no concept of a ‘treat’. Theoretically they know what foods should not be eaten on a regular basis but for them regular basis means breakfast, lunch and dinner, and surely as long as breakfast and lunch are sugar free, dinner can be followed by dessert? That seems to be their thinking since they ask for dessert every single day no matter how often we try to get it through to them that maybe desserts should be left for a Friday or a Saturday night only. So far we haven’t succeeded in making them NOT ask for it all the time. Oh well. They are kids. When I was a kid I ate condensed milk out of a can with a spoon. And I lived.
But back to the point – I think the point is that I no longer panic when I have sugar a few times a year. I’m so far into my clean eating journey that I know that it will not make me ‘fall off the wagon’. Mentally it’s a good place to be. And whereas I’d prefer smoked salmon and organic eggs instead of a box of chocolates for a present when people come to visit, I will accept any chocolates with a smile and save them for a birthday, mine or another family member’s.
How about you? How often do you think ‘treats’ should be eaten? Is once a day still a ‘treat’? Do treats make it harder for you to switch back to healthy eating afterwards? And – why do you think we call things that are not actually that good for us ‘treats’? I think a true ‘treat’ would be a massage or a detox yoga holiday :)
*Google Samantha Brick + Daily Mail, I don’t want to link to her latest article.