I realize Valentine’s Day is a polarizing day. There’s the couples who clog your Facebook feed and use the day as an excuse to demonstrate PDA more than usual. Then there’s the bitter single people who also clog your Facebook feed with their I’m-not-lonely-but-seriously-is-anyone-free-tonight monologues.
Then there’s me, who loves Valentine’s Day because of geeky Valentine’s Day cards and the fact that it’s FINALLY the official cheat day of the sugar smackdown. 🙂 The rules allow the indulgence of a free item for the holiday.
Originally, I wasn’t going to entertain the cheat option. The desire to have sugar is still there for me, and I didn’t want to indulge and lose the self-control I’ve built up the last 14 days. An example of how firmly I was holding to this resolve: When I picked up Valentine’s Day doughnuts for my nanny kids and Jerod last night at Winco, I didn’t lick my fingers when I got icing all over them. I was running all over the store like a 2-year-old with sticky fingers. 🙂 It was a little ridiculous, and the cashier looked at me like I was crazy, but I care too much about this challenge.
I thought I’d found a solution: sugarless chocolate mousse. I could have my chocolate and still maintain the sugar smackdown guidelines. However, when I whipped it up after dinner … it wasn’t great. I even added a little Stevia (which was a partial cheat, anyway, since sugar substitutes are prohibited). A couple bites in and I just couldn’t do it. It just wasn’t the same as real chocolate mousse. Disappointing.
I made chocolate chip cookies for Jerod tonight, so I decided to enjoy one with him. It was DELICIOUS. I responded almost exactly how I thought I would: My body immediately went into overdrive and started craving sugar big-time. I had some fresh bing cherries to try to curb the reaction, and that helped a little bit. But it was an interesting experiment, because now I know I’m not completely done detoxing yet.
For the record, the chocolate chip cookie recipe was fantastic. I’m definitely freezing a baggie of them to enjoy in March. Here’s the specifics, borrowed from Apple A Day.
Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cream together butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients, then fold in chocolate chips.
Scoop tablespoons of dough onto greased cookie sheet. They won’t spread hardly at all so place them close together. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown on the edges (Note from Apple A Day: The tops will not brown, but do NOT cook longer than ten minutes.)
Day 14 Progress Report
Breakfast: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie (almond butter, almond milk, banana, plain Greek yogurt), black coffee.
Snack: Banana pear oatmeal cookie.
Lunch: Open-faced chicken and veggie hummus sandwich (grilled chicken seasoned with garlic powder and red pepper, cucumber, tomato, onions, red pepper hummus, fruit & nut whole wheat bread).
Dinner: Baked salmon filet seasoned with parsley, salt and pepper; baked sweet potato, celery, onion, and mushroom on the side. Chocolate chip cookie and Bing cherries for dessert.
Snack: Air-popped popcorn.