Wish My Allergies Were Still Bad

OK, that’s not entirely true. I’m glad to be able to breathe as I fall asleep.

Here’s the deal. I have to bring dessert to a party. I wish I were not going to be able to smell it. I really wish I hadn’t volunteered to bring it.

Usually, I would bake something, which is actually why I’m on dessert duty with this crowd. I deeply appreciate, and sometimes crave, their high praise for my cakes, pies, and other treats. I need to find other ways to get my kicks, however, because I don’t think baking will be the best hobby for me going forward, no matter how much I enjoy it.

I have already decided that my strategy will be to buy something—if I can find it, something with one or more of the foods I’m allergic to, like almonds, hazelnuts, or raspberries, which, fortunately, a frequently used in desserts. That way, I won’t even be tempted to lick my finger after “accidentally” sticking it in the icing. And, I’m definitely going to go straight from the bakery to the hosts’ home to drop it off so it doesn’t sit in my house all day.

Isn’t it funny? I could buy ice cream, or cookies, or pies, or make a flan, but for some reason, when I think of dinner party desserts, I think cake. It just seems the most festive option. Honestly, though, it is because it is what I want more than anything.

I know that once I’m eating real food again, desserts, and even cakes, will have a place in my diet. It is completely unrealistic for me to think I can never again indulge.

The anxiety I’m feeling about even going into the bakery where I’d like to buy something, however, suggests that cake really is my biggest trigger food. This dread I feel about even having a dessert in the house is exactly why hyper-restrictive diets don’t work. Eventually, you run out of resolve and get overwhelmed.

Food should not be something to fear. And, while it is one thing to have a strategy for handling stressful situations or trigger foods, I’m trying to keep an eye on myself so I don’t cross into obsessive behavior that is as unhealthy, if not more so, than simply eating a piece of cake would be.

I mean, I honestly thought that perhaps, before walking into the bakery, I’d smear Tiger Balm on my upper lip to disguise the heavenly aroma. That’s just sad. Or is it practical?

How do you handle the foods that were your biggest indulgences before you changed to a healthier lifestyle? What are your strategies?

Tellingly, I am not concerned in the slightest about cheating with the black bean salad I’m making for another gathering. It will be chock full of veggie goodness, protein-enhanced carbohydrates, and a lovely healthy-fat cilantro vinaigrette.

You know, just typing that and thinking about how good something like that will smell and taste gives me hope for managing the cake situation. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

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