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A Much Needed Pick-Me-Up

On Friday, I Tweeted this:

image After three days spent in bed, 10 days of a straight fever and the remnants of a sore throat and sinus infection, I was feeling pretty lousy.

Thankfully, my sister knows there are two ways to make me happy.

Butter.

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And chocolate.

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Our original plan was to meet-up in the East End for coffee before my shift at the running store this morning. But getting around the city on a Sunday morning is slooooow. So I ended up going to her. She was conveniently located at Le Gourmand at Queen & Spadina.

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I’d already eaten breakfast by this point because not eating the second I roll out of bed is not an option. Oh, hell, I also already had one coffee. You know, coffee to get me out of the house for coffee.

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Apparently Le Gourmand is known for their big and thick cookies, but Sara and I had other plans.

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Sara insists these are the best croissants in Toronto. I can’t back this statement up a they’re the only croissants I’ve had in Toronto.

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I knew I was in for a good time when I saw how much was flaking off the outside. The first sign of a good croissant is an incredibly flaky outer shell.

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The second sign? A spacious, soft and buttery inside. You should never feel the need to add butter to a croissant, for there should be enough baked into the pastry already. This one gets two BIG thumbs up from me!!

Of course, one always needs chocolate for good measure.

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Not sure what these were called, but they were comparable to a lava cake. Outer chocolate cake shell with a soft, fudgy and creamy centre.

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Very rich, but the cocoa used to make this was SO good. Definitely not cheap. And delicious with the day’s second coffee ;)

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After almost two weeks of being the sickest I’ve been in years, I’m happy to report I’ve now come through the other side. I may workout for the first time in 10 days tomorrow. I may do laundry. I will definitely get my drivers licence renewed. Big things. And I thank my sis for this butter and chocolate pick-me-up I so greatly needed <3

 

Question of the Day: What’s the best thing you ate this weekend? I love hearing the answer to this one!

Weekend Wisdom V

There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.

-Charles Dickens

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Important words to remember on this Christmas Day…

Foods That Make You Trigger

I received a comment a while back that really made me stop and think. After blogging about some form of chocolate or peanut butter treat, someone said they never buy it because it’s one of their trigger foods.

For some reason, this comment resonated with me. The term “trigger food” is one I’ve used and see all the time. And yet, to have it used so commonly really stuck with me.

The idea of a trigger food is that it creates an uncontrollable urge to eat. The type of food is different for everyone. But I’m sure we can all relate to grabbing a small handful of chips. Then another. Then another. And without even thinking about it, half (or all!) the bag is gone.

Not a salt person? Ever have a chocolate bar disappear before having the intention to even eat it all?

A trigger food can mean different things to different people. For people with a history of binge eating, it can mean a lot. For people who are trying to lose weight, it can be the difference between a good day and a bad day.

I’m of the school of thought that there is no such thing as bad food. Just bad food choices. What I mean is that everything is okay in moderation. And yes, there is such as thing as too much of a good thing!

I hate to live in a world where cookies are absolutely off limits. Or crackers are something I’ll never allow myself to eat again. That is not a healthy way to live life, and it’s important to open ourselves up to indulgences every once in a while.

But the more I think about it, the more I realize that I do have trigger foods. Ones that I’ve more or less deemed completely off limits. Yes, even in my quest for balance there are some things I’ve taken an all-or-nothing attitude about. And in these cases, I really do believe it is for the sake of my mental sanity. For there are some foods, trigger foods, that I really do have no control over. Ones that will leave me feeling bad about and sorry for myself. Ones that I’m really better off just not having in my life. No matter how delicious.

First up, pretzels. In all forms.

Pretzels always sound good in theory. They’re fun to bake with. A nice addition to any trail mix. But I have absolutely no control over them. Soon after the bag is opened, I’ve devoured 1000 calories in a salty food devoid of any nutritional value.

I almost didn’t buy Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels because I knew they’d be a danger food. Sure enough, I munched on them until the bag was gone. Happy that I got to experience their deliciousness. But finishing a bag in three days is just not healthy or welcome for me. So long pretzels! (and good riddance)

Another one: small crackers.

I don’t buy them. I don’t know how to portion them. It irks me that most small crackers are 10 calories a piece. You see, I have a serious munching problem. When I’m in my kitchen, even if I’m not hungry, some food container is being opened to munch on. I’ve gotten smart about keeping carrot sticks around to do this with. Because it’s going to happen no matter what (I’ve tried many times to stop, all in vain). These days I’m all about the big crackers. Ones I can sit down and make an actual snack out of.

The absolute worst trigger food for me is cereal. Of all kinds. Granola, bran cereal, even puffed cereal. If it’s in my kitchen, I will eat it by the handful. Entire boxes have disappeared with nary a bowl or milk being involved.

I’ve tried numerous times, each time with fail, to kick my cereal habit. I’ve finally realized that it is just one of those foods that trigger an automated response from me. One I am not comfortable with. Thus, you will never find me in the cereal aisle. I know this sounds pretty depressing. It is sad to come to the realization that cereal is not good for your mental health.

I am however happy to report that I’ve overcome some trigger foods!

Me and trail mix used to have a rocky relationship. Now when I buy a big bag, I immediately portion it out into little baggies. For some reason my mind (and tastebuds) don’t like messing with those little baggies and it now goes untouched until intentional consumption. Same goes with other dried fruits and nuts.

The biggest success for me so far has come with chocolate.

I have memories of eating half a large chocolate Easter bunny in one sitting as a child. It’s one of those foods I just can’t get enough of. It’s taken some practice, but I can now have just a small square of chocolate, or a small amount of something like M&MS or Mini Eggs and feel completely satisfied.

This post is not supposed to be about deprivation. Believe me, I do allow myself “trigger foods” occasionally and thoughtfully enjoy them. But it’s about living day-to-day in a world where eating is often connected to a mental or emotional response. It’s about recognizing foods that make us feel bad, and deciding if they’re worth having around at all.

If anything, writing this post made me realize that my list of trigger foods is pretty small. Way smaller than it would have been when I set out to lose 30 lbs two and a half years ago. Maybe I will make amends with the remaining foods someday. But for now, I am completely content keeping them banned from my cupboards :)

Question of the Day: How do you feel about trigger foods? Too strict? Any that you don’t let in your house?


P.S. Deb is still accepting orders for our Charity Blogger Calendar! Click here to learn about it and get your own!!

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