Chocolate Chip Cookies
I love chocolate chip cookies. The smell of freshly baked ones makes me smile, and eating one or two warm from the oven? Heaven. It’s amazing — mix flour, sugar, eggs, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips in a bowl; add love and attention, and voila! You have a guaranteed day brightener. Sure, there are people who don’t like chocolate chip cookies, but I don’t know many. I do have a couple of unlucky friends who can’t eat them because of allergies, but, I know that they’d fall in love with these little gems, if they could only try them.
When I was little, I didn’t worry about eating too many cookies. Having any in the house was a treat because Mom only baked them occasionally. As I got older though, I started to feel guilty when I ate any sort of baked treat, especially cookies. I convinced myself that they were bad for me because they had “too many carbs” and “no nutritional value”. I deliberately erased them from my personal menu, thinking I would be happier as cookie-free. I wasn’t. Instead, avoiding chocolate chip cookies made me sad and a little anxious; I worried I would “cave in” or “slip up” and eat one. It was horrible.
I can be an emotional eater, and I know that I’m not alone. For many, food and feelings are tightly woven together, and growing up in my house, food equaled love. If you were sick, you ate homemade chicken soup. When I was sad or stressed, my mom would bake me cookies. Cooking for someone is a big deal; it is a nurturing and demonstrative act of caring. Eating what someone makes for you is even more important though, because it both acknowledges and honors those feelings.
One day I realized that eating chocolate chip cookies didn’t have to be an all or nothing issue, and I ended the madness by putting homemade cookies back on the menu. It no longer made sense to banish them completely, especially when someone was kind enough to bake some for me. Foods can have an emotional value as well as a nutritional value, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing if you recognize it. For me, choosing a well rounded diet includes the traditional “healthy” stuff along with comfort foods; and often they simultaneously fulfill both categories. I can’t say that I’m perfect at it all the time, but it works for me.
Since re-adding chocolate chip cookies to my diet, I’m pleased to report that my waistline isn’t much different, but my attitude sure is. Sure, there are “experts” who preach that they know what we all need to do, say, or eat to be happy, but ultimately I am the only person who really knows what I need. The same goes for you. If you want to eat a chocolate chip cookie because your day stinks, or because it rocked, or just because … eat the cookie without guilt, and enjoy the gooey goodness it provides.
Message of the Day: While I’d like to think that I always know how best to nourish myself, I’ll admit that I’m often not confident in my choices. Even so, I do know what makes me happy and what doesn’t, and that has to be a pretty good place to start.
P.S. The cookies in this picture were made for me by Aunt Hillary… a MASTER cookie baker. These are some serious nummage, folks.