Healthy eating takes a backseat

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 24, 2005

After I ate dinner on Monday night I was struck with a craving for something sweet.

I desperately searched my freezer, hoping a carton of ice cream might miraculously appear. I scoured my cabinets for some forgotten bag of cookies, but the closest thing to sweet I could find was a box of raisin bran.

How bad was my craving? Was it strong enough to warrant a trip to the grocery store? I decided it was.

I try to be a healthy eater. I do my best, like most people, to avoid food that is high in fat and cholesterol. I am not a vegetarian, but I do limit the amount of red meat I eat. I avoid soft drinks for the most part. I try to eat foods high in fiber and attempt to eat something green every day, but it isn’t easy. I will even force some broccoli down my throat when I am feeling especially ambitious.

When I can afford it, I will buy organic and the occasional carton of soymilk. Human growth hormones may be good for baseball players, but I’m not sure cows like them.

I try to avoid processed food as much as possible, especially anything with the words partially hydrogenated in the ingredients. I don’t know what partially hydrogenated means, but it can’t be good.

As I searched the aisle for the perfect treat and scrutinized the ingredients for every package of cookies from Oreo’s to Nutter Butters to Chocolate Chips, I realized the dreaded partially hydrogenated oil was everywhere. I had a decision to make and it looked like my sweet tooth was going to win. Then I noticed a package of chocolate chips and had an epiphany. I could make my own cookies.

I grabbed the bag of chocolate chips and studied the recipe on the back. I glanced at the ingredients I needed and realized this was going to be an investment.

The recipe called for baking soda, brown sugar, flour and more. I didn’t have any of these things. A quick trip turned into an expedition, but I knew it would be worth it.

I loaded down my cart and paid; ignorant to the ridiculous amount of money I had just spent and hurried home. Once I was home, I went to work. Like a mad scientist I started measuring and pouring, but once everything was in the bowl I realized my crucial mistake. I didn’t have a mixer.

So I stirred with all of my strength and eventually my creation took the form of cookie dough. I filled the cookie sheet with individual mounds of dough after greasing the sheet (I bet you thought I would forget) and slid it into the oven. Much to my surprise, I was left with a large amount of cookie dough and I fought the urge to start eating it raw.

The cookies were only partially burned when they came out and I have since perfected my baking technique with the remaining dough, making a batch every night this week and probably gaining ten pounds in the process.

So much for being healthy.