In high school I worked in a bakery.
Every day I was surrounded by a plethora of unbelievably enticing aromas. The pastries were artistically lined up in the display case. There were also a vast array of cookies – everything from warm chocolate chip to creatively decorated sugar cookies. The refrigerated cases were filled with chocolate eclairs, cream puffs and various fruit and pudding based pies.
and the donuts . . .
I cannot even begin to describe the enormous collection of mouth-watering donuts! The bakery was also famous for a huge danish filled with cream cheese. Customers had to order it ahead of time to ensure that it would be available.
The desserts were addictive and the bakery had a strong following. The customers often asked me how anyone could stay thin working in such a wonderful bakery.
I’ve thought about that question over the years. The reason I was thin was because I could eat these fabulous desserts anytime I wanted. (Don’t hate me yet, I am not one of those girls with a high metabolism. The distinction is that I could choose to eat these desserts at any time.)
This sounds like a new best-selling diet, right?
A bakery full of high calorie foods and you can eat whatever you want. It’s too good to be true.
The interesting thing is that over time I tried every product in the bakery. My excuse to sample the entire bakery menu was so I could properly educate the customers. What a great job!
One important thing that I learned when I was working in the bakery is that a diet heavy in sugar does not provide enough energy for an entire work shift. If I ate a lot of desserts during the day it left me feeling sluggish. On those days I usually left work craving a healthy meal.
I learned to eat healthy food before going to work to provide the energy that I needed to get through the day.
I always knew that I could have whatever dessert I wanted. Ironically, when I knew that I could have it, I didn’t really want as much.
How is this different with individuals who “go on a weight loss diet”? Immediately, the items that are restricted become the main things we think about. They are the foods that we start to crave constantly. Normally a person could easily have a late breakfast and not feel hungry, but once the concept of restricting food is put into the mind, that individual wakes up obsessing about food and all of the items that are now restricted.
There was a girl who worked in the bakery with me who constantly thought about calories. She always said that she should not eat dessert. Sometimes she caved in and had a small bite. The problem is that she never felt satisfied and she always felt guilty. She kept going back and “sneaking” more bites until eventually she had eaten far more than if she had just sat down and enjoyed a full cookie or brownie in the first place.
My philosophy on food is “do not say that you cannot have something.”
This is the ultimate path to destructive health. If you choose not to have something for specific health reasons, that is another story. There is a huge difference between saying you can’t have it and CHOOSING not to have it.
Paris has some of the most wonderful pastry shops in the world.
Sitting in a cafe in Paris is an experience I’d love to replicate at home on a daily basis. The desserts are presented as works of art. Half of the enjoyment is visual. The other amazing thing that happens in a cafe, and something that seems foreign to most of us, is that the food isn’t eaten quickly. The desserts are savored.
When I am savoring every bite, sometimes I don’t even need to eat the entire dessert. I am often satisfied with just a few spoonfuls.
This is something to consider the next time you are thinking about restricting calories. Is it causing more harm than good?
Personally, I prefer to follow the concept of the bakery diet!
Slow down and listen intently to your body. It usually knows what is best.
(If you are interested in the mini chocolate cream cakes pictured above, the recipe can be found on Bake Chocolate Cake)