Temptation

Like everyone else, I try to stay healthy.

I don’t count calories, and I’m not anal about removing every (or any, for that matter) ounce of fat on that chicken thigh I’m cooking, but I try in other ways.

I sometimes start the day with a veggie-heavy green smoothie.

Where possible, I buy organic and/or locally-farmed veggies and produce.

When I can, I cook using cold-pressed, organic coconut oil.

Sometimes I substitute almond milk for normal milk.

I’ve recently become increasingly conscious about using skin products and makeup with parabens, sulphates and other chemicals – and have since changed my skincare routine to something simpler and more natural.

My attempt to avoid harsh chemicals extends to household products as well – not least because I always find myself wheezing and suffocating from the fumes whenever I clean the bathroom. I’m not asthmatic, I don’t smoke, and from the various medical checkups I’ve had in the past, my lungs are fine. And yet I can feel my pipes constrict whenever I inhale the fumes from the bathroom cleaner. Which I inevitably do, seeing how impractical it would be to scrub the bathroom tiles and tub with a ten-foot pole. My respect (and concern) goes to cleaners everywhere. I really hope they are fairly compensated for their work (although I know they’re not in a lot of places), and that they have access to adequate medical services, if not medical insurance.

And so I am constantly on the lookout for safe, natural, eco-friendly cleaning products. I wouldn’t want to drop dead in the bathroom one day. Death from Mr. Muscle fume intoxication? I’d rather not.

I try to incorporate exercise into my daily routine. By my reckoning, trawling the shops and window shopping are good cardiovascular activities. My bank account doesn’t seem to agree. Neither does The Mister. It seems that no amount of well-thought, well-constructed arguments can convince him to think otherwise. He keeps muttering incomprehensible things like “jogging”, “running”, and “cycling”.

I have absolutely no idea what he’s talking about. Different planet, I tell you.

Hmph.

While I try to watch what I put into and on my body, I’m not a crazy health freak.

And while I try to look for more natural, DIY kitchen-ingredients skincare recipes, I’m no hippie.

I still succumb to prettily-packaged processed foods. I still rely on a lot of non-organic ingredients. I don’t think twice about what or where I eat when dining out.

And yes, I still love my desserts.

Chocolates, cakes, biscuits, cookies… mmm mmm.

I used to joke that I had a separate stomach for dessert; even if I was too full to finish my meal, I would still have space for dessert.

And when I get a craving for something, I can’t really ignore it. I believe that the human body is an intelligent being, and that you should always listen to it when it’s trying to tell you something.

Especially when it’s saying how good a slice of cake would be right now.

That’s what happened to me the other day. I suddenly felt like eating a slice of cake. Preferably something simple, like butter cake or sponge cake. With icing on it. The icing was an essential component. There are times when the cake is merely the conduit for the sugary, buttery sweetness of buttercream or fudge icing. Oooh yeah.

And that was how I felt that day. I wanted cake. With icing.

But I didn’t have cake, and I didn’t feel like going out to get it.

Instead…

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I just had the icing. Straight from the pot. Packaged in a manufacturing plant. Chock-full of wholesome polyunsaturated fat, sugar and petrochemical byproducts. Oooooh yeah.

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As Oscar Wilde wrote in The Picture of Dorian Gray: 

The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself.

And oh, how I yielded.

As I greedily fed myself with spoonfuls of delightfully sugary icing, the tears of Swiss organic farmers fell onto the grassy hills of northwestern Switzerland, eventually finding their way to, and merging with, the river Rhine.

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