A Cookie Conundrum


My mother-in-law’s birthday is this Sunday. Since she’s recently shown interest in a plant-based diet, I talked my husband into getting her the book, Eat to Live, as a gift. This didn’t seem like enough to give her for her birthday, however; so I also baked her vegan cookies last night.

I finished baking at 10 PM, but I ate so much batter and cookies that a sugar high kept me up well past midnight. While lumbering around in my self-induced insomnia, I wondered why I made my mother-in-law cookies. It seemed senseless that I’d give her a book that promoted giving up sugar and refined flour while at the same time giving her sugar and refined flour. What was I thinking?

It’s not that I’m so fanatical about my plant-based diet that I never cheat. My husband and I allow ourselves some vegan junk food on the weekends, which I don’t think is a big deal. In fact, I believe it’s helped us to manage this diet for so long. Just to be clear, we don’t cheat when it comes to consuming animal products – we’re strict about this.

But baking cookies, at least for me, is more than a little treat. I can’t do it without grossly overindulging to the point that I feel ill. I felt so crappy after making the cookies last night that I told my husband, “I’m never baking cookies again!”

My husband just rolled his eyes at me, because I’ve told him this before. But now I’m wondering if I should really stop baking cookies. Is it worth it for me? And am I being a hypocrite by promoting a plant-based diet and giving others something opposite of this?

What do you think?

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

About celestedimilla

Hey there. I’m Celeste, California girl, writer, psychotherapist and burgeoning plant-based foodie.
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26 Responses to A Cookie Conundrum

  1. riceeyd says:

    Keep baking! We all need to indulge once in a while. Besides, once you eat your fill if those home baked cookies you probably don’t want any for quite a long time so you are not endangering your healthy lifestyle at all.

  2. Flo says:

    Celeste…stop beating yourself up…they are vegan cookies after all:)

  3. tsipprelle says:

    I like having a treat once and a great while. It actually helps me stay on track. I strive for a 90-10 rule. For 90 percent of the time, I eat a very,very strict plant based diet. But, I am an avid runner that logs 50 miles a week and burns so many calories, so every now and then I need to splurge on a great piece of fish ( salmon or arctic char ) or a little cheese on my salad (I forgo all salad dressings when I have a little cheese). I even have a glass of red or white wine occasionally. Assuming you have no health issues, I think you’ll be okay eating a cookie once and a great while, especially if baking brings some joy to you and your family! 🙂
    In health and happiness, Tracy

    • Thanks so much for your comment! I have to say, however; that how you treat yourself and how I treat myself seem to be different. You have a little cheese and I pig out on cookies! Not to mention that I don’t run 50 miles a week;-). Still, I love your 90-10 rule – that’s about what I aim for too!

  4. carmen says:

    Well, Celeste, that is a quandary! I’m so glad your indulging isn’t eating animals. As for cookies, less is better, 90-10 sounds good. Plus, you could try cutting the sugar in the recipe in half. We only have dessert once in a blue moon or when we have company (except fruit, we have fruit every day).

    As for a gift in addition to the book–what about a lovely fruit basket or some lotion, hand cream from a company that does not do animal testing? Of course, vegan cookies is also good!

    Enjoy celebrating with your mother-in-law on Sunday!!

    ❤ carmen

    • Hi Carmen! Yea, less is certainly better. That’s wonderful that you only have dessert on rare occasions. I have to be honest, before going vegan I ate dessert every night. Now I’m more like you and only have it when I have company or when I really have a craving. I don’t think I’m going to completely give up baking cookies, but I might limit it to the holidays. Thanks so much for your comment – I appreciate it!

    • The cookies were delicious – an almond lovers dream! I’ll post the recipe tomorrow:-).

      • carmen says:

        Almond cookies?!? No wonder you can’t resist!! Definitely give her the cookies and as Ally said – it is a birthday and that’s one time everyone should be able to have their cookies and eat them, too!! 😉

  5. Ally says:

    I think cookies are a great gift for a birthday. I think a day of indulgence is acceptable on one’s birthday. As for you, of course you had to do a taste test to ensure that the cookies met quality control standards 😉
    I don’t think you should feel bad about eating the occasional cookie (or 3!) in an otherwise healthy vegan diet.
    Also, as suggested above, can you make a ‘healthier’ cookie?

    • Hey Ally! When I first went plant-based I tried making ‘healthy’ cookies (ones with no sugar at all). They tasted like crap! So, I stopped making cookies for a long time. I started baking again over the holidays, but I didn’t try to make the cookies healthy (I just made them vegan). Maybe what I need to do is go find the middle way. Instead of making sugar free cookies, I can make cookies with less sugar. Or, better yet, I should search for great-tasting sugar-free cookie recipes. I make delicious chocolate mousse and hot chocolate without sugar, so I must be able to make great-tasting cookies without sugar. I just have to find the right recipes. Thanks for your thoughts Ally – I appreciate them!

  6. Pingback: Almond Lover’s Chocolate Chip Cookies | Honk If You're Vegan

  7. Deborah says:

    Hi Celeste
    I had to laugh when I read about you eating cookie dough and cookies while you’re backing for your mother-in-law. I was right there with you!! For me, “a little sugar” doesn’t work. I love that stuff. LOVE. IT. And eating a little bit of it really doesn’t make any sense to me, and I do not mean that rhetorically. Processed sugar is not good for anyone, so why do we eat it? Because it tastes better than anything. That is the only reason. We don’t eat it to get B-vitamins or protein or calcium, etc. If it didn’t taste like it does, we wouldn’t eat it. The good thing for me is that the healthier I eat, the less I want it and the more I remember how the sugar hangover feels (basically just like the other kind) when I am presented with the chance to indulge. Turning it off after “a day of indulgence” doesn’t work for me. Maybe it’s just a character flaw. Anyway, I’m better off staying away from it. And it’s not hard, once I’m eating in a way that makes me feel good.

    • Hey there Deborah! You so get me! I’ve never been one of those people who could eat one piece of chocolate or two cookies and then stop. If it’s in front of my face I’ll eat it until I’m sick or it’s gone. I used to be really bad about binging on sugar – like really bad! When I had a craving I’d drive to the store, no matter the time of night, and get some Ben and Jerry’s. Thankfully, those days are over. Like you, eating healthier has dramatically reduced my cravings. Actually, I don’t really get cravings anymore. My only problem now is when the goodies are right in front of me. So maybe I do need to stop making cookies. We’ll see. Thank you so much for your comment – I appreciate it!

  8. Deborah says:

    “baking” not “backing”!

  9. Kristin says:

    Hey Celeste! Well I went back and read this post after commenting on the cookie recipe (which does look amazing). I was just about to type out my answer to your question when I read through your response to Ally’s post – that’s exactly what I was going to say! The middle ground 🙂 My theory is, the less sugar I use, the more often I can bake and EAT what I bake (since that’s really what baking is about haha) so I like to use JUST ENOUGH sugar to make them enjoyable 😉

    • Hi Kristin – thanks so much for stopping by! It’s funny that you commented today, because I was just thinking that the carrot cake cookies on your blog look like a perfect middle ground cookie! The next time I feel the need to bake something sweet, I’m going to make those. If anyone reading this comment wants to try them, here’s the link: http://haveashnick.com/2013/03/31/easter-carrot-cake-cookies-a-workout/

      • Kristin says:

        Thanks Celeste! Those carrot cake cookies are definitely what I was thinking when I said middle ground – just sweet enough and not a trace more. I’m still saving your chocolate chip cookie recipe though because every once in a while I’m going to have a REAL cookie and when I do, it better be a good one like yours 😉

  10. Pingback: A Baker’s Dozen of Luscious Vegan Sweets | Honk If You're Vegan

  11. WOW! You’re right we are very alike. I do this exact thing – bake, eat so much batter that I feel really ill and then swear to never do it again. So glad I found your blog, it’s good to share the journey 🙂

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post – I appreciate it! And guess what – I just made and pigged out on cookies again last night. Will I ever learn? It’s nice to know that I’m not alone with this. Have a wonderful week!! Celeste 🙂

  12. Vegan cookies is way better than how I’ve been indulging lately. Here’s to motivating one another 🙂

    • Thanks for reading this post Joyce! And I don’t know how you’ve been eating lately, but no matter what, you’d get nothing but support from me (and I have no doubt from most other bloggers too!). I’m not trying to push you back into blogging if that’s not what you want to do right now. I just hope you know that if you blog about whatever it is you’re eating, doing and going through at the moment that you’ll still get much love and support for it. Sometimes I blog to support and encourage others and sometimes I blog to get support. Both are important. Both are valuable. Both are okay. That’s my thinking anyway. Celeste 🙂

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