Birthday Week for the Sweet Peas

January 19,2009
Sweet Pea Chef
Jessica Efird( )

Jessica, aka the Sweet Pea Chef, is a former U.S. Senate staffer/weekend gourmet turned full-time mom/family gourmet. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two sons.

Today is G’s second birthday. I will spare you the "I-can’t-believe-my-baby-is-two" diatribe and just leave it at this: Happy Birthday, G! You are two! How is this possible? On top of G’s birthday, last night my cousin Jill got married to her wonderful new husband Eli…Friday is R’s birthday…Saturday is their joint birthday party…and Tuesday is the inauguration (we’re political junkies, having lived more than a decade in DC). Suffice it to say, we’ve dubbed this "birthday, er...celebration week." All this celebrating and eating made me think of an article written by a nutritionist about healthy eating. There were lots of good tips, many of which were on the "9 of ‘09" list that I finished in this space last week. One idea that struck me was to eat healthy 90 percent of the time, but to purposefully eat "splurge food" 10 percent of the time. The theory was that if you expect and allow the 10 percent splurge food for yourself, you won’t overly deny treats, and therefore you'll keep your eating more balanced. So, what’s your 10 percent food? I have about 90 different types of 10 percent food. But I would have to say my absolute favorite, predictably, is chocolate. In French Women Don’t Get Fat, Mireille Guiliano promotes the theory that French women can eat chocolate every day without gaining weight because they eat a small amount of high-quality chocolate. I have been trying this theory for myself, and I have to say that, most days, it works: First, I freeze the chocolate. If I do this, it seems to take longer to melt and last longer. Second, I use a really small bowl like this: . A small, overflowing bowl looks a lot more generous than this: . Third, I stick with the high-quality chocolate. At Christmastime I had some sub-par chocolate, and I have to tell you, it just doesn’t do it for me. The whole idea of making 10 percent of the family’s food splurge food helps when the boys are eating one of the four cakes we will share during celebration week, or enjoying the preschool treats they will take to school to celebrate. My question is this: If we have multiple celebrations this week, can we borrow a few more percentage points of splurge food from next week and beyond? Hoping we don’t go into sugar shock by week’s end- SPC