Last night, I received an email from a family member for "5-Minute Chocolate Mug Cake." (No, I am not reposting it. I'm starting to think that having sent it to anyone last night qualifies as a hate crime). In the world of forwarded emails, Diana tends to be a bit selective; I generally read what she sends. I can't say the same for others (some whom I've never met and ended up on their spam lists anyway). I've always wondered who starts these phantom emails, these heterogeneous collections of syrupy angel-butterfly-flower-puppy photos, because I'd like to sit down and pick their brains for a while. They are made of some special sunshine that I am not and damn glad not to be, but I still think I'd like to hear their take on Anne Geddes' real contribution to the zeitgeist of global happiness.
Anyway, the email caught me in a weak place. After 56 hours, here was single-serving, instant chocolately gratification showing up in my inbox, and smoking is ALL about instant gratification and pain avoidance. In fact, researchers in Portugal have uncovered evidence that there are nicotine receptors on the tongue, information I can't even begin to explore in a single blog, although I will attest that there are foods I love when I smoke that revolt or overwhelm me when I don't. http://www.scientificblogging.com/catarina_amorim/nicotine_receptors_found_first_time_mouth_raise_new_hopes_antismoking_therapies
You can't go around the Weight Watchers block as many times as I have without knowing where the cracks are in the sidewalks. Still...after 2 1/2 days of not smoking...the sweet endorphin rush of cocoa, sugar, and fat...and ready in 3 minutes? In the MICROWAVE? IN ONE CUP? (Do I need to make any further comment on the psychosis of addiction? You see where this is going). This became breakfast, along with whole milk I went out and bought on impulse last night. It was good - no lie - as good as any cake mix. It would have been even better if I hadn't omitted third TBSP of oil and the chocolate chips, which I covered by drizzling it with chocolate and caramel syrups.
The fear of "Points" didn't stop me from making it, but I thought I'd plug in the standard recipe just to see. 23 Weight Watcher points. 23. That equals 5.83 hours of walking at 3.5 mph. Considering I get 26 points a day, I needed to stop all food consumption for today as of 9:30 a.m. Having recently read Susan Shapiro's Lighting Up in which she discusses how her first attempt to quit smoking involved eating 20-25 Blow Pops a day (1000 calories), you think I'd have known better. It took Shapiro's psychiatrist pointing the calories out to her to make her stop blaming post-smoking weight gain on the nicotine.
In retrospect, it was just cake...not the best I've ever had, but maybe after my next 5.83 hour walk, I might just come home and make another one WITH the chocolate chips. In the meantime, I'm not seeing how eating stuff like this is going to improve my life in any way, so the recipe goes on the shelf. For now, I'm following Dolly Cowen's advice to "Count it as a vegetable and move on." I deleted the email, and perhaps the time it will take to Google it next time will give me pause. For the next three months, if you see me heading for anything with sugar, kick me. Hard.