The cake at my company’s 10th anniversary looked like any other—a slab, smothered in a quilt of fondant, with crisp vanilla layers of sponge, piped full of orange and blue frosting. It was unremarkable, but that didn’t matter.
I wanted to take a huge whiff of that cake.
Like the world’s foremost pastry perv, I was jonesing. I wanted to sit too close to a foodie friend and have them tell me what it tasted like, what the texture was, if the icing was too sweet, or gritty, or oily. I wanted them to describe if the coloured frosting between the layers had been flavoured with anything innovative.
I know this sounds like I should be banned from the local cupcake shops, with a restraining order filed against me by the Pillsbury Doughboy… But I was six days into the Whole30, and getting creepy and culinary on a slice of corporate cake was my first genuine test.
I totally passed, and it wasn’t even crazy or anything. This is still my choice, after all. This meal plan is just one giant first world problem.
A little context for the mania: food is a hobby of mine, and baking is my jam. I listen to podcasts about it, read about it, and write about it (hello)! I almost left university in the middle of my degree to train as a baker. For me, and many others, eating, sometimes, is not just eating. It’s experiencing the food, like noticing the brush strokes on a master painting, or the word choice in your favourite book.
Sure, that cake was technically nothing special. I wasn’t missing out on French pastries or the last frozen tin of my Babcia’s homemade cookies—it was just CAKE, and CAKE without a soul! Even so, it had me hangering like a junkie for a little relief.
I think this is a perfect demonstration of why cutting things you love out of your life long-term just won’t work, and why elimination plans like the Whole30 are interesting. You can’t have something, you want it more. Sure, eventually you might stop missing cake after years of suffocating the desire to eat it… but isn’t it better to moderate and be happy than to be severe and miserable?
Part of living healthy is just enjoying the life you’re leading.
The Whole30 has messed with my hobby, people, and it turned into a near-crime against cake. Betty Crocker has me on a watchlist.
Now I’m 11 days in and looking to innovate, and re-prioritizing.
Things that have become significant in the first ten days of my Whole30 experiment:
• Franks Red Hot Sauce
• Fantasies about the first food I will eat when the time comes (right now it’s pancakes)
• My teammate, my friends, and my family (seriously I do not recommend doing this without someone else, or at least with people around who understand the “what” in your “WTF”)
The next 19 days are not going to be an exercise in self control so much as exploring new recipes and PATIENCE…
One thing’s for sure: there will be little-to-no huffing of cake (probably).