Today, October 14, is National Dessert Day.
I had never heard of the holiday before, but I have to wonder: Why do we need to eat dessert to celebrate the existence of "desserts" at all? Between birthdays, promotions, defeats, grades in school, farewells, welcomes, holidays, etc., we (and marketers!) spend all year coming up with excuses to "treat ourselves" by eating dessert. We don't really realize it, but fattening "occasional" "indulgences" make their way into our bodies at least once a week and likely more often than that. After all, who doesn't want to experience "a slice of heaven" every day?
Even assuming we "need" to celebrate the very existence of a high calorie-fat-sugar "occasional" treat that makes us feel good and bad at the same time, why does National Dessert Day have to be in the season we eat the most sweets anyway?
It's October and in a couple weeks we will be celebrating Halloween with tons of chocolate and candy. Meanwhile, we are in the midst of celebrating the beautiful fall season with friends and food.
Yours truly is hosting a pie/tart bake-off this weekend. Also going to an apple orchard to pick apples and freshly baked pumpkin and apple cider doughnuts. Let's face it - this outing is more about the doughnuts than the apples or fall foliage, and we'll be using the apples to bake pie! We are getting plenty of "dessert" this weekend, and it's not even the holidays yet.
I am participating in V's End of the Year Resolution Eating Game (#VSRES) this fall/holiday season, which marks my effort to "enjoy" food in a mindful way through the end of the year. Because of all the sweet treats to come, I will NOT be participating in National Dessert Day. At least not with anything sugary or excessively fattening.
We don't need a dessert holiday, but now that it exists (thank you marketers), how about redefining how we celebrate it? Ideally, we should use the opportunity to reflect on our relationship with dessert - what it means to us, why it makes us feel good, what types of desserts we love and what about them we enjoy. But no one will do that. Not even me. And so I suggest eating healthy desserts instead. Have vegetables that are naturally sweet today, like kobacha squash and sweet potato. If you have never had a vegan, gluten-free, high protein dessert before - try one! Notice how you feel. A "slice of heaven" without the crash.
Happy National Dessert Day!