Nothing wipes the smile off the face of a gingerbread man faster than the month of January. A few short weeks ago, overstuffed cookie boxes were in all their insta-glory, only to be replaced in January by vegan breakfast bowls. No wonder we’re feeling curmudgeonly; we’re hangry.
The sugar buoyancy we experienced in December is gone, replaced by sacrifices made in the name of clean eating. We’re not drowning our January selves in pink packets of Sweet-n-Low or heaping spoonfuls of Cremora into our cuppa joe, but the New Year changes things. Splashing soy in our coffee, and oat milk in our oatmeal, we bump up our water intake, hanging our January selves out to dry. Adding a shot of bitters to a glass of seltzer might be good for our health, but it doesn’t take the sting out of a long workday.
Clean slates and diet trends change with the times. We once swore by Atkins and oat bran, grapefruits and South Beach. We hunted, we gathered, counted points, and tried to slim fast. Carbs were good until they were bad, kale was king until cauliflower thought it was pizza. You can’t fool me; a sheet pan cradling oven-roasted vegetables cries out for melted cheese. If we could navigate our wellness journey with ease, we would certainly download the app with the most expedient route. Instead, we’re stuck in late night traffic with a driver who can’t decide between WAZE and Google Maps. From the back seat I want to tell the driver to take the butter-sugar-flour-eggs-it.
There are plenty of faux food holidays to embrace. A few days ago, National Bagel Day slipped into town, but without so much as a slab or a schmear of a greeting, I missed it. My workplace is already in the throes of February planning. Christmas Red has been bumped out of line by Rose Pink and the Christmas cookie cutters have been relegated to an airtight bin for hibernation. Sprinkle King is gearing up for the diets-be-damned holiday with a vast collection of sugar hearts and edible pearls. Above the din of the espresso machine pumping out skinny drinks, you can hear the sound of the bakery door slamming. A disgruntled, solitary gingerbread man sees himself out.
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