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Old 07-12-2011, 04:53 PM   #10
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kaplods's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Wausau, WI
Posts: 13,383

S/C/G: SW:394/310/180

Height: 5'6"


If you're creating your own recipes, baking is a lot different from cooking - it's much harder. Baking requires much more precision than most (not all, but most) other forms of cooking.

So you could learn to cook other foods just as eaily. And just like you did with baking, you'd get better and better at it, as you learn. You don't WANT to make the transition, and that's ok - but it's not because you couldn't.

You could also (but don't have to) experiment with more diet-friendly versions of your favorites. There's a huge untapped market for sugar-free and wheat and gluten-free baking. I recently bought a wheat/gluten-free brownie at a healthfood store for $5. I'm allergic to wheat, and what I've really been dying for, is a good gluten-free bread. I'd pay $6 for just one slice of a crusty, home-baked italian style bread.

If you follow an exchange plan, or calorie counting, you can taste your own wares, you just have to count them in. You can even do this with the unfinished dough - if you weigh it before you eat it.

My main hobby was also food-related, eating and preparing ethnic foods (and just in general foods I'd never tried before). When I was working long hours, my hobby was expressed in restaurant dining. Bloomington, IL has more restaurants and folks eat out more per capita than Chicago.

I also shopped ethnic and gourmet markets for ready-to-eat snacks and for the ingredients to cook when I had the time (moslty weekends).

I still am a gourmet hobbyist, but I've changed the way I pursue the hobby. I read gourmet magazines and try to adapt recipes when I can. I still go to ethnic restaurants, but instead of looking for the most unusual dish on the menu - I look for the most unusual healthy dish on the menu (often they're one and the same). I also sometimes order a soup or an appetizer as a meal. Or I ask for a box right away and put 3/4 of the food in the box (portions are so ridiculous around here that one meal really can feed four).

I also put as much effort into (and get as much enjoyment from) shopping for exotic fruits and vegetables as I did for exotic ready-to-eat meals or exotic ingredients for a high-fat meal.

It's the adventure that's the hobby for me - so I got just as much fun out of trying lychee fruit and miniature mangos as I did from trying duck liver pate - at least once I stopped feeling sorry for myself and thinking of weight loss as something that was ruining my fun.

Personally, I can't cook high calorie, especially high-carb foods without tasting. And once I taste, I can't stop. I had to remove trigger foods from my house, because I find it easiest to avoid foods when I would have to leave the house to get them. If they're right in front of my nose, my willpower is limited. I'll be strong until I'm not. Being strong for 23 hours and 59 minutes, means nothing, if in one minute of weakness I eat what I wish I hadn't.

Maybe you're a lot stronger than I am. I'm not that strong. And as much as I like cooking, the part I like best is the tasting - knowing myself that it turned out the way I hoped it did (because I like trying new recipes a lot more than I like repeating recipes I know I can do well).

I also collect cookbooks, and while I still do, I look mostly for exchange-plan cookbooks (because I'm following a reduced carb exchange plan).

I've also had to focus on hobbies that aren't primarily food-related, and even hobbies that are incompatible with eating.

If you can keep your food hobbies and maintain good habits, more power to you. For me, I had to choose my old eating hobbies or weight loss. Those hobbies I couldn't modify, I had to give up.
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