Swapping Cookies for a Good Cause

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Just yesterday I was talking about the need to eat healthfully during the season to counterbalance the extra calories ingested at holiday events. As if on cue, today’s cookie swap was yet another opportunity for overindulgence. That said, I didn’t want to miss the chance to help raise money for cancer research while at the same time supporting the Boston Food Swap, a local group doing good things. Indeed, more than 4,000 cookies were baked for the event, earning as many dollars for “Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.” Not too shabby: the group would swap cookies anyway, so why not create a larger goal to align passions with philanthropy? I am currently doing the same thing for the Boston Marathon next April, when I’ll run with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute team to raise money for cancer research. (More here on that.)

There was a staggering array of cookies at the event: chunky cookies bursting with chocolate, fruit, and nuts; many types of buttery short bread (e.g., orange fennel, lime coconut, maple pecan, pistachio cranberry, lemon rosemary, and so on); sugar-coated balls spiked with rum or Kahlua; brightly colored sugar cookie cutouts; and many, many more…

I nibbled a bit here and there at the swap—yummy— and I was tempted not to take cookies home with me given our two-person household. Then I remembered that I have a class full of students on Tuesday night who will no doubt enjoy a holiday cookie following the final exam: a great way of spreading holiday cheer, wishing my students well, managing portions (probably only enough for one per student, if that) … and not keeping four dozen cookies hanging around my house.

I just don’t have that kind of willpower.

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Dr. P.K. Newby is a nutrition scientist, speaker, and author with expertise in all things food, farm to fork, whether preventing obesity and other chronic diseases through diet or teaching planet-conscious eating. As a health expert and food personality, she brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability to educate and inspire, helping people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. Healthy Hedonism (TM) is her philosophy: Because healthy food shouldn’t suck.

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