Can I Eat The Gingerbread House?

Yesterday I headed to the Farmer’s market for some fruit. One of the farmers had a dog and Bingo was his name-o mentioned that the market is closed until Jan 6th! I’m glad I got some good sampling in before that Smile IMG_3229 (800x600)

Actually, I buy grapes and eat them while walking around.IMG_3232 (800x600)

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After the market I stopped in TJ’s for lunch. Brown Rice California rolls help satisfy a sushi craving (for now).trader joes sushi

Then, I headed to my mom’s to humiliate my dogs.IMG_3239 (800x600)

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At least I took off the costumes to take them for a walk.IMG_3242 (800x600)

 I threw together some quick pizzas for dinner before my fun project…IMG_3248 (800x600)

The reason I was there was to make a Gingerbread House with my little brother. I bought this kit at Trader Joe’s this week.IMG_3252 (800x600)

It is super easy to use and put together! All you need to add is one egg white and a few drops of vinegar. (We added a lot of other candy because it doesn’t come with that much.)

It has a little family too! But, I don’t really get who the lady with the cane is supposed to be?IMG_3253 (800x600)

I set it up and Matt and I got to work decorating. IMG_3260 (800x600)

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A piece of our tree was missing. I tried to convince Matt a branch fell off in the storm, but he wasn’t buying it.IMG_3268 (800x600)

I blame Bailey.IMG_3272 (800x600)

Done!IMG_3283 (600x800)

I grabbed a glass of milk and was ready to eat this thing!grab a glass of milk

The first thing I wondered when I bought this kit was, “Are you really able to eat it though?!” Yes! I say if there is nutrition information on the back they figure you’re going to eat it.gingerbread house nutrition

But, my mom made white chocolate macadamia nut cookies for us instead. I’m not a big fan of this kind of cookie, but they were warm out of the oven and I couldn’t stop myself from eating 5 of them, plus eggnog and some ice cream(!). santa will be mad i ate all his cookies

The cookies, coupled with the tree branch candy decorations left me feeling overly full and bloated. I felt like ish for a second then realized so many other bloggers have been in similar situations this season – not that it makes it okay, but it makes it normal.

It’s not like there is something wrong with me for eating too many cookies. This is the time of year with a ton of temptations – and I need a game plan before I go into it or this happens to me. Many people over eat at a holiday party or when freshly baked cookies are around. The key is to realize it’s normal and get back on the healthy balance wagon the next day (NOT fall into a binge until Dec 31st like I’ve done in years past).

If you’ve had issues with food in the past you might think overeating at a party equals a relapse or a binge or a step backwards. This isn’t necessarily true. When I was seeing R.D. Tribole (and author of the Intuitive Eating book) she pointed out that people with no history of food issues overeat on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Not that it’s healthy, but that it’s normal. (She also said no one eats ice cream because they’re hungry, which kinda changed my life.)

What do you think? Is it “acceptable” to overeat at a party or while baking cookies? How do you keep yourself from overeating while baking or at a party?


  1. says

    This time of year is so difficult. Not only is it freezing and dark outside, which leaves you with zero motivation to work out, but there are christmasy treats everywhere! And you want warm food constantly, not salads.

  2. Nikki says

    To some degree, I think you have to say it’s “acceptable,” or you end up in a cycle where you feel guilty and self-loathing, which (at least for me) only increases the likelihood that you’ll end up overeating again.
    People overeat sometimes! But your tip about getting right back to good habits is a good one!
    P.S. It’s refreshing to read about you “overeating” on a normal amount of food rather than reading about someone who “totally binged” on three whole-wheat crackers too many!

  3. says

    First of all, that cartoon about the cookie dough cracked me up! I LOVE me some raw cookie dough, eggs or no eggs. And I do let my kids taste it. Bad mommy.

    Also, thanks for the whole reminder that we do NOT have to binge for weeks — that it’s okay to go a little crazy at, say, a cookie swap, but that doesn’t mean we need to eat 10 cookies the next day either. Although I run and am at a healthy weight, I am constantly struggling with food issues and LOVE that you love food too!

  4. Celeste says

    I think the key is to not beat yourself up about it, but also not let it become a pattern! For me, when I spend time after a binge I don’t really like using that word actually…) thinking “wow..why did I do that, I’ve ruined everything..etc..etc..” it only leads to future overeating. It’s awesome you have such a healthy outlook!

  5. says

    def the old witch..

    And I really wish our fresh fruit and veggies from farmer’s markets were that cheap! Granted ours ended in October, but the cheapest I ever saw apples were $1.49 a pound. Oranges around here are $1.29 each. I ended up buying cuties instead.

  6. Nadine says

    I think Holly is right. Overeating this time of year is somewhat inevitable. I mean, if you baked cookies year round and ate too many of them, THAT would be ‘normal’ — but, since you don’t…the trick is to make it ‘occassional’ – even during this time of year. Throw caution to the wind and eat whatever you want from October to January, and yep, you’re going to gain weight. Simply because the ‘formula’ says so Calories in > Calories out = Weight Gain. So, to deprive yourself of the things that are ‘special’ or ‘treats’ during the season is just silly. Its just knowing when to say when.

  7. says

    I just love your honesty on everything. I’m sure you’re affecting more people than you know by telling pieces of your story :)

    My plan is to realize that its just not worth it to over eat. Feeling happy for 5 minutes while eating crazy junk is great and all but I don’t enjoy feeling like a weighed down slug when i’m done.

    You’re totally right with having a gameplan and the right mindset in place!

  8. says

    I had no idea Trader Joes did a gingerbread house, I think I have to get one of them instead of the target one I get!

    I sometimes over eat at parties but in the end I think its okay if it happens once in a blue moon. If I am trying really hard not to overeat I just make sure I have a water to drink up when I get the urge to eat.

  9. says

    I agree- not healthy, but normal. My problem is with the cookies I ate last night- they’re sitting out on the counter (strike one), the type that get hard fast (ha. ha. ha. strike two), and my husband doesn’t really eat sweets (strike three). I really need to stop baking unless I have a plan for sharing out of the house.

  10. says

    Woman, we all do it. I made death by chocolate cake balls last night…i didn’t even count how many of them I “tried”, hah! I just try and make sure all my other meals are nice and clean and I get some sort of exercise during the day.

  11. says

    When I bake, it is only for a special occasion and I’m not allowed to try it, cooked or uncooked! That’s my rule, because I know that once I start I just can’t stop! I also read a few articles from Livestrong that say that’s it’s completely okay to indulge in Thanksgiving and Christmas but just to not make the holidays an excuse for a 6 week long binge-fest like so many people do!

  12. says

    I feel your pain… I just made sugar cookies and I ate way too many cookies just in dough then I ate a few when they were out. Then I decided that my stomach hurt and I needy something savory to eat, and there was pizza in the house. Thanks for posting this! I think that is must happen to everyone else as well. If I could just remember how crappy I felt after eating all of that, you would think I wouldn’t do it to myself again, but that’ll never be the case!

  13. says

    Very cute!! Mike and I want to set up a Gingerbread house this year. I never have before so it’ll be nice.

    I always wondered about eating them, too. I mean, you can..but how good it taste? The things have been sitting on shelves for months!

  14. says

    That gingerbread house looks like so much fun to make! I think I’m going to pick one up to decorate with my neice and nephews on Christmas. I think overeating during the holidays is going to happen (realistically) but if I know I’m baking that day or going to a party I’ll try to eat as nutritious as I can so I’m not starving by the time I go to the party or start baking. On the other hand, I know that I looove certain seasonal treats and I think it’s important to eat the foods that you love. I know I’d be miserable not being able to enjoy the Christmas fudge my family makes every year!

  15. says

    I love gingerbread!! Houses, little men, star shapes… everything! And I think half the fun of decorating the house is eating the leftover bits of candy (the term ‘leftover’ being subjective) 😉

    I think with overeating, the trick is to not string a bunch together. So if you go to a party and eat a lot, try to make the next day healthy- go for a run, eat some vegies etc. All about balance :)

  16. says

    My momma bought that kit for us all to decorate last year! It was kinda hard to get our house straight without at least one wall leaning and knocking it all over 😛

  17. says

    Well there’s the old rule women use to follow…like back in the 1900’s when they wore corsets, eat a big meal earlier so you’re not hungry. What a good big sis you are!! I still need to follow through with the gingerbread houses this year…I seem to drop the ball on that one every.single.year. Jessica

  18. says

    I love this post–the honesty and how much I can relate to it! I can remember when I used to beat myself up over it all and then I started to realize it’s not worth it. The more blogs I read the more I realize I’m actually normal and not delusional for thinking a lot of the things I used to really think made me a weirdo. Either that or we are all weirdos who just end up writing blogs and then assuming that we’re not weirdos so just perpetuating this all…

  19. says

    I have a couple of food rules that I developed for myself when working through the Beck Diet Solution Workbook a few years ago.

    1. I don’t eat standing up (so that takes care of food prep, baking and the food pushers at Costco too)

    2. I have a cookie rule. I don’t eat the first one unlsess I am prepared to eat 3 or 4. If not, I don’t start.

    Works for me.

  20. alicia says

    hey monica, i really want to thank you for just keeping it real. i’m like addicted to reading blogs, for some reason, and even the most popular ones…i swear they’re not normal lol. i don’t understand how they ALWAYS limit themselves to “just a bite of everything”, or their meal will look totally normal until you see it next to something and realize it’s like a TINY bowl.
    anyway i appreciate that you live a regular life like the rest of us (i swear some of these other bloggers live in a fantasy land haha) and you look great and have fun while doing it! you’re awesome :)

    • Angie says

      AMEN! For me, Monica, you always help me remember that I am not a complete nut. I’m just someone who exercises and gets hungry :) I swear I have the appetite of a teenage boy.

      I am really curious about the statement by R.D. Tribole (when she said no one eats ice cream because they’re hungry). I guess I feel like I do eat ice cream when I’m hungry. Ice cream is a huge problem for me. I don’t care how rational I am, it’s a rare day for me to eat a reasonable amount and feel satisfied. Again, think appetite of teenage boy when it comes to ice cream… if you ever write a post about that statement, I’d love to read it!

  21. says

    I think eating more on the holidays is perfectly fine. I agree with another comment that said not to let it turn into a 6-week binge fest. But Christmas cookies and holiday treats only come around once a year. As long as I don’t feel like purging (which I can’t do anyway), eat so much I feel sick for days, or restricting healthy foods to “save room” for later I’m fine.

  22. says

    The main thing that keeps me from overeating at holidays is that I really HATE the feeling of being too stuffed. But if I pace my cookies and sweets just right over the course of a day, I can put the sweets away with the best of them. 😉 I mostly go by how I feel (too much sugar makes me feel sick) and try to sneak fruit and veggies into meals and snacks whenever I can.

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