I LOVE cheat days. Cheat days are days that one takes off from a diet. However, my definition of a cheat day is a day to enjoy my favourite foods, not to cheat from vegetarianism.

I admit that I am a dessertarian and snackatarian, because snacking is my passion. Somehow, I have to keep my snacking under control to keep my lost 9 kilograms at bay. (This shucks, really!)

To keep that weight off, I have to keep a food diary so that I know my food intake. After much experimentation, I found out that I can only eat around 1400kcal-1700kcal a day. That leaves very little space for me to snack since an average dessert like a cheesecake sets back at least 300kcals!

Let me tell you how much I ate on my cheat day...

3000KCALS! (sometimes)

That amount is for an active MAN, and I am just a moderately active woman (I mean, teenage girl) myself. LOL

I do not snack at random though. I know what I love most, so I can say that I am not the grab-and-go type of girl. (Say, grab a cola off the automatic vendor or pop in candies.) Here are my top picks on my cheat days: (Pictures from Google Images, sorry. This gal here is so much of a snackatarian that she virtually gobbles up the food before she even thinks of photographing it.)

#1:Dark chocolate.

Man, is there any reason not to love it? It is bittersweet and has a complex aroma which lingers in the palate. Besides, dark chocolate is rich in heart-healthy antioxidants. Too bad it is laden with calories...

Don't bother giving me Ferrero Rocher's as gifts on any day, especially Valentine's Day. (And to me, everyday is Valentine's Day because I have love from my family and friends.) I love chocolate that is at least 55% dark. I want to challenge a 99% dark chocolate one day! (Alas, it is beyond the student's budget...)

#2: Stir-fried foods.

Yes, stir-fried. When you order rice or noodles, the worst stuff you can order is the stir-fried version as it is prepared with litres of oil along with lots and lots of seasoning. Hence, high fat+high sodium=GUT BUSTING FARE! Man, stir-fries are heavenly though, thanks to that wok taste! I had a yummy plate of fried kuay-teow today as my second-round lunch after rice. Hehe. By the way, I love my stir-fries with vegetables and tofu. I do not settle easily for something "kosong" (no other ingredients in that stir-fry but rice/noodles and bean sprouts). Kosong is just too boring!

#3: Spreads on crackers/buns.

Homemade jam

PB 1

Gee, I wish I can make these! I want to make at least ONE type of jam in my life!

Sounds like your everyday breakfast fare, right? Not when you are struggling to beat those ugly, dangling bulges which show even under covered-up attire. To me, spreads are treats because they are sweet and rich, just like mousse and pie. I mean, they are way tastier and cheaper than mousse and pie, seriously. Nutella is my weakness. I enjoy toasts with a thick layer of peanut butter, kaya or fruit jam too. Such treat, with a thick, unadulterated cup of Joe, is perfect for afternoon tea.

#4: Chee Cheong Fun (猪肠粉)

Chee Cheong Fun, a Chinese breakfast/snack. It is called as "Chee-Cheong Fun" because it resembles the intestine of a pig. However, be rest assured that this treat is vegan-flour, water and oil. Eat this with sweet and sour sauce with some fried shallots and sesame seeds, and you will virtually be in heaven!

#5: Yogurt.

Again, this should be a health food, right? Unfortunately, vegan yogurts are unheard of in my area. I love yogurt but my stomach never agree with it. Thus, I list this as my cheat food too.

#6: Waffles.

Now, this is how I love my waffles to be like, except that the cream cheese to be substituted with yogurt.

Hot, fluffy waffles filled with spreads and jams just melt my heart. I would love to have it as breakfast, but alas, I do not have a waffle-maker. Otherwise, I will have my waffle stuffed with other fillings besides just spreads. (Say, peanut butter with fresh fruits or scrambled tofu with vegetables, sandwiched between lettuce and waffle slices?)

#7: Cakes (Cheesecakes, muffins, brownies... all included)

I love just any type of cake, especially cheesecakes and muffins. I enjoy the rich creamy taste of cheesecake, especially the chilled variety with fruits. (My love for creamy cheesecake NEVER means that I love pasta Alfredo too! I only love cream in desserts, thank you very much.) As for the muffins, well I must say that eating petite little cupcakes filled with fruits or chocolate is a sensational gastronomical experience like no other, especially when paired with a cup of red tea and a side of fruits. Hence, I promise myself to make some muffins/cupcakes during the holidays to satiate my appetite for them.

#8:Sweet Peanut Soup

Imagine a creamy hot bowl of soup, loaded with soft-boiled and huge peanuts. You take a little sip. Ah, that indescribable sweetness and richness of the soup literally melts in your mouth! Immediately your taste buds create a beautiful rhythm out of the soup.

This is on my must-eat list whenever I come home. My hometown, Taiping, Perak, has a stall selling such soup, and its' deliciousness is beyond words.

LAST NOTE: While I enjoy cheat food and can even eat all of them in a day, I know that they are still cheat food and will do my health no good if consumed in large amounts. Eat too much of them and be prepared to make time for two one-hour jog sessions PLUS 20-minute aerobic and strength-training sessions for every two hours for the next few days! Besides, I have to eat clean, i.e. no sweet treats, no stir-fries, just steamed food, lots of veggies and some fruits. That is how things work!

What is your comfort food or cheat food?

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Comment by Ryan J on November 10, 2013 at 3:02am

I don't personally consider foods "cheat foods" as I'm not trying to diet (and should actually eat more), but comfort foods for when I go home... Paneer makhani (ordered), tofu makhani (vegan and homemade!), any sort of bread (especially nan or garlic), cake, pancakes, fried rice (only homemade), buffalo cauliflower, baked tofu... yum. Green bean casserole too. Here at college I'd have to say that a comfort food would be a veggie burger. And always, always mayonnaise. Favorite condiment, but I have it so rarely.

When I go to an awesome international store nearby, I like to try new veggies (or fruits, if cookable) and packaged snacks or drinks. Trying snazzy new things I buy from there is fun and kind of like getting a little gift, so sort of a comfort food thing.

I find herbed or fruity cheeses to be a comfort thing too. I used to like pâté, seafood bisque, and meatloaf as comfort foods. This winter, when at home and not college, I want to try veganizing all of those at home.

Comment by Sharon Ng Huey Yuek on November 10, 2013 at 7:27pm

Hey Ryan, I call them as "cheat foods" as I am trying to lose some weight for well-being (I had ALWAYS been overweight before turning vegetarian!). For comfort foods, I usually think twice before having them, to determine whether if I REALLY need them.That does not mean that I do not enjoy exploring new food, especially desserts.

However, your comfort foods sound great! Good luck in veganizing your comfort foods too. God bless you!

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