Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Happy Bellies Guilty Treat

Earlier today, the kids and I stopped at a little, hole-in-the-wall outfit called Happy Bellies Bake Shop to pick up a post-dinner treat.  It's not something that I have done too often, because it is a little out of the way for me.  However, after treating the kids to some paint-your-own-pottery with a friend, I figured why not.  After all, the bakeshop is right down the hall from the pottery place - on the way to the restroom, in fact - and it wasn't like E. was going to let me leave the premises without at least making a pitch for sugar - or maybe, in this case, agave.

Happy Bellies bills itself as offering fresh, handmade, and all natural baked goods.  Since I am constantly on the lookout for a natural way to fuel my sugar addiction - naturally - I didn't need to be sold too hard on the idea.

When I say that the bakeshop is a hole-in-the-wall operation, I mean that in the nicest of ways.  Considering that the "storefront" is wedged somehow in between its kitchen, the restroom, a yoga studio, and the pottery place, you could hardly call it palatial.  In fact, its whole display area is about the size of an old East German Trabant, which means of course that it is about the size of a Cadillac's trunk. Not digging my attempts at humorous analogy?  Trust me, then.  It's small.  Of course, that doesn't make the cupcake display any less tempting.

After tormenting myself for all of about point-three seconds on the fact that they didn't have any vegan goods (sold out but more coming tomorrow), I ended up walking away the proud, if not slightly guilty, owner of three cupcakes (one black & white and two cinnamon), one ginger cookie that they threw in for free, and an almond butter-chocolate chip granola bar for LG.

Seeing as these were gluten-free, I wasn't exactly sure how the reaction would be from my sugar-addicted, sweet-tooth afflicted children, not to mention Hubby, who - while trying to cut back on gluten for distance running purposes - does seem to have a refined taste when it comes to baked goods.  As it was, results were as follows:
Hubby: "It's okay." (But he says that about everything.
E.: "It's okay." (Said as she shoveled the crumbs into her mouth.) 
Me: "This is freakin' delicious!" (Okay, I didn't actually say that out loud, but I thought it!)
Maybe my tastes are not quite up to par with a 7-year-old, or maybe I am completely sold on the fact that these things didn't taste like my version of homemade gluten-free, but I truly thought my cupcake - the cinnamon - was really good.  In fact, I ate every last bite.  And, to make matters worse, I am actually contemplating going there tomorrow to snag a vegan version of the venerable cupcake as well - for research purposes, of course.

In my defense, I should have taken a picture, and if I were a good blogger, I would have.  Unfortunately, however, it seems our cupcakes were not destined to last that long.  Sorry.  If you want, though, you can check out pictures on their website.  It's worth a peek around.

So, ever since demolishing this cupcake, I have wondered if this can really count as a step in the direction of healthier eating or not.  I mean, I certainly can justify it to myself, but should I?  Can buying and gorging on a gluten-free, natural-ingredient baked bit of heaven really be considered following the letter of the healthy eating law?  Or would it be more of the spirit?  Ah well, I will think on that one.

In the meantime, I will wrap myself in the comfort of the fact that I probably burned off about 400 calories earlier in the day running.  Despite a gimpy lower leg the past week or so, the run felt fairly good.  Given the givens, though, I am a bit nervous about foam rolling tonight, since that has been where I have noticed said gimp.  With any luck it will feel fine, or maybe the sugar (agave?) rush I received earlier will mask any discomfort.  If that is the case, then I may definitely need to prescribe myself another cupcake tomorrow.  Vegan, of course.

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