Why I Salted My Chocolate Mousse

In my normal life, I eat two meals a day. A sardine and a tuna sandwich for lunch, and Chipotle for dinner. I never snack, because I know that these two meals are enough to keep me full throughout the day. When I travel, though, I go into opportunist mode. I don’t know when my next meal will be, so I eat more frequently, and sometimes larger quantities.

If I’m in a new city, I’ll find healthy food. Unless I’m with a group of people going for some special dessert, I don’t eat any junk food. I try to balance convenience with quality, and do my best.

Airplanes are a different story, though. I’m currently on BA 771 from London to Chicago, and dinner was just served. There was Chicken Tikka Masala, some strange mayonnaise salad, a whole wheat roll with butter and cheese, and a chocolate mousse dessert.

I have to eat something, and I know where I draw the line. I should eat the bread with butter and cheese, and the chicken and vegetables part of the chicken tikka. The mayo salad looks gross, but the dessert looks really tasty. I glance at the ingredients, and they’re not as repulsive as I hoped. Usually seeing artificial colors and flavors is enough to gross me out, but the weirdest thing the mousse has is natural vanilla flavor. Still, it’s not good for me.

So I peel open the top and look at the dark chocolate shavings on top of the milk chocolate mousse. I then get my salt packet, open it, and dump it all over the mousse. For added effect I mush some trash into it. Temptation gone.

I don’t know if I would have eaten the mousse, but I can tell you that I certainly have in the past. I intend not to, but then they take forever to clear my tray, I’m still hungry, and I rationalize that I need the calories. Then I eat it and wish I hadn’t.

It’s hard to maintain willpower over a long period of time. One little rationalization or lapse, and all of a sudden your mouth is full of chocolate mousse. You can have good willpower 90% of the time, and still do all of the wrong things because of moments of weakness.

To combat this, try to make it so that you only need to have good willpower once. You resolve not to eat the mousse, and then immediately destroy it so that if your willpower falters, it’s irrelevant. You can add water to bread, salt to dessert, or smash up chips.

You can do this in other areas of life, too. If you’re debating going somewhere you know you should go, just start driving towards it. If you are in a store and are feeling tempted to buy something, just use a moment of good willpower to get back to your car. Make the natural variance in willpower work to your advantage, irrevocably committing at your best, and being unable to backtrack at your worst.


Photo is a the Berlin Cathedral!

Back in Vegas now, preparing to play in the World Series of Poker. A friend is staking me, so the pressure is high!






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