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My Unhealthy Habit

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But first, a healthy habit: eating breakfast.



PB-maple sandwich, with soy-free Vegan Greek Yogurt.

Then: a quickie clean-up, ‘cause I was due outside to bask in the rays with a friend.  Errr, make that two friends. Where there’s sun, Henry follows. As I type this, in fact, he is sleeping right in front of the sun-soaked window. Henry wouldn’t fare so well in Mobile, Alabama (the rainiest city in America, if my google searches are accurate).

Speaking of sunshine, I received a question the other day, relating to sunscreen, that I was a little embarrassed to answer. The commenter wanted to know what sunscreen I use and if I put any on before running. To be honest, I don’t wear sunscreen as often as I should (Read: hardly ever). I never put it on in the mornings before I run because: It’s too early and I’m lazy, it feels gross, I don’t really burn anyway, and I don’t want to take the time. Plus, I rationalize that at least I’m getting some Vitamin D. Ok ok, I know this is bad! I know that the sun can damage your skin long before it shows up in the form of a sunburn. So yeah, I do have an unhealthy habit, and I’m not proud of it.  But hey, I could be worse off: At least I don’t sit out in the sun for hours, tanning, or go to tanning beds, which is an alarmingly-popular teenage practice here in Texas. And if I am going to be out in the daytime sun for an extended period of time (i.e. multiple hours), swimming or going to the beach, I will put on sunscreen.

Sharing time!

Are you a religious sunscreen-wearer?  And do you ever go tanning?

Although I’ve never gone to a tanning bed, I did do the spray-on tan thing a few times when I was in high school. And one summer, I was big into Jergens tinted lotion. But now I’m learning to embrace my pale skin. Did you know that, in China, they sell whitening cream? Someone tried to give me a free sample once, on the street. I was like, “Are you serious?! Look at me!”

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Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 

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  1. emma says:

    I always wear sun screen, its in my mosturizer lol! But I also avoid the sun at all costs, if its really sunny and I’m heading out for a walk I bring my parasol, I may look funny but I want to protect my skin, and I just like to be pale haha.

    ps. I’m so intrigued by peanutbutter and maple! Do you use organic syrup?

    1. Yup! And it’s so strong that–truly–you only need a touch of the stuff to impart huge maple flavor!

  2. I’m really bad about suncream 🙁 which is awful considering I’m so fair!! But I would never, ever use a tanning bed – soo dangerous!

  3. Krystina says:

    I don’t wear sunscreen (aside from SPF 15 in my face moisturizer) because I don’t often sunbathe and I enjoy getting my daily dose of vitamin D via sunshine. 😀

  4. Dude. During my ho phase in high school (and I mean that with love) I definitely went to tanning beds. Thank god I snapped out of it. Otherwise you could have sliced me up and sold me with the jerky. Nahhsty.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I did the tanning bed thing a LOT in high school. And I know it’s bad for me, but I’ll still go every once in a while. But now I make sure it’s a REALLY special occasion. I went before my wedding, for example. But maybe only once or twice a year now. I still know it’s bad. But it’s my vice, like cigarettes for some people.

  6. Lucy says:

    I have heard/read that sunscreen has so many chemicals and other junk in it that it is not that good for you. Coconut oil or olive oil I have heard can be applied?? And also it is not the sun that gives you cancer but the impurities in your skin that are brought out by the sun therefore the cancer then appears. To get enought vitamin D we need to be in the sun every day for a little. With you being vegan I bet your skin is a lot healthier and won’t have as many impurities and you are probably better off not applying sun screen. And I bet you are not in the sun long enough for any damage to happen anyways. So love your beautiful light skin!!! I am a runner too in ARIZONA! The state with the most sunshine I’m sure and I hardly wear sunscreen. I’d like to try a natural kind but I will apply it when I know I am going to be in the sun a long time.

    1. Coconut oil? Ooooh another use for my true love! 🙂

      1. Gillian says:

        Be careful with the coconut oil as I know for some it has worked more like a sun TAN lotion! 🙂
        When you wear sunscreen your body can no longer get Vit. D. (and getting it from the sun is the best way since it’s really more of a hormone created by the body then a vitamin. Taking vitamin D orally is a very inefficient way to get it) So from the research I’ve done it’s great to get some sun when you can! Just don’t burn!
        That is interesting, Lucy, about the health of the skin! Hadn’t heard of that before.
        so imho your unhealthy habit is actually a very healthy one!:)

        1. I don’t think I could rationalize using coconut oil to rub all over myself every day… it’s expensive!

  7. Katie says:

    I never used to wear sunscreen growing up – and I was a lifeguard for 6 years during summers! Eeek! However, the second I saw my first little “laugh lines” by my eyes – I started wearing it religiously. I won’t even step outside without it now, even in the winter!

  8. Leslie says:

    Seriously, take up modeling already ;). And bring Henry along, because he’d make a great model too. I bet he’d like it. I’ve heard that they reward the dogs on acting sets with treats after every take. 🙂
    I was a big tanner as a kid, not at tanning beds, but just laying out on the beach. Now, my first wrinkles are maing me regret it!

    1. Leslie says:

      *making me

    2. Awww :).
      And lol, Henry just wants to know where to sign! 😉

  9. Molly says:

    I’m a lifeguard so I already get super dark in the summer! I even tan through 50 SPF sunblock. I will admit to fake baking before our homecoming and prom dances. Such a bad habit but I think a subtle tan looks flattering at dances!

  10. Kelly says:

    Pretty flowers! I love lilies. 🙂

    Sunscreen – yeah, I use it when I’m going to be exposed (!) for a decent amount of time. I’m pretty pale and burn easily, so I’d rather not take that chance. However, I inevitably get a really awful farmers’ tan from spending time outdoors wearing short sleeves and not putting sunscreen on my arms… ah well! I figure that’s where I get my vitamin D.

  11. I’m the same way…I am totally anti-tanning bed, but I never wear sunscreen, unless I’m in the tropics and already burnt. SO BAD (and probably hypocritical)….but….I still do it.

  12. I am a religious sunscreen-wearer, all year long. I really do not want wrinkles!!!

  13. Angela says:

    When I’m at the beach or the pool I always wear sunscreen and my facial mosturizer has SPF 15, but that’s it. I feel the same way you do – it’s a little inconvenient to apply daily and it feels awful on my skin. I should be more careful about it but since I spend the sunny hours in doors for the most part, I’m not that concerned.

  14. Mama Pea says:

    I’m pretty diligent about sunscreen. I lost a friend to melanoma in college and after seeing her suffer, it really was a lightbulb moment.

  15. VEGirl says:

    EWW!! Fake tanning is gross! (I bet it causes cancer more in the long run, too). I NEVER wear sunscreen, and I can count the number of times I got burned this summer (2– and very mildly because I spent the entirety of day out in the sun). I tan perfectly– all my friends are really jealous. I don’t think it’s healthy to wear excessive sunscreen anyway, because many sunscreens have chemicals that actually LEAD TO CANCER. If you must wear sunscreen, get the natural ones, but if you’re fine and you don’t stay in the sun for the entire day, I think it’s fine!

    1. Thanks for making me feel better, girl! I rarely ever urn either… but that doesn’t mean I tan. I have one skin tone: white! Eh, I’m learning to love it, even here in Tx where everyone looks like barbie lol.

      1. VEGirl says:

        hehe– barbies!? I think the only way they look like that is BECAUSE they use the tanners! They probably wouldn’t get a tan otherwise, on count that a lot of people never even go outside!

        Alright, I’ll stop ranting now 🙂 I also have a question. I made the agar pudding base but when I tried to go make pudding (chocolate banana) it didn’t blend all smooth and creamy but left these icky little lumps that make me feel like I’m eating- I don’t know- not pudding! I don’t have a vitamix, which could be part of it, but any suggestions????

        1. Hmmm… agar is so super-finicky. Sometimes it gels completely and other times it doesn’t. When it doesn’t for me, I just blend for a reaaaaaaally long time, on super-high power, to get rid of the lumps. Maybe if you blend it much longer, it can still work, even if you don’t have a high-powered blender? As I said, the stuff is so fickle!

  16. Marina says:

    I try to wear it all the time in the summer, but not so much anymore. But I really try putting some face cream with spf before I go out

  17. I don’t put any on before my typical morning run, however I do try to remember if I’m hiking, sitting by the pool, playing tennis, etc. The sun doesn’t feel strong enough in the morning to make me want to slather myself in that stuff. I don’t burn easily, so I don’t mind not wearing it in the morning.

    Tanning beds are a no for me. I prefer to get my skin cancer the natural way. 🙂

  18. I only wear sunscreen when I know I’ll be outside for awhile…which is rare. I tend to stay indoors as much as possible. When I am outside, it’s usually for a picnic or something and that’s typically in a park with lots of trees. I probably outta go outside more.

  19. I tried PB & maple in my oatmeal yesterday based on your suggestion! You were definitely right: it is an amazing combination.

    Haha, as much as I would like to be a few shades darker, I have not and do not plan on going to a tanning bed. I have no interest in premature skin cancer, lol. Also, I’m not religious about wearing sunscreen; in fact, I only put it on when I’ll be outside for multiple hours, like you said. 😀

  20. Justine says:

    I hate sunscreen as well! The smell, feel, and I can’t imagine if it trickled down with my sweat to my poor little tongue-gross. I don’t get outside much, but when I do it isn’t for more than an hour so I am about as worried about it as you are. I DO wear the icky ointment when going places like the pool/lake/beach though as I have a tendensy to burn faster than a marshmallow in a campfire.


    1. Ok, your analogy belongs in an essay (which would get an A, btw). Too creative to waste in a comment! 😉

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