My birthday is coming up, and I’ve made plans to get together with a friend. During the email exchange, she offered make me a “brussel sprout custard” since I had stopped eating sweets over 10 years ago and can’t eat birthday cake.

(I know it is confusing to people that I don’t eat desserts. The question of the decade: Why? The reasons are complicated and many, but let me just say from the outset that it has nothing to do with me trying to lose weight, or, if it once did, it didn’t work anyway so we can just take that right off the table as a possible reason, okay?)

Anyway, I wrote my friend back the following reply to her sweet offer of a brussel sprout custard:

For the record, I absolutely LUUURVE brussel sprouts, and would have loved to have a “brussel sprout custard,” but I can’t because it has “custard” in the name, which is a dessert.

I don’t eat desserts. “Cookies,” “cake,” “ice cream,” “pie,” and “custard” are all off the list, unfortunately.

I do eat “muffins.” (Even though muffins are “cake-like,” the word “cake” is not in the name and so I can eat it.)

“Pancakes” are okay too, because the cake part is not separate; “pancakes” is one word; “coffee cake” is two words, and therefore more like “cake.”

Banana bread works because it is called “bread” and not “cake.”

(I SHOULD be able to eat cupcakes, since the pancake rule would apply, but even I can’t bring myself to justify THAT.)

I will make you a little chart to keep things straight, but in the meantime, remember:

— “biscuits” not “cookies”
— “muffins,” not “cupcakes”
— “bread,” not “cake”
— “smoothies” not “milkshakes”
— “crazy,” not “sane”

Love and (Hershey) kisses!