“Oh this is delicious, Peter. The ice cream is homemade, the perfect consistency. And this lemon cookie on top, mmmmm. Are you sure you don't want some?”

Tom smiled mischievously as he reached across the table to hand me a spoon. Tom is my client, the CEO of a technology company. We've worked together for almost a decade and he's become a close, trusted friend.

We were at Greens in San Francisco, a vegetarian restaurant Tom had chosen because he had seen their cookbooks on my shelf in New York and knew I would love it.

Tom was teasing me because earlier in the meal I told him I was off sugary desserts. There's no medical reason or necessity for me to avoid sugar; I simply feel better when I'm not eating it. But he's seen me eat large quantities of sugary treats in the past and knows my willpower can be weak.

“It does look good and I'm glad you're enjoying it,” I said, “but you're on your own. There's no chance I'm eating any.”

“C'mon Peter, these desserts are healthy, and all we've eaten is vegetables anyway. It would be a real missed opportunity if you didn't at least taste the desserts at Greens; it's your favorite kind of food.”

He took a bite from a second dessert he had ordered just to tantalize me – a berry pie – and rolled his eyes in mock ecstasy, “Ooh, this is good. And it's basically just fruit. Go ahead, have just a bite.” As he edged it closer to my side of the table, the red caramelized berries dripped juice over ...

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