Do you lust after the forbidden foods that have unfairly been taken off your “foods you can eat” list? Why do we want them so much? Is it because we are told that they are unhealthy or they will make you fat – absolutely. And we always want what we can’t, or shouldn’t, have. It’s human nature.
But, what if you were given permission to eat anything you want? Would that change things?
My mind is always working on an insane number of topics everyday and it wanders to different experiences or things people say. I think most women are like that, we always have about ten things on our minds at one time, but are intuitively able to focus on the task at hand while juggling our busy minds.
I was making lasagna for dinner tonight. It’s something I make about once a month, quite possibly on my list of top 5 favorite foods. I’ve loved it since I was a kid, my comfort food. I will for sure post the recipe soon – filled with veggies. I sent HEP a text (who was, of course, still at work until far after dinner) reminding him of the best.lasagna.ever dinner waiting patiently for his return home. He responded back with a witty #cheatmeal. He knows me too well.
Not exactly. I don’t believe in cheat meals and he knows that. I eat everything. I eat lasagna and cheesecake and the occasional donut at church. I just don’t eat it all the time.
Dietitians know that people are spying on us at lunch, at the grocery store…at playdates. They want to see us “cheat”. Everyone at would stare at the table of RDs eating lunch at my last clinical position to see what we fill our plates with. For the most part it was salads, veggies, water, and grilled chicken, but on occasion you might spot pizza, philly cheese steak and desserts. We LOVE food, all food, which is why we are in this profession in the first place. I eat what I like, it just so happens that the majority of the food that I truly love, is good for me.
There’s actually a name for how I eat, it’s called intuitive eating. It’s so simple. Don’t deny yourself what you really want and you never feel deprived. I never feel like I don’t eat well and I never feel guilty for eating something that I know is not the healthiest of options.
I was doing some research for a different article and started browsing through the paleo diet website. They practice an 85:15 rule, which allows its followers to “cheat” with 3 non paleo diet meals/week. Its absurdity caught me right away. Basically, they are saying that you are allowed to eat bad foods, those not allowed on your diet. Why wouldn’t you just want to eat healthy all the time?
If you haven’t heard (possibly living in a secluded area), we have a bit of an obesity problem in the U.S. Turns out that a lot of people are eating really, really, really unhealthy food. The reasons behind this are endless and run the gamut from poverty to poor time management.
I happen to think that education is the biggest reason that our neighbors are following fad diets, using “magic” supplements, and are “cheating” on their life partner, the dinner plate. We are constantly inundated with nutrition buzz words like gluten-free and antioxidant rich, but do you know what that really means? There are commercials on TV (while you are sitting on the couch, mind you) that encourage us to exercise more and move to burn calories. Then the commercial for the monster bacon triple cheese burger (oh with avocado, cause that’s trendy right now) comes on and the urge to exercise slowly takes a back seat.
Some people assume that exercise is meant for losing weight. Yes, it is vitally important for anyone wanting to lose weight. That is, unless you are my younger brother and go vegan, cold turkey, and lose 90#. For the rest of the world who isn’t willing to make their ice cream from raw cashews, you must exercise to lose weight. But that is not why you should continue to exercise. I don’t exercise to lose weight. I use it to maintain my weight, to be able to eat what I enjoy, go get ice cream with my kids, and feel okay about sitting at my sewing machine for 2 hours to finish a quilt. I exercise to keep me in a good mood, to keep my self-esteem high, to be a good example to my girls, and to have the energy to go all day without sitting down and still want to read books with the kiddos at bedtime. I don’t want to be a tired parent.
Back to food. If I did believe in cheating, then call me a serial cheater. If you love good food then you can continue to love good food and still lead a healthy lifestyle. The word “moderation” is such a cliché now, but it’s really the key. We call those cheat foods “sometimes foods” in our house. Not always, not never…sometimes.