I have to confess, I am a pretty big perfectionist when it comes to eating healthy. Yes, I check every ingredient and will drop a package in a second if it has something I don’t approve of on the label. I am pretty disciplined.
However, and this is a big however, I honestly believe in an 80/20 lifestyle. 80% healthy food and 20% what ever you want. Unless some one is on a healing diet I think an occasional treat works well.
A few weeks ago I was at my granddaughter Joy’s birthday party in her school and she so much wanted me to have a piece of her Carvel birthday cake, (which I have to say does not tempt me one bit, because I know the ingredients).
But when that gorgeous little face with the curly brown halo of curls, and the big brown eyes looks up at you and says “Grandma have some cake”…..well, you get the picture. So I took a small piece and ate it with a lot of relish, and absolutely no guilt I might add. I think sometimes participating in the happiness of someone you love is more important than anything.
My son felt compelled to catch that little event on video for proof to show his siblings. They all started reminiscing…
-“Remember when Mommy ate a hot dog that time?”
-”I remember when she ate Hagen Daaz once!”
-“Oh yeah, and when we were vegan and she got us all steaks!!”
Then my husband chimed in;
-“We ate ice cream on vacation last year!”
-“We once shared a chocolate bar in Turks and Caicos!”
Okay, okay I know, I’m not uber fun in the food department! So the point is that most of my “treats” are healthy treats, with good quality wholesome ingredients that don’t make the above shock list. Like the Coconut Honey Candy . I count those as my 20% treats. But occasionally it’s good to let go and have something super off. It just makes life more interesting.
The most important part is enjoying it and feeling no guilt. Guilt creates a cortisol response and is anxiety provoking, which is unhealthy to say the least. Give yourself permission and fully enjoy. If it’s not a regular thing and most of your food is healthy, go for it!
This Thanksgiving, eat a healthy protein rich meal of turkey and vegetables, 80% worth, and then choose a really good 20% treat. Enjoy, be grateful, be happy. Guiltless!!