In the spirit of transparency, I feel the need to confess a couple of things.
- I’m not 100% gluten free . . . sometimes I cheat.
- I eat a lot. A Lot.
When Jen first told me about her new diet, the thing I found most appealing was that you could have a couple of cheat meals a week, assuming you don’t have celiac or other allergy. Yes! I didn’t want to start just a new diet; I wanted to make a healthy lifestyle change—one that I could maintain for the long term and that would not make me want to eat an entire loaf of bread or an entire chocolate cake. And if you know me well, you know eating an entire chocolate cake is not out of the realm of possibilities for me.
Between the birthday parties, baby showers, basketball games, and office events that fill my life, I don’t have the willpower to never cheat. So, I try to a). plan ahead as much as possible, b). have tiny cheats, and c). eat something really healthy before I go to certain events. When we have a birthday party at the Loveless Café, I look forward to that cheat all week and try to behave myself. When we grab dinner in the hospitality room before a basketball game or go to another party, I try to eat a much smaller portions than what I typically would have in the past and/or load up on healthy stuff. Sometimes, I just take one single bite of something to enjoy the taste but not indulge in excess. (i.e. the giant leftover calzone my brother had this weekend.)
A few things I’ve learned from this:
- Grocery store snacks or baked goods are almost never worth a cheat; they’re just wasted calories. A made-from-scratch, beyond delicious cake from our VP of marketing—always worth a cheat. If you’re going to cheat, make it a good one.
- Telling yourself you can never have something again (unless it makes you severely ill and you really can never have something again) is usually not a good idea.
- Eating healthy before you leave only works if you can stick to it . . . I have at least once had two meals on that premise.
- Over-indulging usually leads to a good reminder—feeling full and gross—as to why I stopped doing that on a regular basis.
- And finally, remember why you’re doing this . . .
I am doing this because I want a healthy body. I had an epiphany several weeks back, sitting in my office munching on carrots and Jen’s incredible yum sauce (stay tuned for the recipe), when it occurred to me, I was feeding my body and not my head. I wasn’t feeding my emotions or my current level of stress or my latest whim over what was set out at the coffee station. I was deliberately and purposely putting good things in my body.
It’s not about daily caloric intake; it’s about putting really good fuel into your physical self. I once heard someone say, “There are no bad foods.” That’s ridiculous. Of course there are. We live in the South. Deep-fried Twinkies are “bad” foods. However, if you love them, eat one once a year at the fair, and spend the rest of the time filling your body with vitamins and minerals and as much organic fare as you can afford. You wouldn’t put bad gas in an expensive car, yet as Americans, we fill ourselves—our most valuable gifts—with processed, genetically-modified, fast, easy, and cheap food.
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
—1 Corinthians 6:19–20
Here’s to healthy bodies, healthy minds, and healthy motives. Next time, I’ll share about my ridiculous appetite and some ideas on filling up with healthy, satisfying, and gluten-free foods. Bonne nuit and sleep well my friends.