- So, can I have birthday cake?
- What about my family’s pasta sauce recipe?
To which, I gave two very important answers. Listen up.
If you choose the clean eating way of life, I think it should be an every day, all day, deal. If you don’t commit, you won’t see results. You have to be dedicated and driven in order to make consistently good choices. If you half do it, you will probably talk yourself into a vicious cycle of “eating really bad” because you eat really well most of the time. TRUST ME. Because of what I’ve mentioned above, I allow treat meals; and, I think you should, too.
If you are a hardcore clean eater like myself, at some point you’re going to find yourself in a social situation where there’s fill in the blank with your guilty food pleasure. For me, that’s cake. I have a really hard time passing up a piece of white birthday cake with buttercream frosting. To tell you how much I love cake, I’m the one that asks for the corner piece of a sheet cake (because it has the most icing); or, on a round cake, I request the piece with the biggest icing flower on top – you know, the one that looks like it would make your teeth fall out of your head due to sugar content? Can we say sugar addict? Yes, yes we can. If I skip the cake, I start feeling a little resentful about my “diet.” If I feel resentful, I’m likely to feel the need to binge out on other things to make up for it. If I binge out on other things, that doesn’t fix the problem and I may just go eat the dang cake anyway. And, if it comes to that, you can bet it will be a generous serving.
So, just eat the cake. Eat it, enjoy it, only have one piece. Make sense? Okay, let’s move on.
My friend’s next question was about her family’s pasta sauce recipe. Generally speaking, in our house anyway, family recipes are reserved for special occasions. If this is the case in your house, I suggest you leave it alone. No need to have grandma rolling over in her grave, right? If you start wrecking the family recipes, it does something to the nostalgia. I don’t know. It may just be me, but I like traditional recipes to stay the way I remember.
Now, this doesn’t give you a license to make your Aunt Trudy’s fatty chicken fried steak, taters and gravy, and biscuits every day – or every month even. Save these things for special occasions, friends. You will enjoy them more this way. Your morale will stay up, and your weight will stay down.
As far as regular general “treat” meals go, I have one once a week. I don’t go nuts; I don’t go back for seconds or thirds or fourths; I also *try* to minimize the amount of unclean food I eat. Here’s an example, if we have chicken, veggies, and egg noodles – I try to eat a BUNCH of veggies, some chicken, and a modest portion of noodles (knowing those are the most unclean). I also allow myself a soda on those days. I have one, no refills. So, treat meals are OK, but in moderation! I DO NOT RECOMMEND treating yourself for an entire day, week or month. You will easily slip back in to old habits and become discouraged very quickly. Oh, yeah, and you’ll be pulling out your fat jeans again in no time.
So, there’s my two cents for the day. Enjoy your cake and meatballs.