We all slip up sometimes. Even the Feel Good Foodies.
Friday was a gloriously rainy day, and I loved it. With storminess outside though comes the desire for coziness inside, and with that, comfort food. ….yeah.
In addition to being a full-time Feel Good Foodie, I work part time at a natural health shop. On Friday morning I had made myself a wonderful green smoothie bursting with nutrients and deliciousness (kale! mango! lemon! ginger! sea veg! whaaaaa!!) to bring with me. When I arrived, one of my lovely, generous co-workers brought out a great homemade salsa-type dish with corn chips to eat it with. And then she said these words…. oh me.
Well, next thing I knew the store had melted away and all there was in the world was me and this glorious bag of corn chips. Now. I don’t often eat this sort of food but when I want to eat junk, this is my kind of junk. Oh yes. I prefer salty to sweet, and if I decide in advance to indulge, I will at least make the effort to buy organic corn chips – you know, make the best of a bad thing. But these were just generic corn chips, plopped in front me and, gentle readers, I ate the better part of a jumbo-sized bag of Tostitos all to myself.
We all failed in the health shop that day. While I was mowing down on corn chips, the other girls decided to go out and buy donuts. The rain poured down and down and down and as we sat there customer-less, we had a grand ol’ pig out.
And you know what – it was kind of awesome.
Which brings me to an important concept: the 80/20 rule. The specific numbers are somewhat arbitrary, but the idea is to eat healthy foods 80% of the time and to allow yourself to slip of 20% of the time. If you try to be a purist, you run the risk of making yourself go crazy. So the idea here is to do your best but to not feel the need to punish yourself when you’re not perfect. It’s about what you do most of the time, not all of the time.
…Which brings me to another important concept: make sure your junk food is “splurge-worthy”. What I mean by that is, don’t eat something unhealthy unless you really want it (i.e. not just because it’s convenient); PRIORITIZE.
The Loonie-Spoons ladies Janet and Greta talk about deciding which food items are “splurge-worthy”. It’s okay to savour not-so-nutritious food on occasion, so long as it fits into this category. Don’t risk your health (and perhaps gain extra weight) for anything less than a respectable serving of an exceptional slice of your aunt’s famous freshly-baked velvety chocolate lava cake. Don’t deprive yourself and cut off your indulgences; just indulge smarter!
So while a bag of Tostitos may not have been the ultimate treat for me, I enjoyed it thoroughly and as I was eating it, I wasn’t sorry at all! …By the time I got to the bottom of the bag I was a bit sorry however, as I was feeling a little sick. Too much! Moderation, Candace, moderation!!
I confessed to Jaime the next day, who laughed that she had spent the rainy day indulging as well, starting with a regular ol’ burrito in a wheat wrap. Ah, what a rainy day can inspire sometimes!
I wanted to write about this as an introduction to the 80/20 rule and the concept of splurge-worthiness, but also keep us on the level. We post lots of healthy tips and recipe ideas, pictures of nutritious creations we have made and devoured, and so on. But don’t be intimidated! We’re human too, and most of our “business meetings” involve us eating a whole lot of chocolate. A couple weeks ago we sat down with a container of Coconut Bliss (vegan “ice cream”) and 2 spoons, and time froze while we enthusiastically wolfed down the whole thing.
Jaime and I have each come a long way from what we used to eat on a regular basis. We’ve learned this stuff over our lives and if you’re just becoming interested in healthier eating now, then welcome! Don’t expect to become a perfect eater over night, or even…. ever. Just do the best you can right now, and you’ll find over time that your “best” will evolve and expand and impress you! And when you slip up now and then, enjoy it and then jump back on the wagon.
Savour it, friends!