Through my experimentation and based on what I’ve learned through researching nutrition and how best to feed myself for optimum health and happiness, I have come to a very simple approach.
First, I have my Always Foods, foods I try to eat more of, foods I eat everyday, multiple times a day. Fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and beans.
Next, I have my Often Foods, foods I sometimes eat daily but try not to have multiple times a day, foods that I am conscious of limiting but still include in my diet. Dairy- including yogurt and cheese, eggs, soy products, coffee, chocolate, cereal, fruit juice.
Then there are the Sometimes Foods. These are foods I really enjoy but generally they are foods I do not consider to be beneficial nutritionally as much as they are beneficial tastily. These are foods I would eat perhaps once a month, maybe twice, or I might go many months without having any. I would not eat these foods just because they happened to be sitting there in the break room. I will generally plan for and savor these foods if I’m going to have them. Cookies, cake, chips, cheesy enchiladas from a Mexican restaurant, a veggie burger from Fat Burger, fast food french fries, alcoholic beverages, really good ginger ale, ice cream.
Finally, I have my Never Foods, which I absolutely do my best to avoid and have no desire to consume. Meat is my number one Never Food. I will not eat meat under any circumstances for many reasons. The other Never Foods are chemical additives. I would like to say I absolutely never consume High Fructose Corn Syrup or any other chemical ingredient, and I am sure I do not in my own home. However, I do eat out occasionally and when I do so, I understand that I give up some control over this. However I do consider HFCS and other additives Never Foods- since I would never knowingly choose to eat them. If you have a food allergy, that would be a Never Food.
One reason I was overweight was that I was eating foods that should have been considered Sometimes Foods, all the time.
How to deal with Sometimes Foods is a matter of great controversy and difficulty among us who have lost significant amounts of weight. My approach, which works for me but may not work for everyone, is that nothing I want to eat is completely off limits. However, I know full well that it is not a good idea to eat sugary fried foods as part of my daily diet. While losing weight, these were foods I knew would make it harder to reach my goals.
Now that I’m maintaining my weight, I feel like I have a really good handle on how to have these special occasion foods without it derailing my whole day or week. The biggest part of it is planning. And here’s where we get to the donuts.
The photo posted above is of some Sometimes Food. I would never grab a doughnut from the dozen at the company meeting, just because they looked good. That would happen much too frequently. If I really want a doughnut, I am going to go find the most awesome doughnut available and really savor it.
My boyfriend and I have been watching the television series Twin Peaks on Netflix streaming and if you’ve seen this show, you’ll know there are donuts in almost every episode. And they look amazing. So about half way into the series, I had the idea that we should get some donuts and watch the prequel movie Twin Peaks:Fire Walk With Me when we were finished with all the episodes. It doesn’t have to be a holiday to be a Special Occasion. I like to make my own holidays.
So I found a local doughnut shop and we bought the lovely pastries you see above. My personal favorite is the Old Fashioned doughnut, which I greatly enjoyed during the movie last night, as well as half the eclair, which we split.
It was perfectly sweet and crispy on the outside and moist and cakey on the inside. Mmmmm, doughnut!
Does this mean I will now go back to eating fast food and potato chips every day? Of course not. It’s perfectly okay to indulge once in a while. So have that margarita when your friend from out-of-town comes to visit. Enjoy a piece of cake on your birthday. I don’t think it benefits me to classify celebration foods as off-limits. Of course food is fuel and food is nutrition for our bodies, but there’s more to food than that. Food is also a big part of social gatherings, of cultural expression, and of pleasure and enjoyment. As long as we balance our bodies’ needs with our choices, it’s all good.