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everyone earns the right to indulgence once in a while, whether it be a celebration of an accomplishment or just trying to cope with a crappy day. i am all in favor of infrequent, completely conscious self-medication with a mindful measure of moderation.
the only thing i find more miserable than austere dietary regimen is perhaps the subsequent self-degradation and the ensuing guilt that follow the inevitable “infractions”. such intransigent behavior can only lead to more suffering.
to circumvent the aforementioned train wreck, i offer the thoughts below as you ponder options when the next moment of weakness arises.
1. feel what you are feeling. whether it be jubilation or consternation, let yourself feel it and get whatever wisdom the experience has to offer. be fully aware that your feelings may precipitate an urge for sweets.
2. consider a non-food alternative. birthday cake, pizza parties, and good-girl / boy treats set up and reinforce a strong food-mood connection and response. this would be fine except for the zillions of abysmal quality food products that fail to satisfy and increase the likelihood for binging. add that to the constant stream of unpleasant news items peppered with ads designed to encourage inadequacy and you’ve got a real recipe for disaster. choose an activity that improves your quality of life and it will help “crowd out” less beneficial food and lifestyle choices.
3. quality mitigates excess. if you’re gonna choose food, raise your standards for indulgent substances. when you lavish in high quality luxuries that nourish, you’ll be satisfied quicker and “need” less of it. so the crisis is managed (and a celebration enhanced) by a couple bites of chocolate rather than a entire family-pack of sandwich cookies.
and now for the good part…
completely justifiable indulgence
i would be remiss if i did not mention you know i’ve got to give some shout-outs to my favorite Renegade treats with Compassionate benefits:
chocolove: dark chocolate with crystalized ginger
dagoba: lavender blueberry dark chocolate
completely justifiable ingredient: dark chocolate (sorry, milk chocolate doesn’t count because dairy negates some of the beneficial properties of cacao)
justification substantiated: off-the-charts antioxidant power. boosts natural body chemistry toward love, happiness, and overall well-being. contains substances that reduce the risk for all kinds of non-communicable disease.
michelle’s granola: original, ginger hemp, & cherry chocolate macadamia
teaism restaruant, dc: salty oat cookie – original oatmeal raisin & oatmeal chocolate chocolate chip
completely justifiable ingredient: oats
justification substantiated: fiber for satiety and regularity (remember: clear bowels, clear mind). boosts cardiovascular health. stabilizes blood sugar.
food should taste good: sweet potato tortilla chips
my own kitchen: baked sweet potato
(bonus round: add lime juice, salt, and pepper; bonus bonus round: scrape the candy-like gooey goodness off the pan… ok… have i shared too much?)
completely justifiable ingredient: sweet potato
justification substantiated: fiber for satiety and regularity. beneficial carotenoids (the good stuff that makes orange veggies orange). and just plain goodness!!! mercy!
for those of you who have been trying to be perfect, you may be disappointed (or relieved) to know there is no “food heaven”. i can, however, reassure you that there is life after indulgence.
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