Those pesky "cheat" meals... - Helping Bodies Heal

Those pesky “cheat” meals…

If you’ve ever worked with or spoken to me professionally, you know I’m not the type of Health Coach that believes in absolutes — as in, absolutely NO, you can never ever have cheese or a conventionally made cupcake or a yummy scoop of gelato!  Life – and food – are here to be ENJOYED.  Yes, our health is important and eating nutrient dense foods that support our overall health is very important but a little indulgence every once in a while is one of the things that makes life worthwhile in my book.

Which begs the question, how do you define “every once in a while?”  For some  it’s once a week, for others it once a month and for others still it’s just special occasions.  We all have to figure it out for ourselves based on our health goals AND what our body is telling us.

I used to “cheat meal” once a week with pizza and sometimes a slice of red velvet cake — before I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s.  Since my diagnosis, my “cheats” have gotten better — skipping the gluten, dairy and refined sugar MOST of the time.

Recently though I’ve had a relapse of my #1 Hashimoto’s symptom — fatigue!  It’s been horrible and it’s required me to RETHINK my recent behavior with respect to what I’ve been eating.

Here are some useful tips to stay on track with your new lifestyle:

  1. WRITE IT DOWN!  We all have a lot going on and relying on our memory to objectively remember what we ate yesterday, the day before or 2 days ago isn’t the best strategy. Instead, write it down.  I started jotting down what I was eating and noticed I wasn’t eating as well as I thought I’d been.  Those little indulgences DO ADD UP!  And keep in mind, gluten and dairy both take WEEKS to detox from your body – so once you eat it, it will be with you for 2-3 weeks at least.
  2. BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF!  So you want to lose 10lbs or tone up your body for your upcoming vacation — take a look at your food journal and consider where your current behavior is out of alignment with your goals.  How many cocktails or beers did you REALLY have this week?  What about that slice of bread you had with your pasta?  How many pieces of dark chocolate did you have this week?  Look at the data (your food journal) and be honest with yourself about how important your goals are to you; maybe they aren’t a 10 on a scale of 1-10, perhaps they are more like a 5.  And if it’s a 5, it’s OK!  Now that you know it’s NOT THE most important thing to you in this moment, you can stop beating yourself up when you pour the second or third glass of wine or you don’t see the progress you think you should see.
  3. GET ACCOUNTABILITY AND SUPPORT!  Most of us fail not because we don’t know what to do (although some people really have no idea) but because we fail to do what we know we should.  Temptation is all around us — the office birthday party, the breakfast meeting catered by the company but that is full of sugar and rarely any protein (trays of fruit and pastries filled with gluten and refined sugar), social settings where everyone is having a cocktail, etc – it can be hard to stay on track.  The solution is to simply ask for help!  Tell your friends, family and close co-workers that you’re on a journey to eat healthier and enlist their help and support to keep you on track.

So I’m curious, how many “cheat” meals do you have a week?  Whats your indulgence of choice?  How have they impeded your health goals – or not?  Send me an email or leave a comment…inquiring minds want to know!

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