Would I say I’m an expert in diet and nutrition…no. But, I do feel that I am getting pretty darn close. Even with all the education I can get on good fats vs bad fats, the reasons to watch sugar intake, or why a certain diet can provide these benefits, sometimes I just need to turn off my dietetic student brain and learn to live a little; and by live a little I mean indulge without guilt.
Everyone has their vice, and mine is sweets. Cookies fresh out of the oven, ice cream smothered with silky smooth chocolate sauce; you name it, I would probably love it as long as it satisfies that sweet tooth that loves to make an appearance weekly. Should I have an extra large chocolate chip cookie every day of the week, probably not, but I do like to satisfy that sweet tooth every once in a while. How do I do this without completely ruining a hard days work at the gym or that veggie packed salad that I ate at lunch? I minimize, and satisfy. What I mean by this is I have a very little portion of something decadent. Something that is tiny but packs a big punch.
Throughout my time learning and beginning to practice as a dietetic intern, one concept that I go back to over and over again is moderation not deprivation. Think about it. How many times have you deprived yourself of something that you really really wanted, say that extra large chocolate chip cookie. The whole time you are trying not to think about that cookie, you continuously shove something else that is “healthier” into your mouth to try to stop the craving. And what happens in the end? You’ve eaten twice the amount you would have if you initially just took a bite of the cookie, and you STILL want it despite everything you’ve just shoveled into your mouth.
Here is where that saying comes into play again…
Moderation, not deprivation.
Next time, take a bite of the cookie first. Savor the flavor, engulf your nose with the smell. Finish chewing, stop, and think. Wasn’t that great? Did that bite satisfy you? You got to taste what you initially wanted right? So throw the rest away, why do you need the rest? You just got to taste it?
I try to practice this concept all the time. Recently, I just make red velvet cake balls with white chocolate. You know why these are so great for me? When I am really craving something sweet, they are tiny, rich, and already perfectly portioned. What better way to eat something delicious without overindulging, right? I also always have dark chocolate on hand. When 9pm comes around, and I really just want to dive into a container of ice cream, I break off a square of dark chocolate, and boom the sweet craving is satisfied.
Sometimes we need to indulge a little, and there are ways to do this without feeling guilty or feeling like you just ruined your day. I hope this little bit of information helped!