Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I'm Really Not ALWAYS The Healthiest Eater

At my old job, I was often asked if I ever ate anything 'bad' for me. This question usually popped up while I was making my lunch in the kitchen - either a salad or veggie burger with a side of veggies and an apple. I always found this question odd because everyone there knew of my intense addiction to chocolate. While there are arguments to be made about dark chocolate's health properties, I usually pass far beyond the nutritional threshold when I eat it.

You often see posts on this blog with nutritious meals and recipes, or about the nutritional value of specific foods, and while I have been concentrating more intensely on my diet these past few weeks and while I was training for the marathon, I can confidently say that I am not the healthiest eater at every meal of every day. I do try to fit in as many fruits and veggies into each meal as I can and I like to omit butter and salt as often as possible, but I love the taste of food too much to give up all of the foods I have grown to love over the years.

Sour and gummy candies have never really apealed to me, but put a brownie or ice cream in front of me and it takes all the strength I have to resist the temptation. In the past two weeks I have only had a tiny bit of chocolate once, which was last night, and I was trying not to be rude! And while I do plan to indulge in chocolate on Sunday, I am hoping that this little embargo will help curb my addiction. I think it's absolutely fine to enjoy foods we love, as long as it is in moderation. Unfortunately, around the holidays my affection for chocolate & sweets hit an unhealthy level and that's why I decided to go on this vacation from chocolate and baked goods.

Also, up until three weeks ago I was a fairly regular meat eater. I definitely have not eaten meat every day for several years, but after I finished my leftovers from a fantastic meal with Gracela and Special K (flashback here) I decided to take a break from meat. Many reasons for this, including health and all I've been learning by reading Michael Pollan books. On Sunday however, I cooked a meal with lean, grass-fed ground beef - our family's version of a Finnish Pasty. We had leftovers last night for dinner and I asked Woody to take the last slice to work for lunch today. While I love them and think they are delicious, probably mostly because of the sentimental value the dish holds, I am ready to go back to my non-meat eating ways for a bit longer.
While meat doesn't always have to be unhealthy I have found that I feel better without it. The same goes for the chocolate and baked goods. I will probably always think that one of the best meals is a really good burger with fries and a chocolate milkshake (again, childhood memories probably play a large role in this) and I know that I will indulge in all the foods I love many more times in my life, I'd rather live a healthy life and I don't feel the need to have them all the time.

The moral to this story is that while my posts about food and nutrition will overwhelmingly be about healthy foods and recipes, I do believe that it's okay to enjoy all the foods that I love as long as I eat them responsibly and I enjoy them with friends and loved ones rather than by myself or on the go. Food is just as much about companionship and culture as it is about nutrition and health.

So, what are your favorite indulgent foods?


Life with Kaishon said...

I love a good cheeseburger too! There is this restaurant a few towns over called Cheeburger, Cheeburger. Oh my gosh. So delish! I can't even stand it : ) And I like to get a chocolate cherry shake to go with it. Very healthy. Or not!

Sarah said...

Visiting from SITS. I'm definitely going to have to stop by for some healthy motivation. I've been stuffing my face with Cadbury mini eggs!

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

I'm with you, not a big candy fan but ice cream and chocolate. YUM. Love it and will totally over indulge!!

I am usually a pretty healthy eater but when I get into bad habits (like I have lately) my eating can get out of control. I need to get back on the healthy eating bandwagon today!!

Julie said...

Hi Lisa,
I love Chicago style hot dogs!! Mmmm good:) I also love eating corn dogs at the Minnesota State fair...they are the best!! Oh, and I loved eating those evil and high calorie cinabuns! When I was a flight attendant they had them at almost every airport!! Have a great day Lisa:)

Laura G said...

I very much empathize with this post! I'm addicted to sugar and am recently trying to set myself straight through veganism.


Katie @ Health for the Whole Self said...

I think that enjoying some "unhealthy" foods every now and then is actually quite healthy! Because it helps us to stay in balance, and not go overboard down the road. The key, of course, is moderation.

My biggest indulgence is cookies - I love almost any kind of warm, soft, gooey cookie. And in the past I've definitely gone overboard eating them! Now I try to only have them every now and then, and limit myself to one or two. I eat them slowly and savor every bite!

J said...

Every once in a while I will crave all the bad stuff! Like cheeseburgers, fries and ice cream! I love cookies too. and cookie dough, and cake batter! Yum yum!

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

Thanks for stopping by today!!

Gosh my bad food is cookies... I really need to take a page from you for better eating, so now I'll be reading for your recipes

Chloe (Project Live Well) said...

Great post Lisa!

Its cool that you freely admit you are not always perfect with relatio to food.

I eat a couple of cubes of 85% cocoa chocolate most days now and since I have done that I haven't felt the need to indulge in anything else. That works well for me, but I'm not sure I'll continue that every day forever!

I can't be trusted around flapjacks, brownies, cookies, biscuits or cereal. Seriously. Cannot. Be. Trusted!

Brandi said...

My favorite indulgent food is fresh mozzarella di bufalo on toast with some olive oil and a bit of salt, maybe with tomato and basil too. That's total indulgence for me. I love chocolate, but I think I overdid it at some point and have been taking a break from most forms of it (the straight chocolate bar, however, is still a cupboard necessity).

ajh said...

I love sweets especially cakes and cookies. I'm not a big candy fan but I do like M+Ms especially the dark chocolate ones so hey they must be healthy!

TallGuySurfing said...

Heck yeah! Everything in moderation! That's my belief. :-)