Thursday, September 23, 2010

Food Revolution Friday: It's all About Balance

If there's one thing I've noticed about being all Ms. Food Revolution Eat Healthy, it's that people seem to be self conscious around me about what they eat.

"Oh I know these chips/chocolate/cake/cookies/fries aren't healthy, but I'll do better later."


Or they watch what I eat very closely.

*whispers* "Defcon 5! She chose a chocolate bar! A chocolate bar! It's not Food Revolution worthy! Man the....?"

Relax, people.

I believe in balance. I don't mean to sound rude, but I truly don't care what you eat. Why apologize for it? I also don't care what you think about what I eat, because I love food FAR too much to stick to chopped salads and grilled chicken all the time. I love me some cheesy pizza, warm chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin pie, and whip cream slathered mochas.

The key, which I think a lot of people seem to lack these days, is balance.

Food in our house is all about balance. Eat when you're hungry. Don't eat when you're not. Eat real food, not "food like substances". Treats are never off limits, but the amount is limited.

Most of all, listen to your stomach. Are you craving salad? Eat some. Cheesy pizza? Have some of that. How about cookies? Indulge away.

Whatever indulgence you are craving, my philosophy is to have the best, most delicious, version possible. Why settle for low fat chocolate chip cookies? Terrible ice cream? I find that if I try to satisfy that craving with some half baked version (pun intended), then I'm not satisfied and I eat twice as much. Then later, I end up eating the really good version anyway, and overall probably ingested three times more calories than if I just ate the good stuff right from the get-go.

My solution is to have the best, most decadent, most delicious item I can find and I'm completely satisfied, to the point where I don't want or need any more.

For example, all the cookies around here? I have a couple when they are warm and gooey, right out of the oven, and I don't have any desire to eat any more of them. Frozen cookies don't do it for me.

When we had Jake, Hubs and I had to come to a compromise around treats. Hubs didn't allow his daughter to have treats at ALL. Treats meaning ice cream, cookies, brownies, cake, pie, candy, anything with sugar at ALL.

I was always more in the "a little chocolate now and then can't hurt you" camp and I adore baking.

We butted heads a lot, at first. I distinctly remember Hubs demanding that Jake not eat fuzzy peach candies because he would become obese, and in a fit of righteous indignation, I calculated up the calories and pointed out that ONE snack sized candy thing doesn't make people overweight. When Jake was little, it just was easier to allow the processed food because it made things so much easier.

Until, of course, we realized that he was lactose intolerant, sensitive to red food dye, msg, soy, corn, and eating that stuff was making him kinda sick so I began making most things from scratch. In doing so, we made a discovery that was completely unexpected;

Home made food is FAR more satisfying than processed.

I'm not kidding here. Just those home made Oreos that I made a week or so ago are a perfect example-we eat two, and are completely satisfied. Give me the processed versions, and I can eat half a bag.

With Jake I give him cookies in his lunch and encourage him to have fruit after dinner-sometimes he eats the cookies, sometimes he gives them to friends, but just recently I've noticed that all the lessons are paying off. The other day when he reached for the cookie jar, he stopped with his hand poised in mid-air.

"Wait. I had cookies already today. I think I'll have a banana instead."

What do you think about balance? Is it a struggle? Something you've always done? Let me know in the comments. This week has been an odd one, and the title is so appropriate. Balance? My life balance has been off and I needed some time to get things back in sync again. It's not quite there yet, but it's coming!

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