I am just going to come right out and say it, I hate, well, dislike this whole “cheat meal” terminology, because it implies and encourages looking at food with a negative connotation.
It’s not food that is bad, it’s that we as people make bad choices when it comes to food.
I believe in splurging or indulging in food that feeds your soul and makes you happy. Sometimes that food shouldn’t necessarily be consumed on the regular, or else I’d be up to my ears in dark chocolate and salt and vinegar chips.
It’s about taking a step back and looking at our diet, are we eating foods that serve us? That fuel our body, mind, and spirit (yes I just took it there with food talk)? Honestly though, food is something that gives us life and can keep us from sickness so why do we live in this weird restriction mindset?
Well for one, as Americans our portion sizes are outrageous and the food that is readily available, packaged and delivered is high fat and high sugar. In turn this causes us to gain weight and slow down as our energy leaves our body to process all of this junk. This results in the media or friends/ family telling us we need to get on a “diet” and then we will lose weight and feel better.
Ughhh… have you ever been on a diet? It’s fucking awful! I mean who wants to feel like they are counting calories or weighing their food or tracking their “points” for the day. Total snooze fest. It’s a bitch to live this way and it’s not sustainable for the rest of your life. BUT, they do promise you the very sought after cheat meal, once a week, because you’ve been so good restricting yourself the other 6 days.
So maybe you indulge and then go back to bed thinking, “well that was good now back to counting my points tomorrow and thinking about every single thing I am going to eat.”.
I have a really simple solution, start eating more foods that are from the earth, start eating more plants. When you eat a plant-based diet (no I am not telling you to go 100% vegan if that is not your thing) you are eating a lot more fiber, nutrients, and yes, protein. Fiber fills you up quicker than any empty slice of cheese pizza will, thus resulting in feeling full sooner.
When I was coaching clients I would give them ZERO RESTRICTIONS, “eat as much plant food as you want” I would tell them, but from the earth no packaged. About 1-2 weeks into our coaching their cravings for the salty and sweet, high fat foods were disappearing. They were shocked. Their relationship with food began to change when they experienced this shift in their body with weight loss, and increased energy.
The lifestyle of dieting and restrictions became a thing of the past because they were eating foods that made them feel good and when they felt like indulging in something, a “cheat meal” they did and then didn’t think twice about it.
You see, it’s about changing your relationship with food and when you do that you will free yourself from the guilt and desire for cheat meals and calorie counting. I say, if you feel like having a burger (veggie burger for me) do it, if you want to eat chocolate do it, but don’t tell yourself it’s a cheat. There is nothing positive about the word “cheat”, so rather change your relationship with food and how you view it. Indulge yourself because you deserve it, because you know you have been feeding yourself the best possible diet (plant-based) there is and life is too short for guilt around food choices.
I know a full vegan diet is not for everyone, and I’ve struggled with it on my 4 year vegan journey, but eating a predominantly plant-based diet is totally doable and will absolutely change your relationship with food!
I’ve been thinking a lot about you mama, as my reader and as the giver of life and love to your family, so I have been working to put together a full plant-based meal plan for you to help you on this healthy lifestyle journey.
One of my main goals for this blog is to empower you and encourage you to lead the healthiest lifestyle you can because helping people do that feeds my soul.
I would love to answer any questions you may have and hear your feedback if a printable meal plan would be something you’d be interested in!