Clean Eating and “Cheating”

by Sara on January 28, 2013

Aaaaand it’s Monday again! Where is this year going? It’s almost February, and my New Year’s resolution to find a Valentine before February 14th, is still in the baby stages. Heeeellp! ;)

My weekend was relatively low key, as I was recovering from a flu/cold that attacked my system towards the end of last week. However, that didn’t stop me and Elaina from enjoying a glorious dinner en casa Friday night…

as well as a glass of vino (and tea–I’m a double sipper!), with a side of Downton Abbey

and a handful of Reece’s peanut butter cups.

I may not have a Valentine, but I sure as heck have Valentine chocolate. ;)

Those of you who follow me on Instagram already know that I proclaimed this scallop dinner “my favorite meal in the entire world.” And I really meant it. Nothing makes me happier than roasted butternut squash, sauteed spinach, and fresh sea scallops.

Especially when those sea scallops are sauteed in a tablespoon of garlic butter. Real garlic butter.

Even though I typically choose to cook with olive or coconut oil, I always sear my scallops in butter. It makes all the difference in the world. :)

It was a clean eating meal that featured an ingredient that’s often shunned by the clean eating community (buuuuttter!). Yet, as a self-proclaimed “clean eater,” I’m totally okay with it. :)

Clean Eating Rules: Should You Cheat?

The recent healthy living blog chit chatter  about orthorexia —or the obsession with eating “clean” foods—has left me thinking a lot about my own relationship with food over the past week. My current eating style—one which I feel very much at peace with now—has undoubtedly been influenced by my journey in and out of an eating disorder. I live by the mantra you are what you eat, and thereby choose to fuel my body with foods that are natural and unprocessed. However I I  also”cheat” regularly — probably far more than the average “clean eater.”  My love for butter, chocolate and ice cream —and my willingness to eat those foods when I crave them—most definitely makes me  a “clean eater cheater.” 

gelato at Eataly, NYC

This wasn’t always the case, though. I used to be obsessed with following strict eating guidelines, and while it made me feel gratified temporarily, it ultimately left me feeling empty—both physically and emotionally.

On the surface, clean eating appears to be a desirable, sensible, and noble goal. While I believe that we should all strive to nourish our bodies with foods that yield optimum health, I think it’s equally as important to recognize that it’s possible to take clean eating too far.

According to Steven Bratman, who wrote the book Health Food Junkies (a great read, by the way!), “orthorexia” is defined as those who, whether trying to lose weight or not, are preoccupied with eating healthy food and avoiding anything artificial or “toxic.” In most cases, mainstream media discussions of orthorexia have focused on extreme health food practices such as raw foodism, detox dieting or 100% pure organic eating, whereby adherents may rather starve to death than eat a cooked or pesticide-exposed vegetable. However, closer to home, orthorexia is affecting the healthy living blogger, fitness, bodybuilding,  figure and physique communities as well.

I’ve noticed that in a quest to add muscle mass and/or burn fat, many fitness enthusiasts not only become obsessed with eating clean foods, but they occasionally follow rules that mandate cutting out natural foods as well! Fruit, for example, is often forbidden on pre-contest diets because it’s “high in sugar” and/or because “fructose turns to fat”.

post-workout banana protein “split” (banana + protein “frosting” + peanut butter)

According to Bratman’s criteria, one could argue that almost every bodybuilder or fitness enthusiast who abides by any clean eating “rules” is automatically orthorexic, and they might add obsessive-compulsive for good measure.

Clean eating queen, Tosca Reno—one of my inspirations  {source}

As a self-proclaimed clean eater (albeit, cheater) and aspiring personal trainer (and half- bodybuilder–or wannabe bodybuilder?), who lives by my own set of “rules” some of the time, I have mixed feelings about this.

For example:

If a woman chooses to set a rule for herself to limit  junk food to only several of her weekly meals, does that make her orthorexic? Or is she making a prudent health decision?

If she plans her meals on a spreadsheet five days/week, is she a macronutrient micromanager or is she detail-oriented?

If she makes her meals in advance for the day ahead, does it means she’s obsessive compulsive, or is she prepared?

And…If she makes a batch of high protein pumpkin bars (one of my favorite portable clean food recipes) and takes it with her on a flight because she doesn’t want to eat airline food, is she neurotic? Or is she perhaps, making a wise decision?

In a society that applauds hard work and dedication, but also raises an eyebrow at extreme behavior, how does a health-minded-eater strike a balance? When do good intentions go too far?

Does living by a set of rules only create a community of rule-breakers?

{source}

The debate about clean eating and whether or not “cheating” is “okay”—or even necessary to maintain a healthy mind— reminds me of the debate over training methods, such as weight lifting vs. marathon running, or steady state cardio vs. HIIT cardio. It seems we have a difficult time acknowledging that there’s a middle ground—and I firmly believe that there IS a middle ground. It’s a place where we can balance health and physique with a lifestyle and food plan we love and enjoy. For some that might be adhering to a strict set of rules, while for others it might mean eating clean but “cheating” every day as well.

YOUR middle ground may not be the same as mine. We all must find our own balance.

I’ll be sharing how I’ve done that—and the “rules” or un-rules as I like to call them—that have helped me get there, in a post next week!

 ******************

 

I realize this isn’t a typical Marvelous in My Monday post, but I’m linking up because today truly IS marvelous! There’s always something good in a day–ALWAYS. Please go check out what’s making other blogger’s smile today at Healthy Diva Life!

Oh, and one more marvelous thing that’s worth sharing…

Last night, I bought my ticket to the Blend Retreat in Park City!

I believe tickets are still on sale, and would love it if YOU came, too!

Sending hugs YOUR way today—and always!

I want to know…

Regardless of calories, allergies, fat grams, carb grams, “clean eating” labels etc., what is your favorite meal in the entire world?

I’ve already told you mine, but I’d add a really rich cheesy risotto to round out the plate. Second choice? Macaroni and cheese!

Do you consider yourself a “clean eater?” What is your own personal definition of “clean eating?”  At what point in your life did you adopt a “clean eating” lifestyle? 

Do you think there’s a line between eating clean for health/fitness and being overcome by a “healthy” obsession? How do we know the difference?

Oh, and let me know if you’re going to be at Blend, too!

  • http://www.sweatlikeapig.com/ Tara @ Sweat like a Pig

    Oh lord, I cook with butter at least once a day! It’s my new favourite healthy fat ;)

    I think 99% of bloggers are orthorexic. It’s quite scary. I think everyone just needs to loosen up and stop thinking about food so much. The only type of clean eating involves chugging Windex ;) I hope you had a great weekend, Sara! xoxo

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      Isn’t butter marvelous?! It used to scare the willies out of me, but I’m so glad those days are over! I agree with you about orthorexia being prevalent among the HLB community; the problem is, obsessive clean eating is so commonly heralded as “virtuous,” which reinforces what in many cases is an unhealthy obsession. :(

  • http://letthemeatkaleblog.wordpress.com/ Mandie

    I think the subject of clean eating and orthorexia are extremely important to address in the healthy living blog community, and I’m so glad you did. I believe the difference between striving for wellness and creating obsession can be a very fine line. However, it is extremely individualized, and everyone has a different tipping point. I now value clean eating because it makes me feel my best, but I will admit that I did and sometimes still do feel guilty for eating something that I wouldn’t usually. I think “cheating” is a good idea, whether to stop obsession from happening or to just enjoy life. Either way, it’s all about balance and feeling great :) . Thank you again for addressing this.

  • http://twitter.com/KhushbooThadani Khushboo Thadani

    One of the reasons I love your blog, Sara, is because your posts tend to always offer food for thought….you put a great spin on orthorexia and I guess it’s just a matter of perspective. Echoing Tara below, I do think many bloggers have fallen prey to orthorexia and as wonderful as blogging is, I do think it can foster an unhealthy relationship with food. It’s human nature to want to mirror our peers and seeing different people try different foods continue to raise the bar of what & how we “should” be eating.

    I’ve always been weary about the term “clean” eating because I hate labelling foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad’…even though chocolate is not conventionally considered as the healthiest of foods, I don’t feel bad when I eat some. So long as our diets are mostly filled with nutritious options, a little bit of less-healthier options is fine.

    I’m sure many commenters will react with my next point but it has to be said: all these “protein” concoctions creeping up in the HLB instantly raise red flags in my mind. Rather than blend ice, fruit & water with protein powder and call it “protein ice cream”, the blogger should just eat the real thing…a little bit never hurt anyone, and if anything it will work wonders mentally!

    I could continue to comment endlessly about this topic but I think you know my stance on “eating clean”. I am all for it and mostly do it a “clean” diet but there’s definitely room for “not so clean” foods.

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      I couldn’t agree with you more, Khushboo! What is a “clean” food, really? What may be clean to a vegan, for example, may not be clean to a Paleo adherent. In regards to “protein-ifying” everything, I definitely see where you’re coming from. I think it’s perfectly healthy for someone to enjoy protein “ice cream” on a regular basis, so long as they’re not using it solely to satisfy a longing for the real thing. I enjoy both! :)

  • http://balancejoyanddelicias.wordpress.com/ Coco

    It’s so true that it’s hard to be in the middle ground or in balance with what we want and what the rules dictates us to do.
    I’m considering myself a “clean eater” in the sense that I truly appreciate and enjoy more the whole food rather than processed one, I’ve never like meals/food that I can’t tell what is made of. However, if I can’t find anything in the menu that is supposed to be not “clean”, I go for it without hesitation because why to make a big scandal when it is such a small issue(a meal in a million of meals that we have in life). Enjoy the company, the food, the moment and be gentle to ourselves.

    my favorite food in the world: corn and kabocha, hands down. Then I love scallops too, big, tender, butterly kind. unfortunately no seafood for me any time soon.

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      I love your perspective, Coco! I think you may have nailed the difference between being a balanced clean eater and being an obsessive one: it comes down to flexibility and the ability to enjoy a meal, regardless of whether or not it’s perfectly “clean.”

  • Brittany Lesser

    I absolutely HATE the word cheat. If you want something, have it and ENJOY it. There is more to life than freaking out over eating something that isn’t considered “clean”. Screw it and live life!!! Haha. I do consider myself a “clean eater”, and I feel as if it is eating foods in its most natural state. I eat that way because I LOVE eating this way, and I love the way things taste and make me feel. However, I definitely do eat things that aren’t considered “clean”. Sorry, but life without things like wine? Um, no thanks. Haha. If I had to pick a favorite meal ever? That’s sooo hard… I’d probably pick something sweet like a dessert ;)

  • http://savortherainbow.com/ Min

    Sara, my dear.. I’m so sorry to hear that you’re not still feeling 100%, but a night in with a friend sharing a lovely meal and watching “what I hear is one of the best” shows sounds like my kind of evening! I’ve never heard of orthorexia actually. I didn’t know that there was actually a word for it! I’m not surprised..there’s one for everything. You’re absolutely right! I have a hard time a lot of times finding middle grounds, thanks to my “all or nothing” mentality. But I imagine how much happier I will be if I do. And I’m learning to let go of control (made great progress here!) as I become older and mature in my spirituality. I am powerless and no matter how much I’d like to think that I have control, without God, I am nothing.
    It’s so crazy to read about all those crazy diets and beliefs out there. Stay away from fruits bc fructose turns to fat?!?! wow…
    Anyway, ooh!! Blend retreat?! That sounds like so much fun! Have you been? I’m actually planning on going to Korea that week…perhaps I can convince Tim to postpone our trip? I’d love to get active and meet others!! I’ll let you know! Perhaps we can room together?! ;)
    hope you feel better today and have a Marvelous day!!

  • http://onehealthymunchkin.blogspot.ca/ Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin

    I only have a few minutes to comment because I have to run off to class, but I wish I had more time because I have so much to say here!

    I agree that orthorexia is a big issue in the blog world, whether people want to admit it or not, especially with the recent trend of lifting weights and gaining muscle. I think you have such an admirable outlook on food though and I love your posts like this. :)

    Even though I eat healthily for the most part, I don’t label myself as a “clean eater”. I just don’t like to give myself labels or put any kind of restrictions on myself! Also I see a lot of “clean eaters” modifying the heck out of their food to make it clean (like Khushboo’s example of making fake ice cream) and I don’t like to do that because I like food too much haha. I’d rather use real butter, cheese, etc and have my food taste the way it’s supposed to taste. :P

    I like what you said about balance though and I think that’s so true! Life can and should involve both salads and cake – it doesn’t have to be one extreme or the other!

  • http://betterwithsprinklesblog.com/ Sam @ Better With Sprinkles

    This is such an interesting topic for me! I have the same views on ‘clean eating’ as you do…while I consider myself a ‘clean eater’ for the most part, I absolutely love chocolate, ice cream and the like, and I have no problem eating them when I feel a craving. And I will never cut out fruit or butter – neither seem necessary to me! my goal is to eat what makes me feel good – most of the time that’s things like veggies, eggs, chicken, nut butter, bananas and sweet potato, but sometimes that’s chocolate. So I’m cool with that.

    Favourite meal ever? It would have to involve peanut butter and chocolate buttercream.

  • Meg @ A Dash of Meg

    WOW SIS! Next time we FaceTime we talk about THIS! Remember that nasty comment I got? It focused on this…. AND I love this from your post – YOUR middle ground may not be the same as mine. We all must find our own balance.

    SO EFFING TRUE!

    Anyways, love this post. HANDS DOWN the best you’ve ever wrote. Be proud sis!

    I LOVE YOU

  • http://cleanfoodcreativefitness.com/ Danielle

    I love this post Sara! So interesting and it definitely got me thinking. I think it is so important to have a healthy balance between caring for your body and fueling with foods that make you feel good vs. sometimes just letting go of such “rules” and indulging. Yes I like to plan and prep my meals for the week because I feel my best when I eat veggies, but that doesn’t mean I won’t have the occasional chocolate or frozen yogurt or I’m not jealous of your peanut butter cups. It’s a constant balancing act and I think there is nothing wrong with wanting and working towards being healthy so long as there is also a sense of flexibility and being okay with the occasional sweet or “unclean” meal!

  • http://www.myfoodnfitnessdiaries.com/ Ashley

    Awesome post lady!! I absolutely believe BALANCE is key here, and it aches me to see others putting so much pressure on themselves to eat so perfectly. Yes, I believe food is absolutely made to NOURISH us, but it’s also made for us to ENJOY! That being said, a Reese’s (or three) or a bowl of ice cream absolutely needs to be eaten from time to time, and ENJOYED without the guilt.

  • http://Www.annatheapple.com/ AnnaTheApple

    This has really got me thinking. I love posts that make me ponder!
    I personally think it’s completely down to the person’s personality. You can be a body builder and fuel your body in exact quantities of certain foods and not suffer from orthorexia if that person isn’t consumed by it. By that I mean they don’t stress out and when they eat outside their predefined guidelines. They shrug it off and start a new day. Someone who is so concerned with what they eat, when they eat, how much they eat and freak out if it goes wrong has a problem.
    Clean eating can easily become an unhealthy preconception – and overeating of things that though are healthy can cause the body lots of issue if eaten too much of!
    I don’t class myself as an anything eater. I like to be healthy but I love to indulge…when the jeans become too tight, less indulging and more healthy eating!
    Favourite meal….BBQ ribs!! Or turkey roast dinner with all the trimmings.

  • http://www.optimistichealth.com/ Carley @OptimisticHealth

    Great post!
    1st- that meal looks to die for!
    2nd- I agree 100% that there is a balance and it is like pendulum throughout life which is what makes health and fitness so exciting! Different approaches will work in different seasons and for different people.

    My favorite meal in the entire world is Peanut Butter anything and everything. Brownies are pretty high up there too.

    I’d consider myself a clean eater in that I’m aware of where it’s coming from. If I’m eating a sugary food than I don’t want High Fructose Corn Syrup I want sugar. I want the purest form of that given food. If that makes sense. If I’m going to go all out I want the real deal.

    I used to be about low calories, low sugar. Sugar-free everything if it was a sweet treat. Like you said it left a lot to be desired and never fulfilled me which left me hungry still.

    I think the difference between clean eating and obsession is feeling guilty for eating something that isn’t “clean” or having the rigidity of rules that hinders ones social interaction or relationships. I’ve been there and it’s alienating and not conducive to overall well-being. Guilt is not a positive nor productive emotion. With that being said, food is a blessing and should be ENJOYED!!

  • http://twitter.com/HealthyDiva31 HealthyDiva

    Great POST!

    Balance and moderation are key! Living your life the way that is best for YOU is key too! Healthy is different for everyone!

    Wish I was going to BLEND, but this momma is going to be really bumping then and we will see if I end up able to go ;)

    Love you!!!!!!

  • Alison

    I absolutely love your outlook on clean eating! I totally agree that there is a middle ground and that balance is a personal thing. My favorite meal in the entire world would have to be eel avocado sushi and another roll with lots of fresh fish and unique flavors! I also really like a darn good crab cake :)
    I would say I am a clean eater. Maybe 80% of my food choices are “clean.” But I really don’t mind eating processed foods or adding some butter to the skillet! I actually have similar goals to you! I want to build some muscle and I need lots of protein and calories in the day when I workout. Last year I was depriving myself quite a bit because I thought I was living a “healthier” lifestyle. But I was actually cutting out carbs and fat that are essential to anyone’s diet. I thought I was eating clean, but I really wasn’t. I think now that I’ve found my own balance, I am as close to clean eating as I can be personally :)

  • http://www.cottercrunch.com lindsay cotter

    i have one thought on this. We have too many “definitions” in our society which then causes more issues. Let’s set our own definition instead. yes?

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      Amen, Lindsay! I completely agree–slapping labels on foods has only added to the confusion and frustration that lead to unhealthy relationships with food. We should instead become more in tune with the foods that make us feel our OWN very best. :)

  • http://glitzglamgranola.com/ Emily @ Glitz Glam Granola

    What a wonderful, thought provoking post my friend! You are so right- we are all different and therefore, what works for us all will be different too. I think that sometimes people do take clean eating too far and it becomes another diet. But for most of us, who make it a lifestyle, it’s just a general way of eating with indulgences mixed in! Btw, so sad I can’t go to Blend but it’s my brother’s wedding that weekend!

  • http://www.runningwithspoons.com/ Amanda @ .running with spoons.

    Your posts are always such a breath of fresh air, Sara… and this one seriously might be my favorite. To be completely honest, I’m getting more than a little tired of constantly being bombarded with the #eatclean idea everywhere I look. How about just eat to feel good? Granted, I may be a little biased against the whole clean eating movement, given the struggles that I’ve had with it in the past, but even so, the whole thing seems to be a little much. It’s just something else that attempts to make us feel guilty for craving chocolate and ice cream – which are part of a healthy diet, in my humble opinion ;) It’s such a complicated issue though, and while the whole obsession with micromanagement and meal-planning seems a bit much, at the same time I think it’s unfair to slap a label of orthorexic on someone like that because there’s sooo much going on behind the scenes that we can’t see.

  • http://jessiebearwhatwillyou.wordpress.com/ Jess

    roasted squash/scallops AND reese’s?? We are foodie soul mates.

  • http://lisalately.com/ Lisa

    Fantastic post Sara!!! I love your outlook. It seems even when we’re looking at “eating clean” and “cheat meals” there are such black and white thoughts, and eh I don’t like looking at things like that. Especially after spending so much time doing that in the past. I think it’s really hard to define being orthorexic or making good choices. It all depends I guess what’s happening in the mind. If you’re suffering, can’t live life, always thinking of food, won’t touch anything “unclean” then that’s probably too obsessive. But, who the heck knows! Ha. This makes me wish I was going to Blend! Sadly, I think I may wait until HLS. Miss you!!!!!xox

  • Cassie @RedLetterDaye

    I try to “eat clean” as much as I can, but that’s more like 80-90 percent of the time. I really do feel better eating whole foods, but mentally and physically, I’ve learned deprivation doesn’t work for me. I’ve lost my taste for most “junk foods” most of the time, but if I really want something that’s “unhealthy” I have it, enjoy it, and move on. I’m glad I have been able to get to this point and feel like food no longer controls me.

  • Ksenija (health-ninja.com)

    I love this post. It outlines amazingly how healthy eating and a healthy eating behavior is combinable and achievable in the long term. It is such a stupid idea, that one specifically outlined set of goals will fit everyone’s needs and liking – it’s just like assuming that if one person is coming to fulfillment by working as a nurse, everybody else can only lead a happy life by doing exactly the same.
    Thanks for pointing this misleading thought pattern out in your truly marvelous post!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jody-R-Goldenfield/100000069514057 Jody R. Goldenfield

    I think there is a disease like this but the statements above that you wrote out, I do all but the spreadsheet thing. I see nothing wrong with that. It is when it becomes obsessive of all one cuts out to their health detriment that creates the issues. I really like this post. People have to do what is right for them BUT like anorexia, orthorexia should be acknowledged of you know somebody going so strict that it is unhealthy & they are cutting out important vitamins & minerals & has gone beyond what some if us consider daily life… eating clean most of the time but treating as we see fit & making & planning in advance. Nothing wrong with that! :)

  • Gbesecker77

    Awesome post! I agree that it seems people have a hard time agreeing that there can be a middle ground. I also think it’s healthy to allow yourself to “cheat” on occasion. I think one chooses to be a healthy clean eater but it effects no on else, they don’t push it on others and don’t talk about it 24/7, that is their choice and everyone else should leave it alone. Especially when there are so many other problems in this world! Wish I was going to Blend this year but I bought a Fitbloggin ticket instead… next year!

  • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

    Thanks, my dear! I’m 100% on board with you being my valentine. Just don’t tell Joshua! ;) xoxo

  • Sally

    Wow, what a great post! It’s so interesting reading your analysis of clean eating and finding the middle ground. Cheating may be healthy, but it also sounds like pure FUN! And isn’t that what we need more of in our relatively short lives? :) (ps…I think I need to go to Reel Foods to get some scallops…those look so so good!)

  • http://twitter.com/healthlovechoc Gina Topley

    I definitely think that orthorexia is something that is super relevant in among healthy living blogs, but I personally think that any food can fit into a healthy and even “clean” lifestyle. It’s all about balance in my opinion, and it’s important to enjoy life and enjoy the results of working hard and eating well!

    I really, really want to go to Blend this year but it is right smack in the middle of my finals week. Ugh. Hopefully that just means I can save up for HLS?!

  • http://www.starsystemz.blogspot.com/ Courtney Violet Bentley

    My friends and family all give me a hard time when I am in my cutting phase and avoiding fruits, they just don’t get that what makes me happy is showing off my hard work and to me food is just fuel nothing more. I am on vacation and am enjoying wine, fruit and some dessert and honestly its great! I am not so strict normally but usually eat extremely clean, juice at least one meal and eat only organic really because I love how in feel doing it! I also believe in preventing disease using this method but if I feel like a chocolate covered strawberry then I go for it, just not during my cut phase :) love and shine courtstar

  • Ashley Lenn

    I am very conscious of the things I put into my body and how they will affect me but it got to the point that I was definitely limiting myself based on these things. I read this quote and it changed everything for me:

    What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn’t much better than tedious disease. ~George Dennison Prentice, Prenticeana, 1860

    Stressing about diet and “health” sometimes is worse than the disease that you are trying to avoid in the first place. You have to find a balance to be healthy. I have experimented with things so much that I have found what I like and don’t like. I don’t crave or want fries but if I did, I wouldnt deprive myself FOREVER just for the sake of being healthy because that deprivation causes more stress than good.
    Here are some other good points that I found:

    There’s lots of people in this world who spend so much time watching their health that they haven’t the time to enjoy it. ~Josh Billings

    Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. ~World Health Organization, 1948
    **notice social well being-if you refuse to go out into social situations bc of food options, you are neglecting that aspect of over all health**

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      Thank you SO much for sharing these quotes, Ashley! I may share them in a future post, if you don’t mind? Happy Friday!

  • http://profiles.google.com/melissamiller7 Melissa Miller

    Excellent post.
    Sometimes it is hard to remember that the blog world is the EXCEPTION …

    I used to think eating healthy was the norm and I’d look at my family like “Who eats white bread? Who does that?”

    Really … it’s kind of like… who cares? Just food. And that is closer to the level I want to reach (a happy medium) given my struggle with eating dis-order.

    WHAT I REALLY want to comment is this:
    Butter IS clean.
    It’s real.

    I will SO one-up you….. I use butter spray! LOL. (0;
    Yes, a little guilt but whatever.

    I just wish they made the real stuff in spray form.

  • Christine S. E. Hollant

    I guess I have entered a phase in my life where I am more in control of my eating then not. I eat very clean every day, but like you, I also cheat. I actually found this website looking for what people thought of eating clean and cheating once in a while. I have always had a really strong desire for food. When I want something, it becomes a chant in my brain until I give in or find something else to eat to make it go away. Since starting a strict clean diet, this noise has amplified in my head. I finally decided to cheat in the middle of the day so that my meals before and after can usher out the “bad” food. I don’t overdo it. I will have meat whereas, I am on a fruits and vegetables diet. Coffee, ice cream… I feel less crazy this way. It is lightyears away from my previous regimen which was whatever I felt like whenever I felt like it. I am afraid that I will mess up my weight loss goal but I guess I will have to be patient with myself. The catch is to not fall back into the pattern of out of control indulging.
    I think it is possible to become obsessed with clean eating or any other fitness regimen. I saw a documentary once of a young woman who would wake up at 5, with the flu in the middle of the winter to go to the gym. The thought of an ounce of fat forming on her body was unbearable. That’s obsessive. When I just started this way of eating, I would not swallow anything containing oil. If I cooked and tasted something containing the food no-no’s, I would not swallow it. That’s obsessive. It is really easy for me to become obsessive with most things. I will relax and be more forgiving of my transgressions. Thanks for this blog.

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