My mom makes some amazing chocolate fudge oatmeal cookies every Christmas. And you’d better believe I’m going to eat some.
I won’t be making some low-fat, gluten-free, protein-packed, zero-sugar, kale-or-quinoa “healthy” cookies.
I’ll eat the real thing.
Made with sugar.
And chocolate and butter.
The kind of cookie that makes you wipe the crumbs off your face after you eat it.
The kind of cookie a lot of nutrition experts will give you “5 Easy Tips for Avoiding”, like this:
Why You Should Totally Eat Cookies Next Week
But Dan, aren’t you Mister Beating Sugar Addiction?
When people learn that I sometimes eat cookies, or go out for ice cream, or don’t eat anything but protein and vegetables every single time, they act confused.
“Isn’t your nutrition message all about eating good foods and avoiding bad foods?”
The answer, I’m proud to say, is “Yes, most of the time.”
How To Fit Cookies In Your Diet
Healthy eating is not just about eating “good” foods and avoiding “bad” foods. (I don’t even like to use those labels). It’s about creating a sensible system of healthy nutrition that you follow most of the time. But it leaves some room for “fun foods” here and there!
- Healthy eating is a series of ongoing decisions. Every time you choose to eat one thing over another, you’re voting for what’s most important to you right now, and that collection of decisions indicates what’s important to you over the long haul.
- If you never think about your choices, then you most likely make poor choices most of the time. But a mindful eater can choose to eat something unhealthy without guilt, because it’s a PURPOSEFUL CHOICE, not a mindless habit or stress reaction.
- A mindful eater weighs their choices’ pros and cons, and makes a conscious decision of what, when, and how much to eat. Sometimes that choice is cookies. On purpose. Get it?
Choices have consequences, which we choose to accept. We can make these choices without guilt when we’ve created a “normal” eating habit that’s made up of lots of vegetables and clean proteins, and minimal amounts of sugar and chemicals. Having some cookies is no big deal when you eat well most of the time!
So here is my nutrition advice for next week:
- You should have some “unhealthy” treats next week.
- You should decide ON PURPOSE to do so, and how much to eat – You should NOT mindlessly gobble up everything that is put out on a countertop or buffet table.
- You should eat slowly and enjoy it!
- Just because someone offers it to you, you don’t have to eat it. If you do eat some, you don’t have to eat all of it.
- Practice the “out of sight, out of mind” concept. Don’t leave junk food sitting out where you have to make a conscious “No” decision every single time you walk by it.
But even more important:
Sing songs, make new friends, share stories, love people, and bask in gratitude. Tis the season to remember what’s important in our lives!