So, as you can see, by the title of this post, I have some confessions to make. Yes, that is right – This past Thanksgiving weekend, I ate crap. A lot of crap.
I’m not talking about regular Thanksgiving food, because that’s good wholesome food (which I also ate a lot of), but real or not real, however you want to put it – CRAP.
My definition of crap:
– Anything processed (white bread, white pasta, packaged cookies or crackers with too long of a shelf life)
– In a package or box (unless it’s whole grains or pasta made from whole grains),
– Filled with additives, unrecognized ingredients or ones you can’t pronounce,
– “Food” that didn’t grow from the ground, bush, tree or have legs or a mother
On Friday, October 8th, 2010, I got home in the afternoon to find the truck in the driveway with two doors open, half packed with our camping gear for our trip up to “the land” for Thanksgiving.
I was hungry.
Because I was hungry, the only thing that stood out in the truck was this damn bag of pre-made white powdery, processed popcorn – already opened. Or was it? I ate a handful and proceeded to go up to our apartment to get the rest of the camping gear.
On my next trip to the truck, I was still hungry so I grabbed another handful of popcorn.
We finished packing and got on the road. We stopped at Metro (the local grocery store), I bought the healthy food I wanted to have up north, vegetables, fruit, veggie burgers, etc and I grabbed a brown rice vegetarian sushi roll with avocado and carrots. I figured this would be a good mid-afternoon meal. The brown rice has many B-vitamins, balances my blood sugar and fills me up. The avocado contains good fats and the carrots and seaweed contain many vitamins and minerals to feed the cells of my body.
I ate the sushi roll right away as soon as we got in the truck. If I listened to my body, I was satisfied, but if I kept making eye contact with that bag of popcorn, then I wasn’t. I continued to eat about 5 more handfuls. Jesse proceeded to take the bag away from me as I asked, but somehow, I had no problem finding it when I had my next craving (my cravings only seem to appear when the crappy food is near).
I fall asleep just as we get onto the 401 highway and wake up in Pickering (about a 20-30 minute drive from Toronto when traffic is good). Next thing you know, Jesse is going through a fast food restaurant drive-through to get a burger and fries combo. Grrreat.
He doesn’t eat the fries. This is not good. I eat one, which clearly is not enough.
I eat them all. Keep in mind, they did not taste like they came from fresh potatoes. Because I am into eating clean, whole foods, I am very aware of what I taste, and these did not taste good – they actually didn’t taste like much more than hot oily transfats. I asked Jesse if there was any ketchup to go along with the tasteless French fries and guess what, there wasn’t. I kept eating them anyway.
So by this time, I’m feeling very optimistic that I will continue to eat healthy for the entire Thanksgiving weekend. So far I’m off to an excellent start.
An hour and a couple more handfuls of popcorn later, I tell Jesse that I want ice cream. Since he knows me, he says “No you don’t Turbs”. Turbs is my nickname, abbreviated from Turbo (because I’m so hyperactive and always want his attention). Shortly after he nicknamed me, he became too lazy to say the entire two syllables TUR-BO, so he shortened it, to TURBS. For some reason, I love it now.
So he says “No you don’t Turbs. I’m not stopping for ice cream”
And I get annoyed, really annoyed. I can tell you that this change of mood is mostly stemming from the shitty food I had been eating. Since changing my diet a few years ago, I notice direct correlations with my mood and what I eat. Fried food or typical “non-foods” affect my mood almost immediately, and not for the better.
So, next thing you know, Jesse pulls over at a convenience store in the next small town – because I want ICE CREAM and he knows if he wants to avoid a fight, he better stop.
I just read this journal entry to Jesse and he would like to insert the following comments:
“Correction, I was begged to stop for the ice cream, and when I finally did, Michelle wavered back and forth, not sure if she even wanted it. Are you kidding me?!!”
I’m not really sure how true his statement is.
So I buy him one of those sugar cones with ice cream and fudge and nuts and buy myself a fudgesicle with almonds. At this point, I am pretty convinced that the ice cream treat is “nutrient dense” and filled with vitamins and minerals, as I say to my clients.
Nice try, Michelle.
What else is there to eat after this? That’s right… more popcorn. I forgot to mention that it was one of those XXL bags you can get from Costco, so really, if you are wondering why the bag hasn’t run out by this point, this is the reason.
We get to the land, and guess what packaged food is open and calling my name? Yes, that’s right, another XXL bag o’crap, but this time it was plain rippled chips. And guess who pulls out a pre-made sour cream based dip? That’s right. Jesse. Thanks husband for the support.
Guess who eats at least 8 handfuls of chips and dip? That’s right. Turbs. And by the way, it is about 10pm by this time and as you know, I encourage clients not to eat anything high in calories past 6 or 7pm or at least 3 hours before they go to bed. So far, I’ve thrown every rule I live by and promote, out the window. But hey, it IS Thanksgiving weekend AND I’m up at “the Land.” I’m ALLOWED to binge, right?
The rest of the weekend isn’t as bad as the Friday drive up, but I still continue to snack uncontrollably on whatever chips or snacks are there.
I tried to make up for it by eating about 1.5 plates of broccoli at our Thanksgiving dinner, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have 3 helpings of stuffing (made from wheat bread which I usually avoid), 3 servings of mashed potatoes made with sour cream and cream cheese (so good Lisa!), and about half a casserole dish of the other Lisa’s apple crisp (incredible).
I have nothing else to say, but as soon as I got back to Toronto, I changed my thinking right away. I have noticed a pattern with the way I eat and I’m going to share it with you.
When I have a routine, as in, I get up, get ready for work, go to work, leave work, workout, make dinner, chill out, and then go to bed, it is very easy for me to also have an “eating routine”.
Example of my usual good “eating routine”:
Wake up: Consume a cup of warm water and lemon to get the digestive system going.
20 minutes later: I eat a piece of fruit. Very easy to digest (natural sugars – provide instant energy)
Get to work (about 8:00 – 9:00am): I eat a piece of whole grain spelt or kamut toast with a nut butter spread or hummus.
Mid morning: I eat a handful of nuts and/or seeds. I might also have some carrots or celery to go along with the good fats from the nuts and seeds.
Lunch: Might be brown rice or quinoa with beans and vegetables, maybe a little salmon or local, ethically farmed chicken.
Mid afternoon: Maybe a herbal tea, maybe an apple or some grapes
Dinner: Hearty lentil soup, or a big salad with plenty of vegetables and roasted organic tofu or some chickpeas and avocado.
Snack: If hungry, I might snack on some veggies or fruit or have a tea (if I didn’t have one earlier).
Late night: Watch my favorite TV shows, do some YDYH work, or some J B Stonework work (husband’s masonry company).
Go to bed: Not full, not hungry.
It seems though, that whenever there is a “different weekend” of something exciting planned, i.e. going to “the land”, or going to Winnipeg for a wedding (end of this month), or going on a 3 day getaway, I ALLOW myself to eat whatever is put in front of me for the ENTIRE length of the “different weekend.” It’s like I give myself a free pass. The problem is, it seems like every 2nd weekend there is something like this going on where I ALLOW myself this free pass. Ugh.
Most of us who want to live a happy, healthy lifestyle, are just looking for a good balance. This is the goal right? Balance.
Well, one of the things I also like to teach is the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 rule means you eat healthy 80% of the time, and 20% of the time you can enjoy yourself at a party, on a trip or during a holiday. The 20% is very important to ensure a feeling of balance. Allowing ourselves a few treats here and there will prevent us from going crazy. It would be impossible to eat perfectly healthy 100% the time, especially if you are someone who likes to:
A. Be physically active.
C. Not be a hermit
D. Enjoy life to its fullest
If we slip up while trying to be too perfect, it can lead to self destruction, which causes stress on the mind and body, which can interrupt proper hormone function, which can throw off one or more body systems. A couple of poor functioning organs in our bodies, could, in the long run, lead to disease.
But, just to clarify and get back to me and my confessing, 20% of the time doesn’t actually mean 40%, or it doesn’t mean I can pig out non-stop for an entire weekend. I should be able to help myself to a handful of chips or popcorn, and then move on.
My goal, and my new thought process since I’ve noticed this pattern, will be to tune into the “eating routine” when life throws a party. This simply means I don’t need to eat everything in one sitting, or in one drive up north. I know I can do it, but it will take a little practice and patience.
Does anyone else experience anything like this?