Saturday, November 17, 2012

Pick Your Poison Wisely

I'm gonna let you in on a little secret: I don't eat "perfect". As somebody in the fitness profession, it's unfortunate when people expect or assume that you are some sort of "food nazi" that never lets loose or splurges every now and then (whiskey on the rocks, anyone?) Even when you don't WANT to eat poorly, some days you may find yourself stuck at a gas station, about to gnaw off your travel companion's arm from hunger (my boyfriend now knows to never let his girl go hungry!)

Can't get much better than Wild Turkey Honey Whiskey!

I consider this situation a matter of picking your "poison". These foods may be packaged foods such as cookies, crackers, candy, any gluten-containing foods (nearly everything packaged,) fast food, legumes/beans, soy anything, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, processed meat (such as SlimJims, aka "mechanically seperated beef or chicken"), commercial protein bars, or soft drinks (including "100% juice" drinks.) Alright... "POISON" may be a strong word to label these foods, but you get my point. They are "less desirable" selections.
When I'm feeling naughty, (or forced to be in certain situations,) I typically never indulge with gluten. While I don't have celiac disease, I feel educated enough about this wheat protein that I know I should NOT be consuming this. Fortunately for me, I was never a huge pasta/bread fan, and the bloating afterward is just not worth it for me. I used to drink beer (which contains gluten, sorry,) but was tired of that bloated, "full" feeling. Anything highly procesed is also not appealing to me. Love me some salty SlimJims, but there's something just "wrong" about it...
I also won't willingly pick to eat sweets. Sugar is highly palatable and rewarding, which means it can be extremely hard to stop consuming. Completely eliminating sweets has probably been the best thing I have done diet-wise. I know that actually sounds like hell, and it quite possibly could be for most in the beginning, but I don't have any "cravings" and it's pretty liberating. I will admit that I am a sucker for dark chocolate, although I always aim for 85% cocoa content. In general, there may be about 12-15g of sugar in an entire 3oz bar. (Although I usually only eat a square or two.)

One of my favorites? Trader Joe's chocolate!

When worst comes to worst, my "indulgences" may include beans, peanuts, liquor, dry wine/champagne, rice, potatoes, or corn. I may do a diet soda in a mixed drink, but would never purchase diet sodas otherwise. Notice that most of my choices follow these guidelines: LEAST amount processed, CLOSEST to nature, and the LEAST amount of sugar. This still allows me some "wiggle room" in my diet but still isn't going to send me spiraling into a sugar coma. Win! So how do you indulge? What would you never touch?

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