Guess what- it’s not as big of an oxymoron as it might seem. Living a VIBRANT life is so much more than simply eating your vegetables and moving your body. It is about being fully present and enjoying life. And not wasting too much precious brainpower and energy thinking about what you can and can’t eat.
Honestly- most of my best loved memories include food! Do you feel me? Food is fun. Food can be pleasurable. Food is NOT the enemy.
As you may have noticed- in our amazing new program The Vibrant Bite, we leave space for a treat meal each week. In this post we will explain WHY we believe treats have a place in balanced and healthy lifestyle. And we’ll also give you tips on HOW to incorporate them in without going ‘overboard’.
WE CARE HOW YOU FEEL, NOT HOW MUCH YOU WEIGH
I’m sure we can all remember a time when we ate one too many servings of Grandma’s German Chocolate cake and felt like we needed to be rolled out of the room… Am I right? This is what it feels like to go ‘overboard’. No shame. Just acknowledgement.
Let’s be honest… we’ve been there, and done that. And guess what- we’ve all survived to tell the tale. Food is not the enemy. (I know we said that already- but it’s an important message that deserves attention.)
Our goal is to feel our best; full of energy, strength and mental clarity. And to get there the focus needs to be on making sure we are fueling our bodies with the food that will serve it best most of the time. Nutrient dense foods. Foods that give back to you. Cue the colorful fruits and vegetables for fiber, high quality fats, lean proteins…
When you intentionally give your body what it NEEDS first, you are likely to FEEL great.
And then, if you want to have treats on top of that… (heaven knows I’ve got a sweet tooth!), go for it. The problem with most Americans is that we do this backward. Eating all the convenient, yummy, high calorie and low nutrient foods first, and then adding an apple as an afterthought. There is a better way- and we can guide to you it.
WHY treats can be a healthy thing
- Liberate your mind. Have you ever tried to say ‘I’m going to eat zero sugar for 1 month!’ And the next day you see All. The. Sugar. Everywhere. By making it a focus in your brain –something you are constantly aware of and fighting against– you are giving it more mental space than it deserves. And you make it harder on yourself than it has to be. Liberate your mind from that drama. Know that nothing is ‘off limits’. If you want it, you can have it.
- Pleasure. For me, a world without dark chocolate, double-thick brownies would be a world without color. It tastes delicious and I enjoy it! I get pleasure from eating one. Think that makes me unhealthy? NO! It’s normal and natural. I would be dumb (and onery) to fight that.
- No BAD food. (Here it is again:)… )Food is neutral friends. Neutral. The same food item could be labeled as good or bad by different people depending on their diet or health goals or the day… At The Vibrant Life Studio, we don’t believe it’s necessary to label foods as good or bad at all. Food is food. You eat it. It gives you energy. Some foods will serve your body better than others- and for that reason some should be included more than others. But we need to quit believing that certain foods are BAD. Or even worse- believing that we are BAD for enjoy it.
- Enjoy a mental break. If we are constantly using our self control and restraint and denying ourselves of all the yummy things we want to eat but think we can’t have… we exhaust ourselves. And lose the chance to use that brainpower for other, more important things.
- It’s a little healthy to let yourself have fun once in a while.
For more information on this topic, check out our good friend Stephanie on Nutrition.Redefined. She is a holistic nutritionist/eating psychologist and preaches AAAALLLLLL about a healthy relationship with food. We love her and know you will too.
At The Vibrant Life Studio, we believe nothing is ‘off limits’. You define health on your terms. You are the boss, the chief, the captain. You call the shots. Set your own rules and honor how your body FEELS.
Quick tips to enjoy a TREAT without going ‘overboard’
1. Treat meal frequency. Remember that the focus is on how you FEEL. So treat meal frequency will be different for each person. You decide. It is obvious that we probably won’t feel amazing if we have a treat at every meal, right? If you are in that boat- try just one treat a day and notice how you feel. Then, maybe you can try having one treat every other day to see how you feel. Decide where you feel best, AND like you are living:)
2. Amount of food consumed. So you are headed to a restaurant and are SO excited to enjoy a night out! Realize that restaurant food is typically much higher in oil, butter, and sugar. Enjoying a treat meal doesn’t mean that you should eat anything and everything in sight. Again- pay attention to how you FEEL. It’s important to remain in control and be reasonable in the amount you consume. Here are 3 suggestions to help you out in the restaurant:
- Order a kid size or appetizer size.
- Order your absolute favorite dish, and ask for a to-go box when the food arrives. Put half the food in the box and enjoy it as leftovers the next day.
- If you are out with a companion- order a healthier dish and a heavier dish and split the two.
4. Watch the alcohol intake. Alcohol blocks fat oxidation, which means when you drink your body can’t burn fat. So the worst kind of treat meal is one where you consume a bunch of fat and drink alcohol with it. If you like to drink alcohol, do so within control and reason:)
We hope this article was helpful. We have the knowledge and tools to help you find YOUR Vibrant Life!