Treating Yourself is Part of Good Nutrition

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woman holding muffin in front of eye and pointing

She’s having that muffin and she’s not going to feel guilty.

I generally support the idea of “clean eating” in terms of keeping your food as close to actual food, as opposed to processed crap. Yes, I do believe that vegetables, fruit, fish, meat, poultry, nuts, and unprocessed oils like coconut oil and olive oil are the way to go most of the time.

I feel a certain contempt for McDonalds, Burger King, and Krispy Kreme for the options they provide that many people consider normal daily sustenance. But what would my life be like without the occasional Lindt chocolate ball or New York Style cheesecake with caramel sauce on the side?

Certainly it would be slightly less joyous than it currently is.

Most of the Time…

I have an issue with the evangelical nature of some “clean eating” proponents. You’re not a bad person if you love chips and indulge in them a couple of times a month. Life is all about daily choices and I certainly think that you should be feeding your body regularly with foods that fuel your body properly and contain the right amount of protein, carbs, and fats for your body type, genetics, and metabolism.

Choose whole foods that your body recognizes as food and that nourish it rather than drain your energy resources. Find out what works for you and consider real food the staple of your diet on a day-to-day basis.

Treat Yourself

Now it’s time to pick your battles. Do you love cheeseburgers? Do you crave spaghetti and meatballs? Does the thought of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough get you salivating?

I personally have no interest in burgers, french fries, potato chips, sandwiches, pasta, or muffins (is that 600 calories of sugar and fat worth it? Not for me!), but offer me a chocolate molten lava cake and I’m unlikely to turn you down. Pick your favourite treat and enjoy it occasionally without any remorse. You probably can’t do it every day. And you can’t have your cake…and sandwiches, pasta, ice cream, donuts, pizza, and pie too.

Life is all about choices. So pick which foods make your life significantly better and drop the rest in favour of healthier whole foods.

A Life without Chocolate…not for me!

I could try to be disciplined and decide that I’m never having ice cream or chocolate (not the dark organic kind either!) ever again. Maybe I would feel better or be healthier…or maybe not. I’ve tried in the past to completely eliminate certain foods that I love, but it never ends well. The problem with restricting yourself too much is that it usually ends with binging and feeling guilty – not positive things.

Make your choices wisely and you can have the body you want, the energy you need, and the health that sustains you for a lifetime.

End the guilt, and enjoy a satisfied nutrition life.

Ivana Chapman 

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Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman BSc BA CSCS is a Canadian fitness and nutrition coach, happy wife, and mom to an energetic 5-year-old boy. She is a writer, published fitness model, speaker, 3rd Dan black belt in Shotokan Karate, former World Cup Karate Champion, one-time marathoner, and CBBF National level Natural Bikini competitor. She loves weight training and chocolate, not always in that order of preference.
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