On Candy Bars - And Sustainability

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Did you perform a complete New Year's kitchen exorcism and clear your pantry of sweets?  I most certainly did not.  Here's why you might want to consider keeping goodies within reach in 2018.

Ah, the first half of January.  A time for reflection.  A feeling of tightness in the pants.  For many,  a time to make good on resolutions, swearing this year will be different.  With many of these resolutions focused on eating habits, food phobia sets in.  Thoughts of "if I only cut this" and "no more of that" or perhaps "I'll only eat x,y,z on odd-numbered Saturdays" crop into the psyche, and entire food groups meet their fate on the chopping block.

While I personally don't resolve to restrict any tasty morsels this year (to the contrary, my goals include increased consumption of cheeseburgers and sfogliatella), I've chosen a nutrition theme of sorts to guide my food choices in 2018: sustainability.  

 Sfogliatella: layers and layers of flaky goodness.

Sfogliatella: layers and layers of flaky goodness.

Sustainability, in terms of consumption, means different things to different people.  I've examined the concepts of environmental impact and economics, but the most personal facet is often overlooked.  Can you HAPPILY and HEALTHFULLY sustain a given pattern of consumption for the long haul?  Not a month, not a year, but for a lifetime?

For the sake of transparency, admittedly, I was temporarily tempted to go forth with that aforementioned exorcism this week.  I certainly enjoyed myself over the holiday, and the mantra "out of sight out of mind" crossed my mind.  In the end, logic took over.  The treats stayed. 

 Scary.  Not as scary as unnecessary food eliminations.  

Scary.  Not as scary as unnecessary food eliminations.  

Why?  In the past two years, not a day has gone by when I skipped dessert.  Some occasions were more indulgent than others, but on the average day, I know I'll have something sweet after dinner.  It could be a scoop of Ben and Jerry's Frozen Yogurt.  Or a couple of s'mores sandwiches of some variety.  During the holiday season, it was often a portion-controlled candy bar.  And while a halva-stuffed date or chocolate-covered banana might have made an appearance here or there, I can tell you that dessert never included Halo Top, Artic Zero, or any other sorry excuse for ice cream.  I have standards.  

I have no interest in "retraining my palate" or "detoxing from sugar."  Although dozens of candy bars take up residence in my kitchen, I'm ok with having just one, enjoying it, and moving on with my life.  Most candy bars account for roughly 10% of my daily energy needs - and the sugar content is right in line with current recommendations.  Heath and Skor don't taunt me from the shelf, but rather serve as allies in maintaing both a lifestyle and physical aesthetic with which I'm comfortable.  

No deprivation = no bingeing, no food-related anxiety ---> weight maintenance.  In an age of fad diets, this may appear to be an oversimplification.  Or maybe, just maybe, you've been conditioned to overcomplicate your eating habits.  Chew on that one.  Then do yourself a FLAVOR (hehe) and chew on something sweet tonight.  

If you kicked off 2018 with a "diet," I hope you've quit it by now.  If you're looking for help strategizing long-term, healthy, HAPPY habits, drop me a line and set up a consultation!

Enjoy your food. Enjoy your life!