I used to be over 50 pounds heavier than I am today….I am not going to act like I have no idea why I have had weight issues throughout my life: I like food. But here’s the thing: we all like food. And you know what, we should! I look forward to my meals each day, and so should anyone. However, I used to go overboard. I used to binge on dessert all the time…it wasn’t uncommon for me to eat 3 candy bars in one sitting. I think that this is unhealthy if done frequently.
When I first went vegan in August, I was excited to see all of the awesome vegan desserts out there-both homemade and store bought. However, after a couple months, I gave up dessert for good. There was a long time frame where I would almost never have anything after dinner. I would maybe have a few dates, but if I wanted to make a dessert, I wouldn’t. I realize that I am speaking in past tense, when maybe I shouldn’t. Why? Because I still don’t have dessert that often. The truth is…my tastebuds have changed so much, and I do not always crave dessert. I get a stomach ache if I have a lot of chocolate, which makes the few minutes of enjoyment not really worth it.
Still, despite not enjoying dessert all the time, I try not to be afraid of it.
I like to think that if we do are doing something good the majority of time, it is ok to “cheat”. If you’re eating healthy most days during the week, why not have something indulgent every once in awhile? One of the biggest lessons that I have learned is that an occasional indulgence is not going to be the end of the world. I have “cheat” days all the time, and I am still losing weight. Most days, I enjoy eating healthy because it is important for my training (I’m training for a 5K-more on that later). I tend to crave what will give my body the fuel it needs to get through my day. But…let’s be real: somedays, I just want vegan bacon mac n cheese. Sometimes, some vegan cheesecake is exactly what I need. Don’t get me started on cocktails, I am ALL for them (only once a week, though). As much as I like to challenge myself to make healthy choices, I think that it is equally healthy to be ok with eating something unhealthy and feeling good about it. I am all for taking good care of your body, but if it is making you obsessive over every bite you eat, I am not sure if that is healthy, but it is certainly not a fun way to live.
I can understand that if you are trying to lose weight, you might want to lay off the junk food. I can relate, since I try to do this as well. I am sure that once I reach that goal weight (whatever that even is), I will be more content with eating something unhealthy more often, but I am actually not so sure if this is the right frame of mind. If we want to do something sustainable for life, why not have some junk food every now and then? Why do we have to wait until we can eat what we want? Why not find a routine that works now, and will always work? That is why I have learned to be ok with having dessert more often. I am working towards something that is meant to benefit me for my entire life, why rush it? Why not just eat the way that I want- healthy, but with an indulgent meal every now and then? I don’t think it is right to feel guilty for eating, so I won’t.
I am all for being your healthiest and I think that healthy eating is ideal and super important for our lives. However, it is the overall big picture that counts, not one or two indulgences. Even if you have a few days where you get off track, as long as you get back to normal, you’ll bounce back with no problems.
What I’m getting at here is that nobody has to feel guilty for having a craving. I have become a believer that the majority of healthy choices means so much more than a couple unhealthy choices. We’re human, and we need to live a little. If you want something indulgent like dessert, go for it! I always have fun trying to make desserts and other junk food as healthy as possible, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. My birthday was a few days ago, and for the entire weekend I enjoyed vegan mac n cheese, chili cheese fries, alcohol, nachos, wings, etc. Oh, and I also had some cake and a chocolate shake. You know what, it was all awesome! However, I am not feeling my best, so I have been trying to get back on track. In a week or so, any damage I did over the weekend will be as if it never even happened. Even if it takes two weeks…who cares. I celebrated my birthday, and that only comes once a year. The 4th of July is coming up, and you can bet that I will have some veggie burgers and dairy-free ice cream. I am going to enjoy every single bite of it. We only live once, let’s be as healthy as we can, but realize that there is more to life than our weight and our size. Let’s also remember that the occasional indulgence is perfectly fine.
Let’s embrace it. Life is too short to fear food, or anything for that matter.
I will enjoy dessert when I feel like having it, and Im not going to feel guilty about it. It’s all about the majority of the time, and my majority is eating healthfully and exercising regularly. I’m doing everything right, and I am sure that you are as well. If you are craving something, indulge every once in awhile. I would recommend my Lemon Meringue Pie Smoothie, my Chocolate Coconut Almond Butter Smoothie, and my Peanut Butter Cup shake for a delicious cravings satisfier. Each of them are secretly healthy.
If you are in the frame of mind where you have a hard time allowing yourself to indulge, I challenge you to give yourself a break. Give yourself one day a week to have an indulgent treat, or once every two weeks if you are really dedicated-that’s kinda where I’ve been at lately. With my current workout routine, I try to eat as healthy as I can most of the time, but you gotta live a little, am I right?
What dessert do you love the most? What indulgent meal really gets the best of you? For me, it’s definitely vegan bacon mac n cheese. It’s the best. For dessert, it’s Daiya cheesecake. I can’t have enough of it. I’m also obsessed with chocolate chip cookies. I could eat 5 in a row.