To me a balanced diet means:
– Eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full….
but occasionally eating till you’re really full because the food is just so good
– Eating a big salad for lunch…
and following it up with some chocolate or ice-cream for dessert
– It means eating mindfully and listening to your hunger cues….
and occasionally eating just because you want to – whether you’re really “hungry” or not
– It means having some kind of structure to your eating habits, not mindlessly muching throughout the day…
but having 2 or 3 snacks if you feel you need them
– It means being aware of your food choices….
but not being so restrictive that you won’t indulge in a few treats now and then
– It means trying to take the time to prepare food that you enjoy….
and occasionally eating something that might not be your preference, because it will make someone else happy
In short in means being flexible and mold-able, listening to your body and making healthy choices but not being obsessive about your habits.
The thing that inspired this post was something that happened to me yesterday. It was my sisters birthday and I was asked to make her a cake (I’m the baker in the family :P) Anyhow, it came time for the party and I realized how awkward it would be if I did what I always do – stand by the sidelines and just watch everyone eat or hide in my room to avoid the uncomfortable questions. The aforementioned cake was a Devils Food cake and it was anything but “light” and could hardly be considered “healthy”. As someone recovering from an ED there are still some foods that cause a bit of anxiety for me, and this was definitely one of them. But I knew that it would mean a lot to her if I had some cake. So I bit back my anxiety, and had some cake (with extra strawberries on the side because I looooove strawberries). And the world did not come to an end!!! I really did enjoy it when I was eating it – whipped cream and all 🙂 Unfortunately I had a horrible stomach ache afterwards, which tells me that my body simply reacts much better to “real foods”. But do I feel it was wrong – no! I wanted to prove to myself that I was able to allow myself a treat, even one that wasn’t in any way “healthy” and I did. Will I be doing this every day, or even often? Nope. but a once-in-a-while unhealthy treat forms a balanced diet.
So, what do you guys think of my definition of a balanced diet?
And out of sheer curiosity I was wondering if there’s such a thing as a non-healthy vegan treat? It doesn’t seem likely, but I think it might be possible.