We live in a culture that is steeped in guilt. From food to academic achievements to money and more, feeling guilty is fairly commonplace. At some point in your life, you’ve probably felt guilty for eating multiple servings of an “indulgent” food, for not performing well on a test, for not being able to fit into an old pair of jeans, for not having a high-paying job, etc. But, I’m here to tell you that guilt is irrelevant. Guilt is an inhibitor. Guilt is a limiting emotion. Guilt is what keeps you close-minded…that is, until you’ve decided you’ve had enough. And once you’ve decided you’ve had enough, guilt becomes a motivator.
And just like that, it’s March. Practically MID-MARCH!
Time is flying. And appropriately, I hit the ground running at the beginning of the month. If we were chatting over a cup of coffee, I’d have a few updates for you.
First and foremost, I started another lap around the sun. I’m officially that much closer to 30 — eek! I know that’s not old, but I certainly feel more like an adult than I have, ever. To celebrate, my husband and I went to dinner at Duo, and it was divine. Atmosphere: rustic-cozy; waitress: attentive (but not overbearing); and the food: phenomenal. As soon as we sat down, we were served complimentary champagne, olives, and crackers. For appetizers, we started with their seasonal cheese plate — including toasted cranberry walnut bread, spiced nuts, and a curry apple chutney — and we also split the gnocchi. It was pillow-y, cheesy heaven. For my main dish, I tried their vegan special (a cassoulet). It came out piping hot, which I loved, and the ‘sausage’ was hearty and incredibly flavorful. Our waitress told me that it’s the most labor-intensive dish on their menu. It was amazing, but at this point, I started to feel pretty full. BUT! Dessert (because there’s always room for dessert) was an earl grey custard with an orange-glazed shortbread. I left so full. And so happy.
Speaking of, I want to take a minute to talk about food guilt. I could have easily gone to bed believing I ate “too much.” That I consumed an “unhealthy” amount of cheese. That the sugar in my dessert would make me gain “X” pounds. Furthermore, that in the morning, I should probably go straight to the gym to negate my dinner. But, that’s not what happened. Why? Because the relationship I have with food and my body is supportive, trustworthy, and forgiving. I went to bed blissfully full and very grateful for the birthday wishes I received. I realized, for the first time in many birthdays, that I am finally at peace with my body. So, instead of hopping into a yoga class the following morning, I slept in and ate a filling breakfast — including a few of these chocolate protein bites.
I’m telling you this because it can be pretty easy to slip into a food-guilt mindset. It’s easy to feel anxious when you eat more carbs and sugar and cheese than you normally do. It’s easy to convince yourself that you’re going to wake up heavier than the day before. And, that none of your pants are going to fit. THANK YOU, DIET CULTURE. But, what I’ve learned (and what I teach my clients) is that it’s all about compartmentalizing. One night of eating in a more “indulgent” way isn’t going to derail you. It isn’t going to change your body. Your clothes will still fit the next day! Trust me. Living in the moment and enjoying the food that comes along with birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, date nights, etc. is what memories are made of. And on that note, I will never forget our intimate, delicious dinner at Duo. Pillow-y carbs and all.
Now, if you’re someone who struggles with food guilt, don’t fret. I’m here to help. I work through food-labeling, calorie-counting, orthorexia (being obsessed with “clean” eating), etc. with my clients. You can sign up for a free, 20-minute consultation to start. In the meantime, remember that your body is smart. If you allow it — by not fighting against it — it will find homeostasis (read: balance). And when your body is balanced, you’ll likely have reached your set point. Your set point is about a 5-10 pound range where your body is naturally healthy, your hormones are *likely* balanced, you’re sleeping well at night, you feel energized throughout the day, and your mood is stable.
Best of all, when you’re at your set point, it is much easier to enjoy all foods without going overboard and without tacking on a hefty dose of guilt.
So, moving on. The second thing I wanted to mention is that I started a new part-time job! I’ve joined the CookIt Media team as an account manager, and it’s been all sorts of challenging and rewarding. I’m excited to grow and learn with a team of bad-ass women. Women who love good food just as much as I do.
Nutty Chocolate Protein Bites (No Bake)
- 1 cup raw (or roasted) peanuts
- 1 cup almond butter
- 1/4 cup chocolate protein powder (I used whey protein, but vegan protein powder will work too)
- 2 tbsp maple syrup (or liquid sweetener of choice)
- Place all ingredients into your food processor and pulse until a dough begins to form. If the mixture is too dry, add in a splash of water. If it is too wet, add in more cocoa powder.
- Roll into balls, then roll each ball into more cacao powder (optional). Store these in the fridge and eat them all week!