Treat Treats as Treats and Reap the Benefits

A number of clients have shared that before they started work with me, they were afraid that I was going to give them a long list of foods that they aren't "allowed" to eat. They're surprised to hear that deprivation is not part of my approach to healthy living.

FACT: I do not want to live in a world without chocolate cake. If you love it, I don't think you should have to live without it, either. Lucky for us, chocolate cake does not seem to be going anywhere, and neither are cookies, fudge, brownies, ice cream, candy bars, French fries and muffins as large as my head.

These foods everywhere, cheaply prepared and lined up beautifully in coffee shop cases, and stacked up at the cash registers in the healthiest of places (I have to avert my eyes from torso-sized cookies at my favorite salad joint Nalley Fresh, and turn my head to avoid brick-sized brownies near the registers at Whole Foods Market). Even as I am training to run a race this fall, I am all too aware that despite the fact that they are everywhere, these aren't everyday foods. They don't provide physical nourishment to our bodies.

That said, these treats have another benefit: An emotional one.

Food is celebration, creates nostalgia and brings on the warm fuzzies. A slice of homemade cake at a birthday party or ice cream at the beach can bring back and create new special memories. But when we indulge in cheap, made-without-love versions of these foods on a regular basis, not only do we crowd out more nourishing choices, the emotional benefit of "treats" is blunted. Treat treats as treats--sparingly, choosing only the best quality, and with reverence--and reap the benefits!

Need help sorting out what a treat is and how to treat it as such? Let's talk!