I was recently out in a social situation with some friends when one of them (accurately) observed that I had helped myself to some (more than a few) white chocolate M & M’s and she said, “I didn’t think you ate stuff like that.”
She’s right: I ate M & M’s, and I normally don’t. Granted, all the while, I pushed down thoughts about the bug carcasses that had to die for the brightly colored shells and the artificial flavors and the <gasp!> sugar that I was ingesting in a highly processed form.
But this is all a distraction.
This is not an article about how I “fell off the wagon” or “cheated on my diet” and am now here to offer helpful “tips” for the rest of you to get back into the groove. What this is about is how I am guilty of appearing different than I really am, and today, I aim to stop all that for myself at least and talk about how it really is for me.
The fact is that it’s no easier for me to avoid junk and eat all the right stuff than the next person, and frankly, sometimes junk tastes great and gets eaten. By ME! So, how do I reconcile this real life stuff with my very public healthy cooking classes and health coaching practice?
The fact is that I compensate. I compensate for liking to snack. I compensate for sometimes eating more sugar than is ideal. I compensate because sometimes I’m at a restaurant that’s not “Amy friendly” as one of my friends likes to call it, and I still eat there.
How does this work exactly? Here’s a list of every way I can think of that I compensate for when things are not pure and perfect. (Remember, I used to be plus-size, so I know a thing or two about how things go without such compensations!):
1. I drink green vegetable juice six out of seven days a week (12-16 ounces).
2. I drink a smoothie loaded with raw seeds, a ton of protein and superfoods every day.
3. I drink pre-made bone stock several days a week.
(I know what you’re thinking…after all that, how could I possibly be hungry? Sometimes I’m not. That’s the point! But I still have even more ways I get around the times that are out of my control…)
4. I eat raw and fermented salads often.
5. I only put in my home things I would want my child to eat in a perfect world (outside is another story, which is why inside stays pretty clean).
6. I make friends with farmers and buy their food.
7. I get plenty of sleep and I sleep in whenever I get the chance.
8. I make my dinner menu a week in advance, and I cook a lot on Sunday to get ready for the week.
9. I take high quality supplements including probiotics, enzymes, and herbs to bridge the gaps and fill holes from decades when I didn’t know what I know now.
10. I keep the big picture in mind. It’s important to me that I do all this stuff because I want to live a long life with a ton of life in my years. It takes a lot of energy to live the way I do, so I do what I can to keep my motor running. I also care that my family gets the same treatment. If Michael, Sadie and I want to play tennis after work, I want to make sure we all have the energy to GO! Above all, it’s the what’s-in-it-for-me factor that keeps me compensating.
So, if I want to have a cocktail or a dish of M & M’s with friends, I don’t worry about it because I’ve taken care of myself really well, and adding the stress of attempting to be perfect is damaging. Keeping up appearances is also exhausting.
As of right now I hearby let down the veil of foodie perfectionism and ask that you dear reader to consider giving yourself a break too. And, if your results aren’t where you want them yet, figure out where you can “compensate” a little.
Interested in knowing more about juicing and smoothies? It’s one of the biggest questions I get, and I’m finally teaching a class on how to put it all together in real life. If your juicer has dust on it, you’ll want to join me on the 22nd of September for a full primer on juicing, smoothies and Fall body cleansing. Learn more here.