Better With Sprinkles

The Colourful Side to Healthy Living.

Guilt Free.

18 Comments

I spend a lot of time (probably too much) of my day looking at random articles online. A lot of them pertaining to health, fitness and nutrition – clearly, if I write a blog about it I want to learn as much as possible, right?

I noticed something the other day that’s been bugging me. Mainly because I see it way more often than I’m comfortable with.

This article in particular mentioned a recipe for baked apples with a streusel topping. “It’s like apple pie without the guilt!”

baked-apples-su-1227803-l

Ummm, I have a problem with this.

Why do we have to put a “guilty” label on food?

I like baked apples, but if I want apple pie, it won’t do. I might not feel guilty about eating a baked apple, but it will never satisfy an apple pie craving. If I want pie, there is absolutely nothing wrong with eating it.

You know it’ll be the real thing.

Why do we feel the need to put “bad” labels on food? If we see something as being bad or causing guilt, we secretly crave it that much more. Why do we need to bring guilt into the equation?

Here you go. Food is fuel for our bodies – it is not good or bad. There is more nutritious and less nutritious food, yes…but less nutritious does not equal bad, evil, or any other sort of negative connotation. It is not junk, it is not a treat, it is not an indulgence, it is not a guilty pleasure…It is food. End of story.

This…

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Dessert plate at Thanksgiving.

is no more guilt inducing than this.

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Yesterday’s lunch: spinach, baby carrots, chicken, quinoa, brie and avocado-cilantro dressing.

I should feel the same way about this…

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Last Friday’s froyo.

as I do about this.

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Dinner last night: pork tenderloin, sweet potato with butter and cinnamon and steamed green beans on the side.

Food is fuel. It is meant to taste good, bring us joy, and help us celebrate. It is not meant to be demonized or make us feel bad.

I eat a high protein diet with plenty of veggies because it makes me feel good. I’m trying to gain muscle, and I need to eat this way in order to properly fuel them.

Ice cream and cookies taste good and make me happy, but when I eat them too much I feel lethargic and gross – so I don’t eat them all the time. But when I have a craving, I honour it.

I’m by no means perfect with this…I suffer from the occasional bout of sugar-induced regret. But I’ve decided: no more. There is nothing wrong with eating the foods I love, even the ones that are less nutritious for me.

Food is supposed to make you happy, not guilty. So eat what makes you happy, k? No guilt allowed.

<— Anyone else fed up with the idea that certain foods should cause guilt?

<— What food makes you happy?

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18 thoughts on “Guilt Free.

  1. Great post Sam! I really hate the idea of attaching moral qualities to food by labelling them as good and bad. Food is food. Some food is healthier for us than others, but that doesn’t make any food straight up bad. Besides, it’s usually that ‘bad’ food that does a whole lot of good for our mental health, which I honestly think is even more important than our physical health. I just wish that more people would realize that it’s okay to enjoy food… it’s a simple source of pleasure for us and liking it doesn’t make us bad people…

    • ” ‘bad’ food that does a whole lot of good for our mental health” – 100% agree with you there. If I’m stressed to hell, chocolate feels a lot more appropriate for the situation than a carrot. It is definitely a source of pleasure!

  2. I feel EXACTLY the same way! I don’t understand why the media and society do this to us?! I too, enjoy a diet filled with veggies, fruit and tons of protein because I know that’s what makes me feel good and fuels me before/after my workouts. I do not deprive myself. If my body wants something, i give it. However, even with my occasional trip to the fro yo shop, I don’t get the large cup because I’d be belly aching after. I also don’t supplement it as a meal, which I have seen some people do. I eat it in addition to my regular meals. I eat what I want because I want it and it fuels me. Food should not be treated as awards and we should feel good about everything we put in our bellies!

  3. I agree more than anything with this. I hate hate hate food labels. that is something I force myself not to use… i hate the idea of ‘cheat’, ‘indulge’, I am all about moderation. You are such an inspiration that I wish more people could follow!

  4. Per usual, your post is SO inspirational and accurate. I HATE the idea of “cheats” “treats” and “indulgences”. Its all FOOD. Just food. This is SUCH a hard concept for me (and a lot of people) to grasp. But it is definitely something I’m working towards honoring and truly believing. Thanks so much for your incredible insights!
    xoxo

    • Thanks Sloane! I think it’s a hard concept for anyone to grasp whether they’ve had disordered eating or not. We always see food in the media presented as a “guilty pleasure” or “sinful” when it’s something that’s less nutritious (such as “sinful chocolate cake”. I hate that phrase – chocolate cake is heavenly!) so it’s hard to go against those messages.

      I’m so happy to hear you’re working on it though, you know I’m always rooting for you! ❤

  5. Life is too short to live with guilt. 🙂

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  7. snaps snaps snaps chicky! totally agree! although it definitely takes lots of practice to get those connotations out of our heads

  8. I really enjoyed this post Sam, thank you for sharing your thoughts here! I agree with your words and when so much emphasis is put on a food by calling it a “treat” or an “indulgence,” it makes the food feel very forbidden and something we should avoid, or have only every so often. It gives power to food, which is something I am trying to get away from, because I must remember that I HAVE THE POWER… yes that sounds stupid lol, but it’s true! Food has controlled me for YEARS now and goodness am I over that. I will admit it still does though, I mean I am guilty of having a pinterest board labeled “Indulgence!” whoopsie

    • Thanks for the comment Tessa! I think it’s hard for everybody to see food as simply food and not just an indulgence, regardless of whether or not you have an ED history. It’s something I’m still working on too!

      And yes, you do have the power!! Hehe, now I can’t stop thinking about the Simpsons episode where Bart becomes a healer-type-thing. Hilarious. :-p

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  10. This is an area that I am really trying to work on! And this article reinforced it. I have an extremely active job and sometimes my appetite just hits me like a semi truck-in those instances, I am learning to honor my intense desire for a massive PB&J or a real damn pizza-it’s FUEL. Thanks, Sam 🙂

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