I teach the health benefits of plant based nutrition for a living. I like to be a healthy example for my students and clients. I have come a long way toward beating my sugar and fat addictions. I can see the unhealthy patterns in others and, yes, in myself. We no longer keep chocolate, even good supposedly 'healthy' dark chocolate, in the house. On a stressful day, I will eat too much. I will occasionally have a good dark chocolate dessert as a treat, but I don't stock it in the house anymore.
I am writing this post for my own benefit as well as for my blog readers. It is a reminder of why I want to stay healthy and not be caught up in unhealthy addictions to sugary, fatty, salty junk foods. I know how much better I feel when my body is free of sugar and oils. It is like night and day. My face actually puffs up when I eat sugar now, I get an immediate inflammation response.
I am getting ready to go into the kitchen this afternoon and cook up a storm so I have healthy low fat sugar-free plant based foods stocked in the house. This is one of the best defenses you can have, lots of tasty healthy food on hand. I don't count calories or restrict food anymore. If I am hungry, I eat. I often have a snack at 'tea time' around 4-5pm. We have dinner between 7-8pm and I usually get hungry in the late afternoon, so I have something to eat. A nice cup of tea on a cold, snowy April afternoon (Michigan!) is lovely as well.
I also have support. I am a member of the Protective Diet Facebook group, Protective Diet Living. I know I can go ask for help if I am struggling with sugar or cravings and I will get support and encouragement. I have still not achieved 100% dietary perfection. I don't think many people do. I talk about this in my classes. I talk about chocolate being my achilles heel. Lindsay Nixon, the Happy Herbivore, always talks about "progress, not perfection". That is a great way to look at things.
I am definitely a work in progress and I get healthier every year. I love the fact that my Protective Diet allows me to no longer yo-yo diet and maintain a trim healthy goal weight. I now pick myself up, dust myself off, ask for help if I need it, and get back on track. I used to say 'what the heck' and put a bunch of weight back on when I was on an unsustainable diet. I now know that a low fat whole foods plant based diet is the healthiest most sustainable diet for me. I know it works and I get right back on track.
Here are a few great resources if you struggle with overeating sugar or fat:
The Pleasure Trap by Doug Lisle & Alan Goldhamer
Salt Sugar Fat: How The Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss
Finally, a quick 5 minute video from Dr. Greger's NutritionFacts.org website that talks about the studies showing sugar and fats to be as addictive as cocaine or alcohol when it comes to hijacking our brain's dopamine receptors. This is a great reminder when I am tempted by something like, oh I don't know... peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough. Gah! NO!!!
I will definitely share more in depth information on this topic in the future to help keep us all focused on whole plant foods that deliver optimal health.