Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Thoughts: Cheat days!
Some people call it a "Free Day," others call it a "Cheat Day." This blog is thanks to Laura Mac from Big Al's Family Fitness who asked me if I have cheat days. At the time she asked me I thought it was a bizarre question, cheat day, who would I cheat on? why would I cheat? I told her no and then yesterday I discovered I do have 'cheat days' on The Earth Diet!
Being on The Earth Diet doesn't make a 'perfect' diet lifestyle. There is no such thing as perfect, and perfect and imperfect both exist in each other. My cheat day now is different to my cheat days when I was not eating only foods from the earth. I would eat fast foods, Nandos - fried chicken in a wrap with french fries, cookies with white flour and over loaded with chocolate, gummi bears, nutella and tim tams. Eating all this on my cheat day would set me back a day or two as I would usually feel sluggish after so much processed, mega-high calorie and artificially made dead organic matter in my digestive system. After being on The Earth Diet for 239 days I naturally do not crave those foods anymore!
Now, my cheat day involves my favourites; Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls with extra peanut butter (pure crushed peanuts); cooked foods, yes cooked foods are a treat 'cheat' food for me! like rice and beans, walm and delicious! ;and my favourite meat dish: Honey Rosemary Chicken Salad! These are still all inside the Earth Diet, and still only foods naturally provided by the earth. Nothing is processed, nothing high in artificial sugars, it is all entirely made from scratch yet it completely fulfills my cravings!
Some people cheat to ensure their body does not feel deprived. You may have lived your entire life eating certain foods and all of a sudden you are not anymore, so if you dedicate a cheat day once a week, you can reassure your body, here is some of the familiar food you are used to, don't freak out, and know that tomorrow we will stay on track with my new way of being and eating to support my new lifestyle choice. Eventually your body will ween off certain foods and your cheat day will become different to how your cheat day was when you begun. Eventually I would like to not crave meats and cooked foods at all. My goal is to be completely 100% raw and content with that. Your goal may be different, and whatever you are heading for it is ok to have cheat days too.
Another reason why people 'cheat' is that it will keep your metabolism guessing. It is called calorie shifting and theoretically, your body gets use to a certain amount of calories consumed a day and your metabolism adjusts to this number. If you ate 2000 calories one day, the next day your body will think you will do the same but say you don't, you end up losing weight faster this way. Cheating can actually help you lose weight. Remember your body is with you, not against you, always working hard to prevent disease, sickness, cancer, excessive weight gain.
Some say it is definitely a good idea to "relax" your diet once a week and eat something you really enjoy, provided that you do it in moderation. If you try to be too strict all the time, then you are only setting yourself up for cravings and bingeing (not to mention it’s no fun). Consider it your reward after a week of perfect eating and perfect training. If you eat five or six times per day, that's at least 35 meals per week. If 33 or 34 of them are perfect, then one (or even two) "cheat" meals aren't going to hurt.
If you do have cheat days enjoy them! Don't feel guilty about them. Guilt does nothing but make you feel guilty ;) If your cheat days feel like you are indulging in your addictive behaviours, then observe them without judgment. You are whole, perfect (perfect being perfect and imperfect) and complete just the way you are, right now. Be a witness to your thoughts, your moods, your reactions, your behaviours. They represent your memories of the past, and by witnessing them in the present, you liberate yourself of the past. By observing your addictive behaviours, you observe your conditioning. And when you observe your conditioning, you are free of it, because you are not your conditioning; you are the observer of your conditioning.
Even Jinjee the creator of The Garden Diet said she went through a little emotional drama and allowed herself to self-medicate with foods, "and then one night it started to get a little out of control. I had eaten well past a healthful amount of not the best raw foods, continuously, for a couple of days. I was eating anything I could. In contemplating whether to eat some additional left-overs of cashew kelp noodles, I was ready to eat them on "automatic pilot" because I had bought in to the thought-pattern that I was out of control, and I was totally immersed in that reality But then I realized that I didn't have to say yes to every food just because I was labeling myself "out of control". I could still say no to some things if I wanted to!
That is when I realized that we who are in the habit of unhealthy eating are often this way because we are perfectionists. And that perfectionism is our problem. Because we're not able to achieve perfection, we are upset, and give up, and then become even less perfect. Then we become even more upset, and perpetuate this negative cycle. So, I think the answer is that we need to learn to accept our imperfection. We need to learn things like - if we can learn to sometimes say no to foods we want when we're full, that's a good thing. It doesn't have to be all the time. It can't be all the time. It doesn't have to be all or nothing." This is the kind of approach they practice in the Garden Diet Programs (the 21 Day Cleanse and the 28 Day Raw Transition Program) which starts tomorrow! Last day to to sign up! Treat yourself to healthy living! http://www.TheGardenDiet.com/21days
Challenges: No matter how hysterical your environment appears to be, remain alert and sober in your ever present witnessing awareness. Resolve not to get drawn into the melodrama around you. Remind yourself, I am neither superior nor inferior to anyone who exists. None of us are the roles we play. Recognizing this truth, it is easier to forgive all perceived transgressions. We don't feel compelled to label, evaluate, analyze, or judge ourselves or others. When we have no need to label or judge, it's easier to relinquish the desire to control and manipulate others. - Deepak Chopra
Triumphs: Well, if we were already enlightened, there would be nothing to do. It's a process. If you occasionally succumb to your addictive behaviour, understand this too, is part of the process. You keep falling, but you can always get up and continue on your journey. - Deepak Chopra
What I Ate Today:
Food fest 1: A avocado! I love starting the day with my favourite food!
Food fest 2: Honey Rosemary Chicken Salad! Oh delicious! Ingredients: Organic free range chicken (use mushroom if you are vegetarian), honey, fresh rosemary, garlic, the salad is baby spinach and lime juice. Then when you out the chicken on top all the juices from that dish drizzle down to the salad and you end up with a dressing of lime, honey, garlic, and rosemary. Mmm!
Food fest 3: 4 clementines
Food fest 4: Rice and Beans! (Pink beans) Mmm Ingredients: Rice, garlic, pink beans, coriander (cilantro), garlic, avocado!
Food fest 5: Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls!
Recipe: The recipe for Rice and Beans, Peanut Butter Chocolate Balls and Honey Rosemary Chicken Salad will be in the Earth Diet Book released later this year! Or you can find them on the website www.theearthdiet.org
Exercise: A ride and walk around town to run some errands with Andrew :) Beautiful sunny weather!
126 days to go!!!