Good food, bad food?

Back in 2004, a book called “Good Carbs, Bad Carbs” came out. I’ve never read it, but the description on Amazon says it focuses on “using the glycemic index to identify the carbs that most help to lose weight, stay healthy, control blood glucose levels, and maintain energy throughout the day.”

Since I adhere more to the Atkins school of thought, I remain unconvinced there ARE any “good carbs.” Any carbs I eat tend to trigger me to crave more.

But that’s not the point of today’s post. A fellow Elf4Health, Nicole at Fitful Focus, shared a blog post she wrote on forbidden foods and indulgences.

Her point is one that I’ve found myself thinking about recently, too: Too often, we call ourselves “good” or “bad” based on what we choose to eat.

Definitely NOT time to eat the donuts.

Definitely NOT time to eat the donuts, right? A “bad” food if I’ve ever seen one.

I know I do. When I pass up a mini chocolate bar, I’m being “good.” If I have anything but unsweetened iced tea at Starbucks, I’m “bad.” God forbid I stop at Dunkin’ Donuts. Indulging in a donut (more likely two, because it’s “the very last time” I plan to stop) is a recipe for more than one day of beating myself up and feeling hopeless, worthless and weak.

Nicole writes:

Should we consume sugary beverages, fried foods, and massive desserts at every meal? Absolutely not. However, consuming a sugary beverage or a sweet treat every now and then should never create guilt.

What a wonderful world that would be! What if food was just food, instead of falling into categories of “good” (salad) and “bad” (cheeseburger and fries)? Wouldn’t it be nice to eat without guilt?

From Mel at The Clothes Make the Girl

Recipes from Mel at The Clothes Make the Girl

Dove Peppermint Bark

Dove Peppermint Bark

I’m not there yet — and I don’t know if I ever will be. I hope so. But I’m not going to hold my breath. If I haven’t managed yet in almost 30 years, I doubt it’ll happen any time soon.

She goes on to say:

If you love ice cream, let yourself have a scoop every now and then. If you completely eliminate it, your brain will keep thinking about it and thinking about it until you finally cave in, buy a tub, and eat it all in one sitting.

Ha! Been there, done that — not too long ago, either. The containers from multiple single-serve slices of cake (purchased several nights in a row after work), a Marie Callender’s chicken pot pie and microwaveable mac & cheese in my trash prove it. All carb-filled. All delicious. All on my verboten list.

I’ve said before that I tend to do better when I have a stricter eating plan — but after my not-so-successful attempt to follow a paleo diet, I’m no longer so sure about that. I’m also not sure the “everything in moderation” approach — a la Weight Watchers — is my road to success. I must admit, though, I’m intrigued by that new Weight Watchers 360 plan.

We’ll see what happens as I settle back into a lower-carb lifestyle.

Nicole concludes her post with this thought: “Being happy is part of being healthy, so indulge a little. It may actually keep you on track.”

So who wants to join me in NOT classifying foods — or ourselves — as “good” and “bad”? I’m willing to give it a shot. It certainly can’t hurt, right?

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