How to Eat and Drink Whatever You Want

The cycle is so predictable, and so easy to fall into.

Restrict, restrict, #restrict. And then all of the sudden, your willpower gives out and you eat all of the things. And drink all of the things. Gluten. Wine. #Coffee. Sugar.

photo via Unsplash via Deva Williamson

And you are sad. And promise that come Monday, it will be better. You will be better.

But it happens again. And again. And again.

Here is the stark reality: we are not 22 years old anymore. When we were, we could work out for hours, and stay up late, and fuel ourselves with iced sweetened coffee milkshakes, and drink shots, and push and push and push.

And then we wake up at 33, after having had babies. And all of these children are calling us Mommy, and we cannot lose our baby belly, and we have two autoimmune diseases, and we cannot get a good night’s sleep, and our libido left us when our flat tummy did, and we are weepy and whiny and exhausted.

This is a hard place to be. Why did we not appreciate what we had when we had it?

I was talking about this with a group of dear friends this week while we were planning new and fun and super exciting things for our community.

Teach the younger women to take care of themselves! And have grace with yourself as an “older” (oh my goodness, what?) woman.

But since we are not just frumpy and listless “older” women- we are actually still pretty awesome and want to feel that way!!- it’s reasonable to expect to have a bit of that old carefree spirit in your adult-y life.

photo via unsplash from Priscilla Du Preez

Going out with girlfriends or your husband once a week is a reasonable thing to do, without being the boring one who doesn’t eat french fries or drink Pinot or share the communal dessert. I am basically that person, and she annoys everyone. I’m working on it, and sharing it with you!

As I was going through my #FDN courses and started working on my own body, I saw my health start to shift. After healing my gut of parasites and a bacterial infection and #SIBO, I find that I can eat more things that I used to be able to eat. While previously, I could not eat any dairy or gluten without doubling up in pain 20 minutes later, I can eat pretty much whatever I want now. And why shouldn’t I, darn it? There is plenty of mental baggage that goes along with the memory of a decade-long gut issue (and I never want to go back there!) but I want to be able to expand my options for food.

Because I love food. Don’t you?

But as a trained functional nutritionist, I know full well that everything I put into my body initiates a chemical reaction. Chemical reactions that follow a meal of sweet potatoes and a rib eye and broccoli and pastured butter and Celtic sea salt will be pretty amazing. I will feel energized and balanced.

Chemical reactions that follow French Fries and fried chicken and a milkshake, followed by a cocktail and then an espresso?

Not great.

Poor #sleep, #bloated belly, impaired #digestion, #acne. These are the results of eating a crappy meal.

What if we eat that crappy meal every night? Or at lunch and dinner? Like 7 days a week?

Women tell me that they are too busy to take care of themselves by eating healthy, home-cooked meals.

True, it is hard to set aside time to do this. Prepping and cooking are not fun for a lot of people. It takes time and money. But what do you want to invest in?

Choose to invest in your health. Time, money, effort. It is worth it.

Plan your meals, stick to the plan, and reap the benefits of good food. I am not kidding, the best changes I see in clients happen after they start eating the way I encourage them to eat. Healthy, nourishing, whole foods can do wonders for the body and brain.

But after observing my women for years, I have seen that after awhile, they lose steam. They want to eat well and feel good, but they get burnt out from cooking and planning and cleaning.

Let’s do some math. You eat three meals a day, seven days a week.

That is 21 meals.

Let’s say you eat delicious, nourishing meals for 20 meals a week.

How about you eat whatever you want for that 21st meal? Go out, order in, drive through, fellowship at someone else’s house. Allow yourself a meal where you just don’t care about what you are eating. Take a mental and physical break.

You know that you may not feel great afterwards, but you also know that you have the framework to get back to feeling really great. You simply eat your normal, homecooked, #nourishing meals for the other 20 meals per week.

Sometimes, bloated and tired and zitty is worth it for a mental break.

Plan your fun meal for once a week. I plan mine for Saturday nights. We love to entertain, so on Saturdays, we invite a family over and I drink wine while I listen to my Cool Jazz Pandora Station and cook. I love preparing food, but sometimes chicken and bacon get boring. So on Saturdays, I make new #recipes with cream and rice and #gluten and sugar and I sit with people I love and enjoy the heck out of my evening. The conversation is rich, the fire pit is glowing, the kids are playing in the jacuzzi, and I don’t have to be the weird one who says no to sourdough bread and homemade #chocolate cake with buttercream frosting.

But then, the next day at breakfast, I eat as I normally eat. I don’t want to feel like garbage all week, and eating whatever I want whenever I want will make me feel like garbage.

If you feel like garbage, try eating like this for a week. Most meals, eat 4-6 oz animal #protein, 2 cups of #veggies, a thumb’s worth of #fat, and fruit if your tummy can handle it. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Not sexy, not exciting, but sooooo good for your body and brain.

Then once a week, check out mentally and enjoy a meal. Really enjoy it.

Scan my website and my Instagram for plenty of recipes to support your 20 healthy meals a week, and then check out Ina Garten or Bon Appetit for inspiration for your “joy eat” once a week. Or head out to your favorite restaurant.

Make sense? We are not young chickadees anymore, and neither are our metabolisms. But you can still enjoy an evening once and awhile, all while sticking to your health goals.

Tonight is my Saturday, and my family is coming over to celebrate my brand-new-7-year-old! And friends from out of town are staying with us. And I will be hitting up the farmer’s market for fresh sourdough and new veggies. I am making a “brownie cake” at the behest of my birthday boy. He wants to eat it with ice cream, and whipped cream, and cherries. I see no reason not to enjoy a slice with him.

There is no perfect, so don’t try to hold yourself to a standard that is unattainable this side of heaven. Treat your body well, but enjoy a respite every once and awhile.

To your mental and physical health-


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