My excitement surrounding the sale price of strawberries led me back to the grocery store which meant we had plenty on hand for making a quick round of chocolate-covered berries last night.
Chocolate-covered strawberries take two minutes to make and don’t need to look like they came from Godiva to taste amazing.
When my son finished his plate, he asked for a handful of chocolate chips trying to convince me that the extra dose of chocolate would strengthen his brain because chocolate is brain food.
I told him that I think he meant blueberries but he insisted that he meant chocolate so I decided he meant dark chocolate, appreciated his debate and gave him a handful because I didn’t want to deny his brain.
The other night I enjoyed sharing jumbo shrimp cocktail and a delicious hummus dip as appetizers while out for dinner.
My partner in good food crime was sure to inform me that the restaurant we were at uses Whole Foods as their shrimp supplier so I didn’t have to worry about the quality.
As touched and amused as I was to hear this information (which I am sure wasn’t even true), it didn’t really matter to me.
I do the best that I can in terms of my food shopping and cooking at home.
I seek out organic, hormone-free, antibiotic-free everything, I find the least processed foods, avoid artificial and preservatives where possible and live as plant-based as I can BUT…
I refuse to let it control my life.
By the way, I usually refer to my diet as vegetarian and have been meatless for three years.
Eliminating animal protein sources from my diet such as meat and poultry changed my life and health for the better.
We really can argue that since I will enjoy a shrimp cocktail or sushi roll on rare occasion that I should immediately call myself a pescatarian but here’s why I don’t:
#1- most people who ask me don’t even know what a pescatarian is (it means you are vegetarian but will eat fish) and #2- I often forget that I even consume fish at all because it doesn’t happen often.
I didn’t eat any kind of fish until I was 31 and only eat shrimp and spicy tuna in sushi rolls if I am out for dinner.
Anyway, what was I saying? Oh right. So here’s the thing —
When I am out enjoying a good meal, I try not to let what I know about the food supply or questioning how the food is prepared get the best of me.
Is it very possible that the shrimp I was eating was farm-raised? Yes.
Is it possible that the dairy in my favorite chocolate desserts is far from organic and that the ingredients contain loads of GMO’s? For sure.
Is the animal protein served to my son in restaurants organic or of the same quality I serve him at home? Probably not.
But I need to live and part of me living is going out to eat with the people I like spending time with — without stressing about eating clean all of the time.
If I were to start focusing on where the restaurants are receiving their deliveries from or exactly how they were cooking the dishes, if I gave up sharing sushi rolls (because part of the fun of sushi is sharing it) I would be ruining my life in what would be for me, a path towards disordered eating.
I can control what comes into my house but I don’t need to control everything when I am out.
For example, my morning cup of coffee will contain organic skim milk.
I am allergic to almonds therefore I cannot drink almond milk. I buy only organic skim but can’t worry too much about the type of milk used when I order my coffee at Starbucks or Panera.
Of course I hope one day they will get on board with offering organic but until then, the one drop of milk won’t hurt me.
I haven’t shown you my oats in a jar lately.
Sometimes I consider cutting back further on dairy but then I realize how satisfied I feel from adding a little greek yogurt to my oatmeal after my run.
I don’t eat it every single day, I go through phases, but I don’t think I will ever phase it out completely.
I make sure to buy organic greek yogurt these days but if I am out for breakfast or brunch, I will order the yogurt if I feel like it, not allowing the thought of what kind is it, is it hormone free and organic overtake me.
I still love Red Mango.
Maybe that’s why I can never be vegan – I would have to give up my frozen yogurt and that would be a sad day.
A parfait has lots of berries (which are probably not organic) with pumpkin flax granola, chocolate chips (brain food!) and yogurt. I know it’s the frozen kind, I know it’s not the same as fresh but I like it and that counts for something too.
You know I eat a ton of vegetables and lots of salads but sometimes I do not want that for lunch. Sometimes my sweet tooth takes over and that’s fine. I like to eat what I am in the mood for rather than what society thinks lunch should look like.
I love cooking dinner at home.
I can make as much as I want. I can combine whatever vegetables I feel like seasoned according to my mood, add a giant sweet potato diced up with lots of avocado and pick a plant-based protein of choice to round out my meal.
I like knowing how I cook my quinoa and that I am in control of what I may add to it.
Lentils and tri-color quinoa cooked together in low-sodium vegetable broth. I make a few servings at once and then eat it throughout the week.
But if the opportunity randomly presents itself to dine out, I am so there. Even if I haven’t a clue where the food is from, if the dish I order is cooked in a broth I would never use, I try not to care.
I feel like this way of eating gives me a really nice balance. I am super clean about my diet a majority of the time but will never let that become all of the time.
By the way, do you know I can’t remember exactly the last time I had chocolate cake at The Cheesecake Factory? That means it has been too many weeks and dare I say at least a month. How did that happen?
Be sure to check out what everyone else is eating today!
Anyone else allergic to almonds?
What type of greek yogurt do you buy?
How do you find balance in your eating?