There is actually a lot of fear and anxiety that goes along with letting go of all of the dieting and food rules so many of us religiously live by. The biggest issue seems to be a fear of what really will happen on the flip side. Our safety net has been our food rules and long list of no-nos. Our self esteem and pride goes along with making the “good” and “healthiest” choices when it comes to food.
And the fear of letting go comes along with just that: if I let go of the rules, will I just let myself go? Will I end up in a spiral of ice cream, donuts, cake and cookies and never look at a piece of lettuce again?
Well, I am living proof that it is NOTHING like that friends. Nothing.
Almost a year ago, I threw all the rules out the window. And I can assure you this was no easy task by any means. The fear of losing control and just going nuts on everything “unhealthy” kept me from jumping in for a long time, but when I did, it was not nearly what I had anticipated.
I started out with the mindset of “I can have anything I want.” And I honored that. It was hard at first because of the foods I never allowed myself but it became so absolutely satisfying. Before this jump, every food choice was about making the healthiest possible choice in that moment. So let’s say I wanted ice cream, instead of just eating the damn ice cream, I opted for banana “ice cream” aka, frozen bananas processed into a smooth ice cream like treat. Did it satisfy me? Maybe, but I still wanted the real deal, that didn’t go away. And a lot of times, these kinds of restrictive behaviors only led me to eating the banana ice cream and then “giving in” to the temptation of the real ice cream and then feeling guilty for not having what I thought was willpower, but now I know that was not the case at all.
When I shifted, I had to start really listening to my body cues versus what my mind told me was what I “wanted” to eat. So then when I craved ice cream, I had the exact ice cream I wanted. I enjoyed it and was completely satisfied. And instead of what used to happen when ice cream was “bad” I was happy with a scoop or two versus slamming down the entire pint because it was do or die and I needed to get it out of my system so I could get back on track. (Just writing this makes me realize how warped this way of thinking is and yet it is so normal and very real for so many of us).
Ok, so back to the beginning. Did intuitive eating mean that I would never eat another food again with any nutrients?
Nope. Not at all.
When you satisfy your cravings, you realize that the craving for things like fruits and veggies still happens. Or your body tells you, ok, enough sweet, I need something savory please. It tells you all of these things. The problem? We have been conditioned for so long not to listen–to be stronger, to have the willpower, etc.
But it does not have to be that way.
The funny thing also is that the things you have cut off for so many years may actually not bring you as much satisfaction as you thought they would. The other day I bought my childhood favorite: Pop Tarts. I was so pumped to eat the icing covered treat and go back to my 10 year old self. The verdict? They really didn’t do it for me like I had imagined.
Will you lose control and let yourself go if you throw out the food rules? Hardly. What you will find is a whole new world to taste, to enjoy and you will have so much more variety in what you do eat that there will be so much satisfaction with what you eat. And the result will be so much less obsession around food because you have discarded all the bits and pieces of “taboo” around it.
So what are you waiting for? Today is your day. Throw away the diet, the calorie counting, the detoxes and cleanses–all of it. You really have nothing to lose!
Ok friends, you know how excited I was to share my Copycat Perfect Bars and after making them numerous times, I decided to play around with new flavors. Two of them have won in our household so I am first bringing you these No Bake Blueberry Muffin Protein Bars. Since Perfect Bars don’t come in this flavor I decided it technically was not a copycat recipe and thus just protein bars in the end. But that’s okay, they are still amazing.
I packed these bars in Anthony’s lunch recently to test them out. Later that day, he texted me to ask, “What did you pack in my lunch today?” Oh shoot I thought, he is gonna tell me to never make them again. But to my surprise he gave many compliments to them. If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times, if Anthony approves, it is a REALLY good one. My picky husband is quite the critic.
These are similar to the other bars however they use either cashew or almond butter (I really cannot decide which I prefer.). I also split the amount of almond and oat flour right down the middle this time. It seemed to really balance the flavor. However, almond flour can be pricey so if you are looking to make these more budget friendly, opt for more oat flour.
These literally taste like a blueberry muffin. Cinnamon, dried blueberries, a hint of maple and vanilla–well you get it. They are amazing. And a great snack to help fuel your day when the afternoon hunger strikes. I have grabbed one along with a banana for a quick on the go breakfast as well. Makes for a great start to my day every time!
As for protein powders, I get asked about which ones to use for these quite often. Amanda at RunToTheFinish has some great tips on selecting the right protein powder for your goals. Check that out!
- 3/4 c almond flour
- 3/4 c oat flour gluten free if needed
- 1/2 c almond butter or cashew butter drippy
- 1/4 c vanilla protein powder
- 1/3 - 1/2 c pure maple syrup
- 1/4 c milk of choice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- Dash of sea salt
- 1/3 c dried blueberries
Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
Stir to combine, and then get in with your hands and knead until a dough is formed.
Press mixture VERY FIRMLY into a parchment lined pan or dish (about 6x8--pyrex has one that size. If you don't have one, use an 8x8 pan but don't press all the way to one end.)
Remove from freezer and cut into bars. Store in the refrigerator.