Hey guys! Welcome to this week’s episode of me crushing all your hopes and dreams. That sounds harsh, but I can’t help but feel a little bit bad about this blog… You see, I was once like you, dear reader. I would look on Pinterest, or at my Low Carb cookbooks, and see all these wonderful recipes for “Healthy Chocolate Cake” and “Healthy Pizza” and think “Wow! I can still eat all my favourite foods and lose weight?! Life is awesome!”
And then I gained over 70 pounds by the end of my pregnancy and a year and a half later I still have those ever frustrating last 20 pounds to shed. Well, 10 or 15 pounds now, but you get my point.
Unfortunately this is a sad truth for most women. We’ll make these awesome sounding “healthy” recipes, and as the years go by keep putting on more and more weight and never really know why.
God damn you Pinterest, you lying bastard!
Which brings me to this week’s Uncomfortable Truth:
If It Looks Too Good To Be True, It Is
This is a very, very dangerous game we play with ourselves. For some reason, healthy scares us. I personally blame cartoons. Every character’s favourite food is cookies, or pizza, or ice cream. And what happens when a Brussels sprout pops on screen? They freak out and vomit every where. I didn’t touch a Brussels sprout until I was 27! And you know what? They are freakin’ delicious.
So because of this programming we’ve been bombarded with, unbeknownst to us since we were infants, we’re convinced that healthy can’t be tasty. What are you nuts? Who would ever choose to eat salad over pizza?! If the Ninja Turtles choose pizza, then so do I. If Homer Simpson says “You don’t win friends with salad” then who am I to argue? If the Cookie Monster devours every cookie in sight…
You get my point.
But as my palate has learned in this last year or so of experimenting with new foods, healthy doesn’t have to mean boring. It doesn’t mean having to eat “bird food” or things that taste like dirt. You just need to be interested enough to learn about healthy food, and how to best prepare it so it tastes a thousand times better than a bucket of deep fried chicken parts.
To go back to my original point, I get violently angry now when I research new healthy recipes on Pinterest. You know what I find? People trying to fake healthy. People so desperate to hold on to their favourite foods they’ll change them just enough to deem it “healthy” to the untrained eye.
You know what’s healthy? Cauliflower.
You know what’s not healthy? Cauliflower coated in so much cheese you can barely even taste it.
Don’t hide your vegetables under bad food. That will only trick you into thinking you’re eating good so you put your guard down, pig out, and gain weight. Even if you don’t pig out, a cauliflower crusted pizza is still pizza. It’s not only the bread that makes pizza bad. Cheese is very, very high in calories. It also has a very high glycemic index, meaning it is much more likely to boost your blood sugar and make you gain weight faster than other foods with the same amount of calories.
When it comes to wanting something sweet… I get it. I really, really, really get it. When it comes to sugar cravings, some days I don’t know how I’ll get through it. Now, most people think that that’s sad. It’s sad that I can want something so bad and “deprive” myself of it. But do you know what I want more than that cookie? A body I can be proud of. Sugar cravings will pass. The taste of the cookie is gone 20 seconds after that last bite. But the feeling of pride I get from overcoming the craving, that lasts forever.
So when you want some dessert… There’s not much you can do. Sure, you can make these “gluten free” cookies or cake or muffins, but they’re not going to help you lose weight. If it looks too good to be true, it is. If you want to lose weight, don’t bake anything. Not even gluten free anything. If it has sugar in it in any form, if it has carbs in it in any form (gluten free included!) It. Will. Make. You. Gain. Weight.
A healthy dessert to have once in a while would be a cup of plain Greek yogurt with a handful of berries in it and no more than a tablespoon of organic honey. It’s not going to taste like ice cream. It’s not going to taste like cheesecake. But it is tasty in it’s own right.
That’s the scary change we need to make. We need to stop dressing up healthy food and expect it to taste like bad food. Bad food is delicious, there’s no denying it. But we pay a price for it. Start appreciating the subtle and delicious flavors of healthy food.
So that’s the question you need to ask yourself. Are you willing to sacrifice a body you can be proud of forever for 5 minutes with something that tastes good? A moment on the lips forever on the hips isn’t just a cheeky old saying to make you want to punch your Grandma in the face. It’s a hard fact.
The change needs to start with us. We need to change our palates. It won’t be easy at first, but nothing great is ever easy at first. Start small, find some delicious sounding really tasty recipes (I have a ton of them on Pinterest!) and start there. Then start experimenting, get really interested in what you’re cooking. Before you know it you’ll dive in to a spinach salad with orange pieces and red pepper and a balsamic vinaigrette with the same passion you once dove into a poutine with bacon.
Don’t fear healthy. Healthy food is actually delicious, and it leaves you feeling energized, and most importantly… It leaves you feeling proud.
What are some of your biggest road blocks when it comes to weight loss? Sound off below!