My personal path to wellness requires moderation and healthy living. Moderation is key for me to be successful.
Why moderation? Can’t I just go all-in and be super strict with drastic changes? Oh, hell no. And if I tell the truth, I love food! It’s just not always “healthy” food.
Ya, I don’t do good with all in when it comes to wellness changes. “But what if you need to go all-in so you can be healthy?” It never lasts. I never last at doing it.
Instead, I go for moderation. Everything in moderation. Food, fitness, and tasty beverages, potato chips.
It’s kind of a conundrum, don’t you think? Tasty beverages and potato chips now and then paired with a need to become healthy and fit. Is that even possible? Some would say no, it is not.
What are Tasty Beverages?
I enjoy a tasty beverage or two once a week or so. It could be red or white wine, it could be a vodka tonic or a bloody mary. Bloody Marys are actually considered a salad, right?
I have a rule. I only have a tasty beverage when I’m out. I do not keep alcohol in the house. I created that rule about 10 years ago when I decided to change my diet and lose weight. Tasty beverages are very empty calories. And, truth be told, I an live without them, I just like them now and then.
The Experimental Years
When I started down the path to raw foods I created the no alcohol at home rule. I was desperate to break the cycle of migraines that had overtaken my day-to-day existence. After forty-five days, my daily migraines had stopped and I felt pretty darn good. Eating an 80% raw diet had actually been life-changing.
What did I eat? A LOT of fruits and vegetables, beans, plain baked potato, more vegetables, green smoothies. A few times, maybe four or five, I had a little seafood (cooked.) Once I had sushi. MMM sushi.
Next, I went vegetarian. The timing was perfect, as I had just watched the film Vegucated. That was pretty much the same except I had more cooked options. I also kept the seafood, so I was actually pescatarian. Once in a while, this girl needed something extra! I actually did well with this until I decided I needed to up my game after watching a little film called Forks Over Knives and a gut-wrenching documentary called Earthlings. (Note, Earthlings is NOT for the faint of heart. It’s graphic and it’s real and it will really piss you off.)
Whole-Food, Plant-Based Vegan
The films spoke to me, and I made a change. I didn’t just go vegan, I went whole-food, plant-based vegan. So not only was there no meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs, I also gave up oil, highly processed foods, and most anything with added gluten. (Added gluten is the devil, but that’s for another time.) It was fruit, veggies, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes. It was from scratch, not from a bag or package. It was…a lot of work!
I hovered in the land of WFPB vegan for five years. I kept the tasty beverage rule and got into the habit of only having one now and then when I was out with friends. I did have the occasional potato chip from a bag instead of homemade, the occasional sushi with white rice instead of brown, a bit of seafood now and then. Otherwise? I was there.
What did I learn from my adventures with the veg thing? I didn’t lose much weight. That was frustrating, and community I was part of who cared about my wellbeing said I had to be doing it wrong. There was an “all-in” expectation in that world and little room for nonconformity.
The Return to Meat
The day I went back to meat was just an ordinary day. I was out with a bunch of friends at a steakhouse. It was a really, really good steakhouse in town, and the moment I walked in, I could smell all the steakhouse wonder. I looked at the menu and planned for a salad and baked potato. I was going to splurge and have butter on it. #rebel
Everyone began ordering. The special that day was prime rib, and everyone at the table ordered it except for one guy who ordered salmon. I was the last one to order, and I don’t know what got into me, I ordered prime rib. My friend nearly fell out of her chair and immediately feared that I may explode or something worse upon eating it.
I mean, if you’re gonna fall off the wagon, do it right. Prime rib, horseradish sauce, au jus, baked potato with butter and sour cream and bacon, caesar salad…oh ya. The wagon was gone.
How did I feel after? I felt like I’d overeaten, I was bloaty, and I had indigestion. Otherwise, I survived the falling off. I slowly began eating meat more often. This time around, I was pickier about the meat I chose to eat (because I was well educated on how meat in this country is produced and brought to market.) Less on the red meat side, more on the white meat and seafood.
Five years later, lots of life stuff along the way, blah-blah, and I’m on a wellness path again. I’ve learned through all of this that moderation is key. KEY I tell you. Moderation is key for me. That prime rib dinner was not moderation, and I learned. from it.
Moderation and Healthy Living
Moderation helps me find balance. Balance is a good thing! Balance is pasta and a glass of wine now and then. It’s tacos and a margarita…a jalapeno margarita to be exact. I mean, if I’m gonna have a margarita, I’m not gonna waste time with the typical margarita!
I will continue to have my weekly tasty beverage or two, and I will probably have a cookie, a piece of candy, and pasta or bread now and then. It’s who I am, it’s how my mind works. And potato chips. There will always be potato chips…and a prime rib now and then.
In my world, it’s all about moderation. Moderation is the key to my success.
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What works for you, moderation or going all-in? Tell me, I’d love to know!