How was everybody’s weekend? Mine was pretty flipping fantastic. From snowboarding, to great times with friends, to fabulous food, this weekend had pretty much everything. Although, in the midst of all of this “everything”, I began to realize that there has been a little bit too much of “everything” lately. A few examples of recent awesomeness within the past couple of weeks…
Cappuccino and Berry Bread Pudding from Flour in Cambridge, MA. To die for.
Will came home with these one night from Berry Line, my favorite fro-yo place. How could I ever turn that down?
Not so much of an indulgence as a work of art. This was from our Friday night Sushi date at FuGaKyu in Brookline, MA, and was special made as an off-the-menu surprise!
Indulgence is not a bad thing, but overall my food intake has increased lately, for no good reason (And I’m not just talking about this weekend, this has been a noticeable trend as of late), my treats have become a little bit too frequent, my sleep patterns have been way off, and I’m starting to feel a little off because of all of this. So what can I do about it? And more importantly, what can you do about it if you’re in a similar position to me (whether now or in the future, because I’m pretty sure everyone goes through phases like this)?
Make like Christina Aguilera and…
Take it back to basics.
I’m not saying to stop indulging all together, or to strip your diet down to spinach leaves and egg whites (the horror!), but I am saying that it’s helpful to take some time to take things down a notch. How?
- Really work to be mindful of extra (nonsensical) snacking, whether that means leaving yourself post it notes around the house, keeping yourself otherwise occupied instead of meandering into the kitchen every 30 minutes, keeping a food journal, or whatever works best for you. Personally, I’m a creature of habit. For me, it’s all about creating patterns during my day, creating a new habit and forcing myself to stick with it for a few days. After that, it becomes natural.
- Think about hunger vs. thirst vs. boredom vs. emotions. Sometimes these all can blur into one, and it can be difficult to distinguish why you’re reaching for that mid-day snack when you just at lunch an hour ago. Keeping a food journal for a week or two might help you pinpoint things like this if you are having a hard time figuring out your patterns.
- Remember that treats are treats. Treats do not need to be an every day occurrence (although try telling me that when I’ve got chocolate on the brain). The funny thing is, the more that you indulge in extras, the less satisfying they become, which leads to more, and more and more….. Keeping something as a true once-in-a-while indulgence makes it that much better when you do get to have it.
- Decrease your added sugar intake. I try to watch this on a regular basis, but you’d be surprised at how often sugar is added to foods that you would never think of. And I’m not going to get into the physiological effect of too much sugar right now, but to make a long story short, the less sugar you eat, the less you crave. It’s pretty simple.
- Keep it colorful. More than likely, the more colorful veggies and nutritious foods you’re eating, the less crap you’re eating.
For me specifically, I know that I go through these over-indulgent phases every once in a while, but I am also pretty good at realizing what is going on and stopping it before it gets out of control. I also know that for me, it usually stems from stress or another emotional place, so really keeping my stress levels in check is a way that I can keep the rest of me healthy as well. Getting back on my normal track just takes a little self talk, a lot of self discipline, and the realization that I really do feel a whole heck of a lot better once I get through one of these patches.
So after this way-too-much-of-everything epiphany yesterday, I ate some great fresh whole foods and had an amazing (and ass-kicking) stadium run to clear my head. I prepped some delicious food for the week (which I will be showing you in a few days!), and after having refreshed over a long weekend I am more than ready to take on this week at work. The most important thing is to not let this become yet another stressor. Just accept the fact that some changes need to be made, give it some thought, make a plan, and move on.
What about you guys? Do you ever go through phases where there’s just a little too much extra everything? What tools do you use to scale back and re-focus?