Unapologetic

I eat a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables. My meals are vibrant in color and nutrition. I recently eliminated caffeine, processed foods, added sugar, dairy and gluten from my diet for a three week cleanse. It was not a colon cleanse. I did eat a fulfilling plant based diet. I won’t get into the details, but suffice it to say the initial days were challenging. However, what followed was a feeling of lightness and clarity in both body and mind.

I slowly added things back into my diet though I have decided to remain dairy and caffeine free. Processed and packaged foods are very limited in my home anyway, but I will continue to monitor for added sugar and added preservatives in my food. I don’t eat bread regularly nor do I seem to identify with a gluten allergy so I’m not going to be overly vigilant about gluten right now.

I feel fantastic. My sugar cravings have nearly disappeared save for hormonal times of the month. I am more energetic throughout my overnight shift despite the lack of caffeine. My husband keeps complimenting my skin. My hair feels softer and is easier to manage. My workouts have been very productive. I’m tackling organizational projects around the house, slowly but surely.

Here’s the thing…I love the way I am eating these days. I’ve come a long way from the girl who didn’t eat vegetables until age 25. However, I am not immune to the occasional craving and desire for something other than a salad. Today I was hungry. Nothing was bothering me. Nothing was on my mind. I feel fine. I just had a taste for something different. Is it a coincidence that I am mid-cycle? I’m not sure, but I will keep an eye on it next month to see if there is a trend. TMI? Sorry.

I made banana muffins with dark chocolate chips and I helped myself to some extra chocolate chips along the way. I’m not sure how many I ate, but there are still some left in the bag. – I’m not sorry.

I prepared a gorgeous salad for a dinner with friends tonight. To go with it I made a Tahini Dill dressing and I helped myself to a taste or two or five. – I’m not sorry.

I ate a banana muffin warm from the oven. The chocolate chips were melty. The muffin was delicious. – I’m not sorry.

Later I shared an apple with Carlos only I had mine with some peanut butter. – I’m really not sorry.

I didn’t eat a healthy nutritious lunch today because I enjoyed the above indulgences. – I’m not sorry.

We had dinner with friends tonight. We haven’t seen each other in ages. There was lots of chatter and laughter. So nice to reconnect. I brought the salad and a quinoa dish to share. They served salmon, potatoes and rice. I enjoyed my dinner and ate until I felt satisfied. For dessert I enjoyed a clementine and grapes. – I’m most definitely not sorry.

Other than writing it out here I didn’t journal my food or count calories. Oh and I didn’t measure or weigh anything either. – I’m not sorry.

I’ve been on a diet for most of my life. I’ve both restricted and binged at different times. I’ve made significant changes over the last few years that have helped me lose weight and keep it off. These changes have become my lifestyle. They are not fleeting fads that I try for a while only to toss them to the wayside when a new diet trend comes on the scene. I do realize that I’ve been a bit strict lately with the cleanse and beyond in an effort to break through a 6 month plateau, but today I eased up on myself guilt free.

You see I didn’t fall off the proverbial wagon. This is not day one of a downward spiral back to obesity. Tomorrow I return to my healthy habits, food journaling and portion control. I was conscious of my actions today. I did not sabotage my weight loss efforts or my health. Today I took care of myself in a way that at one time would have seemed almost naughty and would have been followed up with self-inflicted punishment in the form of negative self-talk, extreme measures such as fasting which never lasted more than a day, excess exercise and new diet rules.

How do I know for sure that tomorrow won’t be repeat of today? Because I have learned to trust myself.

I don’t usually share recipes here, but this is a tried and true recipe. This is a banana muffin I have been using for a long time now; so long I can’t remember where it comes from, but I’ve adapted it along the way to accommodate my dietary changes. It’s a super easy recipe and really flexible with whatever you might have on hand. I hope you try these muffins some time. I don’t think you’ll be sorry.

Unapologetic Banana Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sugar (any kind)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (or other flour – today I used spelt flour and they turned out really light and fluffy)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or other vegetable oil)
  • 1/4 cup 1% milk (or nondairy milk – I use almond milk)
  • 2 medium bananas, mashed (around 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup raisins and/or nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375º F.

2. Measure sugar, baking soda, salt and flour into a bowl. Stir well to combine ingredients.

3. Add oil, milk, mashed bananas and vanilla; mix just until flour is moistened.

4. Fold in raisins.

5. Use a non-stick muffin pan, or muffin papers. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter.

6. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan right away.

Makes 6 large or 12 small muffins. One muffin per serving.

Enjoy!

15 thoughts on “Unapologetic

  1. You are such an inspiration Aimee! It’s definitely refreshing to see someone that has a healthy lifestyle versus trying lots of fad diets. I definitely look up to you. And those muffins sound amazing, I’ll need to make them soon!

    1. Thank you Sam. That is so kind of you. There are so many people around me who succumb to fad diet after fad diet with fleeting success. The latest trend in my area is hypnosis. People pay crazy money and then return because they were unsuccessful. Don’t they get it? It didn’t work! I used to look for the magic pill, but I deep down I knew there wasn’t any such thing.

  2. I’m going to have to try that recipe. The only way I like bananas is in a bread (or maybe now, a muffin).

    I’m definitely guilty of trying to compensate for particularly unhealthy food days (not that your day is even close to that category!) with more running, but I’ve never viewed it as punishment. The converse is that after days with more running, I make a point of eating more calories (and not always healthy ones, particularly if a run is over 20 miles). But the point that you make is that it’s all about balance and a long-term lifestyle. That I think is the key. When I have too many days in a row of bad food (or drink) choices or poor exercise, I feel miserable and anticipate my return to normalcy when houseguests leave or vacation ends or whatever. Like you, it’s not a return to my “diet”, but a return to normal, which happily, is healthy — such a good place for both of us to be!!

    1. I often wonder how I endured feeling so horrible for so long. I knew I didn’t feel good the way I was, but I resisted making the changes. I lament not being able to “pig out” or eat some foods that simply do not have a positive effect on my body like dairy, but honestly I would rather feel healthy and light than go back to that constant cycle of dieting and overeating again.

  3. I absolutely LOVED this post Amy. I am trying to get away from the binge eating (extra tastes of cheese!) and the all or nothing mentality. Great job!!

    1. The good old bites, licks and tastes get me every time. It’s a hard habit to break and I will probably be a work in progress for a very long time.

  4. Hi Aimee! That is called maturity up there! A person has to have an occasional treat or else we have to be victims and quit. I haven’t lost weight for the past 3 or 4 weeks. And I’ve come to the conclusion–love the process, appreciate the day, and have vision for myself. Could I be happy at my current weight and size? If only it were that simple to decide and then press a button to stay there. Am I a little over-much about losing weight–maybe because I get slight penalties for little gains/bobbles at my weight loss group. I need to get off that loss/gain thinking and just be clear about what I want–like you are in this post. In the end, this will matter most to only us–not anyone else.

    I’m totally with you in spirit on this.

    🙂 Marion

    1. You know Marion I keep asking myself if I could be happy at this weight. The answer is yes and no. I’m ok here. I’m comfortable and I don’t stress about what to wear so much anymore. I don’t obsess about my body when I’m around others and I no longer feel so self-conscious about my weight. However, I’m not at an the healthiest weight I could be for my height. Health concerns increase with age and by achieving a healthy weight I may be able to prevent certain conditions as I grow older. Now with that said if it takes me another year or two to release the last 10-15 pounds then so be it. I have experienced an extremely slow weight loss with periods of maintenance (plateaus) that show me I am capable of maintaining a healthy lifestyle at last.

  5. I’ve still been reading occasionally and I LOVED this post Aimee!! Plus, those muffins sound awesome 🙂 Darren is allergic to raw bananas and I don’t love them but we do love banana bread and muffins!

    1. Thanks Errign! Miss you. I’ve been poking around the race schedule in NH looking for something different this summer/fall. I’ll be sure to let you know if I decide on anything in your direction. Hope all is well.

  6. Hi Aimee. I came over after reading Marion’s post this morning. Nice to meet you. 🙂

    I totally agree with this. I don’t write a lot about what I’m eating because I don’t want to deal with the negative comments. Some would say I should not have this or should have more of that. I know that my diet and life have evolved over the past ten years to a point that I am eating healthy and exercising enough 90 to 95% of the time. For the other 5 to 10%, I’m usually kind of quiet. And, like you, I’ve come to trust myself to recover quickly if I have an off day. That was huge for me as I used to have an off day that would continue into day two or three or four. That does not happen now. Thank goodness!

    1. Caron, welcome! I’m so grateful to have finally achieved some balance in my life in this area. It is comforting to know now that I can enjoy a decadent treat, meal or heck a full day of treats and not revert to old behaviors for days or weeks to come.

  7. Aimee…another post I “saved” to comment on later….here is the later.
    I LOVED this post…you are definitely a writer…you have a way with words. I’m glad you are unapologetic for treating yourself every now and then…we all need that!
    I would love for you to do a post about the 3 week cleanse…not sure if I could ever do that but I would love to read your experience. Also would love to see a “day of eats” post…
    Thanks again for a great post. I’m still struggling with “I deserve” when it comes to eating…I deserve this because I did so good for xxx days, etc…also I love a sweet after a meal and I need to somehow curb this so it doesn’t spiral into sweets all the time.
    A great post and one I’m sure I’ll re-read!
    Kaye

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