“Good habits result from resisting temptation.” – Ancient Proverb
We live in a world full of temptation. One of the hardest to resist is food.
Living healthy doesn’t have to be boring. As all good dietitians will tell you, moderation is key, meaning you do not have to eliminate anything completely, but rather control how much of it you include in your diet. For example, I LOVE sweets. In literally every form. Whether it’s cake, cookies, fro-yo, cheesecake, candy, chocolate, ice cream, cupcakes, ice cream cake, cinnamon rolls, fudge. I forgot what I was even talking about but now my mouth is watering… Oh yeah- I have a sweet tooth. But that doesn’t mean I have dessert after every meal, or even every day (unless it’s small… And light-ish) I treat myself to real sinful luscious dessert when I feel the time is right and then I don’t feel guilty about it. More importantly, I don’t have to struggle to button my pants.
Okay, here’s a scenario I’m sure we’ve all been in. You’re standing around the “food table” at a get together with friends. You get lost in your friend’s story about the speeding ticket she got this morning while mindlessly shoving Frito’s loaded with pounds of corn dip into your mouth. Then your hand migrates to the bowl filled with peanut butter M&Ms, because now you need something sweet to offset all the salty snacks you’ve been munching on. Just as your pants start feeling a little snug and you think you can’t possibly eat anymore, someone whips out a cake to celebrate [insert friend’s name]’s birthday. I mean… it is a party. You have to eat the cake, right? It would be rude not to (you tell yourself)… And everyone else is doing it.
“Discipline is remembering what you want.” – David Campbell
Fact: it actually IS okay to say “no” every once in a while. Especially when you know that one more bite will take you from “overly stuffed” to “Oh my God, I must be horizontal/wearing yoga pants ASAP”. Saying no to food is almost the equivalent of saying no to drugs these days. We have started to legitimately become addicted to food. We might turn to food when we are sad, angry, stressed, or even bored. But we also turn to food when we are happy, to reward ourselves, and to celebrate special occasions. When we did stop turning to food when we were actually, um, hungry?
You want to know the best way to beat temptation? Remove it.
It is much easier to resist temptations when they are not around in the house. If you love ice cream and have a fully stocked freezer, how hard will it be to walk by it everyday knowing that your beloved Ben & Jerry’s is tucked away inside? If you want to beat those late night cravings for sweets, ditch the treats inside the house, and keep lighter, guilt free snacks on hand. [Ex: mini rice cakes, sugar free pudding cups, fruit, yogurt, granola bars, nuts, low-fat cheese, carrots & hummus, etc.] Instead, designate one night a week as your “splurge” night. Go get an over-flowing bowl of Orange Leaf covered in 15 ridiculous toppings and enjoy Every. Last. Bite. Then when you go home, the temptation is gone, the craving has been satisfied, and you can get on with your life!
It’s all right letting yourself go, as long as you can get yourself back. – Mick Jagger
Note: the important thing is that you don’t stay off track because of your splurge.
Living back at home has been a true test of my will power. Our pantry and refrigerator are STOCKED. Like someone could live off of the food in our pantry for probably a year. Maybe even longer. The cereal supply could last you at least 3 months. You think I’m kidding? See picture.
We have candy & junk for days. This food situation makes it all too easy to become a grazer. Sound familiar to anyone? You may not binge eat a whole bag of Reese’s Pieces at once, but maybe you stop by the pantry for a handful… a few times a day. Or sneak into the Tupperware container full of dessert sitting on the kitchen counter for a bite or two. Or pay a visit to the glass bowl on the island that’s filled with Skittles. Or you crack open the freezer for some ice cream straight out of the carton. My family members are all generally healthy people. They all value exercise and health, and eat relatively well (I’ve definitely helped with that… Not to toot my own horn…) But, what I’m saying is, regardless of our overall healthy habits, we (as in everyone – all of society) constantly make unhealthy choices on a daily basis. And why? Because it’s SO EASY. Too easy. The temptations are all dangling right in front of our noses. Why not take a bite here and there? Why not drive through McDonald’s for breakfast on the way to work? “It won’t kill me.” No, it won’t, but those small decisions definitely add up. It could be the reason why you can’t lose the last 5-10 pounds and you don’t even realize you’re doing it!
If you’re serious about improving your diet and cutting out the crap, step back and analyze the options you’re making available for yourself. Do a once over of your pantry/refrigerator/freezer and decide if there are certain items that are standing between you and the healthier body that you so strongly desire. I know you’ve heard it before, and you’re going to hear it again. Abs are made in the kitchen. I don’t care how many crunches you do every day; if you eat junk food the moment you get home from the gym, you will not see the results you’re looking for. Unless you’re a teenage boy. Those guys can eat literally anything and LOSE weight. (So unfair) But really, to be healthy AND look good, it has to be a combo of exercise + a healthy diet.
Helpful hint: If you MUST have treats in the house for occasions when you might actually die if you don’t have a piece of chocolate, put them somewhere that you will not see them all the time. Tuck it away in the back corner of the pantry, or in the fridge in the garage where you will forget about it (yeah, right). Don’t keep treats out on the counter or at eye level in the fridge. If they are less visible, you’re less likely to give in.
I challenge you to get rid of those temptations and you will soon get rid of those love handles 😉 you got this!
Eat when you’re hungry.
Stop when you’re full.
Choose foods wisely.
Remove the junk.
Splurge on occasion- not daily.
Look damn good.
Now I will share with you one of my favorite ways to make chicken more exciting! I might be one of the only people that could have plain grilled chicken (with ketchup, of course) for every meal and never get tired of it. But I know that is not the case for most of you. This recipe is just one way you can spice things up a bit. I just made these on Sunday night and they turned out fabulously, as always. Warning: they are messy, so don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty! Trust me, they are SO worth it!
Pretzel Crusted Chicken Tenders
- 1.5 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts or tenders
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 eggs (1/2 cup egg beaters)
- 1.5 cups of finely crushed Pretzel Crisps (or more as needed)
- Nonstick spray (PAM)
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Combine flour and pepper in a shallow dish.
- Beat eggs in a separate dish.
- Add crushed pretzels to a third shallow dish.
- Place chicken tender in flour mixture and coat completely.
- Then dip in egg and let any excess drip off.
- Transfer chicken tender to the third dish and coat in pretzel pieces.
- Place on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 8 minutes, turn and continue to bake until you reach an internal temperature of 165 F (about 8-10 more minutes).
I enjoyed my pretzel crusted chicken tenders with half a sweet potato covered in spray butter & cinnamon, corn on the cob, and grilled zucchini, squash and red bell peppers! YUM!
PS: if you don’t already follow me on Instagram, YOU SHOULD. 🙂 find me @wellnessforthewin – although I don’t post on here everyday, I post almost daily on my insta! You’ll find foodie pics, workouts, recipes and more!
Have a wonderful day – thanks for reading!
eat well. live well. be happy.
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