When my shin started hurting and I went to see my doctor several months ago, he asked me a bunch of questions about my running habits, my mental state when I can't run, and my eating habits. He specifically asked if I eat treats or junk food. He was asking to make sure I DO allow myself to eat treats and junk food. Because that is healthy. And so many runners have unhealthy relationships with food.
You don't usually think of treats as healthy, but that's where I think a lot of people get off track when trying to be "healthy."
Too often, healthy is equated with extremes. Replacing natural ingredients with unnatural ingredients to cut calories or fat. Modifying normal recipes to add extra protein to everything. Things like this are not healthy.
So as you start a new week, remember you don't need to put protein powder in your waffles and yogurt and even your smoothie unless you are training for a body building competition or it's your post-workout snack with the proper ratio of proteins and carbs to refuel. I find that a lot of times, all I'm really doing by adding supplements to my smoothies is adding unncecessary calories and fat.
And don't replace sugar with artificial sweetners in everything you eat. There are enough conflicting studies out there about whether or not sugar substitutes are good or bad for you. Sugar has been around forever. It won't hurt you in reasonable quantities. Almost anything can be bad for you in extremes.
There is something to be said for moderation. I find the more balance I have, the easier it is to be healthy. I don't have irresistible cravings. I don't feel like I'm starving.
When I'm eating mostly healthy foods but also allowing myself the occasional cupcake or handful of chips, I find I like my body more, I don't constantly focus on food, and I feel better physically. And it shows in my mood, energy and even how my skin looks.
It's Monday! Make this week a good one by being a little nicer to yourself. And treat yourself a little. I promise you'll ultimately be happier and healthier for it.
If you REALLY want to indulge a little, you can make these Nutella Peanut Butter Cups. They were a request from Scott, but all he had was a picture of what he wanted. So I put together my own version, and it more than lived up to all of our expectations!
Nutella Peanut Butter Cups
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In small bowl, mix:
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
In mixer, cream:
- 1/2 cup butter (softened)
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
Add until mixed:
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup peanut butter
Add dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Grease muffin tins. Roll dough in large balls (about 1 1/2 inches). Place balls in muffin cups and press down in center with shot glass. Bake 11-12 minutes until edges begin to brown just slightly. Cool about 10 minutes. Remove gently from pans and place on cooling rack.
In small bowl, swirl together (do not completely mix, just gently stir until slightly combined):
- 1 cup Nutella
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
Spoon Nutella mixture to fill center of each cookie cup. Allow to completely cool and set. Makes approximately 18 cookie cups.
What healthy indulgences do you allow yourself?