I don’t cheat because I don’t make anything off limits. I know this probably sounds ridiculous, but is it really?
I’m the kind of person that as soon as I make something “off limits” can think of nothing else. If I decided to go off of sugar/chocolate/coffee I would crave it. Heck, if I decided to forgo eating broccoli I would probably dream about it until I caved.
After I transitioned to a Plant-Based diet I’d occasionally “decide” to have something that most people would consider a cheater food. One example of this is dairy. After the first few weeks off dairy I didn’t crave it any longer. One date night (after months off dairy) my husband and I decided to share a small piece of cheesecake, go ahead and shake your head in horror. I woke up 2 days later with intense pain, mostly in my arm, shoulder, and neck. I could barely use my arm or care for my children. The pain was severe that day and slowly let up, it took about 4 days for complete relief. I always have a bad reaction to dairy and can tell if I eat in inadvertently.
For me dairy is not in the “off limits” category but it is in the “totally not worth it” category. I will never go back to eating dairy. Really I don’t miss eating meat either. I miss the convenience of running through a drive thru for a quick meal. Thank God for bean burritos!
Last weekend I took my son to a birthday party, I didn’t know what the food situation would be so I grabbed a Lara Bar just in case. I wasn’t going to be snobby or rude about any of the food but I also wasn’t going to eat something I wasn’t comfortable with just to make someone else comfortable. I was very happy to see fruit, veggies, “veggie straws” and a six-foot party sub with all of the trimmings. I could have eaten my Lara Bar but I was happy to eat what the hostess provided. I did take the meat and cheese off of 2 slices of sandwich much to the dismay of one of the party goers, until I offered it to him. He then determined that I was a good person to eat near because he could have what I didn’t want. Do you know what else happened? I loved my sandwich, I had been craving a sub but I didn’t want to eat the processed meat, blech. Thankfully the mustard was the secret ingredient that made the lettuce, tomato, and onion sandwich a masterpiece. I loved it!
So as you can see, I never “cheat” I might decide to eat something in the “I don’t want to admit to eating this category” but not usually. In case you’re wondering there is also a “I don’t normally eat this but I will this time” category. That includes things like fries, restaurant salad dressings that are likely to have oil, and restaurant hummus. It could also include random things from the clearance section that contain a way too many ingredients but I’ve had a tough day and need chocolate now! Hey I never claimed to do this perfectly.
So are you a cheater? It’s okay, you can admit it, you are in good company. Or you can take my approach, it takes the pressure off of being perfect and just strives for being better. Try to make choices you can live with, not choices that are gonna kill you.