If You Give Yourself A Cookie, Don't Forget the Milk

Milk=good. Cookies=bad. Right?

Not so easy! So, I heard a mom in the grocery store today telling her son that he couldn't have these soft sugar cookies with red and green sprinkles on them because they were "bad" for him. It's time to stop labeling foods good or bad. When we do, we end up feeling good when we eat the "good" foods, but we feel so bad about eating the bad foods, that we end up eating more bad foods, since we are bad anyway---crazy cycle. This kid will either feel guilty the first time he gets one of those cookies or hide the fact that he had it from his mom, both are big warning signs. There's just too much head stuff behind eating. We need to get a grip. Practice: food is food. Don't give it any more power than that.

Granted some foods are better for you than others. Milk is more nutrient-dense than cookies. (I thought I'd throw in a term you could impress your friends with. High nutrient-density means lots of good stuff like vitamins and minerals per calorie=carrots. Low nutrient-density means not much good stuff per calorie=sugar cookies.)

This is the game plan:
  • When you choose to have a treat (low nutrient-dense type food) you are going to balance it out by also having a high-nutrient dense food (milk, carrots, apple, etc.) Why? You will be adding quality to your fuel mix, which will make your body's engine run much smoother and you will feel physically and mentally much better. Just so you know, good nutrition eventually shows up in better hair and skin, too!
  • Have a small portion of the treat: one donut works, one dozen, not so well!
  • Eat slowly: chew your treat food, taste it. You chose it, so enjoy it guilt-free!

Got it? This will be quite a new behavior to work on for many of you, I know. I used to call so many foods "bad" and end up in that bad food/bad person/feed the bad person bad food cycle. If I can do this, so can you! If you give yourself a cookie, don't forget the milk. To your health!