Chocolate Be Gone! by Mar

This morning Stephanie and I were on a run at 6:00 a.m.  It was dark and cold, and like all mornings, we began our conversation with a brief update on our lives.  With Halloween just two days prior, our conversation naturally turned to the holiday, kids, and candy. I told Steph how, as always, my children picked a few pieces of chocolate from their bags and then left the rest outside for the “ghosts and goblins.” Years ago, even before I had children, one of my dearest friends told me about these fantastic characters who come and take the candy at night and fill trick-or treat baskets with books, small toys, and little treasures.

Halloween morning (fortunately) my children reminded me of this tradition, and I made a stop at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville for some good trades on the candy.  That night, after a great evening, they left their loot outside on our front porch.  I poured three buckets of candy into a big bag and replaced them with the “ghosts and goblins” gifts.  It was late and I planned to go to bed after picking up a few costumes on the kitchen floor.  As I was packing the candy to send to a local charity, I thought I may as well try a Reese Peanut Butter Cup.  I hadn’t had candy for many months and figured it was Halloween, after all.  However, just a few minutes later, I was absentmindedly opening mini Butterfingers, Twix bars, and Snickers.  I ate Crunch bars and Kit Cats and Peanut M & M’s. Seriously, I sat with this big bag and ate chocolate and watched Jay Leno, for the first time in years, and felt awesome.  It was like I was in Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.  Even after my stomach started to ache, I ate a few more chocolates before bed.

Yes, this Kitchen Remix co-founder, vegan (except for all this chocolate), health advocate, and sugar-buster had a crazy chocolate binge.  Yes, that was me on Wednesday night.

Thursday morning, though it was a little tough to get up, I had a great run and even threw in a few intervals.  I imagined all the extra calories and fat fueling me as I chugged through the neighborhood.  Though the smell of chocolate probably exuded through my skin, I was back on track.  For the rest of the day, I ate healthy veggies, smoothies, and quinoa, did a little yoga and core training, and hydrated with quart after quart of water.

So back to my conversation with Stephanie during today’s morning run. After we  discussed our “candy trade-ins”, Stephanie quietly confessed her late night crazy, chocolate eating frenzy on Halloween night!  Yes, my friends, both of your Kitchen Remix “health nuts” joined the masses in the sugar bowl.  When I laughed at Stephanie’s confession and told her I did the same, she said, “Oh, good. When I was eating all that chocolate, I hoped you might, too.”

Well, what is my point of sharing this secret with you?  I want you to know that sometimes even healthy people eat unhealthy foods.  MOST of the time, I eat an abundance of fresh, organic produce, natural, plant-based proteins, and clean filtered water.  I exercise most days.  I find time to read, meditate, hang out with friends and family, and sleep.  Some of the time, however, I don’t. I have learned, nevertheless, to listen to my body and also quickly forgive myself when I eat or drink the wrong things. Even though I think they taste great, I stay away from sweets and chips because  I just can’t eat one!  I have read volumes of books on the subject of health, nutrition, and food addictions.  I just know that sweets bring on the need for MORE in my “sugar-cracked-out” state.

My message is to encourage you to “get over it.”  Lose the guilt and get right back on track.  Here are a few ideas:

1) Know what triggers poor health choices in your life.  In my case, it is usually after a glass of wine or two (Halloween included a little vino with my friends) that I start throwing caution to the wind.  I often share this advice with clients concerned about the excess calories in alcohol.  It is usually not the alcohol that adds up for a moderate drinker.  It is the food choices that accompany the “buzzed” feeling that can sabotage the best eating plan. Know your limit.

2) If you do have a poor meal or two, recognize that this does not define who you are.  Your body knows how amazing you feel when you DO eat clean, fresh foods.  Try to tap into conscious eating rather than using food to numb your emotions.

3) Work that body!  In addition to the fat and calorie burning benefits of exercise, research shows that your mind responds as well.  You will reap the rewards of a more positive outlook, better body image, and increased stamina by moving that gorgeous body of yours.

4) Recruit others to join you in your heath journey.  Just knowing you are meeting a friend for a workout or a good meal will keep you more motivated.

So if the “ghosts and goblins” have not yet come to take away the junk food in your house, it may be time for you to throw that candy and junk food in the garbage and load your refrigerator with whole, plant based food.  As always, if you need help or inspiration, feel free to e-mail or call The Kitchen Remix.  


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