If you read my last blog post, you’ll know that January for me is all about clean eating. Or at least that was what it was meant to be about. And hey, for that second week of January, I did an excellent job! Then the temperature hit the roof and I didn’t leave the house to go shopping, so when dinner time came around………………. I ate a Mango Weis bar!
There I said it. It was freaking delicious.
But man did I feel guilty! Completely putting aside the fact that I haven’t eaten a store bought ice cream for goodness knows how long, or the fact that it was just one little Weis Bar, AND the fact that I had been eating really, really well for 7 days prior, I was hell bent on beating myself up about it.
In fact it wasn’t till I actually ventured into a commercial supermarket that things started to come back into perspective.Normally we shop at Flannerys Organic Health Food Store and Supermarket. But after my article on the Clean 15, I have started popping into a conventional store to pick up avocados, toilet paper and sheep’s cheese. This week we happened to be standing in line behind a family of unwell looking people.
I am always fascinated by what others put in their trolleys, and couldn’t help paying close attention to what this family were stocking up on. It consisted of the following: 6L of cola, 2kg of sausages, 2 loaves of white bread, a huge tub of margarine, BBQ sauce, tomato sauce, milk, chips, lollies, sugary cereal, and onions. I was horrified. Yes they were probably having a BBQ but I was still shocked at the poor quality, food-like items they had decided to purchase.
Now I thought maybe it was a cost thing, their budget might not have stretched to cover better quality meat, bread, butter and other foods, but when the total rang through at $120.00 and I was shocked again. Our weekly food budget comes to approximately $150. And that feeds us all week with 90% organic produce. Even if this family had a sausage sizzle for every meal all week long, they were still spending almost as much as me.
I’m not suggesting that they go out there and buy all organic produce, but I wonder just how much their total would have come to if they included more fresh fruit, vegetables, better quality meats and grains.
As I mentioned before, they were not a well looking family. The daughter had some serious allergies going on, with red, runny eyes and nose, pale skin and deep dark circles; the Mum was over weight and exhausted; the Dad looked grey skinned and angry; and the little boy who was sucking on a bottle of coke at 7.30 at night, was pale, whippet-thin and had a very hyperactive demeanour. As a naturopath I can often tell what certain health conditions look like in people, and this family looked to me like they could be suffering from vitamin D deficiency, allergies and food intolerances, behavioural problems, adrenal exhaustion, low mood, low energy and nutrient deficiencies. I wished so much that I could just take this family home with me, feed them, educate them, and make them feel better. Because I think if they changed the contents of their weekly shopping trolley, their lives would change significantly.
And then I thought about my Weis bar. Guilt gone.
It brings to mind the 80:20 rule, or some might prefer the 90:10 rule. If you eat well for the majority of the time, those little ‘naughty’ moments will not tip the scales on your health. So yes I ate an ice cream during my clean eating week, but in the grand scheme of things, it really isn’t anything much to talk about. Keep it in perspective.