One of the major ways my life changed after Whole30 was that I learned to focus more on the inherent wonder and beauty of special events and not solely focus on the food available during those events. This came in handy during our recent trip to visit family.
My husband and I packed our minivan - AKA The Swagger Wagon - with our 3 kids, lots of snacks, and plenty of coffee, and hit the road for an epic swing across the Mid-Atlantic. Our route was New Hampshire ---> New Jersey ---> Maryland ---> Virginia ---> NJ ---> Connecticut ---> HOME!
Whew! I get tired just writing that out. I can't believe we actually did that! But we did and it was fabulous <3
We were surrounded by the loving family we are so very blessed with and ate those home cooked meals that you just can't get anywhere but back home. For me, that's plenty of my dad's good ol' Puerto Rican cooking - rice, bean stews, and fried plantains - DROOOOOL!!!!!!!
However, even these meals have changed over the past year since my parent's did their first Whole30! Breakfasts were no longer cookies with coffee. It was eggs, spinach, Aidell's chicken sausage, some plantains. My dad made yummy veggie tacos one night.
Even without the grains, sweets, and processed carbs, we had a delicious and loving dinner together as family. The truth is, we didn't drive all that way to sit down and stuff our faces with foods we can technically buy and recreate ourselves. We wanted FAMILY. Yes, family around food. But FAMILY is the focus. I have learned to take a step back from my plate, physically and emotionally, and focus on the people around me.
Just the way Whole30 has taught me to step back from food and step into the family, my Food Freedom has also taught me to enjoy foods because they're delicious and special.
I enjoyed some pretty special foods, like this amazing soy latte from Mom & Pop in Fairfax. It was more coffee than milk and the milk was pure, not too sweet - so good! We also ate a flourless German Chocolate Cake and I had red enchiladas - like, the tortilla was red. MMMM!
All of these foods were local and special and fit into my food freedom (no dairy or gluten, a little of everything else). EXCEPT FOR....THIS.
Is that McDonald's?! Yes, it is. It's a huge chain restaurant, I'm sure you've heard of it.
When my husband saw me eating these fries and coffee with milk & sugar, he said,
"OHHHH look at you, CHEATING!"
"Babe, I don't CHEAT. I make CHOICES." **mic drop**
That's the bottom line right there. McDonald's isn't a fancy or special place. Quite frankly, it's gross. But I wanted their french fries and a coffee with milk and sugar. So, I had them because I wanted to. No other explanations necessary, no guilt afterwards. I know that this picture doesn't define me as a person.
I made a choice. I dealt with the consequences. And I lived to tell the tale :)
So, where are you with your healthy choices? How do you react to your less healthy choices? Hope you can find a way to disconnect from anxiety and guilt and find a way to be happy with your food choices!