The Benefits of “Some”

Information Overload:

If you’ve been reading my blog for even a short while, there’s probably a decent chance that you are reading other health/nutrition/fitness/granola crunchy material. Whether it’s other blogs, sites like SparkPeople, Prevention, TED, and literally millions of others, books, magazines, documentaries, there’s so much out there it can seem overwhelming.

And what do we do when ideas conflict? Paleo vs. locavore vs. vegan vs. “some really far out there freaky diet”, how do we know how to chose what’s best for ourselves, our families, and of course, our mom, Mother Earth?

There comes a time when a person has to take the information they know “right now” and decide if and how it will impact their food and other health and environmental choices. But here’s the rub: 15 minutes ago I didn’t know that 10 Billion animals are produced for food in the US alone each year (and that’s just livestock). Now I do. 5 minutes ago I didn’t know the term “weekday vegetarian” and how a minor change in diet can allow me to eat steak or chicken while still maintaining a healthier diet for myself and the planet. Now I do. So my viewpoint has changed from the 15 minute ago “right now” to the 1 minute ago “right now”. You’re maybe saying “That’s great but I have even more information and all this eating right stuff is still confusing as heck!” Which one is right and how do we know?

The Birth of the “Some”:

You may have read my week-long tirade against sugar. Here’s a little secret though – I had 3 small chocolate cookies at lunch today. So even though I say “sugar is an evil plot” (which it is!), I still have some in my diet. The key is “Some“. I don’t have to have something with sugar every day now. I’ve replaced my morning coffee sweetener with stevia and drink mainly water and unsweetened green tea. I’m more likely to skip dessert or have a bit of fresh fruit. The point is, it’s easier to make healthier choices now that I’ve decreased my consumption so much that “some” is perfectly satisfying.

Here’s a radical idea: let’s consider the word “Some” instead of “moderation”. Focusing on eating “some” red meat, but maybe focusing on “mostly” fish, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. “Some” sugar, but a few cookies a week versus a cup of ice cream every night. On not denying ourselves an occasional treat because that only leads to the over-consumption/guilt/feel like crap cycle. Instead fitting it into a “mostly” healthy form of eating that makes us feel good. Getting to that crazy place where a green juice is more tempting than a doughnut – yes you can get there!

Once you (and I) get to that “some” place, it’s like a light goes on. Suddenly all these connections start being made. Example: I ate healthy all week and then had a “Five Guys” special on Sat with my kids. Afterward I felt like crap, literally. Why? Maybe the 2000 calories in a standard burger/fries combo had something to do with it, combined with all the processed white flour, sugar, and fat. Light on, a connection is made. The healthier you eat, the better you feel, the more you want to continue to feel good, so keep eating healthier. And using the “some” idea, as you read articles, increase your knowledge base, and simply become more informed, you can adjust and change your “some” to fit your new “now”. A win-win, flexibility and the occasional order of Wendy’s french fries! (If after reading the ingredients and how they’re processed you still WANT to eat them!)

It wouldn’t be fair or honest for me to write here that I’ve sworn off sweets, meat, and processed foods completely because that’s not the truth. I fall off the wagon and I can blame the mood stuff all I want but a cupcake’s a cupcake whether you’re depressed when you eat it or not. But I can say that I’ve been able to make significant dietary changes over the last year so that the falls are the exception and not the rule.

Today’s Bottom Line:

You and I, we’re not perfect and that’s the way it should be. Life is too short not to enjoy our favorite foods “some” of the time. The key is to keep it to “some” and not “all”. “Some” good food, “some” exercise”, and “some” treats – they can all work together. Start small, make tiny changes slowly over time, and you’ll find that your “some” frequency will change too and you’ll feel better, weigh less, and still enjoy the “good stuff” in life! Hats off to “Some”!

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