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Guilt-Free Eating … an Easy Choice

I ate a doughnut yesterday. THREE, actually. And felt good doing it … before, during AND after.

Wheat-free sugar-free chocolate donutHow is that possible? The doughnuts were homemade from (nearly) all natural, unprocessed ingredients … things like almond flour, coconut oil, cocoa powder, sugar-free maple syrup sweetened with xylitol (processed and not ideal, but better than sugar, aspartame or saccharin).

You might hear the ingredient list and think I’m crazy, as if I get some sort of weird pleasure out of depriving myself of “good” food.

But that’s not the case at all. I feel no deprivation eating this way and it’s not a difficult decision. It takes no willpower to make the choice, only a dose of self-discipline to take the time to plan for and prepare the food. I truly enjoyed those doughnuts this morning… and I thought they tasted great. And the best part? No guilt.

None.

Prior to removing all wheat & most processed sugar from my diet, I was essentially incapable of guilt-free eating. Every bite that went into my mouth brought with it some sort of self-moderating … Does it have too much fat? Too many calories? Will it throw off my diet? Make me fat? Sluggish? Will I feel good when I eat it … but bad afterward?

If you can relate to the questions, you can also predict the answers … at least half the time (probably much more), my food choices didn’t live up to what’s been defined for years as “healthy.” I knew it … and hence, that ever-present sense of guilt tied to eating. Even during times of extreme self-discipline when I managed to choose a salad over a sandwich or pass on the cheesecake, there was a vague sense that I could (or should) have chosen better.

Is my current way of eating perfectly healthy? Probably not … I’m sure I don’t get as much variety as would be ideal. And I’m the first to admit my daily post-work wine & cheese habit is a bit of an over-indulgence and not doing my waistline any favors. As always, there is room for improvement in my food choices. I am confident, however, that my current way of eating is far superior to my former diet.

Is avoiding all wheat, refined sugars and other modern “staples” such as potatoes and rice a hassle? You bet it is … particularly in just about any situation in which I am not 1) at home and 2) cooking for myself. It definitely takes more time, effort, planning and money to eat this way. (It can also lead to the occasional twinge of jealousy when having to pass on all of those formerly tempting recipes that forever show up in my Pinterest feed.)

But is it worth not having a foggy head, that draggy, sluggish feeling after dinner, the myriad of health problems attributed to processed foods … or – most importantly – a sense of guilt every time I put a bite in my mouth?

Absolutely.