Cheat meal” The epic five letter word many fitness competitors and health food junkies love to hear. I prefer to call it a “treat” meal because I am simply treating myself outside of my clean eating lifestyle. Who says we have to give up the foods we love because we are clean eaters? If it is considered a cheat because we enjoy ourselves once or twice a week on our favorite foods, then what is life!?
As a fitness and health foodie, I LOVE to “treat” myself. Balance is key to living a healthy lifestyle. Studies have shown that a treat meal can actually increase your metabolism by shocking your bodies system. If you eat clean 80-90% of the time, why can’t you enjoy some of your favorite foods? I am thankful to have a coach who believes in allowing a mindful “treat” meal once a week while in contest prep. My treats are a little different while in prep mode than they are while in off season. I am a little more relaxed in the off season and might get a dessert and wine with a clean dinner or wine and a favorite treat meal. While in prep mode, I cut out all alcohol and sweets and keep my treats as an actual meal. This way I am still getting all of my nutrients. I am also extra mindful about it. My FAVORITE treat meal are pancakes. I absolutely love pancakes and although I know I can make them rather clean, I like my savory sweet pancakes. I will typically have 2 small-medium sized ones with no butter. I have fruit, egg whites or just regular eggs, and turkey bacon with it. It is always delicious and exactly what I need at the end of a long week.
I feel that treat meals are important for our bodies and our minds. As I mentioned before, balance is key in living a healthy lifestyle. This also holds true while still in contest prep. I believe that treating yourself to foods outside of your regular clean eating regime can do both your body and your mind good. Now, I am not saying to go out there and just indulge until you are sick. That is completely over doing it and sometimes can even undo some of the hard work you just accomplished! A good tip is to have a nice big salad with whatever you are treating yourself to. This helps to keep you full and not go over board when you indulge!
So remember, we only live life once! It is important to take care of both our minds and our bodies with good nutrition, but make sure to live a little as well! Go out and enjoy a nice glass of wine with your friends or enjoy a slice of birthday cake at your grandma’s birthday! We don’t have to give up what we love to live a healthy lifestyle. Whoever said that eating healthy is boring hasn’t actually lived it!
Some of my favorite treat meals include….
PANCAKES = ) —> well, just breakfast food in general!
Burger and fries
Sushi (does not always have to be considered a treat if you keep it simple!)