Eat Right Around Chicago

The Diet Dichotomy

While studying breakfast sandwich choices at Starbucks this past weekend, I figured out our nation's diet dilemma.  Yes, that's right, at Starbucks, I figured it out.  I know why we are having so much trouble maintaining healthy body weights and choosing a nutritious diet.  I knew it wasn't a knowledge issue - goodness gracious - there is nutrition information everywhere!  And it can't be that we are too busy or just gluttonous.  Nope, it's much simpler.  Staring at my options for a savory, not sweet, breakfast to-go after my biking weekend in Madison, it hit me!  We have created a diet dichotomy!  

Why the epiphany at Starbucks, you ask?  Because my choices went something like this:  less taste, no cheese, egg white, with veggie OR cheese, whole egg, sausage, ham, bacon, lose the veggie.  Where was my in-between option?  Where was the egg white, whole wheat English muffin, spinach, easy-on-the-cheese option?  Or how about a whole egg, lean meat, no cheese, whole grain bread?  So we have to pick fiber and vegetables or fatter, less nutrients, more melted fat?  Who wants to make that choice?  And how will we ever stick to it?!?!

I realized that when it comes to our daily habits, such as eating or exercise, there is rarely a happy medium.  You either eat right or you don't.  You exercise regularly or you are sedentary.  It's so rare to find that in-between.  Without a comfortable in-between place to reside, we lose our motivation and the appeal of rigidity becomes a chore.  The dichotomy has caused diet-derailing food beliefs that set us up for failure because we have to pick a side:

On one side:  Good for Me Means

- Low or no flavor
- Nothing melts
- Not creamy
- Dry texture
- Raw veggies
- No condiments
- Fat-free, taste free
- Boring
- Mean
- Restrictive
- Disappointing

The other side:  Not Good For Me Means

- Juicy
- Appealing
- Savory
- Pleasurable
- Satisfying
- Heavenly
- Dreamy
- Life is worth living! 

It doesn't have to be like this!  I love vegetables and want them at every meal, but I also love cheese and need it at some meals, and sometimes, I want my veggies with my cheese, or I'd like to satisfy my taste for something fried with a nutrient dense dish!  (Yes, that was a rant.)

Similar to my fellow blogger and food enthusiast, Tina of Carrots 'N' Cake, I am all about balance.  And for me, that doesn't mean that I balance my sprouts with my kale or balance my yoga with my cycling.  It means that I balance my mixed greens with my fried cheese curds, and my long workouts with my couch time. 

salad and fried.jpg

Dotty Dumplings Dowry in Madison Post-89 Mile Bike

I truly believe that we can all find that healthy in-between and a happy weight.  We just need to blur the lines and abandon the diet dichotomy.  Shift our all-or-nothing paradigm to a little this, a little that.  We can eat right and preserve taste.  

That said, sometimes we may need to remember the wise words of Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream in Madison and just go for it:

Ice cream.jpg

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!



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