{Friday Musings} What does “Cheat Meal” mean to you?

It’s that time of week again: the time when I write about something I’ve been thinking about that you may or may not care about.

Today’s topic is cheat meals.

I’m curious to know how you define “cheat meals” and what you think about them  in general.

Let me start by telling you what they mean to me.

They mean little to nothing.

I do have meals where I eat strange things or things I wouldn’t usually eat, but I like to think of them as the “downs” in the “ups and downs” of life.

These meals are usually unplanned, yet I make the conscious decision to eat them.

I don’t diet, therefore, I can’t cheat.

But I do sometimes eat things, or rather, amounts of things I wouldn’t normally eat.

There are occasions when I feel the need to eat half a container of plantain chips, or an entire block of cheese. When these needs arise, I’m well-practiced in asking myself “what’s going on here? Do I need food or something else?” and “will I be able to stop thinking about plantain chips? Or will they plague me until I indulge this craving?”

Usually, there is something else going on. Hormones, a tough day…other girlie thoughts. I always acknowledge that what I need is something non-food, but I usually consciously indulge.

This may seem strange, but that’s how my food brain works.

I don’t consider these instances cheat meals,– I don’t go totally off my Paleo rocker and eat Girl Scout Cookies or fettuccine Alfredo– but the “downs” in my otherwise pretty balanced diet. I don’t feel guilty about the “downs” because I’ve taken the time to figure out the method behind my madness. And I know that the next second is my opportunity to return to my usual, balanced eating.

Now, I know some other people who plan their “off plan” meals every week. Wednesday dinner with Mom and Dad, or a Saturday ice cream outing to J.P. Licks.

I find that if I try to plan something like that, by the time it comes around, I don’t want it…so I try to just roll with the punches, listen to my body and do what it tells me to do.

So, I’m curious: How do you feel about “cheat meals” or “off plan meals”? Are they something you incorporate into every week? Something you eat when the moment strikes you? Do they fall within the Paleo Framework? Or are they gluten-full treats?

Please write your thoughts in the comments below! I’d love to hear what you have to say.

3 Responses to {Friday Musings} What does “Cheat Meal” mean to you?

  1. Ashley July 16, 2012 at 12:59 PM #

    I look at cheat meals more like Quality over quanity. For example, If I am at a BBQ I usaully eat my burgers with no buns, and When I make a stop at Dunkin for my coffee I skip past the donuts and bagels. Growing up in Jersey I ate lots of yummy Bagels so if I am going to cheat I cheat on the “Good” stuff… So instead of a regular old gross dunkin bagel I’ll wait and get my Jersey bagel. If I want Ice Cream I wont just run out to Stop and Shop and buy a half gallon and eat the whole thing I usally drive out to Uhlmans in Westboro for some good ‘ole Homemade ice cream in a small single serving.

    My motto and method is Quality over Quanity. I feel better when I eat clean, so I try and stick with it, but if I am tempted with a REALLY GOOD treat then I will let myself indulge. This seems to work the best for me, because I find myself asking DO I REALLY THINK THIS IS THE BEST …. I CAN GET!!!

    Great Question!

  2. sarah July 26, 2012 at 3:01 PM #

    I hate the term “cheat” because to me it has all these connotations of dishonesty, like you’re telling yourself lies like “it doesn’t really count.” However, I don’t always eat 100% primal. For example, if I go to the occasional restaurant I can’t be 100% in control of what I eat–I don’t order things that have sugar, gluten, lactose, etc. but sometimes I don’t worry about a little sugar or soy in a sauce. I wish I could have some occasional treats like gelato made with local peaches, but last time I did that the headache and stomachache wasn’t worth it.

    • Allison July 26, 2012 at 5:26 PM #

      Hi Sarah, thanks for sharing! I feel the same way about restaurant eating for the most part — I don’t stress too much when eating out. Thats a good point about “cheat foods” not counting– to me they definitely count, but I don’t stress or feel guilty over them because theyre a part of life.

Thoughts? Feel free to comment below!

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes

Get my 6-Step Gut-Healing Protocol and start healing your gut like a pro!
Sign up for my newsletter and get access to this exclusive offer to help you get on your own, personalized path to healing.
I hate spam too! Your email will never used by anyone other that Allison from Frisky Lemon
I'm not interested right now