I had a few dalliances with SAD (Standard American Diet) food this year. My urge to stray was greater this year than in all the 6 years I've been eating healthy. Maybe I'm trying too hard to be perfect, or maybe I just got bored with it all, and wondered what I was missing--and forgot how awful I felt all the time before eating this way. The memory of pain does wear off over time. So when I went off plan (a total of 4 times for a few days each), I tried to sample everything I've been missing. I even went non-vegan and non-vegetarian! I tasted a bratwurst and some fries and fried onions. I had the local favorite ice cream and custard. I had dinner at a local favorite vegan restaurant--I was really looking forward to it and was surprised to find that I didn't enjoy anything I ate there (food was too oily and salty, dessert too gooey and yucky). I had a bagel with butter and cream cheese. a veggie burger (good) and fries (bla) and a root beer (too sweet!). and some vegan ice cream sandwich bars. and a few cookies and a muffin. I think that pretty much sums it up. oh, and some dark chocolate truffles (extremely yummy). I observed several useful things. 1) I don't like restaurant food. No more need to be jealous of other people's restaurant food. 2) I don't like meat or dairy! I mean, it's not just that I don't want to eat it, I don't like it. Even the ice cream. well, it tasted great at first but it left a yucky animal aftertaste and the 2nd half of my scoop didn't taste as good as the first few bites. and the butter too, stayed on my hands and mouth and smelled for hours afterwards. 3) However, I did like the vegan versions. I totally enjoyed the junky vegan ice cream bars. and vegan buttery spread and jam. 4) okay once I established that I like the vegan stuff I did comparisons of that with healthy stuff. Sad to say, the vegan buttery spread and jam on a delicious whole wheat bread tasted better than the home-made date nut butter on same bread. That's because salt and sugar is a powerful pleasurable combination, and the texture of the "butter" and jam fit well with the bread (more liquidy than the date nut butter). On the other hand, after the vegan ice cream bars, I made a mango/blueberry/sunflower seed sorbet to which I added 1-2 tsp of agave nectar. That tasted as good as the sandwich bars! That was a surprise. I mean, if you are going to go offplan, a couple of tsp of agave nectar is way way better than all that artificial chemical goop in vegan ice cream sandwich bars! 5) dark chocolate truffles still taste good. oh well, I can live with that, and I can even have one on rare occasions. 6) and finally, now getting closer to the point of this post which is nowhere near where I started: after eating all this crap, I also ate one of my favorite healthy treats for comparison, that is a banana with pecan butter spread. It was tasteless! Once your taste buds adapt to SAD food, healthy food tastes bland! Fortunately, the opposite is also true: once your taste buds adapt to healthy food, it tastes just as good as SAD food (possibly except for the chocolate truffles but I will accept that). And that is what makes this all doable and even desirable.
And now this is what I really meant to post about but I got totally off track: today I had as pleasurable an eating experience as my SAD dalliances. It was the banana and pecan butter spread. Here is a picture of this treat:
Now it doesn't look like much, does it? But it's not just what you eat, it's when and where. I had just finished a good workout at the gym, it was 7 pm and I hadn't eaten since lunch, and I love a fruit treat after exercising. I stopped at the co-op and saw they had perfectly ripe bananas. yes! I found the pecan butter spread in the refrigerator. yes! I had a little butter knife in my bike bag (I was hoping for this even though I was gambling on the ripe bananas). The pecan butter spread comes in a 1.5 oz container. It's a combination of raw pecans and cashews and hemp seed. I bought the treat and a few other groceries and sat outside in the warm evening air and slowly enjoyed this wonderful treat.
This was more pleasurable than the ice cream a few months ago. Isn't that cool?!?!??! okay, I admit a chocolate truffle would will stimulate more pleasure centers but it's not good for me and keeps me awake at night. so I'm happy with fewer pleasure centers stimulated and a good night's sleep, and good health too.
And, in case you are wondering, I do hope I've satisfied my curiosity about the SAD food (pretty please!).