Abstinence isn't really my thing.
Let me explain. I read this piece by Gretchen Rubin (author of The Happiness Project) the other day, and she posed the question: "Are you an abstainer or a moderator?" I didn't even have to consider that question—I am a moderator. 100%. Don't get me wrong, there are things I abstain from. Dairy, meat, crack cocaine. But that's not because I'm withholding something from myself. It's because my body generally doesn't like those things (I mean, I've never smoked crack, but I'm guessing.), so finding alternatives makes me happiest.
As a self-identified abstainer, Gretchen posed a point I had never considered—that maybe abstaining works better for some people than moderating. And that the act of moderating for an abstainer can be as painful as abstaining is for a moderator.
So what do you identify more as, an abstainer or a moderator? And once you've considered that, what challenges does that approach help you overcome? What challenges might it present?
I'll start! Some weeks, my "80/20" approach ends up being more like "50/50," and I don't get as many vegetables as I would like. That's when I know I have to bring a little order back into my routine, start the week strong, and stock a greener refrigerator.
The most important thing is that you understand the approach that suits you best, mentally, physically, and emotionally. When I transitioned from abstaining to moderating, I lost weight, slept better, and have never felt happier. The stress of trying to abstain from everything was all-consuming, and in discovering moderation I fell back in love with food. And learned how to respect it. Understanding how your brain works is key to personalizing the lifestyle that brings you optimal health. Every single of one of us is unique—health is not a one-size-fits-all equation!
These cookies + the vanilla cashew buttercream frosting smashed my heart and soul and brain into a million pieces and you HAVE to make the coconut butter for the frosting and omg.
Golden turmeric hummus is on deck to be my go-to snack this week.
Fresh taco salad with avocado dressing.
Soba noodle bowl with cornmeal-crusted crispy tofu.
Easy Spanish quinoa and chickpeas.
Sautéing soup veggies with vegetable broth not only reduces calories, but more importantly, adds tons of extra flavor. Try it! I guarantee you won't miss the oil.
This also works for plain sautéed veggies, but oil's going to get you a better sear. Since I'm a crispy, crunchy, burnt bits-loving lady, that's my preferred route.