Are Nutritional Therapists Allowed To Sin – The 80/20 Rule

author | March 29, 2009 | 0 Comments | category Food

Last weekend was Mothers Day, (here in the UK) and I found myself in the kitchen baking a batch of lemon and almond cupcakes, complete with butter icing! Delicious though these cupcakes were, the ingredients consisted of butter, white sugar, eggs, lemon curd and sin of sins white flour – as well as some healthy ground almonds.

Which got me to thinking – “Are Nutritional Therapists allowed to Sin?”

Yes I know I sound a little like SJP from Sex and the City, but can we have the day off from time to time, and not feel guilty? Yes of course we can and this is where the 80/20 rule comes in. When I see clients in clinic or talk to a group during a workshop I try to explain that if you can eat well for 80% of the time, it doesn't matter too much if the other 20% is not as perfect as it could be.

For some people this may mean a glass of wine in the evening accompanied by a handful of crisps, or a chocolaty pudding in a restaurant; and if this is you then enjoy it, and certainly feel no guilt.
I genuinely believe that to feel guilt about eating certain foods is a wasted emotion, by all means feel guilty about waste, or child poverty, but not about the food you eat. After all eating out with friends, or relaxing with a glass of wine, or a good book and some of your favourite (hopefully dark) chocolate is a therapy in itself. These are stressful times and we all need to relax in whatever way we can, food can also bring us comfort as well as pleasure, and this is often why we turn to sweet foods.

The simple act of being in the kitchen on Sunday morning baking, with the sweet aroma of vanilla and the sharp tang of the lemon icing bought back childhood memories, and sharing the cupcakes with children gave me the greatest of pleasure.

The picture above is the last of the cupcakes, and I probably will resist it, I actually prefer to have these as a one off treat and to go back to my usual way of eating, as I definitely feel better for it. Too much sugar has a negative effect on my energy levels – up one minute and down the next. Later in the week I will post my recipe for Omega Cookies, which are a delicious energy boosting flapjack type biscuit but filled with “good oil”, dried cranberries, nuts, seeds and oat – delicious and this time good for you as well

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