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Can I ever have pizza and cookies again?

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Today we’re going to try to answer the question, can I ever have pizza and chocolate chip cookies again? Now, it really isn’t about those two particular foods, I just happened to use my two favorite off plan treats as examples, but for you it could be something like wine or lasagna or chocolate or whatever it is that’s your absolute favorite off plan thing.

This is a question I get a lot and in particular, I get it from people who are in the following situations. One situation is people thinking about starting the journey of eating healthy for the first time. They’re like, well, if I do this am I ever going to be able to have these things again? Another set of people is people who have transitioned from eating mostly processed and refined foods most of the time to real, whole food and to the point where they’re cooking and not eating fast food and processed foods as much and they’re wondering, hey, when my grandma makes those chocolate chip cookies for Thanksgiving or Christmas or when it’s my wedding or an anniversary or a birthday or something like that, can I have these things?

Now, the answer as always with all the things that we discuss is, it depends. It depends. The general answer is something like, yes, you can have those things. But it depends. So what does it depend a lot on? It depends a lot on the state of your health. So for example, if you have a chronic health condition like an autoimmune condition, let’s say celiac or ulcerative colitis or some other chronic health condition, then it may be and probably is a very, very good idea to stay away from these things long term because they can be very, very, very pro-inflammatory, especially in the case of autoimmune conditions. But also more generally.

Now, if you don’t have one of those things, then the decision is really up to you and I can’t sit here and tell you that those things won’t adversely impact your health, but that being said a point that I always try and drive home that I think is crucially important is the following. There is more to health than food, and there is more to life than health. So health is incredibly important. I think health is something that makes life all the more enjoyable and is a necessary condition for doing a lot of really amazing and important things. But health is not everything.

So what are the conditions under which you would have pizza and chocolate chip cookies, even if they are negatively impacting your health? Well, a good way to think about it that I really like is the idea that save it for a really, really special occasion. The hard part here is people always wonder what does occasionally mean? I tend to think and from what I’ve seen from both myself and the people I work with is that true, legit special occasions don’t really have much more than once or twice a month. There might be some unique months but generally, once or twice a month.

Like if you planned out your year of special occasions that you thought were going to happen, real, legit special occasions are once or twice a month. Like, a birthday for a immediate family member, or your brother’s wedding, or a major job promotion. Someone bringing doughnuts to work on a Wednesday or you going through the checkout counter and seeing the candy bar you like or there just randomly being nachos at a restaurant on a Saturday is not a true special occasion.

So it needs to be a true special occasion, and in addition to that it needs to be a food that you really enjoy. It shouldn’t just be something that you eat just because it’s there. For example, if you’re at a wedding, this actually happened to me at one point a few years ago. If you’re at a wedding and there’s lasagna there, I just happen not to like lasagna, it’s just not my thing, you shouldn’t go for the lasagna. You should save what you really, really want to have for that really special occasion.

So you want to make sure, A, that it’s a legit special occasion, and realistically if you’re having more than two of these a month your definition of what a special occasion is too broad. And B, it needs to be something that you really, really, really, truly, deeply want and you’re willing to accept the consequences that may come digestive or in terms of brain fog or what have you. If both of those things are satisfied, then enjoy it and have it and eat it mindfully, don’t just scarf it down, have it with other people and celebrate but do so in a way that you are actually, truly enjoying it.

So I would say if you do not have a chronic health condition and if it is a truly special occasion and if it’s something you truly, truly, truly want, then in those instances, yeah. Your grandma’s famous chocolate chip cookie recipe for Thanksgiving or that one thing that your parents always make when you go home or something like that, or if you’re traveling to a foreign country and it’s these folks who are making something that’s their best dish and it contains something that you don’t normally eat in it and you don’t have a chronic health condition, just have it. It’s that one thing that one time, it will be okay. Really, with these things, we can stand a little bit of it once in a while. It’s when we have it repeatedly, that’s an issue.

All right guys, so I hope I’ve answered the question for you. Can you ever have pizza and chocolate chip cookies again, and thank you guys for tuning in. I’ll see you next time.

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