My stepson asked me if I ever had cheat days. He asked this as we were indulging in his and my favorite, perfect, summer meal: A leafy green salad with goat cheese and shredded veggies, French fries with Dijon mustard, and a glass of crisp rosé. (He is 22 BTW, I just so you know that I am not contributing to the delinquency of a minor) I asked him what he would consider “cheat days” – and what that would look like?
Lots of crunchy veggies.
He said, “A cheat day would be a day without vegetables or juice, and you just eat whatever you want.”
I thought about it for a minute and the truth is, I DO eat whatever I want! I love my green juices, salads are my meal of choice, and veggies just rock.
That’s the thing with REAL food—the more you eat, the more your body craves it—and the more you savor it, the more your body assimilates it. You can gain weight by eating celery if you think of it as “cheating”. If you think of any food as BAD you send that message to your body. So if you are eating French fries and saying to yourself ” I am bad and this is horrible for me” that will be the message your body will get as well. But if you eat the Fries with love and enthusiasm (a smile helps too) your body gets that message. I’m not saying they will be calorie free – but they will certainly taste and feel better. Our bodies are a whole lot smarter than we give them credit for.
French fries are real food . . . honestly! They are potatoes—one single ingredient. That’s as real as you can get (it’s the oil that can be the tricky part). While I wouldn’t suggest eating French fries every day, I would say when you do eat them, find the best you can find and savor every bite.
So, in answer to the question on cheat days: No. I never “cheat”. I don’t even like the phrase cheat. I think we should call it a “savor every bite day”.
Goat Cheese Salad with Crunchy Veg
1 head butter lettuce, washed well and leaves torn
1 large head arugula
1 zucchini, shredded on a mandolin or sliced thin
1 handful of green peas
1 handful of green pea sprouts
6 oz. raw goat cheese, shredded
Toss the salad
Top with the cheese
Serve the dressing on the side.
*if goat cheese is not your thing – avocado is a delicious substitute!
1 T Dijon mustard
1/2 C olive oil
1T apple cider vinegar
2T dried tarragon
Place all the ingredients in the blender or in a jar and shake.
Crispy Oven Baked Fries with Chopped Herb Dijon
In the comments below please let me know what you think of “cheat days”. I would love to hear!
3 yellow potatoes (cut in wedges)
3 purple potatoes (cut in wedges)
3T olive oil
butter for baking sheet
Butter or coconut oil for baking tray and olive oil for tossing.
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and oil with coconut oil or butter.
2. Lay the potatoes out on the cookie sheet and toss in 1 T of olive oil and toss. Make sure the potatoes get some of the coconut oil or butter from the cookie sheet on them
3. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
4. Roast for about 35–40 minutes, tossing occasionally to be sure not to burn.
Serve with Dijon Mustard