What Are Good Decisions?
There is a lot to this, I would recommend reading my book Good Decisions... Most of the Time for a full accounting of Good Decisions and not so Good Decisions. For now, I will simplify it to mean:
- Any Fruits: Organic, Non Genetically Modified if your budget allows.
- Any Vegetables: Organic, Non Genetically Modified if your budget allows.
- Any Animal Proteins: Unprocessed, Humane Certified if your budget can handle it.
- Any Plant Proteins: Unrefined Beans, Peas and Lentils, soaked and properly prepared.
- Gluten Free Whole Grains: Unrefined rice, oats, organic corn, teff, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, etc. soaked and properly prepared.
- Quality Fats: Unrefined olive oil, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, ghee, walnut oil, avocado oil, etc. (key word is unrefined)
- Natural Sweeteners: Raw honey, dark maple syrup, dates, figs, prunes, sweet fruit.
- Dairy: Yogurt, kefir, raw cheese, half and half, heavy cream, butter (Dairy is considered a conditional Good Decision depending on the person and how their body tolerates it)
- Nuts and Seeds (Ideally sprouted if budget allows)
- Water. Any way you can get it!
What Does “Good Decisions… Most of the Time” Mean, Anyway?
When defining Good Decisions…Most of the Time, I asked for some help from family, friends, and clients. We played around with several different scenarios to discover what would work best, which time frame was long enough for us to make gains toward our goals of feeling better and losing weight, and what “unhealthy decision” frequency was enough for us not to feel deprived.
- When Good Decisions were made during the week and freedom given to make unhealthy decisions on weekends, we found that most of the gains made during the week were lost.
- When we made Good Decisions for longer than a week, we felt at a loss for some of our favorite foods and beverages and didn’t enjoy the process; we felt deprived.
- It seemed to us that the perfect combination was allowing for one “unhealthy decision” meal per week. This was enough to prevent us from feeling deprived, yet not so much as to negate the gains we made during the week.
One Splurge/Reward Meal Per Week
On the day we allowed ourselves a reward meal, some of us splurged on bacon cheeseburgers and beer, some went for pasta and dessert, while others decided they simply wanted an additional glass of wine. Everyone in our group chose the evening meal in which to splurge, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be restricted to that time. If you have a luncheon scheduled, and you really want to enjoy a martini and dessert, choose that day. If family brunch on Sunday is a tradition and you love the coffee cake and waffles, choose that meal. Whether you tend toward sweet or savory, the meal you choose, and what “unhealthy decisions” you choose during that meal is up to you; it is your decision!
The next day, depending on the splurge, some of us didn’t feel so great. Most of us, however, were excited to get back to making Good Decisions. Those who over-imbibed on alcohol seemed to have the toughest time getting back on track. Overall, we found that making Good Decisions of lots of vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and quality proteins with a little fat made us feel great. In addition, when only given one meal a week to splurge, we didn’t lose most of what we had gained.
No Guilt, and No Shame
We also found that when we didn’t have something for a while, we appreciated it so much more. The pasta was moaned over, the wine was savored, and the bacon cheeseburger elicited nirvana—that transcendent state in which all suffering is vanquished! Having fulfilled our desires, while retaining our sense of self and purpose, without guilt or self-flagellation, we had made Good Decisions…Most of the Time.
The Good Decisions Lifestyle After The 30 Day No Sugar Challenge
If you have taken on sugar and kicked its butt, you are a Sugar Challenger Rock Star! Congratulations! Your blood sugar levels have balanced and it is time to move into the "Good Decisions Lifestyle". This is the perfect transition because your blood sugar levels are regulated, you have been on a very hypoallergenic way of eating, which is very anti-inflammatory and you have detoxed!
Now, it is time to step into the Good Decisions lifestyle where you get to enjoy one meal per week of anything you desire. Because let's face it, Life is too short not to eat chocolate!
Fruit will be delectable, and will seem like crazy indulgences! You don't have to test these to bring fruit back in. I have never met anyone sensitive to fruit! You can have as many fruits as you like. Whenever you have a craving, reach for fruit. No guilt, no shame, and enjoy it thoroughly!
Fruit rocks and is a very Good Decision.
Dairy products are healthy for some individuals and not so healthy for others. Dairy is best consumed with an awareness of how you feel after you have consumed it. Test to see how your body does with dairy before bringing it back in after challenging sugar. If your body responds to dairy by creating mucus, it may not be a Good Decision for you. Here is How To Tell If You Are Sensitive to Dairy.
For those who do well with dairy, choose organic grass fed dairy products to reduce your intake of antibiotics, growth hormones, genetically modified corn, and more. Trust me, we don't need any more growth hormones. We are big enough! Here is more on Are Dairy Products Good Decisions?
All-Star Dairy Products Include:
Organic, grass-fed, or raw whole fat milk or buttermilk
Organic, grass-fed, or raw plain whole milk yogurt, kefir, or clabber
Organic, grass-fed, or raw cheese
Organic, grass-fed, or raw half-and-half, heavy cream, and butter
If you are a coffee lover and have spent the last 30 days away from coffee, pay close attention to how you feel if you choose to bring it back into your diet. Many people love the taste of coffee, but don’t like the way it makes them feel afterwards. Often they feel more tired than energized by coffee and find green tea gives them the caffeine hit without bogging them down. Good Decisions is not about demonizing coffee, but increasing your awareness of how you feel when you drink it. This allows you to make a conscious decision about coffee and whether or not it contributes to how you wish to feel.
Beer and wine can also be approached this way. I find that I thoroughly enjoy one glass of wine, but after a few sips of the second glass, my body is done with the experience and it is not as enjoyable. When I don’t listen to my body, I usually wake up the next day not feeling so great!
(If you are not a Challenger and would like to know more about taking on sugar you can check it out here: The 30 Day No Sugar Challenge.)