When I was a little girl my Grandpa Joe would load a bunch of us in the car to make a trip to the local ice cream store. He would lead us in a chant that went like this- “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream”. It was awesome. Those are some of the most cherished memories of my youth. We didn’t just get ice cream, we went on an adventure. I am certain Grandpa Joe had just as much fun, if not more fun, than us kids.
Now that summer is here I think of those trips often. I lived hundreds of miles away from my grandfather so those ice cream excursions only happened two or three times each year but they were so important and powerful to me as a young girl. I vividly remember the anticipation during the car ride over and ordering strawberry ice cream once we got there. I savored every moment. Grandpa Joe always had a way to make us kids feel special and ice cream adventures was at the top of that list.
I think it can be difficult to sort out what to eat and what not to eat when seeking a healthier life. I know I have at times sworn off all foods that didn’t fit my strict criteria for nutritional superstars. Perhaps that is the “healthiest” plan, but I am not sure it is the one for me. I often jest that what is bad for the heart is good for the soul.
I submit that small indulgences can make life a little sweeter. Feeling guilty about the occasional ice cream cone or piece of chocolate cake isn’t helpful. Desserts are made to enjoy. Attaching a ton of emotion to that cheesecake I ate this week won’t erase the fact I ate it. Besides, it was amazing!
I think the key to really appreciating and valuing dietary side roads is to make sure they are rare and worth every calorie. I think high quality, delicious (preferably homemade) indulgences are some of greatest pleasures life has to offer. I refuse to feel guilty about eating my mother-in-law’s baked goods crafted with love. Conversely, I rarely keep treats in the house and I keep a close eye on my daily sugar consumption.
I believe that if the vast majority of my nutritional intake is healthy I can make the occasional trip to the ice cream shop without any hesitation. It also helps to know that Grandpa Joe would be proud that I still scream for ice cream.
Have a fabulous day! If you like my posts please follow me to get notices when I write, share a link to my site or leave me a comment. You can learn a little more about me here. I would love to hear from you. What is or isn’t working on your your journey to better health?
Check out my the library page to see what resources that have influenced my health journey. You will find listed there a link to French Women Don’t get Fat by Mireille Guiliano. This book is a story about her experience with sweets, weight gain and how to enjoy food like the French.