During a Q&A I did on Instagram stories last week I was asked if I ever “splurge” and enjoy “real candy.” I addressed this question briefly in my newsletter (you can sign up here for first access to some of my best health & fitness tips), but I wanted it to live on my blog because I think it’s important to talk about, especially since it’s Halloween and we’re all surrounded by sugar 🙂

I would say I have a relaxed, but pretty disciplined mindset when it comes to nutrition. I’ve gone through a variety of different eating habits over the years, but at this very moment I feel like I have the best relationship with food, especially as it relates to training/working out. One of my priorities in life is continuously working to become the best version of myself. Eating well and developing healthy recipes, in addition to training and designing fitness guides for all of us to conquer together are a big part of what I love to do. So, being able to optimize my life so that I feel my best and therefore can perform my best is top priority. At this point in my life, I can easily tell if a food is working with me or against me based on how I feel after I eat it; my energy, if I feel fatigued, sluggish, etc. I focus on eating high-quality, wholesome foods the majority of the time and whenever I’m craving something sweet, I’ll allow myself to eat it, but will tend to choose the best option available. A lot of the time that means making it from scratch using much healthier (and fewer) ingredients (have you seen my dessert recipes??), and that’s because I still want to feel good after eating it. In short, I definitely do still indulge, and will be tonight, eating my 5-ingredient copycat Reese’s I made for Halloween!!

For me, indulging is just part of a balanced diet and a balanced lifestyle. Of course, this is my philosophy and everyone has their own opinions, but for me, most of my diet is made up of quality protein, healthy fats, complex carbs, fiber and greens. Since these are the core, staple foods I consume on a daily basis, my body naturally craves more nutrient-dense foods (foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals) and since I monitor my overall added sugars, my body naturally craves a little less sweets. I still love to incorporate sweet treats every now and then, don’t get me wrong!, but definitely in moderation. This approach works for me because I’m not only fueled for the day with my core group of foods that’ll give me energy, but I’m also satisfied with my diet and never feel like I’m depriving myself of anything. Yeah, it’s taken years to find the proper balance, but it’s a much more sustainable way to live versus avoiding eating certain food groups altogether. I also don’t like using the words, “splurge” or “cheat meal” because I don’t believe in tying negative connotations to your food habits. If I want something sweet or something that’s not necessarily the healthiest, I’ll eat it, but again, I’ll often make it myself using better ingredients or I’ll choose the healthier alternative, when possible. I look for foods without artificial dyes, corn syrups and additives because it goes back to treating my body right and realizing that so many of our favorite classics can be made with ingredients that will benefit our bodies.

Sometimes I’ll get people that say things like, “Oh, why don’t you live a little” or, “Come on, it’s not going to kill you,” but in my eyes, if you have the option and opportunity to live your absolutely best and longest high-quality version of life, wouldn’t you choose to do that?? 😉 Obviously, it’s not the end of the world eating candy/junk food. I would just rather choose treats that are made from better ingredients or make them myself. A few brands I love for healthier sweets: Unreal, Evolved Chocolate, Smart Sweets, Hu Kitchen.

So, all to say if you’re spending today feeling worried about enjoying a few treats or a few pieces of candy, remember that this is one holiday, and a very small part of your diet 🙂 Enjoy it without stress because we have our healthy routines that make up the majority of our diets and because of that, there is no reason to be hard on yourself over a few pieces of candy. Happy Halloween! xx

Welcome! I’m Rachael.

I enjoy sharing my love for food and fitness. I'm a registered dietitian, certified personal trainer, and a New York Times Bestselling author. Here you'll find all kinds of recipes and kitchen hacks, as well as workouts and fitness motivation. Enjoy! — xx Rachael

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