No. But, some people tend to think that way.
Despite the fact that they are health food stores (Whole foods, Fresh Market, etc.), doesn’t mean everything in the store is healthy.
I loved having a good meal from the buffet at Whole Foods for lunch or dinner when I used to travel on the road. It’s so easy to assume that if you’re in a place geared towards healthy, organic foods, maybe it’s not bad for you. Especially compared to eating a meal from another restaurant, such as a fast food joint.
For example, at the hot food bar, Whole Foods may have macaroni and cheese, chicken wings or lasagna. Sounds delicious right? You likely sit there and think, “Oh, well if it’s at Whole Foods, it must not be that bad for me”. Unfortunately, even though it’s served in Whole Foods, it’s still not healthy for you.
Perhaps there will be less calories in some of those food items, less carbohydrates or less sugar. Still, that doesn’t change the fact that they are processed foods that are not healthy for you. I used to fool myself into thinking it wasn’t all that bad for me because of where I was getting the food. I mean, how could it right? I’m in a health food store that’s geared towards healthy-ish food. Foolishness.
When I traveled for my career for close to four years, I would go out of my way to find these health food stores. This was in an attempt to eat better while on the road all the time. In the beginning of my career, I used to eat at the buffet in Whole Foods all the time. I would convince myself that it wasn’t all that bad for me. Oh how fast I realized how incorrect that was. The scale also told me I was mistaken.
Over the years I began researching Organic food and experiencing new diets or challenges. “No sugar for 2 weeks” “Eat clean for 21 days”. It took dabbling in these challenges and learning things the hard way for me to understand food.
What I mean by that is studying ingredients further. As well as understanding words to keep an eye out for that were unhealthy per se. It also pushed me to review the nutrition facts before purchasing certain foods. How amazing it was to see a great deal of food I thought was not unhealthy to eat, in actuality was not healthy for me at all. Over time, I learned how important it was to understand on a higher level the food I allowed into my body.
I didn’t even realize how much sugar or dairy was added to countless numbers of foods I would consume. In the past, I would pay most attention to carbohydrates, calories and fat. Focusing only on those three items wasn’t the proper way to look at nutrition. Today, I have an acceptable balance of the foods I intake. By no means am I one of those individuals that will only eat healthy food.
I indulge on a nice fattening meal every now and then! Yet, I at least know what screams “BAD!” in the ingredients of some items and what gives me the green light. Something challenging to deal with, is the articles that tell you milk is good for you one day, then bad for you the next. If you learn how to balance it out, then I feel you’ll still be living a healthy and happy lifestyle.
Perhaps you decide what works best for you is eating clean 7 days a week. With a “cheat” meal on a Wednesday and a “cheat” meal on a Saturday. Splitting it up like that is a great solution if you can go right back into your routine. Do not fall into a domino effect. What I mean by that is some people have “cheat” days instead of cheat meals. They will eat unhealthy food the entire day on Saturday.
I find it difficult to bounce back after eating bad for an entire day, compared to just one meal. One other thing is it’s important to actually take the word “cheat” out of your vocabulary. Look at it more as your eating habits. And when you have a craving here and there for something in particular, you allow yourself to have it. The only thing is you won’t eat the entire box of that item or fall off the band wagon. Only have one item, or one meal.
The following meal to have will be continuing on the path you were on with eating clean. Sometimes I say, just do your own research and do what feels right to you! That’s how I live my life, what works best for your healthy lifestyle?