I think we are all guilty of it: subconsciously or consciously labeling foods as "good" and "bad".
Every time I scroll through Instagram I see something about "flourless brownies" "substitutes for butter" "3 ingredient muffins", etc. etc.. I'll admit, I have succumbed to trying those recipes. I have substituted ingredients that I thought were "bad" for healthier options. I have cut butter, avoided any additional salt, and at times I have created the blandest recipes because I was afraid of the ingredients I used to love. Then once my creation popped out of the oven I would then try and convince myself they were just as good as the real thing. Fun fact: they never were.
The problem with doing this (when you don't need to be avoiding food groups for dietary needs) is that you start to detach yourself from the ability to just sit down and eat a good old fashioned baked good. Everything in your kitchen starts to become "the healthy version" and the old version becomes part of that "bad foods" group.
I consider myself a healthy individual. My plate always has more veggies than anything else (mostly because I love them) and I eat a balanced diet of proteins, fats, carbs, and so forth. But here's the kicker folks: a well-deserved bowl of ice cream at the end of a long day isn't going to ruin my diet or my body. Actually, scratch that. A bowl of ice cream ANY day isn't going to make my life any worse. I actually eat dessert every day without fail, my sweet tooth won't leave me alone.
I struggle with feeling a bit guilty after eating "too much" of a dessert or savory treat on occasion. I sometimes get nervous when there are a lot of tempting foods in the kitchen or at an event. But they do not need to be labeled as "bad". I mean c'mon, whatever happened to what we all learned as kids? That pyramid that illustrated the ratios of food groups with sweets in the top triangle! I'm pretty sure it didn't say "no unhealthy foods" - it said all foods in moderation.
If you enjoy a food group, ingredient, or dish then gosh darn it's good in my book! Let's not be so fast to place checkmarks and X's through foods. Let's be aware of what a healthy, balanced diet looks like. But please, do not deprive yourself of the foods you love. That will only promote feelings of guilt when you do decide to have some.
So instead of this mindset:
Let's try this:
Reminding ourselves that any food can be good in moderation. And letting yourself indulge in your favorite rich dessert, cooking your veggies with butter, or adding more coffee creamer to your cup in the morning won't ruin your healthy diet.