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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

SOME Things in Moderation

A few years ago a friend of mine, who is such a health nut she makes me seem like a real slacker (she never eats sugar OR artificial sweeteners and eats exclusively whole, organic foods!), said she hates the "Everything in moderation" motto because it just encourages people to eat everything bad in moderation.

At first I thought she was just being a bit of an extremist, but I have started to see her point.

First, there are lots of things that are NOT okay in moderation. Things like:

*Smoking
*Heroin/crack/cocaine
*Unprotected casual sex
*Suntanning
*Sniffing glue
*Drinking and driving
*Listening to country music
*Watching any television show called "The Bachelor" or "The Real Housewives of..."
*Ha ha, just had to get that in there!

Of course, most people associate the "Everything in moderation" philosophy with food. But even when it comes to food, this doesn't really hold true. For example, health experts and researchers have been warning for a while now that there is not really any safe intake level of trans fat.

But the other problem with this way of thinking, as my friend pointed out, is that people use it as an excuse to eat lots of DIFFERENT types of crap in moderation. In other words, if you eat a buttery (white flour) croissant once a week, every Sunday, as part of your regular brunch ritual with friends, this is not necessarily problematic. But if you also drink a bottle of wine once a week, eat a steak once a week, eat just a slice of bacon every day for breakfast, just one chocolate bar from a vending machine at work every day, just a beer after work with colleagues a few times a week, and a bag of chips on the way home from work on the subway a few times a week, well...then that's another story.

I am not saying you should never indulge. Who can live a life without the occasional splurge, dietary or otherwise? Perhaps a better philosophy when it comes to nutrition is the 80:20 rule. Eat healthfully 80% of the time, and splurge a bit the remaining 20% of the time...or better yet, got 90:20!

One thing I LOVE is fudge. But I don't need it every day and I would say I probably only indulge 2-3 times a year. The following 2 recipes are EASY (complicated candy-making involving boiling sugar has never been my strong suit!) and delicious. The chocolate ginger one is particularly good if you don't like things super sweet and you like the bite of ginger.