Cut yourself some slack (and a small piece of pie)

While it is admirable to commit to a healthy diet and live a life of clean eating, it can also become an obsession with some. And obsessions of any kind can actually be unhealthy.

We've all heard of anorexia, but there is also an eating disorder called, "orthorexia" ~ this is an obsession with eating "pure." It actually starts out with the good intention of wanting to be healthier, but gets taken to an extreme.

When we have such strict rules and standards set for ourselves, we can become guilt-ridden if we get off track, we beat ourselves up, and consider ourselves failures. We basically become unbearable, and frankly, a bore to be around!  Our righteous obsession with eating "whole" can sometimes turn us into believing that we are "holier" than others around us, the ones who haven't quite joined the "only whole, unprocessed, real foods bandwagon."

Depriving yourself of all treats, sweets and foods that aren't necessarily the best for you, simply isn't sustainable. And the holiday season makes sticking to this way of eating even more challenging. If we can give ourselves some slack, and instead eat by the 80/20 rule, it is a much healthier, and sustainable approach to healthy eating and living, in general. The rule goes that you choose to eat healthy foods 80% of the time, leaving you 20% of the time to eat your favorite foods, family favorites or treats. This is especially important when holidays or special events are upon us, and we all know what a big part food plays in these festivities. You can then partake without feeling that you need to go to confession afterwards or spend the next few days on a water fast. (You don't have to overindulge, but it sure won't hurt to have a small piece of pumpkin pie.)

While it is good to have discipline and be able to stick to your guns, with fewer restrictions, it is much easier to implement long-term healthy changes and life can be just a little sweeter.

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