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Is “Everything In Moderation” Actually Good For You?

by jenny sansouci on January 16, 2015

Hey dingalings!

Good news – I just almost allowed my eyes to close to take a nap, but I stopped my eyelids mid-way and said, NO!!!! You do NOT…you do not…you do NOT fall asleep.

You blog.

Have you guys ever seen Kid Snippets? It’s the best thing ever. They give little kids a role to play (i.e. “pretend you are cops”) and then adult actors use the kids’ conversation to act it out. IT IS AMAZING! That above line was sort of a reference from the Police Patrol one, but admittedly, “Nature Walk is my absolute favorite. Please let me know in the comments if you watch it!!!!

Anyway, tonight I decided to touch upon a subject that is a bit controversial, and that topic is…wait for it…eating everything in MODERATION!

Specifically, that whole mindset that eating “everything in moderation” is a great way to be healthy.

It’s always a fun topic to discuss, because people feel strongly about it. Including myself, of course. 🙂

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m currently reading the Bulletproof Diet by Dave Asprey, and he has a section dedicated to moderation, where he says this:

DIET MYTH: MODERATION IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS

“Conventional wisdom tells us, ‘everything in moderation,” but in this case conventional wisdom is just plain wrong. When you want to perform at your peak, it’s a terrible idea to consume even moderate amounts of toxins that will make you tired, give you brain fog, and crush your performance a few hours later. It’s important to know that EVERY LITTLE THING you put in your mouth affects your performance in some way or another. ‘Everything in moderation’ leads to just moderate performance.”

Check out the Bulletproof Diet Book.

Here’s an awesome post that my friend Megan wrote last year called Why I Don’t Believe In Moderation.

She writes,

“This mentality keeps us stuck right in the moderate middle. So we moderately reach our goal, we sort of meet our marathon times, and we think we feel kind-of happy. Everything in moderation keeps your life, well…moderate. When you take moderation out of the game you can commit to living a lifestyle beyond your wildest dreams. Commit to your goals, whatever they may be. Consider where in your life you are moderating your success.”

So, as you can guess, I tend to agree with the thought that “everything in moderation” is a total cop-out if you want to feel like a life rockstar, but especially if you have something to heal, health-wise.

When someone is having digestive issues and they may feel much better by eliminating gluten, I would never tell them “why don’t you try having gluten in moderation and see if that makes a difference!” I’d say, “take gluten out 100% for 2 weeks and see how you feel.”

If you have a specific goal that directly relates to your diet (as the majority of health conditions do), would you really want to have things that are making it worse “in moderation”?

So here’s my official, Healthy Crush Certified stance on moderation:

If you are willing to deal with consequences of whatever you’re eating or drinking (i.e. willing to nurse a hangover, to feel tired/cranky/foggy/bloated, to have indigestion, to have a “flare up” of a health condition you’re suffering from, feel anxious/depressed, or just generally feel “mediocre” for awhile, etc) and you aren’t trying to heal a health condition or work towards a specific nutrition-related goal, I say…fine, eat everything “in moderation.” As I’ve said before in other blogs, I make choices like that sometimes too (helloooo tacos!), so I’m not being preachy. I just know how I feel when I eat something sub-optimal for me, (sugar/gluten/alcohol etc) and I don’t do it all the time, and I don’t do it the day before I want to show up as my BEST for something.

Make sense?

If you want to feel your best, heal your body, perform at your most excellent, have sharp mental clarity, and generally be able to show up with energy and feel OPTIMAL…my solid stance is “everything in moderation” probably isn’t gonna get you there (at least not very quickly).

That’s my take on it.

If you already feel absolutely fantastic and you eat crap all the time, that’s cool for you!! Sounds fun. Maybe not everyone cares that much about operating at an optimal level, so the whole moderation thing may feel great if that’s the case. I think deep down a lot of people DO want to feel better, though.

HEY! Only you can decide. And there are going to be some times in your life when you might feel better with eating things in moderation than others. To everything, there is a season. Right?

And at the end of the day, some people just LIKE to be more extreme with their experimentation than others. I’ve embarked on many different experimental diets where I cut things out completely for a period of time to see how I react to certain foods. I’ve done a full month as a raw vegan. I’ve done a few full months of super strict paleo/Whole30 eating. I’ve done many months on end with zero sugar and zero coffee. I’ve gone YEARS at a time without even a sip of alcohol. I’ve even done a 10 day juice cleanse (which I don’t recommend, in most cases). It doesn’t make me better than anyone. It just gives me a LOT of information about myself. All of it has taught me so much about how what I put into my mouth makes me feel, and I wouldn’t have that depth of knowledge about myself if I hadn’t approached it the way I did. And that excites me. A lot.

Think about it. Have you ever ACTUALLY gotten so CLEAR, so CLEAN from some of your daily habits that you’ve truly, truly experienced how good it’s possible for you to feel? I’ll admit, I had no idea until I tried. Now? I ain’t got TIME for sub-optimal, yo! For the most part. 😉 How do you want to feel? Food for thought.

Side note! I’m coming out with a guest blog soon on Dr. Frank Lipman’s site about the foods you should NEVER eat in moderation (not even a little bit). I can’t wait til it’s published! Keep your eye out for it. 🙂 (Hint: one of them is artificial sweeteners).

Ok cool. How do you guys feel about moderation? Would LOVE to hear! SMOKIN’ HOT TOPIC IN THE WELLNESS WORLD!!!! I know.

You know what? There’s gonna be at least one person who comments here that their 104-year old grandmother has eaten a can of Pringles every day for her whole life and is the healthiest person alive. And then we’ll all be duped.

Oh well.

Nighty night friends. 🙂 <3

Jenny




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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Megan McGrane January 17, 2015 at 8:58 am

Love it! Thanks for the shout out!!
As for the inevitable “100 year old grandparent who eats pringles daily”….I get to see a lot of folks in their 90s and above in my work and I think there is an interesting thing about these folks in my experience and it is this: they rarely eat “EVERYTHING in moderation”….Like they have their own set of rules they live by and rarely eat things like fast food, fried foods, soda, or processed foods, etc. I find these folks often tend to eat pretty healthfully in most areas of their life and then give themselves that one ‘treat’ each day… Like their daily allotment of Pringles, or a little dish of ice cream each night or as my grandmother did (who lived to 95 with never taking a single medication or being hospitalized) a treat sized chocolate candy bar after dinner. Food for thought I suppose.

Reply

jenny sansouci January 17, 2015 at 1:38 pm

Good call. I think the highly processed foods part is important! If people feel great, then, ya know, to each their own. As you and I both know, unfortunately, a lot of people really don’t actually feel that great.

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Urban Mumble January 17, 2015 at 4:53 pm

This is exactly what I was thinking about today. In fact, I even wrote a post about it! When I quit sugar people I had people telling me there was no need to be so extreme and that I should just have it in moderation. The fact is, I CAN’T! If there is a box of chocolates in my kitchen I bloody well have to finish it right there and right then. Besides, it makes me feel rubbish.

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jenny sansouci January 18, 2015 at 11:55 am

I relate!! Sugar just makes me crave more sugar. Can I have it once in awhile and be ok? Sure. But if I have it consistently my experience of life just suffers and that’s the truth. 🙂

Reply

Bita January 8, 2016 at 12:21 am

Love this post! My dad literally preached ‘everything in moderation’ and it was his answer to almost every issue! He used to say that even a little poison won’t kill you… now granted he is the healthiest man on earth, 90 years old, super strict with his own diet, and I think his mantra was more of a way to sooth his hyper focus and allow himself to so much as have a little sip of champagne at celebrations. But for the average folk like myself I think that everything in moderation does seem sort of lax… like ah, it’s fine, go ahead. I see your point, focus on being strong and going for full wellness, if you can! Go for it!

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jenny sansouci January 12, 2016 at 3:13 pm

Yes! Love your perspective and thanks so much for reading!

Reply

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