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Why It Can Be Good To Eat Crap Sometimes

by jenny sansouci on December 1, 2013

I woke up the day after Thanksgiving feeling like I got hit by a truck.

I had decided it would be a cool idea to try a few different desserts at Thanksgiving dinner. No, not raw, paleo, vegan or gluten-free desserts as you might expect. We’re talking about normal style desserts here. Since I usually stay away from gluten, sugar and dairy as much as possible, eating these desserts was kind of an assault on my body. For some reason, though, I just had a “whatevs” attitude about it that day.

The next day, I woke up feeling exhausted, with a pounding headache – my brain felt like it was sifting through a thick layer of fog.  I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a pot of coffee to balance myself out. I looked in the mirror, and I had what Annemarie Colbin calls “Sugar Face” – tired looking skin, baggy eyes – I pretty much looked like a disaster. I felt moody and lethargic. My level of creative inspiration was at an all time low.

And it was AWESOME.

Why?

It reminded me why I do what I do. It reminded me why I’m so obsessed with self care and nutrition on a daily basis. It reminded me of how amazing I actually feel when I wake up on most days. It renewed my purpose in my work, and it renewed my dedication to feeling vibrant and clear and showing up as a more stellar version of myself.

It reminded me that food actually DOES affect the way we feel, the way we look and the way we live.

I admit, sometimes I just live in my little holistic health bubble and I forget there’s any other way. I often take my health and vitality for granted, and sometimes it takes this kind of thing to remind me of how awful it feels when I do have a sugar crash or a stomach ache or super low energy because of food. I don’t look at these things as mistakes. I look at them as research (which is way more fun).

My friend Megan posted something today saying that she had been dairy free for a long time, and after eating ice cream, her leg broke out in hives. Although it’s totally not cool or fun to get hives, she gained knowledge from it – she’s now certain that dairy isn’t something she wants to consume.

Another friend told me last night that after years of being gluten-free, she started experimenting with gluten again. “My body felt completely awful for days.” Now she knows. It renewed her commitment to feeling good.

FYI – I’m not suggesting that someone who is managing a disease or condition through nutrition should “do research” and pound their systems with unfavorable foods. For some people, having certain foods can be quite damaging. So be smart, my friends. 

On the other end of the spectrum, I believe a lot of people don’t even KNOW how good they can actually feel. Lots of people who have never experimented with cutting out certain foods/substances say they feel “fine” because they aren’t getting sick, but they are constantly self-medicating through food, caffeine, sugar, drugs and alcohol just to maintain a state of feeling baseline OK. I used to be this way. I thought I felt “good,” but it wasn’t until I started experimenting with cleaning up my life that I realized there were levels of feeling amazing I didn’t know existed.

I don’t know about you, but I really don’t have time to feel like shit on a regular basis. This research reminds me why I choose treat myself with respect with everything I put in my mouth…so I can actually feel good enough to show up in the world and attempt to do revolutionary things. 🙂

After eating the holiday foods for a couple of days I drank a green smoothie and felt like I was dancing on a rainbow of ecstasy.

So the research was a good call, and now I’m gonna head back to a Whole30 way of eating for now. I feel so good when I follow that plan, it’s borderline inappropriate.

So let’s hear it. What kind of “research” have you done that renewed your dedication to taking care of yourself?

 




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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Katie December 1, 2013 at 8:59 pm

such good points, I feel like I should go have a cookie to feel it… and remind myself… you’re real wise my friend

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jenny sansouci December 1, 2013 at 9:00 pm

hahaha nooooo 😉

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Jennifer December 1, 2013 at 9:10 pm

I had pretty much the same experience this weekend! Except I let it go on for too many days, with a few green smoothies and juices in between because it’s what my body was asking for. As of tomorrow, I’m back on 100% eating clean, because it’s just not worth it to feel like I’ve been drugged when I wake up. I found myself asking “how do people eat like this all the time?! Do they not feel awful?” But I guess it’s like you said, they have no idea how much better they could actually feel without all that stuff.

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jenny sansouci December 1, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Me too Jennifer! Tomorrow marks the day for a new clean eating revolution. 😉

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Megan December 1, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Ahhhh! Awesome post Jenny–it’s like you read my mind!!! Thanks for the shout out…..proudly currently hive-free. 🙂 Im back on that Whole30 livin tomorrow!

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jenny sansouci December 1, 2013 at 10:30 pm

Megan. You are a supercalifragilistic revolutionary human 🙂

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Julia December 1, 2013 at 10:44 pm

I ate a lot sugary desserts as well during thanksgiving -__- as a result i woke up everyday BLOATED and GASSY. so not good. Plus, my skin broke out and i looked puffy. It’s no fun feeling tired and waddling around like a penguin lol. lesson learned!

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jenny sansouci December 1, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Sometimes the best lessons come in uncomfortable forms… #eek

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Jillian December 2, 2013 at 12:08 am

I love this post! I’ve been eating so clean the past two months, as well as abstaining from alcohol. I stayed away from gluten and dairy, the two big culprits that eff my sh*t up, but I drank and had tons of sugar. I have way less energy, my brain is foggy, I am less motivated, my creativity is zilch, and I am experiencing sugar cravings like crazy. I love looking at this like “research” because now I know it’s worth it to put in the effort to cook 95% of my meals at home, abstain from alcohol, and to make sure I get my green juice and smoothie in each day.

Much love Jenny, love the article.

Jillian

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jenny sansouci December 2, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Thanks for sharing, Jillian! Oh, I so agree about cooking meals at home. It just feels super nourishing to know exactly what’s in your food. Homemade soups and smoothies make me so happy. They are like magic happiness potions.

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Maria December 2, 2013 at 3:16 pm

Appreciate what you are saying here and I do agree with a lot of it, but you’re reaction seems a bit extreme from ONE day of eating sugar and gluten? Really? You went through all that? That’s how I feel when I drink too much but from a couple of desserts on one night….hmmm.

Did you exaggerate your experience to make a point in this article? ( I understand if you did, I’m just curious.)

Thanks!

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jenny sansouci December 2, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Haha! No, I didn’t exaggerate. I am a pretty extreme person in general. 🙂

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Maria December 2, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Wow, well in that case, I am so glad you feel better! So Jenny, quick question: I am very curious about the Whole 30 diet you mention. And from what I understand, it’s very similar to Paleo? I am vegetarian and rely on legumes, beans, and grains every day in small portions. I feel like I would die (now who’s exaggerating, ha!) if I didn’t have these. Ahh.

Your thoughts?

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jenny sansouci December 2, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Yes, the Whole30 is paleo. If you feel great on the diet you are eating, no reason to change! If you don’t feel great, perhaps their book is worth a read. http://amzn.to/1eJpbNg

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Maria December 2, 2013 at 9:43 pm

Thank you very much Jenny.

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