“The Wagon”

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The Wagon

I ate some ice cream yesterday. I ate it with some of THIS amazing Dark Chocolate Mint Truffle Cake. While I was eating it, I thought, “Well, I guess I fell off the wagon.” And then I thought, “What wagon? Is this a wagon that I want to be on? If so, why?” Most of my teenage years and adult life have been wrapped in a love-hate relationship with sugar. I love it. Like in a “I can’t live without you” sort of way. And then I hate myself for it. But, after going “Paleo” over 3 years ago, I found I could go long periods of time without eating it. It’s just that as soon as I chose to indulge in some, I would be sucked into the vacuum of over-consumption and would guiltily find myself trying to dig my way out of it. And then I would cut it out completely once again so that I would be back to where I wanted to be…safe on the wagon.

I obviously enjoy cooking and baking sweet treats. A large part of my blog is devoted to creating “cleaner” treats that I can enjoy without the nasty joint pain, depression or fatigue that goes along with sugar consumption. I don’t feel guilty and I honestly find joy in creating those goodies and eating them. No regrets.

And so I was thinking…I’m done with the wagon. The wagon creates a false sense of security and honestly sets me up for complete failure. Because I know I will eat sugar at certain times. There will be moments when I’m out with friends and really just want to enjoy the evening and have a freakin’ piece of cheesecake. And that’s ok. There is no bible for perfect eating. Thank goodness. I follow a much higher authority–one who knows my weaknesses, knows my failures, and still loves me despite them. And you know what? I think it’s ok to eat sugar sometimes. My grandpa is almost 99 years old. He’s still as sharp today as he was 50 years ago. Sure, it would be nice if he could trade in his body for a newer one, but his whole life has been about moderation. He doesn’t diet. He doesn’t avoid certain foods. He eats what he wants and knows the importance of balance.

That being said, I am a full believer in an {almost all} grain-free diet, with minimal dairy and very little refined sugars. I know how much better I feel when I eat “like a caveman” and that I have more energy, am more focused and in generally better health when I am eating that way. And I actually think it does my body good to do an occasional Whole30 to “reset” my system. But it’s ok to stray from the “norm”. I don’t need to whap (is that a word?) myself over the fingers with a ruler if I eat some ice cream now and then, or even if I eat a donut sometimes. I can eat it, move on, and enjoy the rest of my day. There is absolutely no positive purpose served by wallowing in what I perceive as my failures. And I’ve come to the realization that it’s not a failure if I indulge in something that’s not considered “Paleo” or “primal.” It. Is. OK!

So, I ate ice cream yesterday. And today, I ate leftover {Paleo-ish} truffle cake for breakfast. Yup. I did it. I’m not back on the wagon. I’m not “starting over.” And I won’t be tomorrow. I’m just living my life as I was yesterday, and the day before, and the day before. And I’m quite content with the fact that I eat junk that is actually probably not even really food, sometimes. I’ll live the bulk of my life eating good, whole foods, with minimal ingredients that are fresh off a vine or tree or bush (or even dirt). And I’ll live the other part being satisfied with the fact that I’m not a robot.


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  1. Quin Wagner says

    Shanti, you are one of the few MOST AMAZING people I know!!! I think how dare you make yourself feel bad about enjoying the simple pleasures in life from time to time! Life is too short to pass up the things that make you happy for the moment! I’m so glad you treated yourself because you sure do deserve it!
    ( I indulged in a margarita and some chips and guac this weekend if it makes you feel any better..? lol!)

  2. Karla Lingren says

    Shanti, it was meant for me to read your blog! I could have written it. Today. These same thoughts were going through my mind today because I wasn’t “100%” over the weekend. I needed to read that someone else feels the same way I do! And I’ve been right where you were, falling off the “wagon”. There is no wagon. I love eating Paleo but if I choose to make other food choices, so be it. Thank you for always seeming to write just what I need to hear at the right time. (hope that made sense). And I love that you write from the heart.

  3. esther delgado says

    I have been feeling exactly the same way. I find eating clean is always the best choice and should be a priority but if you have something that is proccessed you will be okay. Balance is the key word(s) and moderation.

  4. sarah says

    Great message and one I struggle to remind myself of now that we have committed to this lifestyle. I also find it hard to let the kids indulge as I feel guilty for allowing them to eat junk. But intellectually I know that #1 if I forbid it they will want it more and they have to learn to moderate themselves and #2 I don’t want them to feel like their diet seperates them from their peers in a negative way as I think that would lead to rejection of the lifestyle long-term and not contribute to healthy habits…but it was SO HARD to go a potluck this weekend for MOPS (so all preschool moms!) and only ONE person brought fruit..don’t even thin about veggies – it was all processed, gluten-filled junk. We made the best choices we could (I just ate at home later) but I have to let go of the guilt that I didn’t just pack our own food….


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