Cheater Cheater

Make sure what you eat is worth it for your overall health and wellness.

By Susan Howard

Growing up in my family we had one very important rule. The rule was that you could eat anything, but it had to be worth it. With this rule, you didn’t have to take into consideration nutritional value — but base the worthiness of the food on taste.

Being the granddaughter of Jack and Eddie Peck, owners of Peck’s Bakery, I had a lot of chances to sample. This became my first of many opportunities to acquire a healthy (not so healthy) sugar addiction.

The one thing my grandparents did religiously was keep their offerings fresh.  They insured this by selling day-old treats at half price.  The customers knew that what they were buying was made that morning.  (Later, upon selling the bakery to a guy who did not practice the same diligence, the store went out of business in 6 months. People knew.)  For herself, Grandma Eddie always had to make sure things were piping hot and just out of the oven.

My kids love pancakes on weekend mornings, however, I personally don’t care about them.  I have to train myself that just because pancakes are around, not to have one.  I don’t care about pancakes = not worth it.

Here are some items I tend to let go of the reigns on.

Worth it:

Anything homemade; bread and butter, pasta, pastries, cookies, or hot fries.  Trying the specialty of the house, especially when on vacation.  Eating at least some of what is cooked for me at a dinner party and the Archlight carmel popcorn.  (I bring half of it home for the nanny.)

Not worth it:

Anything random that I am throwing in my kids lunch; a handful of Cheetos (so salty), mac n cheese, store-bought baked goods, cheese pizza, a cold half quesadilla or crackers.  Most of the time, if you are opening a packaged wrapper, it’s not worth it.

There are going to be times where you want to “cheat” on what you eat, but before you do, ask, “Is it worth it?”  Once you decide to take the plunge, try and minimize the damage by ordering a small selection or asking for a to-go container to save the rest for another day.  If it’s impossible to take something home or do a small amount, take a portion and THROW THE REST OUT.

I know it’s wasting…but…waste.

Watch Instagram for my “Toss your cookies” photo challenge!

Don’t get bitter with yourself about going off the rails — remember little cheats can help you avoid mistakes throughout the week.  If you live next to a bakery as high quality as my Grandparents was, stop in every once in a while, and when you do enjoy it!

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