Let me tell y’all the latest thing I read about clean eating. It was a quote in Oxygen magazine by the publisher. It said, “You have to eat clean. (My wife’s name is Tosca Reno. She’s the author of the Eat Clean Diet series. Get one of her books out from your local library.) Eating clean is what it’s all about. Don’t want to read about clean eating? Then pay attention to this next important paragraph.

“Base your food intake around skinless grilled chicken breasts, whole grain cereals like oatmeal, lean meats, salmon, water-packed tuna, white fish, whole-grain breads, egg whites, olive oil, coconut oil, brown rice, sweet potatoes, fruits and vegetables. Take in no table salt or sugar, no sweeteners, no sodas, no soft drinks, no cookies, no candies, no cakes, no butter, no bacon, no pie, no cream or gravy. No french fries, KFC, Big Macs, or hot dogs. Stay away from salad dressings. Just go with pure balsamic vinegar.”

Ok, this was actually in the Oxygen Special: Fat Loss – The Complete Guide for Women, Winter 2011. Anyway, for some reason, what he (Robert Kennedy) wrote hit home to me. One, because yet again I’m hearing about eating clean. Two, because he’s the husband of the author of the book I have out from the library. Three, because it is the same advice I’ve heard and/or read since 2002 when I first started my weight-loss journey and read the book Body-for-Life. Now, how is it that you can hear and read the exact same information for NINE YEARS and simply ignore it? That’s downright ignorant and I’m not ignorant. Sooooooo, why haven’t I heeded this advice? Especially when the first part of the list is actually stuff I eat all the time, so I’m already halfway there? DUH! Did you not read what he said??? NO BUTTER???? WTF kinda crazy shit is that??? Do you know how often we use butter??? I just stopped using margarine and butter sprays because I find out they are basically the same as eating plastic, and now somebody wants to tell me to stop eating butter??? That’s the one that stands out to me the most. Why? Because even though I don’t use a lot of it, I use butter on the regular: grilled cheese sandwiches, pancakes, english muffins, etc. As I typed the list, I realize I don’t use it all that much (last time I bought 4 sticks of butter was in December, maybe? And I still have 1.5 sticks left), but I could not eat my pancakes without it. Sure, I’ll substitute it in recipes, but I eat butter!!! And then no sweeteners??? WTF? So I just can’t have nothin’ sweet? I’m only 36! I want to live for another 50+ years and you want me to do that without anything sweet? Not. Gonna. Happen. Period.

But deep down inside, I know I’m going to make this change. I knew it when I started shopping only on the outside of the grocery store, you know, produce and meat. I go in the aisles only for grains (breads, cereals, brown rice), fats (EVOO & canola), and canned goods. My son was begging for cookies the last time we went to the store (thanks, Grandma!) so I bought 4 boxes of 100 calorie snack packs. This scared me. I can eat an entire box in a day without sharing with Reuben. I actually felt some type of way when he asked for some “ABC cookies,” my precious Lorna Doones. Then I realized, the more he eats, the less I will. AND if I know he thinks those are his cookies, I won’t eat them. I don’t eat any of his other snacks, why eat those? Duh, cuz they’re yummy! So I think there are 3 boxes left. Not three full boxes, but three boxes nonetheless. Like I was saying, I already know I’m going to end up eating clean. I know it will take me a while to get used to it, but I already know it’s coming because I know me. But there’s a twist.

I have no intention of living the rest of my life without the foods I enjoy. While I understand we should eat to fuel our bodies, I also am of the belief that food is a huge part of culture and tradition and should be enjoyed. I enjoy buttery pancakes and buttery grilled cheese sandwiches. I like sweetening my coffee and my tea. And I like my cereal to be a little sweet. I love ginger snaps, fresh baked chocolate chip cookies (who doesn’t?!), pound cake, and butter pecan ice cream. When I’m on my period I eat a little chocolate, preferably in the form of cake. A few times a year, I even eat candy bars (I’d eat more, but I’m just not that big on chocolate, I know, blasphemy). And I know between now and death, there is going to be a whole lot of the stuff I just named. And a whole lot of clean eating. Because my plan is to eat clean 5 days out of the week and not-so-clean 2 days out of the week. I’m going to plan my indulgences.

I don’t know that this man was saying you couldn’t ever have any of this stuff again. I don’t know if his wife’s book says that (when you are in denial, you avoid truth. I haven’t opened that book since I first started reading it; she scared me). What I know is that to even pretend that you won’t ever eat butter (or sweeteners or cake or cookies) again in life is setting yourself up for failure. Well, it’s setting me up for failure. I love food. I’m just trying to learn to eat in moderation and only when I’m truly hungry. I’m trying to learn to use food as medicine, to heal illness as well as prevent it. I want what I put in my body to make me strong. I also want to eat cake and ice cream on birthdays. So I’m going to see if I can have the best of both worlds. I’m going to give clean eating a try.

I still can’t believe dude said stop eating butter. *shivers*