In light of celebrating Thanksgiving last week, we decided to talk about Indulgence Meals.  First of all, the foodies in our souls are jumping for joy that Week 9 brings more Indulgence Meals with it.  This is followed quickly with some thoughts of caution.  Let us explain a little more…

We knew exactly what our first Indulgence Meal was going to be before we even started the program: we were going to do our wedding reception menu tasting!  For a number of reasons, obviously, this was an exciting first Indulgence Meal.  While we initially were focused on the excitement of getting one more thing checked off the wedding planning list, as Phase 1 wore on it became more about having some delicious “normal” food.

We sampled delicious appetizers of Brie with raspberries and flatbread with prosciutto, then moved on to some tasty entrée’s of roasted pork, salmon, filet mignon, and chicken piccata.  These came with some wonderful sides such as roasted vegetables and mashed potatoes.  Let’s not leave out the most significant accompaniment: wine.  There were six half glasses of wine; three reds and three whites.  That, however, was not enough.  We were on a high of good food and wine, and we wanted more!  Rob quickly exclaimed to our coordinator that we needed a bottle of the red wine that we liked, no matter the cost.

While that meal was really not that far off plan, we certainly felt the difference of how our bodies dealt with the change of diet.  The next day, we were feeling sluggish and crabby.  It was a solid first lesson of just how much clean eating has made us feel better.  This lesson has been repeated after every Indulgence Meal that we have had, some more so than others.  There is no doubt that these experiences make us question why we want to eat some of our old favorites, like pizza.

Let’s talk about that elephant that just entered the room; that beautiful one that looks like pizza.  It was a weekly must in our lives prior to the commitment we made to SOS.  Those of you who live near the Downtown Denver area might be familiar with Fat Sully’s Pizza.  You know, the pizza joint that is associated with the Denver Bisuit Company?  We are quite partial to Fat Sully’s for sure.  The Saturday that Rob returned from his hunting trip, we dialed them up and ordered our old norm of Pepperoni and Jalapeno.  This was our first time eating pizza since starting SOS, and it was freaking delicious.  Even more delicious than we had remembered!  We savored each bite, eating it more slowly than we had ever done.  Then our world came crashing down…  The bowling ball of pizza sat uncomfortably in our stomachs well into the next day as we felt lethargic and un-motivated.  While there is no doubt that a pizza night will be on our radar, it is going to be held in reserve for those times when the comfort it brings is a true necessity.

As we used the first of our two indulgence meals in week 9 for Thanksgiving dinner with family, we went a little heavier on the turkey and sweet potatoes.  The other goodies like stuffing and pie were consumed with much more modesty.  While over-indulging on the poor choices was defeated by the the desire to feel good and energized for Black Friday, we were able to enjoy the feast.

Other Indulgence Meals have included some old favorites: Mexican, Spanish Tapas, Dim Sum.  It’s all SO DELICIOUS.  There’s a certain comfort that comes with eating what you’re familiar with.  Food is tied to memories and feelings, and it’s easy to assume that nothing will be different when you eat some of your old favorite foods.  Really, why would anything have changed?  Oh, but what a difference there is!  Once you’ve been eating as clean as SOS prescribes, your body is thriving off of good-for-it food.  Throw in the junk you used to eat, and it goes haywire.  Leslie literally feels like she’s on a sugar high after eating an Indulgence Meal.  We are both cranky with tummy aches later that day (or the day after, if we’ve indulged at dinner).  It’s frustrating and, quite frankly, a little depressing!  One of the lessons here is that an Indulgence Meal isn’t meant to be an all-out, eat as much as you want of the food you used to down on a regular basis; moderation and slowing down to enjoy the meal are musts.

We have come to the sound conclusion that, while we really do enjoy being able to visit our old favorites, we are much more comfortable with how our new eating habits taste and make us feel.  SOS has trained our bodies to use healthy fuels efficiently!  As you go through your own journey, savor not only the tastes of the old but think about the feeling of the new.