Tunes for Tuesday: Happy, by Pharrell Williams
I looked at myself in the mirror and liked what I saw

Food guilt and food love

No food should make you feel guilty.

Food does is not a moral compass.

-- Kelly Boaz

Yes! Exactly!

(I found her quote in a Google image search.)

image from

This time of year, all your screens (TV, Internet) are filled with "guilt-free recipes," "guilt-free snacks," "guilt-free frozen meals," "guilt-free desserts" ... and on and on.

I hate that term.

Like that quote above states, food should not make you feel guilty. There are no good or bad foods, only good or bad decisions.

Want a chocolate chip cookie? Have one -- just make sure it fits into your eating plan somewhere and enjoy it. Don't sneak it in your car. Don't deny it all day and then cave and binge on a whole box after everyone goes to bed.

And don't try to approximate a cookie with, oh, I dunno, wheat bran, diet soda, egg whites and melted crayons (NOT AN ACTUAL RECIPE, but you get what I mean).

Eat the cookie, enjoy the cookie, love what you're eating.

That said, there are some foods that aren't good or bad but they are pretty ridiculous, like that new Starbucks Caramel Flan Latte.

I don't care if you were giving them away for free this week, Starbucks -- no one needs a 330-calorie cuppa coffee with 39 grams of sugar and 8 grams of saturated fat (that's for a grande). Take it down to a short (the size nobody orders) with skim milk and no whipped cream, and it's 100 calories, but then it's not worth drinking now, is it?

Beverage calories are sneaky little buggers -- the stretch receptors in your stomach don't really respond to liquid calories so your body doesn't register them very well, so it just wants more of that liquid candy. What do I get at Starbucks? A grande coffee with a splash of half and half. Boring, I know, but frankly, I'd rather get that and perhaps have one of their yummy little Petite Vanilla Bean Scones for 120 calories if it's snack time.

Are you loving this or just enduring this?

I asked myself this question this morning as I slogged through a bowl of "power oatmeal" -- that concoction where you mix protein powder and assorted superfoods into plain oatmeal. I made it last week with vanilla whey protein, a sprinkle of walnuts and a teaspoon of honey and loved it, but this morning I pulled out the tub of plant-based protein powder that I am determined to use up. I don't like the protein, though. It has a vague split-pea soup aftertaste that I can't get behind.

Bye bye protein powder
So I dumped the rest of the protein powder and vowed not to "endure" any more mediocre meals. Gotta love them.