Perils of Girl Scout Cookie Season, and How to Survive It
By Sara Butler
It’s time you prepare because it’s the time of year again in which you’ll be assailed by adorable little girls in brown and green vests asking you the question that strikes fear in the heart of healthy people everywhere: “Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies?”
I’m breaking into a sweat just thinking about it because of course I want cookies. My brain is screaming, “Yes! Give me all the cookies!!!!” I will hoard them in my freezer for the next six months, and then spend the following six months convincing myself that I don’t need them anymore, that I can be strong the next time cookie season rolls around. And then … bam! I’m rushed by a little girl with pigtails and dimples, asking me to buy cookies. And I fall for it every single time. It’s a vicious cycle.
One thing I’ve learned over the years is that a few boxes of cookies aren’t a reason to give up on my desire to eat right and to eat clean. I’m alive, after all, and because of that, I should get some enjoyment out of what I’m eating. There are some basic principles I have learned through discussions with my chiropractor that have set me up for eating well, eating healthy, and being satisfied with the food in my kitchen. Here’s what I’ve learned.
Eat Real Food
This one may have you scratching your head a little bit because isn’t all food essentially real? Well, not really. Processed and highly refined foods aren’t metabolized by your body the same way that “real” food is.
Think about it -- the digestion process is meant to break down the food you eat. The fiber, sugar, calories, vitamins, and minerals are then absorbed by your body in a way that not only nourishes you but also makes you feel satisfied. If the food you’re eating has been highly processed or refined, it’s had most of the important nutrients your body needs stripped from it and it’s easily digested. Too easily digested. This often means that it spikes your blood sugar, only to leave you feeling hungry and eating more.
The best thing you can do for your health is to eat foods that aren’t refined or processed. The fewer ingredients, the better.
Nourish Your Body
By eating regular, balanced meals, you are ensuring that your body is nourished the right way. Try to eat at home as often as you can and cook in ways that are healthy. Deep fried food, while tasty, isn’t a staple in a healthy diet that nourishes your body appropriately.
When you’re away from home, it will do your body good to pack food to take with you. If that’s not possible, try to choose wisely when eating out with coworkers or family. You can:
- Ask for steamed vegetables as sides (minus the butter!)
- Look for items that have nutritional content listed
- Box up half the entrée from the get-go
- Drink a glass of water before you eat
When you’re preparing food at home, don’t forget about food safety. Wash the produce you buy before you eat it, and try to buy organic (remember to avoid these often contaminated dirty foods). Also remember to keep any raw meat separate from your vegetables, and always use separate cutting boards for them. Food needs to be cooked to proper temperatures so you don’t get sick, and needs to be put away quickly so bacteria doesn’t have a chance to take up residence in your quinoa pilaf.
A Few Other Tips
You can enhance the other basics of healthy eating by remembering to:
- Eat local -- You support your local economy and stay healthy all at once!
- Eat a more plant-based diet -- You don’t have to give up meat to be healthy, but you should make sure you include a lot of plant-based protein in your diet, such as lentils, peas, beans, and whole grains.
- Adopt a clean lifestyle – Beyond what you eat, you need to be active, get quality sleep at night, manage stress, and see your chiropractor regularly.
Don’t forget, you’re not alone in your this journey because your chiropractor is your partner in health and wellness. They can help you figure out ways in which you can adopt a healthier lifestyle overall and offer nutrition advice in conjunction with spinal adjustments.
A Good Cause
So go ahead, give in to that cute little girl and her cookies. After all, the cookies are delicious. Thin Mints are vegan. They also have cookies made without high fructose corn syrup and also have a gluten-free option. The proceeds from cookies sales go to help young girls and women learn leaderships skills, courage, confidence, and helps them to build character. They work as a team to accomplish a goal to benefit their troop -- it’s a worthy cause and something you can be part of just by buying a delicious box of cookies. You can find out where to snag a box near you here.
As long as you are trying to live a lifestyle that is healthy a majority of the time, a few Thin Mints aren’t going to be the end of the world. Just don’t eat the whole box at once.