It can begin to consume you. You’ve made the decision to start an exercise routine and develop a healthy eating plan. Heck, you’ve even mixed in some time for meditation and made an extra trip to purchase some personal development books.
This is all well and good. In fact, these are all pivotal pieces of a healthy living plan.
If you’ve read other 4th Coast Fitness blogs, you know that I promote healthy living in several domains. It’s not just consistent exercise or improved nutrition. Each domain in dependent upon the other, which creates an unbroken cycle.
But there’s a line…
When you make the decision to improve your health and wellness, you are often required to remove an item or two. Processed foods and weight-loss don’t exactly go hand in hand. You can’t sit on the couch and hope for muscle development or improved conditioning. However, that’s not to say you can’t indulge in a few “favorites” from time to time.
It’s different for every individual but the line must be drawn somewhere. What are you willing to give up? You can’t remove every enjoyable food or behavior.
For me that line is salad dressing.
I fully understand that salad dressings have additives in order to increase shelf-life, as well as add desirable flavor, but olive-oil salad dressings just don’t do it for me. I remain open to trying new recipes and options but up until this time, nothing has pulled me in.
To me salad dressing is the end of the road. Here’s my justification. If you’ve made the decision to have a salad over an unhealthy alternative, I want to say kudos to you! If you can enjoy your salad with olive oil, even better! The simple fact that you’ve chosen to eat a salad, shows that you are making an effort to eat healthy and are placing your personal health on a pedestal.
Two tablespoons of your favorite salad dressing is not going to take away from the nutritional value of a well-prepared salad. Furthermore, if a vinaigrette or olive oil based dressing is going to steer you away from eating a salad all together, I see it as even more reason to drizzle a bit of your favorite dressing on a well-chosen dish.
Like I said earlier, I fully understand there are healthier “dressing alternatives”. I also know that a salad beats a plate full of processed foods every, single day of the week.
Going a step further, removing salad dressing does not need to become part of your healthy living discussion until the larger pillars of healthy living are in place. In other words, make sure you have a solid, healthy foundation in place before you begin discussing the finer details.
As mentioned in the introduction, too often we get overwhelmed and consumed by information. Before tasting the sweetness of progress, you’re already burnt out and completely discouraged. You took on too much, too fast.
Don’t forget to take it one step at a time.
Not all health professionals would agree with me, but if it allows you to eat more greens and veggies, don’t be afraid to add a dash of ranch ;)
Until next time!