Project Body Smart | Don’t eat the Christmas cookies! (And other dietary nonsense).


Don’t eat the Christmas cookies! (And other dietary nonsense).

Great letter from Dr. John Berardi.  I couldn’t have said it better myself.  At Project Body Smart we feel the same.  Enjoy the holidays with family, friends and good food without guilt. Make considered decisions for what serves you.

Hey Gordon,

We’re in full-blown Holiday Mode here at the Berardi house.

Berardi Family Pic
My three little ones have been helping my wife and I with the

usual chores: decorating the tree, creating cards with

construction paper, preparing canned food donations for the local
food pantry, and…

…making delicious cookies.

But before you ask for my killer “healthy” cookie recipe, I have
a confession:

We’re not making not some low-fat, gluten-free, protein-packed,
artificially sweetened, possibly-hiding-beets, “healthy” version
of a cookie.

Nope, we’re making the REAL THING. The kind of cookie that
contains butter, sugar, and flour.

The kind of cookie where you want a tall glass of milk to help
wash it down. The kind of cookie most “nutrition experts” will
tell you to avoid completely this year:

Christmas cookies
Yep, this is an actual article.

Just dip some kale leaves into lemon juice with a splash of
stevia and it’s exactly the same thing.

“You’ll thank us.”

Anyway, when people learn that my family and I sometimes make
treats like cookies…or go out for ice cream…or don’t eat 100%
protein and vegetables all the time…they get a little confused.

“But isn’t Precision Nutrition all about eating good foods and
avoiding bad foods?”

The answer, I’m proud to say, is no.

Precision Nutrition is NOT all about eating “good” foods and
avoiding “bad” foods. (I don’t even like those labels.)

In a minute, I’ll share what Precision Nutrition is really about.

But first I’m going to encourage you to enjoy some sort of
cookie, cake, or cocktail this holiday season, too.

In addition to songs, and friendship, and holiday cheer.

Berardi Family Pic2
Here’s why.

When men and women come into fitness, they carry their own ideas
about what food is…even if they’ve never really thought about
it before.

For them, food can be…

* fuel
* reward
* punishment
* escape
* shame
* freedom
* and more…

But for me and the rest of the Precision Nutrition team, food is
information. It’s a story that shapes your daily life, your
health, and your function.

When food is information, there is no “good” food or “bad” food.
There are only choices. And that’s it.

But the choice IS the thing.

You see, every time you choose to eat one thing over another,
you’re voting for what’s really important to you right now.

Of course, you may not realize you’re doing that.

But every decision IS a calculation. Of what really matters to
you, in that moment.

So, with the holidays here for most of us, what DOES matter to
you right now?

Is it…

Feeling good? Connecting with loved ones? Truly nourishing your
body? Feeding your soul? Remembering your heritage or family

No judgement here. YOU get to decide your priorities. And 
sometimes other things SHOULD win out over “nutrition”.

Christmas Dinner
So I’m not here to tell you what to do, think, or feel. Or to make
you feel guilty, ashamed, anxious, or deprived.

Instead, I’m here to help you think through the question. To help
you choose more consciously, with awareness and intention.

And the Precision Nutrition team is here to guide you along the
path YOU choose.

Plus, we DO like to keep it real.

Because shortbread and latkes taste great when made with love and
shared with friends and family.

They just do.

And, while some people in fitness have a hard time with this
notion, I think that feeling good is part of enjoying life and
being healthy.

Of course, if you struggle with this part of your “food story”,
and would like to rewrite it to include joy, freedom, and
deliciousness – all the while working toward a better body –
Precision Nutrition can help.

Funny enough, here’s my first prescription:

Enjoy a real cookie or two this holiday season! Or some other
thing you enjoy but think is “off limits”.

Just do it consciously, mindfully, and – as we teach in our
coaching programs – slowly.

Instead of scarfing it down and waiting for the guilt, taste what
you enjoy. With intention. Then move on.

Because, with the right approach, you can work toward more
enjoyment and connection PLUS improved health and fitness.

All at the same time.

But even if you’re not ready to embrace this mindset yet because
restricting is your only way to feel in control…

Because you can’t believe that enjoying certain foods guilt-free
is possible…

Because you’re stuck in the middle of a nasty cycle of restrict,
collapse, guilt, repeat…

My family and I will still share some laughs, shed some tears,
and nosh a few cookies this holiday season.

We might even raise a glass of egg nog in your honor.

Because, around here, we know that connection, love, and
enjoyment CAN exist while working toward better health together.

And we’re hoping that somewhere along they way you’ll discover
the same thing.

Besides, we’ll probably burn up all those cookies climbing the
local sledding hills anyway 😉


Happy holidays to you and yours,

-JB and the rest of the Precision Nutrition family

John Berardi, PhD CSCS



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