SUPERHUMAN30 Challenge – Day 18: 6 Cheats You Can Have This Weekend!

Posted on 19. Jan, 2012 by in Lifestyle, SUPERHUMAN30 Challenge

Photo is courtesy of Trip Advisor

The Superhuman30 is designed to teach you the BEST way to eat, not to make you think that you have to be perfect for the rest of your life.  With that being said, its silly for us to demand perfection from you for 30 days, and then throw you right back into the real world on Day 31, and expect you to know what you’re doing.  Cheating is inevitable.  If we don’t teach you the proper way to do it in these 30 days, then we will be doing you a huge disservice.

The truth is, there are a bunch of foods that don’t necessarily fit into the Superhuman30, that can actually be a regular part of a healthy lifestyle.  That is why this weekend we are going to offer everyone ONE optional cheat meal for you to indulge in a few of these select treats.

If you don’t want to participate, you don’t have to, but we highly recommend it for a couple reasons.

You will learn how to cheat better.

Cheating doesn’t have to sideline you for hours or days like a supersized Big Mac value meal or a 12-pack of Corona will.  Some cheats (like the ones below) can actually make you feel better in that moment and better the next day without any adverse side effects.  It’s a win-win situation.

You will learn to stop feeling guilty.

When you realize that certain indulgences don’t have to stand in the way of your goals, it takes away all of the guilt that you used to feel when you went off track.  Replace those guilty feelings with feelings of enjoyment, and you will gain a better appreciation for the foods you get to cheat with.

You will learn how to recover faster.

I have always said that staying fit is not about how bad you cheat, it is about how quickly you can get back on track.  Stop focusing on how bad your last meal was, and start thinking about how good your next one will be.  Master the art of recovery, and cheating will be a lot more fun.

 

Without further ado, here are the foods you are allowed to cheat with this weekend.

1)      Dark Chocolate, 70% Cacao content or higher

Chocolate may deserve its bad reputation, but it has nothing to do with the main component of chocolate, which is the cocoa bean.  Cocoa beans (also known as cacao) are a great source of fiber, magnesium, and iron, and even contains more antioxidants than green tea.  Choose a dark chocolate bar that is 70% or higher in cacao content, and you will be getting more of the good stuff, and less of the bad.  Some of you may not even be big fans of dark chocolate, but I guarantee that after 3 weeks of eating as healthy as you have been, dark chocolate will taste smoother and sweeter than ever.

 

2)      Red Wine, preferably organic

When used in moderate doses, alcohol of all types has been shown to decrease the risk of Type II Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, and Strokes.  In addition, red wine is loaded with polyphenols and the antioxidant, reservatol, which makes it a powerhouse for disease prevention and anti-aging.  Just make sure to avoid any extra sweet or dessert varieties, and get some organic red wine if you can find it.  Organic red wine has been shown to contain about 30% more polyphenols than the standard variety.

 

3)      High Quality Cheeses

The main reason cheese doesn’t qualify for the Superhuman30 is because it’s a dense source of calories and fat, without much nutritional content to go with it.  What makes cheese good though is it doesn’t have the sugar, lactose, (and subsequent huge insulin response) that can be so problematic with things like milk and yogurt.  For that reason, high quality full-fat cheese (not the reduced-fat, heavily processed stuff) makes for a pretty sensible indulgence.   Try to get raw, fermented, or organic varieties if possible.

 

4)      Berries and Heavy Cream

Heavy cream tends to be the same story as cheese.  It’s another form of dairy that is not ideal for fat loss, but fairly safe when it comes to cheats.  It also tastes great when served with a bowl of fresh fruit.  Skip the low-fat or already whipped varieties and go straight for the full fat cream in the carton.  Grass-fed or organic is preferred, but not necessary.

 

5)      Potatoes/White Rice

Potatoes and white rice are like the carbohydrate version of cheese and heavy cream.  They’re not ideal, but they don’t have the gluten and other anti-nutrients that make most grains off-limits.  Looking at the rest of this list, I don’t know why anyone would want to use these two things as part of their cheat meal, but I don’t want to be the one to make that decision for you.  Personally, I think anything that can be made with potatoes or white rice can be made better with sweet potatoes or cauliflower rice, but that’s just my opinion.  The only thing I would even consider is a plate of fresh sushi, although you would still have to skip the soy sauce.  By the way, unless you plan on baking your own french fries at home, this still means that their off limits for the rest of the 30 days.

 

6)      Paleofied Dessert

I consider this a last resort if none of the other things on this list appeal to you.  The main reason is that you will likely end up cooking more than just one meal’s worth.  If you feel that you can make something in a small enough quantity, or will have enough friends around to eat it with you, then this route may work for you.  Some of our favorite Paleofied recipes include Pumpkin Muffins and Chocolate Brownies.  If you’re exploring this option, look for recipes that use things like almond/coconut flour, cocoa powder, coconut oil, dried fruit, nuts, almond butter, honey, or even stevia.  If it has much besides that, than its probably stretching the Paleo a little bit too far.

 

I know many of you are caught off-guard by this surprise cheat meal, so I wanted to add some additional guidelines and clarifications:

This can occur anytime between now and Sunday.  But don’t waste it on something you don’t really care for.  Make the cheat as special as possible so you don’t get done and wish you had more.

Pick 1-3 things from the list above.  This could mean going out for sushi and coming home and having dark chocolate for dessert.  Or it might mean cheese and red wine before dinner and berries and heavy cream after.

Limit it to one meal/one sitting lasting just an hour or two.  Don’t spend the whole day or weekend spreading small cheats throughout.  Its only allowed to be one meal!

Buy reasonable quantities.  I define reasonable as about half of a large dark chocolate bar, or 2-3 glasses of wine.  Ideally if you have to buy something in a larger quantity, you have another person with you to share it with.  Buy enough where you will be satisfied, but won’t feel guilty if you finish the entire thing.

Savor every bite.  Don’t go off track just for the sake of going off track.  If there’s something on this list that really appeals to you, enjoy every bite and make the cheat count.

No leftovers.  If there’s anything left once your cheat is over, make sure it goes straight in the garbage.  If you try to save something for Day 31, I can promise you it won’t last that long.

And most importantly, get right back on track.  Use the cheat as an added boost to make the next few days as good as possible.

 

I honestly feel like I could easily go another 30 days without another cheat, but I am still looking forward to a little indulging this weekend.  I think sharing a bottle of Pinot Noir with my girlfriend and making this amazing Dark Chocolate Macadamia Bark sounds like a great addition to our Saturday night!

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