Breaking News Alert! RDs splurge too!

I’m not sure if you heard the breaking news or not, so brace yourselves: The First Lady went to lunch and ordered a cheeseburger. AND fries. AND a shake. AND a diet soda.

The reason Michelle Obama is getting so much attention about this meal is because she is an advocate for child nutrition and healthy living.  That got me thinking.  As a dietitian, I am also an advocate for healthy eating and nutrition.  Many times I have had people looking over my shoulder to see what I will put on my plate at a potluck.  Sometimes people will even hide their plate from me when they walk by as if I am going to judge their meal selections.  Ask any RD and they will tell you about being scrutinized in the same way as Michelle Obama was this week.  So what gives?  Are healthy-eating advocates supposed to eat perfectly all the time?  Do people really think that dietitians only eat vegetables and never splurge?

I asked many of the top RDs in the country, dietitians that write for and are quoted in health magazines that you likely have on your coffee table.  I wanted to know what their latest food-related splurge was.  Responses came within minutes, meaning they didn’t have to think long and hard about it.  These splurges were very recent!  Do you want to know what they have been noshing on in their moments of indulgence?  How about things like french fries, chocolate ice cream, cheesecake, blueberry cobbler, In-N-Out burger, or an ice-cream brownie sundae.  And you know my favorite part?  None of them felt guilty about their splurges because they understand that when you eat healthy food most of the time, the occasional treat is ok!  And that’s the point isn’t it?  It’s all about balance.  Make healthy eating a lifestyle, and occasional indulgences occasional.

And just in case you think I am a perfect eater, let me pull back the curtain and share that I drank a Coke the other day, the frozen yogurt place seems to call my name all summer long, and every once in a while I just eat way too much in one sitting.

Now that we have spilled the beans, it’s your turn.  What do you splurge on?  Do you think the media overreacted to Michelle Obama’s 1600 calorie meal?  Are you surprised that dietitians eat things like french fries and cheesecake?  What was your latest food indulgence?

  • Angela @ Nine More Months July 13, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Great post! I recently indulged in a few too many of the free chips at a mexican restaurant. I try to avoid them most of the time, but once in a while I do a little overboard.

  • Tianna July 13, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Haha I love this post! Today I bought a Reese's at work, and I seriously wanted to take my badge off so people wouldn't think I was being naughty! LOL I know how I usually eat, so I don't feel guilty at all about enjoying my peanut buttery treat today 🙂

  • Marina Stauffer, RD July 14, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Just splurged yesterday @ The Burger Lounge with an amazing burger & fries–enjoyed every second of it!

  • Ashley Rosales, RD July 14, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Thanks for this refreshing post! I also have a confession to make, our family went out last night with some friends to a local ice-cream shop for dinner. My husband and I shared the burger/fries/strawberry shake combo meal and my toddler son had fun devouring the banana split. No media was present to catch me in the act like they did to Michelle Obama. And if they had been there, I would be happy to stand by my belief that we eat foods to nourish us AND also because they taste good…it's all about your overall dietary pattern that really matters. And lastly, when you live by the principles of variety, moderation and proportionality- you CAN have your cake (or ice-cream) and eat it too!

  • Danielle Omar July 14, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Thanks for sharing! SO many people think we RDs don't ever eat anything "bad!"

    I splurge on REAL salad dressing, butter on my veggies, and gelato!!

  • EA-The Spicy RD July 14, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    When I first became an RD, my friends used to always "hide" their food from me, or comment on what I was eating. Flash forward MANY years later and they all know that I am a healthy eater MOST of the time, but enjoy pretty much anything without remorse. My favorite splurge is Carne Asada Fries from Robertos which I enjoy once every month. I pretty much have a "little" dessert everyday, and I have been know to eat at In-and-Out burger too {Protein style WITH fries!}

  • Baye July 15, 2011 at 12:26 am

    We just made s'mores. I ate three marshmallows and two Hershey bars. Since I'm dieting, I left out the graham crackers;-) S'mores are a once a year thing for me, so it's okay.

  • Katie July 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    great post! I think that they over-reacted…and agree, eating healthy most of the time makes those treats ok!

  • Corinne July 16, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Great post! Ya gotta enjoy your life too! And occasionally, that comes with a little no-so-waist-friendly food! 🙂

  • Anne P July 19, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    I love this post. It's all about moderation – and that includes splurges! It's healthy to not ALWAYS be healthy 🙂

    • Katherina @ Zephyr Runs August 27, 2011 at 5:45 am

      True – sometimes the worst thing you can do for your diet is stress over it!

  • Stephanie August 5, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Of course RDs splurge like the rest of us! I think the "controversy" about Michelle is silly. She should be able to eat her cheeseburger and shake in peace. 🙂

    As a side note, I've noticed the same thinking w/ some of my blog readers. Several acquaintances mentioned that they thought we ate completely organic and were afraid to invite us to dinner! The truth is we gratefully accept dinner invitations and eat whatever is served…and the other truth is that we've probably eaten the very same thing at our house! 😉

    [email protected]

  • Katherina @ Zephyr Runs August 27, 2011 at 5:45 am

    Not an RD but a self proclaimed super healthy eater – definitely splurged on a steak burrito a couple nights ago. I won’t drink soda (like ever) but I won’t judge those who splurge on it. This is probably a super lame idea, but I kind of wish Michelle Obama had a food blog. I would LOVE IT.

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