In Fine Feather: Just one bite, indulge in moderation

March 4, 2015

By Alena Purpero

It’s one of your friend’s birthdays. You and several other friends are out to eat. The restaurant staff finishes their personal rendition of the song “Happy Birthday,” put a festive hat of some sort on the birthday girl/boy and put down a plate of rich, flourless chocolate cake in the middle of your table. Next to the plate are more than enough forks for the whole table, and as everyone grabs a fork you can foresee that a slick slice of chocolate mousse cake will never see the light of day again.

While your friends are out for blood, fork-fighting one another for a bite of the cake, you sit staring, contemplating. The little angel on your right shoulder says “hey, we promised we would start eating clean from now on.” While the little devil on your left shoulder pulls the, “Just one bite won’t hurt.”

Hold on, maybe the little devil on your left shoulder is on to something. He’s a realist in the sense that not many people stick to the “cutting out junk food cold turkey” mechanism. If you haven’t always been the healthiest eater, then going from a poor diet to cutting everything you used to eat out completely is not realistic.

I have set my own restrictions in the past, whether that means giving up coffee or chocolate for lent or just following a diet in general. Let me tell you, as soon as it is over and it’s Easter morning I indulge in what I previously swore off, just because I can.

The same goes for a diet. As soon as your diet ends, or you quit it, you make up for lost time with the food you cut out. So how can we have a healthy lifestyle instead of cutting out our favorite foods completely and then binging?

The solution is simple, trade in your naïve expectations of a month going cold turkey for a life of balance and moderation. Stop diets and improve your lifestyle.

“A diet that’s too restrictive – whether too restrictive on calories or food choices – is one that can be set up to fail,” says “It can take some experimenting, but healthy diets can be enjoyable and affordable, and they don’t have to include giving up all of those foods you love.”

As someone who loves to travel, try new things and indulge in life, why shouldn’t I be able to indulge in food in moderation?

This is a concept that Dr. Oz’s daughter, Daphne Oz, preaches. Daphne is a big believer in finding a life that makes you the happiest within moderation and balance. In the theme of her book “Relish,” she explains why it is important to relish food, style and life, and that health should be a priority, not an obsession, according to

Obsessions are often phases, and phases often have a short life span. Don’t take on an unrealistic diet that will make you miserable and binge eat as soon as you get the chance. Eat clean, but treat yourself on occasion.

Whether it is once a day, once a week or once a month, know that you can pick up that fork and partake in the brawl over that chocolate cake, just not all the time. If you want to be healthier, that transition won’t happen within a few weeks and certainly will not stick around longer than that.

If you want a healthy lifestyle, then it’s a lifelong process. Ever hear of the term healthy monthstyle? Yeah, didn’t think so.