The concept of balance is an important one -- for health, for food, for life. So while I place a high value on proper nutrition and healthy eating, balance is a key for success in a nourishing diet. By and large, if most of us were to try and eat totally and completely healthily 100 percent of the time and never splurge, we would fail miserably. (Or at least feel a little deprived sometimes)
I like to live by the 80/20 rule. That is, 80 percent of the time you're eating nutrient dense, healthy food but the other 20 percent of the time it's OK to "cheat" a little. Yes, I will eat an occasional bowl of store-bought ice cream. Yes, I will drink the occasional cup of non-organic Starbucks coffee with non-organic half-and-half in it. Yes, I will enjoy a few of those natural-but-still-have-some-poor-ingredients-in-them chips.
Now, I'm not asserting that you throw out your good sense during your "20" time. There are some things I just downright won't ever eat. (MSG, aspartame, high fructose corn syrup, red food dye, processed soy, etc.) I also don't think that purchasing "junk food" and bringing it into the home is wise. Use this "20" rule when you're at a friend's house, eating out, traveling, etc. for bringing junk food into your home can quickly become a trap. But, to be able to ENJOY that treat during your "20" time is, in my opinion, important.
In theory, if you're consuming a healthy and nutrient dense diet, your cravings for these unhealthy foods will become much less frequent and intense. I know this is true for me. When you don't eat processed foods or drink soda for an extended period of time, you'll find they're hardly even appealing anymore. But come on now, don't all of us just need some ice cream every now and again?
This article is a great expression of what I'm talking about.
What do you think?