The week of Christmas 2012, I went with my family to Cheesecake Factory for dinner. I’m not a huge fan of this place because they don’t have a gluten-free menu and their menu is so enormous it’s impossible to make a choice. But my family wanted to go, so I went with them.
Afterward, we decided to check out the new Trader Joe’s grocery store that had recently opened (since it was in the same plaza as the restaurant and all). I spent a couple years of my life in Southern California, so I’m very familiar with Trader Joe’s (though these days I much prefer Whole Foods). I love exploring grocery stores, so I jumped at the chance to check out the new TJ’s.
So there we were, perusing Trader Joe’s, walking up and down aisles adding an item to our baskets every now and then. I had just added a jar of virgin coconut oil to my basket (I couldn’t believe how low the TJ’s price was compared to other grocery stores in my area!) when I rounded the corner near the bread aisle. I wasn’t looking for bread for myself (I’m gluten-free, and 99% of stores don’t offer fresh-baked versions of gluten-free bread), but my not-gluten-free husband likes to make sandwiches for work.
I walked over to the bread area and that’s when I saw it. A whole end-cap display of them.
At first I thought my eyes were failing me. There’s no way that box said what I thought it did.
I edged my way through the crowd of holiday shoppers and grabbed a box off the shelf. A box of brownie mix.
A box of brownie mix called: Trader Joe’s Reduced-Guilt Brownies.
Now mind you there are ads everywhere for diet programs and eating this way or that way. There are ads telling you that Cheerios are good for lowering cholesterol (riiiiight…) and that you can lose weight by shaking some mysterious seasoning on your food before you eat it.
And while all these ads piss me off in their own way, this box of reduced-guilt brownie mix just really fucking pissed me off.
This is not an attack on Trader Joe’s, they are just playing to society’s beliefs and profiting from it, as we should expect any company to this day and age. What this is an attack on, is the idea that we should feel guilty for eating a brownie!!!
That’s what truly pissed me off.
Why do desserts have to be tied to feeling guilty? Why?! Whose hair-brained idea was that? Because I’d like to kick his ass.
First off—there are plenty of ways to make desserts from real, whole food, that way you’re doing some good for your body, mind and creativity while enjoying your treat at the same time. (Eating real food is such a win-win!)
Don’t believe me? Here are some examples:
Second off—if you eat a balanced diet that includes a variety of vegetables and fruits, it’s perfectly and totally fine to have a brownie every now and again.
It just bugs me that society tries telling people—and especially women—that you have to associate certain feelings with certain foods. I say fuck that!
If you want to eat a brownie, you should eat a damn brownie and not feel at all guilty about it (now if you eat a whole pan of brownies in one sitting, that may be another story…).
Brownies are one of those delicious things that make life even more enjoyable. Why take that away from yourself?
Be A Badass, Guilt-Free
Things like Trader Joe’s Reduced-Guilt Brownies are one of the reasons I run programs like Badass Writers Bootcamp. Because I want you to see that there isn’t just one way of doing things. And that you don’t have to listen to the media or your friends or family or anyone else about what you should eat and how you should live.
The only person you should listen to is yourself. You’re the only one who really knows what’s right for you, your body and your life.
Example: Some people think I’m nuts for being gluten-free and dairy-free (two+ years and counting now!). I’ve heard “I could never do it” so many times I can’t keep count anymore. There are even some people who will try to encourage me from time-to-time to cheat by eating something that has gluten in it!
But I don’t give in.
I don’t give in because I know what foods work best for my body, and which ones don’t. And I stick to that.
Finding what works best for me has made such an amazing impact on my life and my creativity. I have so much energy now and my creative well is always full because I nourish my core source of creativity every day.
You can find what works best for you, too.
In Badass Writers Bootcamp I’ll guide you through a discovery process that will put you on track to a happy, healthy, balanced life, no more yo-yo dieting, no more giving up anything, no guilt.
I am a stand for writer-preneurs having happy, healthy, balanced lives, and making an income from their creative gifts. Join the next round of Badass Writers Bootcamp and finally take charge of your health, your life and your creativity.
The doors to Badass Writers are opening again on January 22. I’m giving early-access (on Monday January 21) to all the dedicated people on the VIP interest list. If you want to get in before everyone else, sign up for the VIP list here.
Image Source: TraderJoesRecipes.net