Have a cake (doughnut) and eat it too!

doughnuts

It’s no secret that I love a good doughnut. I know, you just gasped, right? You’re probably thinking, “is she really admitting to the world, or rather her small audience, that she doesn’t just love doughnuts but she actually eats them?” Yes, that’s exactly what just happened. Even though I am a wellness professional and eat healthy foods 90% of the time, I love a good, deep fried doughnut, and when the opportunity arises, I don’t hold back. You don’t believe me? Here’s the proof: Donuts 003It is important to note that I did not pose for the above photo. Nope, I was just that excited to be eating a buttermilk old fashioned from Blue Star Donuts in Portland, Oregon! This post isn’t actually about doughnuts, although judging by photos alone you’d probably beg to differ. Rather, it’s about enjoying things in moderation, like doughnuts. Side note: I did pose for this next photo!Donuts 001

Growing up I had access to some of the best doughnuts ever. The Model Bakery was just up the street so every Saturday and occasionally during the week I’d come home to find a little white bag sitting atop the kitchen table. Inside I’d find either a chocolate iced cake doughnut, a raspberry filled bismarck, or glazed twist and in a matter of seconds I proceeded to spoil whatever meal was looming. Thankfully genetics was on my side and I was a fidgety, active kid, because I probably ate more doughnuts than is ideal.

As an adult, my fondness towards all things doughnut hasn’t changed much but my attitude regarding how often and what kind of doughnuts to indulge in has gotten rather, um, pretentious? Yes, I have set high standards but that’s the only way I can truly enjoy my not so guilty pleasure and maintain a healthy, balanced way of eating. I’m surrounded by doughnuts at gas stations (eew), little sleeves of powdered doughnuts at the grocer (surprisingly tempting), and various day-old doughnuts around the office (a major no-no) so had I not thought this through, I’d be in trouble.

Whatever it is that you love, be it doughnuts or wine or nachos, you should set some limitations. Those limitations should be so easy that you know right when offered or tempted whether or not you should indulge. Here’s my very easy to follow guide to help me determine whether I should eat or pass up the next dough-dough I encounter.

  • Is it a cake doughnut or something buttermilk with icing? Those are my favorites; all others will disappoint. Eat what I enjoy, pass up the rest.
  • Am I on vacation? Special foods on special occasions. There’s a time and place for doughnuts. That time and place isn’t every day at breakfast, it’s a random weekday when I’m on vacation.
  • Was it made fresh in a bakery? Always take advantage of fresh doughnuts; say no to pre-packaged.

In the photo below you will see the lovely people of Blue Star making the doughnuts fresh! This was definitely a special occasion. I considered going to Voodoo but my cousin, who lives in Portland, gave us the inside scoop and directed us to Blue Star. I have no regrets.
IMG_4014Honestly, those three questions pretty much help me decide if I should indulge. Taking time to think a doughnut decision through makes me a little more intentional about what I put in my body, especially when I know it’s something that should really be eaten in moderation.

My doughnut adventures in the Pacific Northwest didn’t end at Blue Star. Up in Port Angeles, WA, I came upon Cock-a-doodle Doughnuts, which was less gourmet than Blue Star (no blueberry bourbon basil to be found), but definitely made me feel a little like I was 10 years old again, eating a favorite treat from Model Bakery. After asking myself those three important questions, I decided the best way to end my vacation was a little treat by Lake Crescent. IMG_4304So the morals of this story are: Don’t deprive yourself of something you love but be thoughtful in everything you eat, even when it comes to choosing the right doughnut.