Thursday, December 12, 2013

Can you "cheat clean"?

I love reader questions.  This was a question that accompanied the photo above.
Lauren- this just appeared in my news feed.  When it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.  Can you "cheat clean?"

Where to start... yes, it might be possible to “cheat clean” if this refers to having some delicious and seemingly indulgent food without it leaving messy traces on your body. These traces could be temporary and take the form of bloat or perhaps they linger on our thighs or around the middle. Hu Kitchen’s amazing dark chocolate almond butter bar, Nibmor spiced hot chocolate and Bare Burger come to mind if I were to think of “clean cheats” but I don’t like this terminology at all.

In life or in food cheating and getting away with it doesn’t sound right. I may be a bitch but I’m not a cheat. Fibbing, lying or “fudging” aren’t in my repertoire. I much prefer the word treat to cheat. And of course there are foods and drinks that are treat-worthy. In The Little Book of Thin I explain Treat Training. Cheating leads to guilt, with treats the guilt is gone because you plan for these foods. You’re busy, I’m busy food and diet guilt is a waste of your time.

 And now for the ad in question. Is this cheating cleaning (there has to be a way to insert a drumroll sound)? You can look for yourself  but I spy sucralose (aka splenda) in these snack bars. If nuts, fruits and vegetables are “clean” foods, in this weird cleanliness analogy, splenda and all its fake sugar pals are dirty. This company may feel “low carb” and “gluten free” make it clean but I’m deeper than that. You’re not clean if you’re artificial deep down, not in my book.

We have a twitter chat tonight at 8pm #wellnesschat where I’ll discuss how to have your (holiday) cake and wellness too. Come join.
What do you think of “cheat clean”? Have you tried these bars? Do you like bars? And worthy treats, what are your favorites this time of year?
And in case you thought the cheating ad was bad, this is definitely worse. 

And no reader, it wasn’t your PMS that made you think so. "Surprise him with a new body" a topic for another rant or just gross.


  1. I don't like the word "cheat" either. As you said, it implies that you did something wrong. And I think there is room for treats, but you have to fit them into your eating day. Lately, my favorite treat is some really good, dark chocolate that I melt and then drizzle over banana slices.

  2. I love your treat...may have to fit in some time for "drizzling" which sounds so treat-worthy. Ha

  3. I have not tried these bars but they don't look like something I'd buy...I will say that they are low in sugar (though that's just because they are full of fake sugar) but that's a lot of sodium. And they might be gluten free and low carb, but you know what else is both of those things? Bacon. You don't see that on a whole lot of clean eating lists.

    A Bare Burger just opened near me, you're reminding me of what my next treat should be. I've never been but have been wanting to try it! Sounds like a good winter break activity.

  4. Love bare burger (and good bacon too).

  5. i love it, i might be a bitch but im not a cheat, amen L! cheat clean seems like an oxymoron. i'm trying to stay away from bars recently, find they dont do the trick like real food. worthy treats, nibmor hot cocoa, coconut rolled dates are new favorite non-chocolate indulgence, and always pecan pie

  6. I totally fell for these as a clean cheat based on all that fiber and protein and the low sugar and low cal. I suspected it was too good to be true, but didn't really dig into it. Ugh, now I know why they are so sweet with only 1g of sugar! And now I know why I always crave cookies after I eat one. Splenda is the gateway drug.