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Do I Ever Cheat?

Do I Ever Cheat?

Last week, I was asked by a friend of mine if I ever cheat. No, she was not asking if I ever cheat on women but rather wanted to know if I ever cheat on my diet. While I was taken aback by the question and didn’t have an immediate answer, she followed up with […]

Personal Issues


Last week, I was asked by a friend of mine if I ever cheat.

No, she was not asking if I ever cheat on women but rather wanted to know if I ever cheat on my diet.

While I was taken aback by the question and didn’t have an immediate answer, she followed up with “Don’t you ever eat a doughnut?”

“No, I never eat doughnuts,” I quickly responded. That was an easy one to figure out. The thought of putting a Krispy Kreme into my body never ever enters my mind.

The larger question about cheating, however, really got me thinking and this is what I came up with.

1) My friend asked me this question because she (and probably many others) may perceive me as someone who is depriving himself of certain types of food.

Yet, almost never do I deprive myself of food. I eat raw organic ice cream or chocolate (sweetened with maple syrup or palm sugar), both of which taste as good and as sweet as anything I’ve ever eaten.

Pizza was one of my favorite foods but I have eaten it so little of it over the past few years that my taste buds for it have most likely disappeared. Yes, there is organic pizza but I just don’t have the burning desire to eat it.

The one food that I love(d) and have not been eating is popcorn. It is high on the Glycemic Index but I am thinking about making it with coconut oil one of these days. So, popcorn may be the only exception.

And if I eat popcorn and it doesn’t resonate with me for any reason, it is out.

2) I eat what is good for me. I like to put things into my body that are good for me and that are going to keep me healthy.

The only thing I eat or drink that does not taste good is wheatgrass. The taste of wheatgrass is pretty brutal but I also know that it may be the healthiest food on the planet.

3) I eat what is going to make me feel good, emotionally and physically.

Since the summer of 2004, I have eliminated all refined sugar from my diet. It used to get me massively depressed, so I don’t eat it anymore.

This realization about the connection of food to my emotional well-being plays a major role in my decision about what to eat on a daily basis.

Furthermore, this is another reason why I eat organic food. Eating food that has been sprayed with chemicals, is filled with growth hormones or has been genetically-altered in a laboratory is not food that will make me feel good.

My body knows what real food is. GMO or pesticide-laden food is not real food in my book.


While many people may look at my diet and think it looks quite unappetizing, I don’t view it that way at all.

I very much enjoy what I eat, and it makes me feel good. As a result, the notion of cheating would be eating unhealthy foods that I don’t like.

And why would I want to do that?


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  • Hello Max,
    I am loving your blog! There is so much good information! People have definitely been giving me the ‘crazy-eye’ over the last year, as I have tried to move my families health in a better direction. Between you and Food Babe, I am learning so much about making better choices.

    Thanks for the article! We are still in that transition phase and unfortunately there is more ‘cheating’ than I would like to admit. Can’t wait till we are all the way there! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Marge Teilhaber says:

    I left the house today on an empty stomach to go visit a friend in the hospital. After a fairly short while, I’m starving and go downstairs to the hospital cafe but it was closed. Then went to the lobby level coffee shop but no way was I buying a a garbage sandwich and/or coffee/muffin. Went to the gift shop and bought a $2 bag of plain almonds, no salt. BINGO. Got home at 4:30 and devoured a banana & peanut butter and more good stuff. So glad I didn’t give in and throw $$ out on crap.

    Max, great article. I’m with you but don’t talk the talk all the way. I’m strictly veggie in restaurants but it’s not organic places, for instance, and I love desserts and the garlic bread etc. When someone invites to their house, I eat it all for the most part. I have one hot dog a year and can’t say I don’t love it. But I eat 80% in my own house where I’m in it all the way with organic and strictly nutritional powerhouse foods. For me it’s a good balance. Weight is less than HS and I feel good. I learn a lot from you and I thank you!

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Marge,

      Thanks so much for sharing, and I am glad that you’re learning a lot here. I am deeply appreciative that you read my blog.

      Live well,

  • Robin says:

    I’d like to respond from the questioners position. As someone who is still in transition to a real, whole food and grain free, slightly modified Paleo (still eating dairy and beans at times) way of eating, I do cheat, and here is why: I fail to plan. So if I forget to take my lunch to work, I can get some fruit and a burger (supposedly ‘high quality’ meat, but probably not organic) from the store down the street, and not eat the bun. I have even been known to get fast food chicken when I needed a “meat fix” because I was feeling a little faded in the afternoon and needed “something substantial” on a long driving trip, where I failed to plan, and ran out of food.

    That may not be the spirit of the question that was asked, but my answer to the question, is yes, I do cheat. I am about 75% -80% of the way to where I will be. It’s those last little changes that will push me to get there. Along with very good planning and not being too lazy or distracted to carry out those plans! I am sure once I am there 100%, and the planning has become second nature, I will also say I don’t feel the need to “cheat”

    Keep up the good work Max, it is inspiring and may help to push those of us who are “almost there” to “getting there”

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Robin,

      Thanks for writing. Everyone is on a different path and at a different stage. It great where you are and keep going!!!

      Live well,

  • Marsha says:

    I love this! After changing my eating habbits for the better there are so many foods that I don’t even like to smell (driving past fast food chains). Many of my friends and coworkers give me “the look” when I tell them no thanks to foods they offer me. Hopefully someday they will understand. As for popcorn with coconut oil…’s the absolute best!! One of my favorite treats!!

    • Max Goldberg says:

      I know exactly what you are talking about, Marsha!! This has been happening to me for years.

      Live well,

  • I know how you feel. The though of a gooey doughnut or piece of cake is completely unappetizing to me. But fresh juicy fruit is hard to resist – almost any fruit in season. When you eat fresh wholesome food you crave more of it, and junk food holds no appeal.

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Lynda,

      I couldn’t agree with you more. Isn’t funny how the foods we used perceive as “guilty pleasures” are no longer appealing anymore?

      We now want foods that taste good, are going to make us feel good after eating them, and are healthy. It’s hard to accept anything less.

      Thanks for your input.

      Live well,

  • Luanne says:

    I’d like to meet you someday 🙂

  • Kathy says:

    It’s funny how we get used to things. When I was married and had plenty of available cash for the groceries, I’d skimp and not always buy organic because of the price differences. Now, divorced with a considerably smaller food budget, I buy organic. I went gluten-free 3 months ago. It’s easy now-adays and I found out it is a main culprit in an autoimmune disorder. I have no problem being gluten free and I don’t miss anything except the bread that gets put on the table at restaurants, but it’s only a momentary thing. I gave up dairy for non-dairy ice-creams that taste better than all the low-fat sugary stuff I used to buy. Good food means you eat less. That’s what I’ve found. It fills you up and takes care of what our bodies really crave. You don’t cheat when you know the costs of doing so and you really care about YOU. I’m with you Max!

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Kathy,

      There are two things here that I loved what you said.

      1) Good food means you eat less — When we are eating super-nutritious food, our the cells in our bodies are getting what they need and we don’t need to eat as much.
      2) You don’t cheat when you really care about you — Very, very true.

      So glad to hear you autoimmune disorder seems to be under control.

      Thanks so much for your feedback!

      Live well,

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