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Even More About WPF


What are treats? / Traffic Lights + Food Choices / Mastering Diabetes Traffic Lights / CNS Food Guide / Nutrition Facts Daily Dozen

What are Treats?

Dr Popper, Dr Greger, Dr McDougall, and other advocates talk about "occasional treats" as part of a long-term, sustaining, and achievable lifestyle. Here are ten examples to clarify what a treat might actually look like in practice:


  • CAKE: a piece of chocolate cake at a special birthday or anniversary celebration.

  • FAUX-FOODS: a processed, faux-vegan sausage at our best friend's annual summer BBQ party.

  • COOKIES: a favorite nephew's home-baked and decorated holiday cookie.

  • WHITE RICE: white sushi rice at our favorite Japanese restaurant.

  • ALCOHOL*: a vodka martini, sake, or a local craft beer celebrating a promotion at work.

  • A TOAST: a champagne toast at a wedding or on New Year's Eve.

  • CANDY: a candy cane at a holiday party or a bag of peanut M & M's at a Halloween party.

  • PRETZELS: a soft pretzel with Bavarian mustard at a German Christmas market (like in Chicago!). 

  • PIZZA + SUSHI: sushi or a slice of veggie pizza at our company's annual party.

  • TRAVELING: when travelling in remote places, and we're generously offered a local delicacy.

* Most WPF experts don't drink alcohol. They follow the science which overwhelmingly shows the direct correlation between alcohol consumption and cancer (among other ailments). Over one drink per week has shown to increase the chance of causing health issues. For me, I'm a 95-5 WPF advocate... this means 5% might include very small amounts of white sushi rice, faux-vegan cheese from Miyoko's Creamery, or a spicy Bloody Mary at a special celebration. Whenever I become absolute about anything, I tend to overdo it and fail hard. Researching this treat section gave me a little wiggle room. Within reason, that is!

Occasional... means just that: once a week (or even once a month) might be too often, depending on what and how much we decide to eat and/or drink. If our cravings can handle an every-once-in-a-while treat, and it helps keep us on the WPF path (almost) all of the time, then have at it.

Heads up... if indulging only wakes up our Salt-Sugar-Fat Monsters, then it's probably best to go cold-turkey. For food addicts, treats can be a slippery slope towards a serious binge so yeah, heads up. In the end, it's all about daily choices and making sure that treats are for special occasions.

For WPF vegans... a treat could mean vegan junk foods like Oreo's and Doritos (Spicy Sweet Chili, Lightly Salted, and Blaze Flavored are vegan), french fries, and processed faux-vegan foods.

For vegetarians... a treat could mean a beef sausage at a barbeque party, homemade chicken soup when you're feeling under the weather, or highly-processed junk foods like turkey jerky when you go on an annual road trip.

Traffic Lights + Food Choices

Cyrus Khambatta PhD and Robby Barbaro MPH, co-founders of Mastering Diabetes, use a traffic light system to navigate food choices. Green foods are limitless, yellow are caution foods, and red foods are avoided. Dr Greger, founder of Nutrition Facts, is also a traffic light advocate. The traffic light system offers practical ways to turn difficult decisions into smart solutions for sustainable and long-term health.

The Daily Dozen**

Nutrition Facts created a research-intensive, evidence-based list to support Food + Fitness as Medicine for life. Get the Daily Dozen app and watch the short video via the link below. The 12 categories are: beans; berries; other fruits; cruciferous vegetables; green leafies; other vegetables; flax; nuts and seeds; herbs and spices, whole grains; beverages; and exercise (plus B12).

** Dr Greger of Nutrition Facts shared that if he were to create a Daily Baker's Dozen, he would add mushrooms. FYI.

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