good foods, bad foods and eating cookies at breakfast.

Saturday morning I had this perfectly satisfying breakfast that I thought was worth posting about.

It was a plate of cheesy eggs, a thick peanut butter cookie the size of my palm (cookie recipe coming soon!) and a large vanilla latte.  It left me full AND satisfied.

Cookies are a dessert and may not be what many people are reaching for at breakfast time.  Since desserts and sugar are talked about in our society like they are poison, it would be easy to see why someone would try to deprive themselves of them or talk about how eating them for breakfast is wrong.  But the thing is, a desire for sweets is natural and enjoyable.  No one but you can know what is satisfying, when you should eat a certain food, or how much you should eat.  It’s normal, protective and healthy for you to feel resistance boil up inside when someone tries to control how much you eat or what foods you eat.

At some point I realized that playing the same tape in my brain that said, “cookies, cookie dough, etc. are bad and I shouldn’t eat them,” wasn’t getting me anywhere.  The problem with thinking that certain foods are “bad” is that just the perception that the food you are eating is “bad” is more likely to lead to overeating.  A great reason to get to a place where you think of all foods neutrally and don’t have good or bad foods is because that thought allows you to eat the food that your body craves so you can think about food less and move on with more important things in your life.

When stopping thinking of sugar-y foods as bad foods, something that was helpful for me was to eliminate the word dessert from my vocabulary.  Since dessert is pretty much a four letter world in our culture.  Instead of choosing to call dessert-y foods desserts, anytime I ate any food I classified it as either a meal or a snack.  This isn’t something I did out loud.  It was just something I did in my thoughts before eating.  At the time I felt pretty neutral about eating meals and snacks, so there was less judgement. 

The point of this was to be able to see no food as more special than another and to truly begin to feel neutral about all the food I ate.  A piece of cake wasn’t better or worse than tortillas or oats at breakfast.  They were all just carb sources my body could use for energy and were a component of my meal.

You can change the way your brain thinks over time if you feed it good things.  Your mind likes to replay old tapes.  Old tapes that may say “dessert is bad.  Feel guilt when you eat it.” Maybe a new way to think, as you get away from a good food vs. bad food mentality, is to help your brain relabel all food into one of the following categories: a meal or a snack. You have to start training your mind to go to the good vs the dark side.

p.s. if you’ve heard about (the ridiculous-ness that is) Weight Watchers offering free membership to teens this summer and want to read some non-diet thoughts on why this is a problem, here is a good article from Rachael on it


  1. I couldn’t agree more!! Even though it has every dang tagline known to man and is “healthy”, I picked up a frozen paleo almond butter brownie simply because I thought it sounded different. I thought about having it with eggs for breakfast and then let myself believe that it might not be the best choice since it still is technically a brownie. But you know what, I will be enjoying it soon! Like you said, I’d have a carb as either cereal/oats/tortilla; carbs are needed and come in many forms. I split the last brownie with Matt so we could both try it. I may split this one for him to enjoy it too or I may say screw it to their portion size and eat all of it if my hunger level says I need it. :) Thank you for all of your awesome messages and voice of reason!! I love your blog. I am just going to keep saying that.

  2. “You can change the way your brain thinks over time if you feed it good things” –> Love this, and it applies to all the thing your brain thinks about! Through CBT, I have worked through having negative thoughts be the norm to more positive thoughts, so now if a negative thought does pop in I’m like “wait a minute, that’s weird we don’t think like that anymore!” 

  3. Oh how sick I am of hearing about the latest “evil” food. First it was fat (boy did that one mess me up), then it was carbs, now sugar. Pretty much it’s all been bad at some point. If you listen to enough of it you could end up scared to eat anything!! I think when it comes down to it fear of food is the real problem (:

    • I’m with you. Always hearing about the latest food to fear gets old and creates a lot of anxiety in some. Any message that makes someone more scared about feeding their body isn’t a good one.

  4. More than any other IE blogger I follow, you embrace the neutrality of food so wholeheartedly! It is so great to be reminded of this message and to see you exemplify it. Thank you Kylie!

  5. My husband and I have been doing this naturally for a long time now and absolutely sets me free! Meals are meals and snacks are snacks. Everything falls into those two categories. Love this post and it’s potential to really help people.

  6. This post is so great! Definitely resonates with me as I have always had a sweet tooth (my grandfather always had Little Debbie noms on hand for kor and me <3). I also am now wanting to go home and whip up some pb cookies to have with some fluffy scrambled eggs because that just sounds delicious.

  7. What a great idea to reframe dessert as a meal or snack. Always love your posts because they are such a nice break from diet mentality! On the subject of sugar, almost every morning I have chocolate with my coffee and it is SO satisfying :)

  8. I go through periods where I do really well thinking this way and then I tend to relapse. I freak out a little when I feel I’m eating “badly” or haven’t had enough vegetables or something. It’s almost like intuitive eating works for me when I feel that I’m doing it in a nutritionally acceptable way. It is really tough, but reading these kinds of posts help.

  9. Well, now I need to make these giant PB cookies…recipe?

  10. I love the idea of not using the word dessert, especially with it being demonized in our society. Having something sweet with cheesy eggs definitely makes for a satisfying breakfast in my books too 😀

  11. Great post :)! Really trying to get into this way of thinking

  12. Yes! Today I came in to work to find a lovely flourless chocolate cake made by my coworker. I had a slice and wasn’t hungry for lunch until 4pm. It was scrumptious!

  13. Love love love! I grew up in a house where my step dad was obsessed with “good” food and all I ever heard was how bad X Y & Z were. This of course led to years of struggle, anorexia, etc for me. I recently read a post from a dietitian talking about feeding your toddler and it was talking about how they don’t label things dessert and often add things like a cookie to their plate just as a side. Not making a big deal out of it, or making it a treat at the end. The kid often doesn’t touch it. I thought this was brilliant. So simple, but also huge. I will be doing that with my son for sure.

  14. FOR ME, it was helpful to a step further with the neutral language — FOOD — just plain food — became my word of the day, every day. As in:

    I eat food.

    What food do I want to eat now.

    Just ate food. Do I want some more food? Or am I done eating food for now.

    Kinda like that.

    Oh, and I am an eater. I eat food. :)

    (Not a SAD eater or a vegetarian eater or a clean eater (I eat without showering or washing my hands first all the time!).


  15. Pingback: Two Thick & Soft Peanut Butter Cookies – Yeah…Immaeatthat

  16. You are awesome! I want to post this on my wall. Can we be friends :)

  17. just had an iced sugar cookie with my breakfast right before i read this <3 great minds think alike!

  18. Hi Kylie,

    This post encouraged me to eat two Oreos with my cereal this morning. I can feel myself getting better each and every day, and posts like these really help. Thank you so much!

  19. When I was describing the foods I ate recently I realized I referred to ice cream as a “snack” rather than “dessert”, and it occurred to me that I haven’t used the word “dessert” in quite a while in describing what I had eaten (only when asking for a menu at a restaurant really!). I didn’t do this purposefully, I guess it happened naturally as I was trying to find a way to feel neutral around food, and I am so glad I did that for myself! 

    Also- that cookie looks amazing. PB cookies have always been my favorite, can’t wait to make them! 

  20. I thought of this yesterday! Someone brought me a birthday cake for my bday and when I woke up the next morning, all I really wanted was another piece of cake. So that’s what I had! So good!

  21. Love love love this. How do you make your lattes at home?

  22. I just stumbled upon this post and I’m really glad I did. I have been experiencing A TON of anxiety around food lately and I can’t seem to shake it. My acupuncturist is having me take a break from reading “health blogs” and listening to “health podcasts” because the information about gluten, sugar, and a host of other foods being “bad for you” was getting overwhelming. I found myself not even enjoying my delicious and ridiculously healthy salmon salad at dinner one evening and I couldn’t figure out why. But it was because I was second guessing everything that I put in my mouth. I just want to be relaxed around food and that is why I love how you approach eating!

  23. Love the idea of simplifying foods as meals or snacks! 

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