#502 Fully justifying whatever terrible thing you’re eating

Let the grease glisten, mayo drip, and soda fizz.

Here are three ways to make the magic happen:

1. Veggie Validation. My friend Mike is king of this hilarious move. “Gotta get my greens,” he’ll say, while chomping dill pickles on the couch playing video games. “Carrots are good for you,” he’ll smile, while licking thick cream cheese icing off a moist brick of carrot cake. Remember: Anything with vegetables in it fully qualifies as potentially healthy. Now go relax and enjoy some sweet pumpkin pie with a side of onion rings.

2. Dumbbell Defense. On the rare mornings I venture to the gym for a half-dozen situps and some stretching in sweatpants, I always end up eating a tipsy mountain of nachos for dinner later in the day. “No worries,” I’ll think with cheese-greasy fingers and salsa dripping down my chin, “I totally worked this off already.”

3. Vacation Breakin’. When you go on holidays it’s fun to free your stomach from the shackles of the kitchen. Slip into shades and shorts and start breaking the rules in the slow lane. Remember: getting away from it all means putting your feet up and having a third sundae.

Yes, fully justifying whatever terrible thing you’re eating is a beautiful eyes-wide moment of taste-based wonder. It’s great ditching the guilt once in a while to enjoy a crispy-skinned wiener on the sidewalk or a drippy quarter pounder after the bars on Friday night.

People, we ain’t spinning on this rock too long so let’s all remember to relax and just enjoy the extra scoop.


Neil Pasricha and The Book of Awesome will be on the CBS Early Show on Thursday, May 20th.

— Email message —

“Hey Neil, yesterday one of my best friends surprised me with the book of awesome, and I have been reading it ever since. Today, in class, we were assigned to give ribbons to people who have made a difference in our lives stating ‘Who I am makes a difference’. I would like to give you one (virtually) because your site has helped me notice the things in life, no matter how small, that make every day a little bit better. Please accept my ribbon!” – Natalie

Photos from: here, here, here and here

62 thoughts on “#502 Fully justifying whatever terrible thing you’re eating

  1. My friends and I definitely do this. Anyyyyytime anyone feels guilty.

    “This pizza is fulfilling our daily needs: there are veggies, those are healthy. Meat, well that’s vital. Dairy and calcium in the cheese, so we’re covered there. Gettin’ in grains via the wheat crust, awesome. Yeah this is healthy! Good choice!”

    Love it :D

    I am so very excited for The Early Show!!

    1. LOL…that’s what me and my brothers use to do. It really is healthy….. it has everything you need packed into one perfect circle…… just don’t think about the grease.

  2. I definitely spent an hour at the gym this morning and used it to justify the chicken fingers and poutine I had for dinner.

    Mmmm poutine, truly a brilliant invention. Dairy from the cheese, vegetables in the potatoes, and meat(by-products) from the gravy. Plus the chicken! Totally healthy!

  3. Oh geez this is my friend and I. We are friendly competition losing weight, but at least once a week we eat out with the justification of “we’ve been good, doesn’t hurt to splurge…” etc.

  4. Hey, when the CBS show comes on, could someone please do a YouTube video link? I’m stationed in Germany, so we don’t get CBS at the moment…

  5. I justified eating a pie after a hard day at work. I told myself “If I finish this giant project by the end of the day, I shall have pie. I shall not feel guilty. And it will be worth it.”

    And so I ate a whole pie. Granted, it was a miniature pie, but a whole pie nonetheless.

  6. I get to do this for the next 8 months…..
    “Oh, I have to eat this…the baby wants it!”
    “I don’t want this third burrito, the baby is making me eat it!”

    1. One of my good friends had a baby back at the end of February, so last semester we had a good time always joking about that.

      “So … I think baby wants us to go get ice cream. It’s all for her, ya know … ”

      Then she (baby) would kick like crazy after the ice cream, so we knew it was true (and had NOTHING to do with the excessive sugar … hehehe).

      1. Its one of the best excuses. No one’s gonna tell a pregnant chick that she can’t have the last slice of pizza or that big piece of cheesecake.

  7. I did this tonight! I finally finished my final exams and told myself I am going to exercise all summer! As I am driving home on an empty stomach, I stop at In N Out for “One Last Time”. Now, I’m eating nachos.
    Wish me luck on a full summer diet and exercise.

  8. The coke and pizza that I eat every friday after I get home from school is only because I just cleaned the house. It’s my reward to myself….

    PS- Good luck on CBS, I don’t think I’ll be able to catch it in the morning, but then again that’s why God made DVR.

  9. Eating apple crisp for breakfast. You have the fruit with the apples, and the crisp part is just oats, add some wipped cream and you’ve got your dairy too! It’s the perfect breakfast food, leaving a nice warm feeling in your tummy at the bus stop in the morning.

  10. It was so great to get a text from Natalie last night, saying that she had sent a message to you about the “Who I am makes a difference” project and that you responded. And then when I came downstairs and saw the email on your blog, that brightened my morning to the fullest. Thank you for the writing probably THE best blog ever! (:

  11. I use the ‘celebration’ excuse a lot. As in: “This really amazing thing happened, I should celebrate it by eating this cinnamon bun the size of my head!”

  12. Another way to justify eating crap is on your birthday… calories don’t count on your birthday, ya know.

      1. Someone also told me that if you break a food item, such as a cookie, the calories fall out. So breaking food is KEY, people!

  13. “put your feet up and have that third sundae” LOL!

    The best is when you have a really active (fun!) vacation, so you can eat all you want, and still not gain weight!

    Aww… I love the ribbon from Natalie! That is so-o-o-o sweet and cute!

    1. Then you have an automatic justification for eating it … because, after all, you DID pay soooo much for it. :D

  14. My wife and I have been working out for the past couple of months just so we can justify all the crap we’ll be eating on our holiday in June :)

    Pints of Beer…check
    Fish and Chips…check
    Deep fried Mars bars…check check check!!

  15. I fully agree with all the logic above. I just wish my blood sugar or my scale would get with the program and behave.

    BTW – third sundae? Do I have to stop there? If there’s alway room for ice cream, can we eat it forever? I wish…..

  16. Natalie ~ you & your ribbon are awesome!! I love it, we don’t tell people nearly enough that they are important. Thanks for a smile :)

  17. Before commenting, just have to say Neil, you really changed the way I see life. I’m much happier now I read your blog :D

    I justify eating stuff all-day long, saying I will do a few minutes of excersice more that week, and finally when I got to them gym my total time to get all the snacks away is around 3 hours XD Well, not as hard as you think when you put a break into it.

  18. you forgot to mention “When someone else is paying…” I brought a nice, healthy, spinach salad to work today in preparation for a vacation I’m taking to California next week, only to have my boss offer to buy me a fried fish lunch at the local market. I couldn’t pass it up. I guess I can use the “Dumbbell Defense” though, since I ran 6 miles before work. :)

  19. I am a chronic Dumbbell Defender! It just makes so much sense justifying the crap food with the burned calories!

  20. I love justifying!!!!! Me and my friend to it constantly. Even with things that aren’t even close to justifications like ” I just read 2 chapters now I can eat”

  21. I cannot even begin to tell you how much i agree with this. With finals and graduation, i don’t think i’ve eaten a truly health day’s worth of meals in weeks. But i justify it by saying, well i had 7 servings of veggies for the week with a salad once a day. that counts, right?

  22. Score! I totally needed to read this as I just came home from a so-not-healthy vacation. I’m trying not to think about all the crap I consumed this past week and I’ve already started back on my natural foods and whole grains diet this evening (as I type this, I’m munching on an apple).

    I just keep telling myself, “it was only a week out of the whole year…can’t hurt too bad…”

    1. .. the best diet, anyways, it to control what you drink and eat between New Year’s and the Christmas season.
      Then you can have an extra serving or two without any guilt whatsoever between the Chritsmas and the New Year’s eve.

      Still trying to follow that simple plan in practise!

  23. i totally do this i just skipped cookies last week for triple berry cake, cause hey its got fruit in it!

  24. today the lady with the most beautiful eyes I ever kissed (almost) fully justified how she hadn’t eaten pancakes in five months or so, while spreading more than generous amounts of butter and syrup. just watching her was worth the whole morning.

  25. You should make The Book of Annoying!!! I read that in the book of awesome somewhere and I thought it would be a great idea. Awesome book! I just got it for my two month vacation a week ago and I just finished it…very addicting. I don’t know what I’m going to do to get myself asleep now. THANKS A LOT!!!

  26. I can now justify eating a “GIANT” Poutine today (w/out feeling guilty) using the dumbbell defence seeing as I spent two hours at the gym yesterday and I walk up the stairs at work everyday (11 flights of stairs that is). YAY! Poutine! lol…Poutine will be my downfall…haha


    P.S. Nothing compares to a Poutine at the Silver Bullet in Sudbury, ON —>unlimited cheese and gravy on fries (the best invention ever!)

  27. I pour milk in everything, speghetti,whie chedder cheetos,dill relish,bit of lunch meat.
    or putting bits of chocolate in my cherry coke.

  28. I have beetroot and spinach in the fridge fresh from the veggie patch… For dinner I had packet noodles… I think I may not be the only one guilty of this ;)

  29. Corn is a vegetable and vegetables are good for you, right? Beans are good for you, and chocolate comes from a bean. So popcorn and chocolate are health food!

  30. Hmm, I already walked to and from school today, so TECHNICALLY I already worked off this package of Maple Cookies…Oh! What’s this? 5% Iron? I need my Iron, I’m a growing young woman~! Hmm, Fully justified here, all seems A-OK to my conscience, Bottoms up you delicious little baked snacks of Mapley goodness! OM NOM NOM NOM NOM! mmmm, Awesometastic~!

  31. “Fully justifying whatever terrible thing you’re eating…”
    When I was a toddler, I was lost in the mountains; when found, my face was covered in fresh berry-bear-poop…I mean what were my choices… frog’s legs, eye of newt, ants without chocolate…I chose organic- Justified.

  32. I really like the dress but know you would appear fab in both! I cannot believe every little thing in the store might be 1/2 off! WOW, wish I lived closer because I really like The Limited.

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