The 11th of May is “Eat What You Want Day.”
This is put forward as a day to treat yourself by taking a break from any food regime or discipline you normally follow (mind you, didn’t we just do that five days ago with “No Diet Day“?)
It’s a day to indulge in foods you don’t normally have or allow yourself.
Many people take this to mean treating yourself to something calorie-laden, but it doesn’t have to mean that: it could mean something you don’t often have simply because it’s expensive.
You might wish to take the time to make your favourite comfort food. Some people suggest that if you’re a vegetarian you could cheat and have shrimp, or if you try to keep kosher, you could sneak a piece of bacon.
What about you? How would you indulge? With something sweet, or salty, deep-fried, lots of carbs? Or, something expensive?
If you have kids, you may wish to consider letting them plan what the food will be for today.
It goes without saying that presumably the instigators of this day did not mean for you to eat anything you are deathly allergic to.
That being said, it would be interesting to hear what doctors and dietitians say about this day in general.
A healthier way to approach this day might be identify something you’d like to indulge in more often, and figure out how to make it healthier so that you might do so more frequently. After all, air fryers now exist, and that opens up all kinds of possibilities for healthier “junk food.”
Some weight management plans, such as Weight Watchers, actually have indulging built into them already through “bonus points”, so that you can “cheat” without “cheating”.
Eat What You Want Day was inaugurated by Thomas and Ruth Roy.
“My favourite of them all is May 11 — Eat What You Want Day. It’s the brainchild of Thomas and Ruth Roy, radio personalities from Meyerstown, PA. The couple submitted the event to “Chase’s Annual Events” as a reaction to the plethora of it’s-good-for-you, oops, it’s-bad-for-you health claims during recent years.
‘When my mother was in her late 70s, her doctor told her she had to eliminate foods such as eggs, butter and coffee from her diet,’ Thomas recalls. ‘When she was 80, despite following her doctor’s orders, her blood pressure and cholesterol counts had not improved. She basically said, ‘To hell with it — this is not going to make me a 20-year-old again’, and so she friend an egg in butter. It tasted so good she went to the supermarket and bought a pound of coffee.
‘She ate in moderation, but she ate what she wanted. When she returned to the doctor six months later, he said, ‘Mildred, you’ve really been behaving yourself, because all your counts are so much better.’ Mother let him have a piece of her mind. We don’t want to deny ourselves so much that we forget to enjoy foods, and that’s the reason for Eat What You Want Day.'” — From Apples to Zucchini: There’s a special day to honor practically every food. Longansport, Indiana: Logansport Pharos-Tribune. 15 January 1992. Page A5, col 1.
Tom and Ruth worked in the wellness industry (and still were as of 2021, running a website called wellcat.com).
“To help alleviate the constant see-sawing of nutritional emotion, Tom and Ruth Roy, founders of the Wellness Permission League and co-hosts of a morning all-news radio program on station WHP in Harrisburg, PA, have been the driving force behind establishing a ‘National Eat What You Want Day.” — Forgang, Isabel. Saying ‘Tofu-ey!’ to Health Food. 22 April 1992. New York, New York: Daily News. Good Living section, page 9, col. 2.
Brown, Chris. Indulge with no regrets on “National Eat What You Want Day”. Red Deer, Alberta: Red Deer News. 11 May 2020. Accessed April 2021 at https://rdnewsnow.com/2020/05/11/indulge-with-no-regrets-on-national-eat-what-you-want-day/
CBS 62. National Eat What You Want Day is HERE!. Detroit, Michigan. 11 May 2020. Accessed April 2021 at https://detroit.cbslocal.com/2020/05/11/national-eat-what-you-want-day-is-here/
Celebrate National Eat What You Want Day. Cinncinati, Ohio: WKRC. 11 May 2020. Accessed April 2021 at Bhttps://local12.com/news/offbeat/celebrate-national-eat-what-you-want-day
Eat what your heart desires on National Eat What you Want Day! Laredo, Texas: KGNS-TV. 11 May 2020. Accessed April 2021 at https://www.kgns.tv/content/news/Eat-what-your-heart-desires-on-National-Eat-What-you-Want-Day-570372351.html
Minaglia, Lacey N. It’s National Eat What You Want Day. Portland, Maine: WGME-TV. 11 May 2020. Accessed April 2021 at https://wgme.com/news/offbeat/its-national-eat-what-you-want-day