There are countless diets out in the marketplace right now. There are just as many weightloss, weight management and nutrition related programs out there. I have my own philosophy about food that took a long time to settle in, found through my own imbalances and trial and error, reading, researching and finally, just plain living.
I know my own lifestyle isn’t perfect for another person. My diet (and by that I mean what I eat and do not eat) and the way I exercise and nurtrue myself may not work for you, just as someone else’s may not work for me. That’s all okay. What is more important is for each and everyone of us to find what really works to make us the healthiest and best versions of ourselves. That is the key and what really matters. Since I am in this fitness and nutrition world I am often asked about programs, diets, supplements and lifestyles. I have been approached to try different brands and diet programs. Sometimes I try as a way to educate myself and so I can have a personal experience to share. Other times I just have to say no. Some programs just do not go along with my food philosophy.
I have a simple, easy, less is more philosophy about food. What you eat should begin with foods close to their natural form. I like to say that we should be eating foods that actually have mothers. (Cheeto’s do NOT have a mother!) I love food and appreciate it on its many levels. Eating fuels our bodies, helps with our health, helps us celebrate and brings us together with others. Growing up in the South where we grew lots of our foods and cooked almost everything, food was plentiful, delicious and a way to show love. For me, there is nothing better than planning a menu, prepping and cooking a meal and sitting down with my family or friends. It is the ultimate show of thought and love! I encourage eating foods that do not exclude naturally occurring fats, sugars, proteins, or carbohydrates, but do balance them in a way that fuels the body optimally.
I do not believe that there is one diet or way of eating that fits everyone. One should eat based on dietary preferences, food allergies, traditions and customs. What we should limit are foods with processed ingredients and added sugars. That being said, you need to allow yourself to be a human being! There is room for foods you love, the occasional splurge on your favorite food and appreciation for the taste and flavors of your foods. What you choose to eat and put into your body should be doing more good for your body to improve your health, your energy and your well being and doing less to harm your body. These days there are a lot of foods out there that are harming our bodies!
I have always said that I love food. It represents a lot of things for me. It is one of the main components in having a healthy life. That being said, I spent some years with a really unhealthy relationship with food. I know what it is like to be afraid of food or think there are “bad” foods and “good” foods. That is a terrible way to live. That time in my life was not healthy, although I thought in my head that I was the healthy one because I would not allow certain foods to pass my lips. I would even avoid some social ocassions because I was afraid to eat, or eat in public, or be seen eating. Looking back I am really sad for that girl. That is not a healthy way to live.
Now I live by a much healthier philosophy. I believe in balance, although that can sound far too loosey goosey. I try to eat as cleanly as possible, enjoying lots of vegetables, an appropriate amount of healthy protein and healthy fats. I think learning to live a “non-diet” life, learning the right macros to eat at the right times and for the right reasons has been the most freeing way for me to just live a lifestyle. I eat clean 80% of the time and enjoy what I want 20% of the time. Of course, there are times when I have enjoyed a little too much and have to change my rule to the 90/10 rule. Eat clean for 90% of the time and only allow for 10% of treats. It is all about making the best choices for the meal, snack, day and the week. If I tried to eat clean 100% of the time with no room for the occasional treat on the weekends, or while out with friends or on vacation, I would be setting myself up for disaster. I would feel deprived, cranky and have a big ol’ binge. It would also take a lot of enjoyment out of living, being with others and enjoying the celebration of food.
Overall, food should be composed of whole foods, balanced with healthy proteins, fats and carbs to offer simple pleasure that balance our lifestyle and happiness. It doesn’t need to be complicated and doesn’t have to be stressful. Keep it simple. Eat real foods, mostly vegetables, eat enough, and celebrate this great big life we get to live.
I began my journey mostly focused on fitness. However, a health journey is so much more than exercising and fitness. What we eat and put into our bodies is what nurtures us, gives us energy and can be our medicine. Creating a healthy way of living is more than working out to look a certain way. It is more about taking care of ourselves, eating to perform and eating to live, and feeding our bodies and using food for all of the wonderful, healthy reasons it is there for us. It is there for our health, our celebrations, our family gatherings, our fuel, our wellness, medicine and also our rewards and treats.
You can get all of this without reading mile long food labels, trying to decipher words you cannot pronounce, force feeding yourself powders, pills and supplements. You can keep it simple and keep it balanced AND a celebration!
- AND if you are looking for some simple meals to add to your Summer Rotation, if you are bored with your same recipes, if you are looking for healthy, simple options for your family, you may want to check out my SUMMER 4 WEEK MINDFUL MEAL PLAN
4 Weeks of Simple Meals including menus, shopping lists and recipes. All the work done for you so you enjoy these Summer days!
Just CLICK on the photo for More!