I eat a diet of greens, vegetables, lean meats, complex carbohydrates, and ice cream. Is there really a balance? I share my experience with letting go of food restrictions.
News flash: I don’t just eat kale. Heck, I don’t eat kale every day. Does that bother me? Nope, not at all.
Why wouldn’t that bother me? Because I eat a healthy diet on the daily, but always leave room for ice cream, chocolate, and sprinkles.
I may not eat kale every day, but I always have fruit with my breakfast in the morning, a vegetable and a salad with dinner, and stay clear from processed foods. But remember, this is the usual on a day-to-day basis, and not every.single.day.
I still eat ice cream, pizza, cookies, sprinkles, and potato chips, but it is not part of my every day lifestyle. Over the years, I have found a “balance” between my daily diet that is filled with whole real foods and then the occasional not-so-whole foods.
So you are probably wondering why I would share this on a blog dedicated to clean whole foods that fuel runners and athletes. I am sharing it because it is the truth and I am all about being real with you here.
I have had this conversation a lot with my parents who are trying to lose weight – we talk about how you have to have those foods that maybe are not so good for you every once in a while. You cannot follow the same strict diet (still don’t like to use the word diet, but you get the point…) day in and day out. You have to make time for those foods that make you happy when you sit down to eat them. And even though a big green salad can make me a happy girl sometimes, I still want that pizza sometimes too. Do I order pizza every time I go out to eat? No, more times than not I order something like a salad, but sometimes… you just gotta have the pizza.
I think being away at college was good for me in this aspect. When I cooked for myself in my apartment, I cooked a lot of meals similar or the same as what you see on the blog: spaghetti squash, oats, and brussels sprouts to name a new. But when I went out to eat with friends, I ate pizza, I ate a burger, I ate fries, and I had a beer.
Did I feel guilty?
Nope. I was out enjoying myself with my friends and I knew that when I got back to my apartment I would be back eating the same way I was. I did not have these foods laying around my apartment kitchen, they were saved for the times when I was going out with friends.
I shared far more about my green smoothies here on the blog than I did about the pizza I ate. And it was not because I was trying to hide anything from this blog, I have always been real about the foods I ate.
When I went out with friends and ordered something not-so Lean, Clean, & Brie, my friends would make a joke about whether I would share it on the blog or what my audience would think of me eating this way. And to be completely honest, I have always hated when people say things like that to me. Food is meant to be enjoyed, and that is that. Sometimes a green smoothie and a bowl of oatmeal will do, other times it is a bowl of ice cream. What I eat should not determine who I am. And that goes the same for each and every one of you reading this post.
When I see influencers on social media share a meal they ate and get a bunch of comments saying they should not be eating that, it upsets me. What everyone eats is their own business, who cares if it falls into the frame of what you think people should be eating. Everyone has different dietary needs and those may not always be clear and present in an Instagram post.
While I do not think there is necessarily a balance between kale and ice cream, I think that both are part of a healthy diet. I am thankful for my time in college when I realized there is more to life than the food we eat. Going out with friends, eating a burger and beer, and making memories were the best nights of my college life, not the nights I made a piece of grilled chicken and asparagus. While the nights going out were way less than the nights in, I still think they made more of an impression on me. I am actually sure of that because those are the nights I look back on and smile on.
One thing that helped me find balance in the healthy living world was a book I have talked about a lot here — Run Fast. Eat Slow. Using this book as a guide (not a rule book) for the way I eat has allowed me to feel no guilt when I eat a brownie that a coworker brought into work and has made me fall in love with fueling myself right.
The book centers around fueling your body with real whole foods, but still indulging in those foods that would not necessarily fall in that category. When I flip though the book on the weekends to find inspiration for meals for the week, I get excited to pick out recipes and get cooking in the kitchen, because I know I am fueling my body with the foods it loves. And because I do this on the regular, I feel absolutely no shame in the times I enjoy a cookie or two while watching TV. After all, food is meant to be enjoyed.
Moral of the story — fuel your body with the foods that your body needs, but don’t lose sight of the foods that bring you happiness. While you still won’t see me eating a box of macaroni and cheese, you can certainly see me indulging in Buddy’s pizza. It is special to me and I make time for those foods in my life, even if it is not daily. Because of this, I am the happiest I have been when it comes to my relationship with food, and just for that I am happy.
- How have you found a “balance” between kale & ice cream?
Linking up with Thinking Out Loud!