I think that sometimes the idea of healthy eating may seem like limiting “unhealthy” foods. But when I think of healthy eating, I think of eating more real, whole, nourishing, colorful and energy-giving foods than not. No rules, no restrictions.
For me, balanced eating to me is not equal parts real, whole food to processed food. It’s 80/20. It’s more of the nourishing stuff and less of the craving-creating stuff.
And nothing is off limits. Processed cookies, dinners out, fast food, ice cream, take-out pizza … I don’t restrict or deprive myself from anything and I don’t feel guilty if I do choose to eat those things. Physically my body probably won’t feel the best after eating those things and I know that. So instead I choose to eat more foods and ingredients that give my body fuel and make my body feel good.
So, 20 percent of the time, I eat anything guilt-free. And 80 percent of the time, I eat the foods that make me feel best, full of ingredients I recognize.
For me, balanced healthy eating looks like …
More apples, strawberries, mango and peaches than juice.
More roasted sweet, red and yellow potatoes than French fries.
More home-baked cookies than packaged cookies.
More organic meat than not.
More spices and citrus and herbs than salt.
More whole wheat, quinoa and brown rice pasta than white pasta.
More water than coffee and wine.
More brown and coconut sugars, pure maple syrup and raw honey than white sugar.
More wild caught seafood than farmed.
More raw or roasted veggies than fried.
More homemade pizzas than frozen.
More Greek yogurt than ice cream.
More carrots and hummus than chips and dip.
More homemade salad dressings than store-bought.
More fresh-ingredient-filled cocktails than sugary cocktails.
More avocado than butter.
More sprinkles of cheese, less cheese as the main ingredient.
More color on my plate, less brown.
More bread with whole grains and seeds than bread with white flour.
More dark chocolate than milk chocolate.
More unsweetened almond milk than heavy cream.
More home-cooked dinners than take-out.
More deliciousness and less restrictions and rules.