Today, I want to talk about two things:
- What I eat in a typical day*
- Why rainbow sprinkles might be healthy**
*Things like that beautiful bowl (below) and more, which I share on MindBodyGreen…keep reading for the link!
**More specifically, why I’m officially making an effort to eat more foods that contain ingredients I ordinarily would not eat in typical day (hello, artificial food dye and refined sugar!)
Before you possibly start to question my sanity and/or wonder whether you are, in fact, still reading Honestly Nourished (you are!), let’s talk about what the word “healthy” means for a quick second.
According to Merriam Webster the word “healthy” is officially defined as the following…
: having good health : not sick or injured
: showing good health
: good for your health
OK…Pretty vague, right? I know, but stay with me here.
Is healthy eating a plant-based, meat-free diet and the opposite, like raw vegan? Is it training at the gym for six hours a day? (Probably yes if you’re a professional athlete.) Or attending a yoga class three times a week?
Is healthy avoiding things like rainbow sprinkles or the occasional cookie because it doesn’t have any superfood ingredients or might contain something processed? Or is healthy over indulging in said sprinkles and cookies because it makes you feel good? Hmm.
I could keep listing possibilities for, like, ever, but I think you get where I’m going. Suffice to say that there’s really no right or wrong definition of “healthy.” (Within reason, of course, because I’m sure we can all universally agree on at least a handful of things that aren’t healthy.)
Yes, diet and exercise are huge components of health and wellness, but certainly not the only ones.
Yet we often get hung up on these two alone and mistakenly think that being healthy means things like eating squeaky clean kale salads 24/7, running five miles a day, sipping on superfood smoothies and organic green juice, avoiding any and all processed foods and sugars, waking up at 5:00 am to squeeze in a sweat-inducing workout (possibly at the expense of a decent night’s sleep), fitting into size 0 o 2 denim, or finally nailing a handstand at yoga.
Those things can be healthy and they can also be not-so healthy.
One person’s way of eating or exercising is simply one person’s way of eating, not necessarily a blueprint or mandate to follow. It’s all subjective. So without further adieu…
WHAT I EAT IN A TYPICAL DAY
A few months ago, the food editor at MindBodyGreen reached out to me and asked if I’d be willing to share what my typical day of meals looks like for their “What I Eat in A Day” series. Of course, I was completely honored that they were interested in featuring me on the site and welcomed the chance to participate.
After all, I admit to loving the voyeuristic nature of the Internet and social media as much as anyone. Even as a dietitian, I’m curious about how other nutrition professionals, healthy food bloggers, and wellness experts eat #IRL.
That said, I feel compelled to mention that while I see the potential value in giving others a glimpse into my day-to-day diet, I also recognize that some might to judge my lifestyle/eating habits or compare theirs to mine—neither of which is productive.
When you read my “What I Eat in A Day” article, please keep in mind that what I choose to eat is not necessarily a reflection on what or how I think anyone else should eat (except for the part when I mention consuming one pound of produce and a gallon of H2O per day—everyone can benefit from more hydration and veg!).
There isn’t one way of healthy eating. There isn’t one diet for everyone.
You each have to figure out what works best for you and hopefully, ideally, it’s not a diet at all, rather a lifestyle for the body, mind, and soul.
Something that I try really, really hard to practice as much as I preach, even though this hasn’t been so easy for me recently…
I alluded to my recent healthy/balanced eating struggles in both the love letter to my body post from February and also in an Instagram caption that I posted last week. If you’re not on social media or if you missed the Instagram post, I shared the photo below featuring a bowl of Arctic Zero Cake Batter ice cream with rainbow sprinkles.
Those are legit, real deal rainbow sprinkles full of 100-percent NOT clean ingredients like refined sugar and food dyes galore.
It may not seem like a big deal for most, but for me—someone who has not let so much of a drop of real sugar (let alone artificial food coloring) past my lips for two years—it was a BIG deal.
Front page news? Um. No. But baby steps toward balance? Yes.
REDEFINING A HEALTHY BALANCE: PASS THE SPRINKLES
As for what “balance” means to me exactly? I’m working on redefining that word for myself, too.
Maybe it will mean a balance of 80 percent healthful foods that nourish my body and 20 percent indulgent foods to nourish my soul, but if the split is 95/5 or even 50/50 that’s OK, too. The point is that it really doesn’t matter as long as my choices (specifically my eating habits) are driven by what makes me feel my best—physically, mentally, and emotionally.
I’m not saying that I’ll be going back to my old processed, sugar monster ways—because that’s hardly the answer—just that I’ll be cultivating more ease, freedom, and spontaneity in how I approach my personal healthy lifestyle. Because honestly? A life without rainbow sprinkles every now and then is, well, kind of boring. It’s also totally unaligned with my philosophy that being healthy means not being unnecessarily restrictive or dogmatic.
Adhering to a super clean, a.k.a. unprocessed, sugar-, gluten-, and dairy-free diet definitely makes me feel amazing physically, but it’s been taking a toll on my mind and spirit—two equally important components of wellness and health.
So expect to see me adding in these formerly off-limits foods more frequently as I work on challenging myself to live on the edge (i.e. be less rigid and more spontaneous with my diet hahaha) because like I said in my Instagram caption, life’s too short to be afraid of a few rainbow sprinkles.
A topic that actually very conveniently ties back to MindBodyGreen believe it or not…
Last weekend I randomly listened to an episode of what might be my new favorite podcast—The Model Health Show with Shawn Stevenson. As fate would have it, the first interview I randomly picked was an interview with MindBodyGreen founder and CEO Jason Wachob, who was on the show promoting his new book Wellth.
The episode “Making Space for Pleasure in Your Diet And How to Live a Wellthy Life” is AWESOME. The interview delves into Jason’s background, how and why he founded MindBodyGreen, as well as what wellness means to him. The thing that really resonated with me was how much he advocates intentionally stepping outside your normal healthy eating realm.
“To be truly wellthy is to find your personal prescription.
To discover what works for you, what feels good, what you love.”
–Jason Wachob, Wellth
I also loved this excerpt from Jason in the episode:
“It’s about building a lifestyle, when you’re too rigid you set yourself up for failure…I do think that sugar is toxic and there’s a lot of research to support it but I also think that every now and then a good donut is good. You gotta live. Pleasure is important to living that lifestyle so whatever that looks like to you, you should enjoy that treat. I think that living life with saying I’m never going to have a donut again, that’s tough! … Enjoy things when you can but be mindful of it.”
Check out that podcast BUT FIRST, hop over to my “What I Eat In A Typical Day” post on MindBodyGreen to get a glimpse at my daily diet (and satisfy all of your voyeuristic curiosity!). I want to extend a huge thank you to the editorial team at MBG for asking me to participate and I hope you enjoy the post.
YOUR THOUGHTS >>>
How do you define “healthy?” In what ways do incorporate fun and #treatyourself by making room for a bit of unhealthy indulgement in your life?
Do you like seeing posts about what I eat in a typical day? Are you interested in me sharing more about how I’m working on adding formerly off-limits foods and bringing unhealthy back (in moderation, obviously!)?
Please share your thoughts in the comments, yo!
See you back here on Friday for your weekly healthy recipe fix. It’s going to be a good one! 😉