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, any food allergies and 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 times because I was afraid to have to eat, or eat in public, or be seen eating certain things. That is not a healthy way to live.
Now I live by the 80/20 rule. 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. It is all about balance. If I tried to eat clean 100% of the time with no room for the occasional treat, cookie, or wine on the weekends, 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 balances our lifestyle and happiness. I have been looking even more into nutrition lately and educating myself on a deeper level to be able to answer more questions, offer more advice, examples and encouragement in this area. It is such a huge area of a healthy lifestyle and component of overall well-being.
It doesn’t need to be complicated and doesn’t have to be stressful. It is a basic and important part of life . . . and like each day, should be enjoyed! For another good food philosophy, check out Jamie Oliver’s food philosophy.
This is a chef who cooks, eats and lives responsibly and with balance. It is a great way of looking at the big picture.
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 incredibly important. It 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 and medicine and also our rewards and treats.
What is your food philosophy? Who do you look to for a good philosophy? What is your general rule for balance? What are your treats?