Healthy Eating: Do what works for you

Smoothie and granola bowl

The problem with ‘healthy eating’ is it can sometimes seem like a hassle. Healthy options such as snacks aren’t as readily available as crisps and chocolate, and reaching for a pack of Walkers is often seen as easier. It also becomes confusing when we are bombarded with advice from different outlets providing conflicting evidence on what is ‘healthy’.

Vegan. Gluten Free. Sugar Free. Plant Based. Paleo. Alkaline. Natural.

What does it actually all mean? How do you make your decisions and where do you draw the line?

Personally, I eat EVERYTHING. And I mean EVERYTHING.

I eat a balanced diet which includes meat, dairy, fruit, veg, and grains. I also eat chocolate, crisps, drink alcohol and have been known to enjoy a Five Guys burger and fries. It’s all about the quantity and regularity with which I enjoy these things. I feel life is about moderation, and so I have my cake and eat it too.

Sure, I often opt to make things as nutritious as possible, even my treats (such as these avocado brownies or sugar free chocolate and pear cake).

The truth is I don’t have the time, money or inclination to make my own almond milk. I choose to drink organic cow’s milk, and that works for me.

It’s important for you to make decisions about what works for YOUR LIFE. If you can drink cow’s milk, great we’ve been drinking it for centuries. If your body doesn’t tolerate it well, or you prefer a milk substitute, well then good for you. The same goes for everything else you consume.

With a full time job, part time blogging hobby, and part time studying, for me it’s all about speed, convenience and portability. A lot of the go to ‘healthy’ options I rely on might not seem all that healthy to others. I drink full fat lattes, I eat apple crisps, I use microwave brown rice and I enjoy dark chocolate.

Everyone is different; for someone that doesn’t eat much fresh produce, simply adding a handful of lettuce, a piece of fruit or a side of veggies to their meals makes them feel that they’re being healthy. It’s all personal and it’s all relative.

GOod Housekeeping mag shoot

I try not to judge others on their food habits, but looking around social media and the blogging world, it’s hard not to feel like others judge me on my own choices. With messages that fructose is bad, dairy is evil, frying is a no-no and we should all be tee total, it can feel like we are failing at eating healthily if we don’t subscribe to all of these ideas.

My advice to others, both in the healthy living world, and those that want to make healthier choices is choose what works for you. Eat as much real food as possible, know what you’re eating by reading the back of packages, and eat plenty of fruit and veg in a variety of colours. Everything else is up to you.

I am not a health care professional or Dietician, but I will be… in 4 years. Watch this space! 

14 Comments

  1. 16th April 2015 / 1:19 pm

    Here here!!

  2. 16th April 2015 / 4:39 pm

    Yep I totally agree! Sometimes I’ll find myself trying out a fad diet (when I really should know better considering I am a health professional!) and then realise that it is completely and utterly ridiculous. I tried the Dukan diet once, and the look on someone’s face when I was eating cottage cheese mixed with tuna and hard boiled egg for lunch was enough to put me off fad diets for a long time! V embarrassing…

  3. Hannah
    16th April 2015 / 4:53 pm

    I agree. I’m not a fan of in-depth analysis of food and different diet plans and most people who blog about it probably have an unhealthy obsession with food anyway. We all know what is and isn’t healthy, whether we choose to follow it 24/7, allow ourselves occassional treats or eat unhealthy foods most of the time. I don’t want to read loads of blog posts (not talking about this blog by the way!) about different food plans. No idea what ‘whole 30’ and other stuff like that is as I read the title and skip it. Everyone knows what is healthy for them! I do like discovering new recipes on blogs though.

    Ummm… May have gone off-topic there, sorry!

  4. 16th April 2015 / 9:13 pm

    I’m a bit of a chocoholic. I say ‘a bit’….I’m currently sat finishing off my kids’ Easter egg whilst reading your posts on yummy healthy eating options. *Must try harder!* I’ve just bought the Davina McCall Sugar Free cookbook (Five Weeks to Sugar Free’ I think it’s called.) There are some really great sounding recipes in there that I really want to try and I’m hoping they’ll persuade me I can survive perfectly well without my sugar fix. Generally I avoid diets like the plague. I’m definitely an ‘everything’ in moderation kind of girl, but my sweet tooth is getting beyond a joke!

  5. 17th April 2015 / 8:29 am

    I couldn’t agree more! I also eat all the food (yes, probably way too much), and I love it – I enjoy flavour, I enjoy eating. I try to make sure I have a balanced diet, my meals are colourful and full of different textures, and that I don’t overdo the chocolate and sweets. Some weeks are much easier than others, but I do my best not to get hung up about it. What I do need to sort out is my tendency to reward myself with food rather than food being my fuel. I eat after I’ve been hungry a while rather than fuelling up before I go, meaning I eat too much and too fast. But we’ve all got lessons to learn 🙂

    You talk a lot of sense 🙂

  6. 17th April 2015 / 10:01 am

    Watching how we react to foods is indeed the best option. I personally have seen huge improvements in my health since I made certain changes in my diet. If I eat anything, my stomach will complain.
    Wishing you lots of success with your studies.

  7. 17th April 2015 / 12:43 pm

    Hi Charlie. It’s great to meet you! When I read the title of your post I thought to myself, rules? The only rule is to find what works for you. I loved that we’re on the same page!

    I host a weekly Fitness Friday link up and I would love to have you join and share your post. If you’re interested http://jillconyers.com

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  8. misszippy1
    17th April 2015 / 2:24 pm

    Completely on board with this! I wish there was more of this attitude, honestly.

  9. 17th April 2015 / 3:16 pm

    Love this article. I totally agree. Tick all the nutritional boxes in order to perform your best (as a wannabe athlete!), but yes yes yes to alcohol, choc & crisps – just balance it. More you over analyse the more you want to eat. Just relax. Start dieting early in life and probably find your on a diet for rest of life.

  10. 17th April 2015 / 7:41 pm

    Given my history with an eating disorder, I strive to have a mentality like this! I do my best to avoid spending too much time comparing my eating habits to otherwise and focus on what I enjoy. It helps me keep mentally sane.

    I completely agree to your thoughts! 🙂

  11. 19th April 2015 / 11:02 pm

    Very nice read! I hate reading technical analysis on food, so I really enjoyed this one! I agree with Ali, a balance on alcohol, chocolates and crisps is okay. 🙂 I hope we can all live a healthy and happy life.

  12. blackandtabby
    20th April 2015 / 1:11 pm

    Great post. I’ve always believed in ‘everything in moderation’ and it seems to suit me. Happy and healthy!

  13. 29th April 2015 / 1:01 pm

    Amen! Couldn’t agree more. Very well said 🙂