I feel I hear that line from friends, family, clientele and co-workers all the time. Just so we are clear, I work in a bar. Pretty much slinging beer and wings at night and my day job is to teach the complete opposite. There is a reason I bring my lunch with me to work everyday & don't rely on making responsible choices off the menu. I am definitely going to be honest with you. I love to eat food and YES that includes a little bit of junk food. I am human after all. Here is the thing, I have struggled the better part of my life with weight. So from my own personal experience and accomplishment, I know that balance is key to a healthy lifestyle. So let me describe to you what my (eating) day may look like
Breakfast: banana, almond butter, oat flakes, hemp and chia seeds OR a homemade green smoothie
Lunch: salad with a protein (meat or veg) OR homemade soups/stew
Snack: seasonal fruit, nuts, fresh cut veg, hummus, gluten free crackers
Dinner: whatever I may want!!! Somedays it’s homemade healthy deliciousness of salad, rice with fish or chicken, and some days we are out for dinner, tacos or burgers and beer.
I wouldn’t say that everyday I eat out, or that it’s dinner, maybe we go for breakfast. But the key thing to note here is that the majority of my diet is homemade healthy, clean and energy ready foods. I choose organic, seasonal, locally grown produce. Grass fed beef, organic chicken. I cook soups, rice or quinoa dishes and always have vegetables on hand.
I’m sure you have heard it before that 80/20 rule … 80% clean, 20% is when you can moderately indulge. I truly believe that this is a positive appropriate approach when balancing your daily and weekly diet. That way when you do treat yourself you know that you have already nourished your body throughout the day.
Balance, Portions & Journaling
What is really key when it comes to balance, is to not forget about what you ate previous days in your week. (This is a good time to start a food journal) It’s quite easy to eat a burger on day 2, and day 5, 6 and 7 you dismiss the beginning of the week. Another key component to simplifying balance would be to learn portion control, simply a protein should be the size of your palm, starch the same and veggies are all yours!
That food relationship
Starting to cook at home is so important, you know exactly what you are putting in your food. Head back to your roots, start to enjoy the process or gathering of food ; utilize farmers markets, plan ‘adventures’ around scouting out new foods. Prep your meals on Sunday’s or whatever day of the week you have a couple hours to spare (it’s totally worth giving up some tv time, put on some music and dance while you cook). You are accountable for nourishing yourself and your family.
As much as I truly believe in healthy eating, I’m realistic that our society socializes around food. Make some conscious decisions. Be mindful. Experiment. Enjoy everything you eat.