There are many schools of thought about what makes up a healthy diet. Some would argue that that a plant-based, vegan diet is optimal, while others may believe following a meal plan based on Weight Watchers or another such company gives them the best and most healthy diet possible. Heck meat and potatoes can be a number one choice for many too!
It really depends on your own personal views about nutrition, and really it’s great that there are so many varying diets out there. No one person is the same as another. Also, no one exact diet (the way one eats, not a mode of food restriction and/or reduction) works for everyone.
I wanted to share my thought on what makes up my diet, which I consider healthy, and also explain why I choose to eat the way I do. You may get a glimpse into my diet through the recipes I post, but rarely do I show an entire days’ eats.
The bulk of my diet
If I were to guess, about 75% of the foods I eat are homemade from scratch. It varies day to day, but I really strive to eat foods that are as natural as possible. I eat 5-6 times a day, because I’ve found that works for me. My body is used to eating every 3-4 hours, and if I don’t eat when I usually do, my body begins to yell at me.
I try to comprise each of my meals with a combination of carbohydrates, fats and protein. The carbohydrates come in the form of either whole grains (bread, oatmeal, grains, etc.), fruit, beans or starchy vegetables. Fats usually come from nuts or seeds, olive oil in dressing or cooking, avocado or fish. Protein (which I eat the least % wise compared to carbohydrates and fats) comes from varying sources. Most mornings it will be an egg, throughout the day I count beans, nuts and fish as my source of protein and for dinner it’s usually beef, chicken, pork or tofu /beans for a vegetarian meal.
What makes it healthy to me?
Having found a balance of 5-6 meals a day, filled with carbs, fat and protein really helps keep my energy up. What I’ve also found that gives me loads of energy, while providing mega nutrition is loading up on veggies.
I eat vegetables as often as possible. I’ve learned to love and crave veggies because they make me feel so energized and amazing, plus they are delicious. The most energizing vegetables come in the form of greens – spinach, kale and swiss chard. They really are super foods and should be eaten every day. I always try to eat either a salad, green smoothie (when it’s warmer out), a stir fry or a breakfast veggie hash.
What I try to limit
As I’ve come into this balance that works for me over the past couple years, I also realized that certain foods don’t make me feel very well. Dairy in particular I limit because it upsets my stomach (bloating and gas… all that fun stuff).
Excess sugar and white flour affect me much more strongly now. When I eat it, especially in larger amounts I can feel my blood sugar rise with an almost uncomfortable caffeinated buzz – well a sugar high. I think it effects me much more strongly now because I feed my body more wholesome nutritious foods. It’s just not used to processed, sugar laden foods. My body likes energizing, nutrient packed meals and snacks, so when it doesn’t get that it must get confused.
Do I eat healthy all the time?
Of course not. I don’t think I could manage a 100% all natural, no processed foods diet, nor would I want to. There comes a point when obsessing over foods becomes a bit unhealthy too. Like I said above, about 75% of my food are homemade, but probably about 90% of my eats are what I consider energizing and healthy, good for me foods. I treat myself to a goodie each day. It keeps me sane, plus I love my sweets.
Gosh I would be missing out if I was super strict about my diet. The holidays just passed and there were baked good everywhere. I enjoyed cookies, chocolate and cake just like everyone else, but the bulk of my food throughout the day were energizing, balanced meals.
There are also days when all I want is a nice cheesy pizza. I’ll make it at home and savor it each bite. Even with dairy up setting my stomach I still love it and indulge in it, just not very often.
Do I count calories?
No, not anymore, but I have in the past. There is so much more to food than calories or points. I find that when I focus on whole foods I naturally eat enough. I do feel like I’m always eating though. I think when you pack in whole grains, fruit, veggies, healthy fats and lean protein you can eat more. Plus I exercise regularly, so my body needs food to energize me through that and properly recover.
Where I am now with my eating didn’t change over night. I’ve slowly morphed over the years to eat very nutritiously, which I think is how it should be. I know it’s a life long change and will stick.
There is so much more to it than what I’ve written here. I wanted to share it because I’ve found a way of eating that makes me feel amazing, and also keeps me naturally at a healthy weight.
Feel free to ask any questions or leave a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you think is a healthy diet. Like I said in the beginning, everyone is different and each person has a unique diet. What works for me may not work for someone else.
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