One of the big focuses of this blog is on eating healthy. But before I get very far into this, I feel it is important to be clear that eating healthy food is simply a tool. It is not a “religion” with lots of strict do’s and don’t’s. It is not something to judge anyone by—including yourself. 🙂 It is simply a way to help make a better life for yourself.
I eat healthy because it makes me feel good. And I don’t eat perfectly. I don’t even try to eat perfectly, because that is simply not what it’s about for me. I eat well enough to feel calm and happy, to be able to sleep well at night and wake up refreshed in the morning, and to have lots of energy, excitement for life, and clarity of mind so that I can accomplish all the things I want to do. And that is it. Period. It is really helpful to keep the bigger perspective in mind in order to not take eating healthy too far and make it the end, instead of the means to the end.
You will want to find where that sweet spot on the continuum of healthy eating is for you. How well do you need to eat in order to get what you want out of your life?
On one extreme, you have the junk food diet—lots of processed, pre-made foods full of sugars, salt, chemicals, preservatives, and other non-food ingredients. It is quick and easy, but it leaves you feeling crummy, ALL the time. (Although you might not realize how crummy you feel if you have never had anything else to compare it to. I know I didn’t.)
On the other extreme, you have “perfect” eating, however you want to define that. It probably looks something like all whole foods, lots of organic vegetables, fruits, nuts, and grains, and everything made from scratch. You feel fabulous when you eat this way, but you also feel like you are constantly in the kitchen cooking and preparing foods, you are very limited in social events and vacations and you miss out on all the yummy stuff.
For almost all of us, the sweet spot is not going to be at either one of the extremes. I have learned over the years that the ideal spot is usually NOT at one of the extremes (and this goes for everything in life.) So somewhere in between is that perfect spot for you. And it will shift around a little bit with life’s situations, too.
We don’t have to eat “perfectly” for the sake of eating perfectly. Pick and choose what fits your situation and your needs. And above all, keep it simple, easy, and practical. Make it something you can keep up and not get burned out on. I find that the general rule for me is: if it is not super quick and easy, it is not going to happen. I have too many other more important things in life, and I bet you do too.