I try to eat a well balanced diet including fresh vegetables, fruit and whole grains. I try to only consume hormone and antibiotic free dairy. I eat low fat yogurt but choose whole fat cheese and half and half for coffee. I purchase meat from a butcher who breaks down whole animals from local farms that raise their stock humanely. I buy seasonal produce and try to make colorful nutrient rich meals.
On a daily basis I don’t eat bread that comes from plastic bags, eat baked goods that come off a grocery store shelf or eat bottled salad dressings. When I eat the “dirty dozen,” I eat organic when I can. I grow my own vegetables in the summer.
This is my diet 95% of the time (admittely, sometimes the percentage creeps down around 90). In the eyes of a dietician it would be considered very well balanced and “healthy”.
But then there is the other 5%.
The other 5% is a balance of utter crap and booze. In moderation, I eat and drink food that can be classified as junk food. Chips, french fries, sweets, wine and whiskey cocktails make up the balance of my diet. Life is too short to not splurge. Do I do it daily, no. Do I do it weekly, hmm ugh, I’d say yes. Why? because a life without a little cake is kinda depressing. French Fries are delicious. OH, and wine, it tastes really good.
Lately I’ve seen a few posts of Facebook … 5 food NEVER to eat, the McDonald’s Shamrock Shake will kill you. And then there is the Food Babe (I refuse to link to her) who believes every thing she cannot pronounce is a toxin. And while I do think that eating a diet of fast and processed food on a daily basis is not “healthy”, an indulgence here and there is okay.
I’ve read an exhaustive amount of literature on the subject a “healthy food” and diet and here are “the rules” I try to follow:
1. Don’t feel guilty buying quality food
2. Cook my own food when ever possible
3. A portion of potato chips here and there will not kill me and neither will my yearly Shamrock Shake, I just don’t do it every day
4. Keep portions in check (order a small)
5. Unless I’m splurging, I eat lean proteins
6. Load up on vegetables, try for 6-8 portions of vegetables a day
7. Keep my belly healthy – eat fermented foods because they are good for me (not the alcoholic kind)
8. Drink water, not just coffee all day
9. When eating bread, eat the kind that does not contain preservatives (the kind that gets hard and moldy after a few days)
10. Don’t let one “choice” ruin your whole day or week. It’s food, you’re next good choice is only a meal away.
I eat by these “rules” most of the time. But, I’m a realist, I know that I can’t eat “perfectly” all of the time. So when I do indulge, I do it and move on. Because last time I heard, nobody has died from indulging in a yearly Shamrock Shake.