I remember the days when 90 calorie packs, Light & Fit yogurt, and Special K cereal were considered my “healthy” eating. Why have 2000+ calories when you can have 1200 or less without sacrificing taste??
NOT. Even. Close.
Ugh. Few things frustrate me more than the hypocrisy of healthy (sh*t) eating in America. I bought into the craze for years thinking I was the boss-hoss at picking lighter foods and preparing easy, “diet” meals. The ironic thing is I was 3 sizes bigger (pre-baby) than I am today and full of “food-like” chemicals.
Last year, my husband and I joined a very INTENSE nutrition challenge through our gym that required us to eat clean, 100% Paleo (minus natural sugars). Holy f-ing cow. I didn’t think I was going to make it a whole hour, but I ended up making it for 21 days straight without one slip-up. I was incredibly proud.
While I couldn’t sustain that level of commitment to Paleo (we still consume dairy and are gluten-reduced), I did decide that my family and I needed to eat clean. It became a non-negotiable in our budget and in our general life priorities. The key is quite minimalist in nature. I look for products with fewer ingredients that I recognize/can pronounce, free of processed sugars, and are the highest quality I can afford. Since clean eating often requires more prep, I try to select recipes that have fewer ingredients to balance the time. I like recipes that focus on the natural flavors of the food as much as possible any way. (I made a roast last night that only required onion, garlic, a bay leaf, salt & pepper. It was SO damn good.)
I’m not perfect (80% of the time I do it, every time), but who wants to be perfect when there’s a Dairy Queen across the street? (I’ll get my soft serve with crunch-coat and eat it with a smile.) I used to scoff at bacon and eggs while I mowed through my boxed cereal. Now bacon and eggs are a staple in our house in addition to full-fat dairy products. I don’t portion my food and for the most part, eat guilt (and chemical) free. Boom.