Food is a Lifestyle: an essay (of sorts)

As I sit here drinking Mountain Dew Baja Blast and chowing down on Nacho Fries from Taco Bell, I was inspired to write about healthy eating. Hah. Jokes. Actually I was inspired to write about eating in general, and how it is a lifestyle. Or it can be. Really, this wasn’t inspired by my silly Taco Bell run (the Nacho Fries are exceptional, btw), but more so something I wrote on my personal Facebook page yesterday.

Healthy eating is difficult. But it doesn’t have to be. It’s so hard to wade through all the diet rules and advice that threaten to choke you with their insanity. There’s a reason it’s so hard to “diet” the way most people do it. Starving yourself and constantly depriving your body doesn’t really get you anywhere good, and in my experience, it hurt my mind. I was bored and frustrated all the time. I tried keto, paleo, vegetarian, even thought being vegan would be better for my body for awhile. Nothing stuck past a few weeks, even if I occasionally saw results. But food is a lifestyle, and that’s especially true for me. My life revolves around food and drink because I love cooking and trying new things. Because I don’t actually have any food allergies, and only a tiny intolerance towards gluten, there is a whole world open to me of things to play with and eat in my kitchen. (That’s half the reason I started this blog in the first place!) I’m not going to force myself to avoid pasta and bread forever, nor would I ever give up cheese. Hello, Wisconsin! <—That would be a tv show reference.

The point of all of this is to say that eating healthy can be done. There was a time when I was so frustrated by trying to diet that I essentially gave up creativity in the kitchen and hated being in there so much that we ate a lot of boxed food and also went out a lot. While I enjoy going out (lots of stuff to try!), that wore on my body too. I just couldn’t win. But then I realized that I was just trying to be someone I’m not. And somewhere in my internet explorations I came across the 80/20 philosophy…and it clicked. It’s not a diet, it’s a way of life. A lifestyle. I love food, and I could very easily make it love me again. Or something. The way I use the 80/20 philosophy is that roughly 80% of the time, I consciously prepare and consume whole foods, mostly veggies and lean protein and whole grains, and the other rough 20% is for the rest of the time when we get Domino’s Pizza, or I get Taco Bell, or there’s a fun new soda or chip flavor to try. You get the idea.

At the heart, it’s a mindset where you allow yourself to enjoy your food and drink, and therefore enjoy your life too. No freaking out over calories or that one night you had one too many deep fried cheese curds at the bar. It freed me up to realize that one unhealthy day or weekend does not mean I’ve totally lost all control and everything went to hell. It just means I’m capable of enjoying myself and still can be in control of my overall health and wellness.

To be honest, I could probably go on about this for a long time, because I’ve become very passionate about it. Also, intermittent fasting rocks. Also, I don’t have a recipe for you today. I promise these essay posts won’t be super frequent, but this was just on my mind and since it’s about food, I decided to share it.

Food is a lifestyle. And I like it that way.

Hope you are having a wonderful Wednesday and watch for a bonus post later this week where I will share a couple recipes for sorbet!!

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