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What is healthy eating?


Healthy Eating -  A way of eating that maintains or improves overall health and makes you feel good.

There is no one-size-fits-all definition when it comes to "healthy eating." While similar methods and ideologies may work for the masses, every individual is on his/her/their own nutritional journey.

Depending on who you are, "healthy eating" could mean.....

  • Making homemade almond milk, grinding your own nut butter, or picking produce from your home garden
  • Only eating GMO-free and organic foods
  • Not eating meat, dairy or fish
  • Doesn't eat meat but eats dairy and fish
  • Portion control
  • Not eating out of boredom or emotions
  • Not restricting food in order to prevent binge eating
  • Eating enough to support training for a long distance triathlon
  • Making nutrition changes to reduce the risk of a cancer recurrence
  • Making nutrition changes because a disease runs in your family
  • Practicing intuitive eating after overcoming a decade of disordered eating or an eating disorder
"Healthy eating" is not a diet plan. It's a way of eating that works for your mental and physical health, right now in your life. 

Healthy eating is not.....
  • Buying food that you don't like (or don't know how to prepare) just because someone told you it was healthy. 
  • Following food rules and avoiding "off limit" foods.
  • Following a diet plan, despite not liking how the "diet plan" foods make you feel
  • Ignoring hunger cues 
  • Selecting food with the primary goal of weight loss.
  • Purchasing expensive specialty foods just because they are trendy
As you progress in your individual life journey, be mindful that your definition of healthy eating will/may change overtime. You may go from being extremely rigid and strict in your diet to allowing more food freedom and food flexibility. Or, you may celebrate that right now, you are "at least" eating breakfast and consuming a few veggies throughout the day. Or, you may find that you are in a food rut and you are eating out a bit more often in order to get inspiration from different cuisines. 

If you are trying to eat more healthy, here are a few suggestions to get you started:
  • Create a plan for what you will eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks, before that day happens. You can keep this extremely simple by eating similar foods each day to get started. Be mindful of your hunger and fullness cues to help with portions.
  • Don't bring a diet mentality (or off limit food list) to your food choices. Allow for flexibility and avoid having an all-or-nothing approach. 
  • Spend 30 minutes each day planning for tomorrow's eating. Reflect on today and what worked/didn't work and make small tweaks so you feel more control, satisfied, energized and comfortable with your eating choices. The more food that you have prepped and available in advance, the easier it is to follow through with your plan. 
  • Consider your life obligations (ex. work, family, exercise, extra-curriculars) so that eating is not too complicated, time consuming or difficult.
  • Don't let meal and snack time become an afterthought or pushed aside because it's something you don't have time for. A well-nourished and energized body functions well in life.
  • Give yourself time to eat a meal (at least 20 minutes). Give yourself a life pause to be present at meal and snack time.
  • Don't rely on willpower to initiate a change. Set yourself up for successful eating behaviors. 
  • Always maintain a healthy relationship with food and your body.