Yesterday I had a coffee date with a friend who is certified in functional diagnostic nutrition. An hour and a half flew by as we chatted about adrenal glands, food sensitivities and environmental toxins. Don’t we sound like buckets of fun?
I left our talk feeling inspired, jazzed up and ready to never eat anything processed or buy canned foods again. Unfortunately I know I’m being unrealistic. Come tonight I’ll be ready for a take-n-bake pizza and a glass of wine. Or nachos.
Sometimes this frustrates me because I care so deeply about my health and the health of my family. I’m against processed foods, food dyes, pesticides, BPA-laden cans, GMOs, excessive sugar, added hormones, antibiotics and unpronounceable ingredients. However, I’m also human. I’m a busy wife and mom and though I try to do my best, sometimes I fall short.
Does that make me a hypocrite? I hope my message on this blog says ‘here is how I do the best I can’ and not ‘this is how I am perfect’ because, if you don’t know it already, I’m far from a perfect eater.
I like to think, however, that I am pretty healthy. Though over time my definition of what that means exactly has evolved. It started in middle school with healthy meaning choosing tortillas over chips to dip into nacho cheese sauce. It changed to meaning eating hotdogs and pork rinds so I’d be low carb in college. It then morphed into Lean Cuisines and counting calories after college. And now, healthy to me means eating simple, whole ingredients with local origins (when possible).
However, healthy to me also means being mentally healthy. As much as I’d love to never put another GMO or additive in my body, it’s not possible. To strive for that kind of perfection would mean giving up my sanity.
Health is personal. It’s what works for you. While dairy is the devil to one person, it may be the healthiest thing another person eats. Running might give you a thrill, but tear apart another person’s knees. So instead of trying to live by what the healthy thing to do now is (AKA, what is trendy), educate yourself and define what healthy means to you.
My healthy is defined by balance. A balance of detesting artificial sweeteners and loving hole-in-the-wall Mexican food. And I’m OK with that.
What is your definition of healthy?