Healthy living has endless definitions. Some people define it as eating vegetables with dinner and not smoking. For others, it means being vegan and running marathons. I like to think of myself as falling somewhere in the middle.
My idea of healthy living has also evolved over time. I remember thinking dipping tortillas is cheese dip was ‘healthier’ than using tortilla chips. Now I focus on putting the most natural food possible in my body, with some built in wiggle room for treats, of course.
I bring this up because in the blogging world I feel like the more extreme your eating habits, the more popular you are. Start off eating greens, you’re doing well. Nix meat from your diet, get a bump in traffic. Go vegan? You’ve made it!
As much as I’ve loved seeing more and more readers come to my blog (have I said thank you lately, BTW? You’re support and readership means the world to me!), I don’t plan on going gluten-free or eating only raw foods anytime soon.
I blog in hopes of showing others that healthy living doesn’t have to be extreme. I’ve never run a marathon. In fact, you followed my journey to my first 5k and saw the exhilaration I felt after I completed it. I’ve tried my best to be honest about my love for pizza and wine (before I was pregnant, of course), while showing you my love for trying new foods and cooking healthy eats for my (growing) family.
Before I began blogging, I promised myself not to get caught up in the numbers, and I’m proud to say that I’ve mostly adhered to that idea (I must admit, sometimes it’s fun to check stats!). I love being a part of such an inspirational community, that motivates and supports each other. I hope my role is additive, too, showing that you don’t have to extreme to be healthy.
It’s as easy as making one healthy decision…then making another. And remembering to enjoy life in the process!
What do you consider to be a staple of healthy living?
I love your views on healthy living. I feel the same way. I’m not vegan and have never run a marathon, but I do believe in eating real, clean whole foods and enjoy my pizza and chocolate too!
Love this! I could never ever go vegan or even go a day without dessert. I think most people would be shocked by my (pre-pregnancy) eating habits. I needed 3000+ calories a day to maintain my weight due to my activity level. And sometimes, it’s easier to make up your calorie deficit with ice cream instead of salad 🙂
Healthy living is all about moderation, and doing what works for you.
what she said! 🙂
minus the pregnancy part for me, of course! 😉
John J. says
Great article, Brittany. Moderation, balance, in all things has been a tried and true mantra for many years in the lives of those who have lived life well. You exemplify it well. Thanks for the reminder.
Kristin @ eat healthy. be happy. live well says
I think doing what makes YOU feel best is the staple of healthy living!! Too many people try on someone else’s way of life because they think it is how they should be healthy, but they forget to take their own needs into account. I stay away from wheat because I am so much happier and feel so much better without it, but I would never push it on anyone else.
I think you’re doing a great job of setting a great example of being healthy during pregnancy!!
I agree with this! I don’t eat meat, but I don’t try to push that on other people. I also feel best if I don’t make wheat a staple in my diet, but again, that’s what makes ME feel good. I think it’s important to tune in to our own uniquely created bodies when defining what’s healthy.
Well said, ladies! It’s so important to listen to your body and do what is best for you. Whether it’s no wheat or no meat, it’s all about what makes YOU feel best 🙂
Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen says
Wow, I just tweeted something about not letting the “numbers” on one’s blog defining her worth…so perfectly timed and excellent post! I find that it can be hard to watch other’s “popularity” grow just to fit in to a certain group (like you mentioned “vegan,” “raw,” etc.) I’m glad you are out there representing the trying-to-stay-balanced of us out there. 🙂
And I’m happy you have a sudden sweet tooth. That little baby knows what’s good for him or her.
Well, I remember reading your ‘loser like me’ post and loving it! Blogs are best when the person is authentic 🙂
Holly @ The Runny Egg says
Brittany I appreciate your middle ground when it comes to healthy living. I try to do the same thing! I can’t live in extremes (I’ve tried and I hated it!). Yes I have ran 2 marathons but I like to think of myself as someone learning how to run — I’m not the fastest but I’m working on improving.
Erin @ The Grass Skirt says
This post is awesome. I’ve often felt like an outcast for not being vegan or full vegetarian and for drinking alcohol and indulging every now and then. I completely share your mindset when it comes to healthy living. Plus, it is such an individual thing. I believe in doing what is best for your own body…even if it is the less popular route. 🙂
Michelle @ The Cooking Life says
Hi Brittany! I LOVE this post – thank you for writing it. I feel the same way. I suppose my blog is a “food” blog that’s morphed into other things but I’m not extremely healthy, though this is the healthiest I’ve been my whole life. I’m not a vegetarian but I actually enjoy eating vegetables (most of them, anyway, haha) while enjoy the occasional fried chicken (like last night – yum!). Our main thing is that we try not to eat processed snacks or other processed foods. I cook a lot so we’re mostly successful, but sometimes, buying granola bars is more convenient for me than making them, and I don’t knock those that do! I’ve made them myself several times. Anyways, thanks again for writing this!
I love your comment! And please send me some fried chicken… it’s been too long 😉 I think healthy living is all about doing the best you can without letting it take over your life. I think it sounds like you’re on a very healthy path!
Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) says
This is exactly why your blog is probably my favorite blog out there. I have the same views on being healthy. It doesn’t have to be extreme. To me being “healthy” is exercising regularly but it doesn’t have to be an hour and half hard core work out or 10 mile run. Just something to get your heart rate up. I also think people should have fun with food. I eat very well during the week but on the weekend if I want a beer or a drink and some unhealthy food at a restaurant it shouldn’t be the end of the world. Oh yah, and I can’t forget dessert. If I’m at a family get together or at a restaurant, I want some dessert and I won’t feel guilty about it. 🙂
Pretty much your blog is amazing and so are you!
Aw, I love you! Thanks for such a sweet comment! And once Baby D arrives, I’ll be joining you with a weekend beer 🙂
Loved your blog! Very well said. Moderation (in most areas) has been a goal of mine too.
This is why I love your blog, you are not exterme, which I am not, nor would I ever want to be. You need to have a balance and cannot eliminate it all. I have learned so much and you have helped me so much that I have been so much better in what I eat. I use to eat whatever I wanted and was a size 0, well age is starting to catch up with me and I must eat healthy and work out if I want to be ‘smaller’ (healthier-not a stick!), I am not a size 0 anymore lol.
Lauren B says
I am a relatively new reader of your blog, and i LOVE it! Keep it up, and don’t fall into peer blogging pressure. It makes you unique and for a fun blog to read.
Healthy living to me is treating my body well, respecting the body that God gave me, and listening to it. I mostly eat very healthfully (but I will never be a vegan either!), but when I want a sweet treat, I listen and comply! Life is too short to not enjoy your 3 meals (or 6) a day!
Love the ‘respecting your body’ part!
Lauren B says
Yeah, if you think about how intelligent and amazing our bodies are physiologically, it’s mind-boggling! It upsets me that I don’t appreciate it all of the time, or go through periods where I wish I could change those thighs or my bootay! I’m working on it… 🙂
This is such a wonderful post; you’re right, it does seem that the more extreme a person is, the more popular. It is indeed all about balance and being happy in doing what YOU want to do. My boyfriend and I eat healthy, but we do love our (baked chips), beer, wine, and cheese. Thank you for sticking to your own, original roots, which is actually much more inspiring than reading about the lack of meat, dairy, carbs, etc one eats in a day! 🙂
Jess @atasteofconfidence says
Great post. I am totally with you! I am nowhere near extreme, but knowing that what I do is enough for me is what gets me through. You are a real, relatable person, and that matters most to me when I am reading your blog. I personally can’t identify with vegetarians, vegans, or marathon runners as much. I like reading the in betweens:)
Katie @ Faith and Funfetti says
Love this!! While I have tried to decrease my meat consumption over the past few months, I will never be a vegetarian. Further than that, I will never be able to give up cheese..so going vegan is out as well. I strive to find a healthy balance each day, and while I eat plenty of whole grains and veggies, fro-yo is a staple of mine as well. Life is too short to give up froyo. End of story.
So good to hear that so many of us believe in balance over extremes 🙂 I think it’s safe to say I will never be vegan or run a marathon and I’m totally okay with that. I’m happy where I’m at and I don’t think I’ve had to sacrifice anything to get here 🙂
So true! I’ve taken myself in and out of the healthy living category with my blog because I never knew if my standards of healthy living were high enough to qualify. Now I know better – I know that my definition of healthy living allows me to have a big juicy burger every so often. It also means that I may not work out every day or run half marathons, but I do what works for my schedule and myself.
Always keeping it real – that’s why we love you, Brittany!
Katie H says
Love this post Brittany! To me, a staple of healthy living is maintaining quality relationships with your family and friends. Happiness is key!
Amen! Do what is right for you, not right for traffic. I just came across your blog last weekend and LOVE it! I love how you share your healthy balance. As someone who is looking forward to hopefully expanding my family in the next year I am especially interested in all of the baby and having a healthy pregnancy posts:)
Donna @ Life of a Happy Blonde says
I just love love love this post!
You are right, its fun to watch the stats rise but i would never change who i am or how i blog for that
I’m a total dork who eats way too much cheesecake while trying to keep it healthy – and my sense of humour is what makes my blog my own and i’ll never change that
Thanks for reminding me of this Brittany 🙂
Caree @ Fit-Mama says
great post Brittany!!
Jane Preston says
Great post today! I agree, moderation is the key (I have a difficult time with that word). I try to eat healthy 95% of the time (fruits, veggies, non-processed foods, etc.). and also, try to have “no animal protein days” a few times per week. On the meat/fish days, eating organic chicken and wild fish.
Alex @ The Plum Foodie says
Brittany – Thank you for writing such an inspiring post. I am still struggling with balance in my diet. I’m afraid of eating the less than healthy foods because I am convinced they will make me put back all the weight on that I just lost. It’s all a mental thing and I’m working hard to get over that. It is so uplifting to read about balance and moderation because it just further encourages me to let go of my insecurities and focus on the bigger picture.
I swear, it’s because of this post that I indulged in a meal that I haven’t “allowed” myself to have in over 6 months: jalepeno chips, refried beans, cheese and homemade GUACAMOLE for lunch today.
Eat that guacamole, girl!! And send me some, too 😉 Healthy living evolves and is a constant journey, and it sounds like you are on a great path!
Alex @ The Plum Foodie says
Thanks! Here’s the recipe for it. It will change the way you feel about store-bought guacamole. I won’t even go near that stuff after this!!
I’ve also linked you in this post 🙂
PS: Depending on how spicy you like your guac, Baby D might be doing flips after this one!!! Enjoy!
Extreme is my middle name. lol
Corey @ the runner's cookie says
You are a great example of that! Even though I run marathons, I definitely don’t do them because I think they are “healthy” – I do them because they make me happy and feel alive. I would never go vegan, and I don’t think that is the healthiest choice for everyone either. I think it’s all about finding what works for you – in terms of lifestyle, your individual body, your family, work and other life demands, personal preference and beliefs, etc. I’m always working on being true to myself and doing what’s best for me, as opposed to other people, but it’s not always easy. I really enjoyed this post, Brittany!
Love this post Brittany!!! I’m a FIRM believer in moderation not deprivation, and like you, try to balance the “good” with the treats, and the rest days with the workouts. In my eyes, you lead a very balanced, healthy life, and I admire that. (and love the photo with you and Koda!!) Have a great day.
Karlee @olivewineandfood says
love this post, everything in moderation! also, got my package in the mail today, so excited to try them out!
Pure2raw Twins says
Great post! I think having fun with whatever you do is key and really enjoying life. Moderation is important too -all about balance!
I LOVE this post! I was just thinking of this same idea lately of how it seems you aren’t “really healthy” unless you go vegan, vegetarian, run a marathon, etc. And while those things aren’t bad, of course, it’s not the only way to be healthy. You’re very inspiring and I love reading your blog!
Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean says
best post ever. i love you! i hope everyone reads this because it’s so so true. you rock!
[email protected] says
Loved this post, Brittany! So refreshing to read such honesty! I’m all about living healthy, & I’ll be the first to admit that I feel sluggish if I’m not getting all my fruits and veggies in my diet, but I think balance is so important in maintaining a long term healthy lifestyle…life without frozen yogurt would be too terrible to bare!
My healthy staples include fresh berries, greek yogurt, cucumbers and spinach – those 3 foods get consumed every day in my household.
What a great post! I am new to your blog and have become a loyal follower! I also believe healthy living should have some wiggle room – it’s so much fun to go out with friends and enjoy yourself by having a beer or two and a veggie burger, not just a salad and water.
When I first got into blogging a few years ago, I was drawn to the “extreme” blogs, but have realized that those generally just make me feel bad about diet and body. recently I have been drawn to reading about “normal” people who have normal diets and exercise routines.
Keep up the god work on your blog!
Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans says
I love this! I appreciate your blog because you are honest and real and not a replica of the other blogs I read. I don’t eat red meat and I am not pregnant but I can still relate to your blog because its candid and genuine 🙂
I totally agree. It seems so many bloggers are all about being extreme be it no meat, no meat products, running long distance, running barefoot and so forth. I actually think there are many healthy living bloggers who use these extremes and to hide eating disorders, cutting out food groups just to do so. Not all do this, but some. I love your balanced approach. I believe being balanced equals healthy. Nothing too extreme is ever healthy.
Parita @ myinnershakti says
I can’t believe I missed this post! LOVE LOVE LOVE it!
I really do think you hit the nail on the head. It’s very easy to see what other bloggers are eating and doing in terms of exercise and start to compare or feel guilty. But I’ve learned that there is no one size fits all solution, and anyways, healthy living is a journey, not a destination!
I love all the pictures in this post! You are so pretty 🙂 I totally agree with you and don’t think I would EVER go to the extreme…I love my treats way too much. I wonder if some of the traffic to more specific dietary sites is due to it being more complicated to eat that way. I know when I switched to gluten free for 2 months so I could reintroduce, all I did was read gluten free recipes!