The happy diet

Today’s conversation dives a bit deeper, prompted by a heartfelt post from my friend Alexandra. Her decision to step back from social media, address her Orthorexia struggles – an intense fixation on consuming only ‘clean’ foods – is commendable and relatable. Alexandra’s transparency and authenticity shine through in her post, which I’d urge everyone to read.

Years ago, I too was swept up in the whirlwind of ‘clean eating’. While the virtues of consuming nutritious food remain close to my heart, the extreme mentality I once held doesn’t. My diet was limited to foods I perceived as pure: unprocessed, low-calorie, and real. While I was consuming animal products back then, they mostly included fruits, veggies, meat, and eggs. Packaged foods were a strict no-no, leading me to even avoid social gatherings for fear of not finding ‘appropriate’ food. I went as far as lecturing others on their food choices, an attitude I now deeply regret.

Fortunately, this phase lasted merely a year. It dawned on me that my approach was excessively rigid and even detrimental. Foods that I truly cherished didn’t make the cut in my ‘approved’ list, making me envy those enjoying a slice of cake or a handful of fries. Over-obsessing about every meal’s timing, ingredient list, and caloric value can strain one’s mental well-being.

Overcoming this wasn’t easy, but I managed. Today, I celebrate a balanced diet, leaning towards plant-based, clean eating about 90% of the time. Not because it’s a rule, but because it rejuvenates my body, mind, and amplifies my athletic performance. Yet, the joy of occasionally indulging remains undiminished. Like my recent chip-filled weekend – chips are an unwavering love, and they’re here to stay! And my recent pizza and pasta cravings are only proof that relishing food is a joy, sometimes even worth forgetting to breathe momentarily.

I’ve come across many bloggers who label minor deviations as ‘cheat meals’. Frankly, an extra spoonful of peanut butter or a little more sweet potato isn’t quite my idea of indulgence. However, these benchmarks made me question if I even fit the ‘healthy living blogger’ mold. Let’s remind ourselves not to gauge our dietary choices against someone else’s. As Kasey wisely puts it, “Be True To You!”

I’ve found my diet – the happiness diet. It revolves around food that brings joy, not anxiety.

To sum it up, while it’s beneficial to be mindful of our diet, it shouldn’t be an oppressive force. Life is vast, with countless experiences to cherish. While clean eating and exercise nurture our body and mind, balance and moderation do the same for our spirit. Here’s to relishing workouts, wholesome meals, and the occasional pizza slice or chip packet.

Cheers to a well-lived, joyful week ahead! 🌿🍕🌱

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