What Does Eating Healthy Mean to YOU?

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Healthy eating. I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot lately. First, because it is one of my goals for this year to get fit, stay fit, and be healthy. Secondly, because I need to really get on board with this even more with all my health problems. And thirdly, because I realized I do need to take care of my body because God created me and created this body and He wants me to take care of what He has given me.

I have already had to cut out a lot of different foods from my daily diet because of my hiatal hernia and reflux issues. A lot of people ask me how I do it, but once you see results it’s not too bad. I feel better when I eat the right stuff, and I have lost weight by not being able to eat a lot of greasy and high-fat foods and drinks.

I still have a long ways to go though, and right now I am trying to focus on my eating habits. I have been hearing from my doctor and all around me, not to skip breakfast, to eat smaller portions, eat slow, and eat 5 small meals a day instead of 3. These are all changes I would like to incorporate into my life. I got past giving up a lot of bad foods, and now I am well on my way to a healthier me.

My only problem? I don’t get this whole “healthy eating” thing. I mean what is healthy eating really? Is it eating organic? Is it eating fat-free? Is it eating lots of fruits and vegetables? The questions in my mind pile up. It seems to me that people have really made eating healthy harder than it is.

Nowadays we have gluten-free diets, expensive organic foods, and “health” foods that are supposed to be good for you, but that no one has ever heard of. What are we to do? Which is the right way to go? Can we really eat healthy?

I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford to buy all organic. I don’t know much about the gluten-free diets, but it seems like it cuts out things that others say are supposed to be healthy like wheat and grains. Is anyone else as confused as me?

So what about YOU? What does eating healthy mean to you? What kinds of foods do you buy to stay healthy?

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  1. Well, from someone who has Celiac Disease I can say that eating a gluten-free diet is not supposed to be a “lose weight and eat right diet”. I can’t eat gluten… if I do, I get really sick. If a person’s goal is to eat healthy, then gluten free is just one tiny little section. It’s a diet meant to make people with Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance not be sick. And I can assure you, eating gluten free doesn’t mean I’m eating healthy haha! I can still make cookies, brownies and pancakes with all the fat and calories as long as I use gluten free flour mixes! (And I do… and they aren’t too bad!)

    Other than that, I’ve come to learn, at least for me, eating healthy means eating foods that are less processed and are good for my body. Tortilla chips and guacamole may be high in fat but it’s good fat… and I think it’s much better for my body than a bag of 100 calorie processed cracker/cookie things. And of course, I can’t eat gluten… so I couldn’t eat those crackers/cookie things anyways 🙂

    And I think organic is great… and we try to eat organic as much as we can but it is expensive. So we don’t eat organic as much as I would like. (And here in St. Kitts I have absolutely no idea what is organic and what isn’t!) Honestly, I think eating fresh, whole, unprocessed foods packed with good fat, carbs and lots of protein and fiber is the best… and enjoying them in proper portions.

    1. Mandi,
      Thank you for clarifying. I hope I didn’t offend you by saying all that I just didn’t know why people ate gluten-free. It was confusing to me, because it seemed to me that everyone was doing it nowadays, not just those who have problems.

      Yeah I get what you mean. I need to work on the whole processed food thing. I am slowly learning. Thanks for sharing your opinions, I am loving reading all of these! 🙂

  2. I buy gluten free because I’m allergic to wheat. Most gf products are organic by default.

    Organic products are closer to the source…fewer chemicals, hormones, pesticides, dyes, radiation, etc. it’s honestly sad that we have to buy organic products because I believe that all the foods we buy should have those requirements. Eating organic is something I would love to do all the time, but it’s simply not feasible with our lifestyle, finances, and availability. But, as I posted on fb last week, I’m not going to let the inability to do something 100% keep me from trying at all. We still eat a ton of spaghettios, macaroni, canned soups, and junk food, but I’ve started buying organic frozen veggies, milk, yogurt, and snacks. Not exclusively, but some of the time. I’ve noticed a big difference in my own health (gonna blog about that very soon!)

    As for eating healthy these are my “rules”

    Smaller portions

    More frequent meals (honestly most days I don’t even eat a whole meal. Like today for lunch I had some lunch meat, yogurt, and a few rice crackers. That’s a “meal” in my rule book)

    Less refined sugar and grains. More whole grains, fruits, veggies, and PROTEIN. I’ve been forced to increase my dairy and meat intake because I can’t have the eggs, wheat, soy, and corn.

    I believe that fats are good for you so I am all for whole milk, cheese, olive oil, and butter. 🙂

    I think the important thing is that you try. Eat FOOD not processed crap. Do you have to buy organic? No. But you can choose an apple and some water over a donut and a soda. 🙂

    1. “I think the important thing is that you try. Eat FOOD not processed crap. Do you have to buy organic? No. But you can choose an apple and some water over a donut and a soda.” -Very well put!

    2. Yup, I think you hit the nail on the head here! You made some good points and this is all something I am going to keep in mind. 🙂

  3. I don’t do organic unless it’s on sale 😛 TOo expensive for me! Something my hubby and I are trying is less meat and more veggies. For example for a dinner the other night we had our “main dish” as baked asparagus and then a side dish of pork tenderloin and some whole wheat noodles on the side too.

    MORE veggies. less meat. Americans tend to eat far too much meat so that’s something we re trying to cut down on. not cut Out, cause it is good for you, we just don’t need huge steaks or an entire chicken breast in one sitting…

    also things like brown rice instead of white (brown is really good for you, but white is not at all!) and whole wheat noodles instead of egg noodles.

    I’m taking “baby steps” to eating healthier by changing up things like that. I think it would be really hard to change everything all at once, like switching to gluten free or all organic etc. but choosing a few things at a time to change, and you can adjust to them slowly is working well for us. Brown rice and wheat noodles taste different, but after having them served with sauces a bunch of times we have gotten used to both and think they are yum! 🙂

    1. I like that idea. What is your baked asparagus recipe? I love asparagus, but it’s almost impossible to get my husband to eat anything green or any vegetables at all lol. Yeah I get what you mean about the the portion sizes I am trying to cut down on those as well.

      As far as the rice I just do not know how to cook rice properly. I never used to like rice and now that I do I have no idea what to do with it lol. I think baby steps – like you said are the correct way. I am definitely going to work on incorporating some of this into our daily lives. Thanks for commenting!!

  4. Oh, healthy eating… I really think it’s a mix of all the things you listed. Eating more produce, less processed food; more whole grains, less junk; protein, dairy, etc. Since I have gestational diabetes now {sad face}, I have to be very careful about what I eat. Basically, I’m on a low carb, no sugar, portion controlled diet. It’s REALLY HARD. But according to my nutritionist, if everyone in the US was on this diet no one would be obese/overweight. So, it’s definitely good for you! It’s just very hard to do because of all the processed, high fat, high carb food options that are out there. {And let’s not even talk about the food commercials… Of course, I’m sure being pregnant and having to deal with this just makes the cravings worse.} So right now I’m doing lots of fruits, veggies, protein, dairy/cheese, and no sugar snacks and meals. It’s going to take some getting used to, but I’m sure it’ll be worth it.

    1. Hi Sarah,
      I read the other day but didn’t have a chance to comment about your gestational diabetes! I am so sorry. My diet for my hernia is really hard too (no caffeine, no chocolate, no soda, nothing fried, nothing spicy, nothing tomato-based, and more), but I have gotten used to it now and I think you will too once you find what foods work for you. I’m sorry you are dealing with this right now, but it sounds like you have the right take on it. Will be praying for you!

  5. For me, personally, eating healthy isn’t about organic or even a diet. Diets don’t work, changing to a healthy eating life style does.

    What I have found (both hubby and I lost weight from just this ONE change) that using less boxed/canned foods when cooking really helps shed pounds. The more fresh/frozen/dry/not instant items you use the healthier they tend to be.
    I try making your own bread, its super easy and delicious, instead of making hungry jack pancakes make them homemade with whole wheat flour and honey instead of sugar.
    Simple changes are what is best.
    Check out a few blogs
    my blog real-women-cook.com (its been a while since I posted but there is lots of good recipes on there).
    Basically real healthy food = homemade food using brown rice, whole wheat, and as few canned/boxed/precooked foods as possible.
    You will really notice the difference.

    1. Hi Morgan,
      Thank you so much for these tips and for commenting! I am definitely going to work on these and eat less boxed and canned food – which we eat a lot of now. I am going to check out some of your recipes I would love to know some different ways to cook brown rice! Thanks again for commenting!

  6. These are some good questions. I think for me it is about being balanced and trying to eat better things. We can’t really afford much organic so we really don’t buy a lot of it. I try to include a lot of veggies at every dinner. I try to eat a healthy lunch but sometimes I don’t. I try not to eat too many sweets but I don’t totally abstain.

    I thought that gluten-free diets were really for people who couldn’t eat gluten. But maybe some use it for a healthy diet? I don’t know.

    I just think that we sometimes make it too hard to eat right. We have some family members on both sides that are in their 90s. I know they didn’t just eat grains and veggies and I know they don’t eat 100% organic. So I really don’t know what the right answer is. For us though, we just try to eat healthy but everything in moderation.

    1. I really love the way you put this Julie. I think it really is about being balanced. I think it’s ok to eat a little bit of everything occasionally as long as you don’t overdue it and still try to eat mostly healthy and exercise and all that. I am not sure about the gluten thing either, it seems everyone is on it nowadays – at least to me.

      Yes, I agree! My grandparents are in their 90’s and I’m sure they always didn’t eat right either. I should ask them! Thanks for your thoughts and comment.

  7. For me, eating healthy is a lot of things! One thing is getting as much locally grown (and preferably organic) produce that I can, so I generally try to cook with in-season vegetables. However, there are some dishes that I love way too much to give up during certain times of the year. At the grocery store I get what I can organic, but it can run up high, so we skip what is too expensive. I had cut my meat intake down to 1 – 2 times a week but have recently become vegetarian trying to focus on a mostly “whole food” diet. We avoid processed foods as much as we can and the “middle aisles” at the grocery store except for a few things. I make what I can from scratch, like bread, pasta, tortillas, etc. Less dairy as well, but I struggle with that. I try to use almond milk and coconut milk in place of dairy milk when I can. No fast food and I very rarely eat out. If I want a treat I have one, but generally, I make it. Except for two things that are my ultimate downfall; Cadbury Cream Eggs, and Diet Mt. Dew. I figure I do OK elsewhere, so those 2 can slide!

    But I definitely haven’t always been like this. When I made the “big switch” I started losing 10 pounds a month without trying! I continued the weight loss into my pregnancy and dropped 11 pounds in the first trimester even though I slipped up several times.

    1. I will be honest, this all sounds good, but it sounds like soo much work. I love to cook and all, but I don’t know if I would have time for all that. I am so glad it works for you though, and I think small changes to start off with are best for me. It sounds like it has been life-changing for you! I am so glad that you were able to lose weight. Penny is going to love learning all this stuff from you when she’s older! 🙂

  8. I just found this from a “you might also like” but this is an area I enjoy working on. To me, eating healthy means eating things that came from a farm without the use of genetic modification, and not from a factory. Yes, our sugar and flour and cereal come from a factory, but that’s because I don’t have the machinery to make them. But to the best of my ability we don’t use artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors, preservatives, etc. and buy most of our food as whole produce, dairy, and meat and make our own bread. It may not always be the perfect balance of nutrients, but we’re working on that too.

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