What Does A Healthy Day of Eating Look Like?

I used lemon juice and zest to make a glaze for the lemon cake we're having tonight! It's my step-grandma's recipe.

When I was in my diet/binge mindset (from the ages of 15 to 25 or so), I thought there was one right way to eat. I believed down to my soul that there were good foods and bad foods—and that when I ate the wrong ones, I was bad, too. (Sound familiar?)

Now I’m at a much gentler place. That doesn’t mean I eat donuts every day for breakfast and French fries every night—for the health of my body and mind, I tend to concentrate on the more nutritious fare. But the black-and-white thinking doesn’t rear its ugly head much anymore and nothing is off limits.

Now I know that eating healthy means different things for different people—and can even mean different things for us throughout our lives.

Sugar used to make me feel…weird. It was tough for me to stop eating it once I got a taste, so I avoided it altogether for a while during my recovery. That worked well for me at the time. Sugar doesn’t affect me the same way anymore, so it’s been back on the menu for a while and it feels right.

I thought we could talk a little bit today about what healthy eating means for each of us. Here’s what I ate today…
Breakfast: 2 hardboiled eggs and a link of chicken apple sausage;
Lunch: Spinach salad with chicken, olives and Parmesan cheese;
Snack: Two mandarin oranges and a handful of cashews;
Dinner: Sauteed pork tenderloin and roasted butternut squash (with brown sugar and butter); and a piece of homemade lemon cake.

I hope that talking about food this way doesn’t trigger any of you…I want this to be a safe space! Feel free to weigh in on that in the comments—and share what a healthy day of eating looks/feels like for you.


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6 Responses to What Does A Healthy Day of Eating Look Like?

  1. Angie says:

    Hi - This is a great topic. For me healthy eating is tied to a healthy everything else (including sleep). If I don’t do those things I know that are healthy for me, it shows up in my eating. The biggest issue I face is self sabatoge. I have been reading G. Roth’s ‘Breaking Free of Emotional Eating’ (I hope I have the title correct - I don’t have the book nearby). In the book she writes about how fat / being overweight can be an excuse for rejection and not doing well. I think I make poor eating decisions so when things go badly, I can blame the eating. It’s like I blame the eating instead of looking at myself (really looking) and figuring out what’s going on. I read Pema Chödrön sometimes. She talks about the tendency to numb oneself. I definitely try to insulate/numb myself. I am my own worst enemy.

    BTW - I don’t want to post a healthy day of eating. For me, that is something I continue to struggle with so I don’t think I can share an honest experience. However, I appreciate everyone who does share. While I can turn any food into a binge food, postings that mention food do not seem to have that affect on me. Instead I realize that the food discussed is just a ‘thing’ and while it has power in the moment, the power is something we give food - the food does not inherently have the power.

    Many thanks for this community! Angie

  2. Katie says:

    I just finished reading Michael Pollan’s _In Defense of Food_ and have really taken his views to heart. I’m not there yet, but a healthy day of eating would be one in which I’m eating real foods with recognizable ingredients (flour, salt, cinnamon, etc.) and lots of variety, with different kinds of vegetables depending on the season. Also, never counting calories.

    It’s only 8am, but here’s what my morning muesli is made of: oat flakes, wheat flakes, wholemeal flour (wheat, rye, barley), date pulp, apples, banana puree, millet flakes, raisins, wheat germs, hazelnuts roasted, almonds roasted.


  3. Tara says:

    Great post! I think it’s a good idea to share ‘healthy eating’ so that it’s easier to do it yourself! I read a couple food/fitness blogs (healthy tipping point and eat. live. run.) that show me every day what it’s like to eat healthfully.

    On another note, I heard an NPR story about BED and how it’s now officially recognized in whatever book defines disorders? Here’s the story: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=123575288

    I found it interesting that the man interviewed specifically said that binges are normally at least 1,000 calories. He said the quantity of food mustbe significant. I personally feel like I eat out of control from time to time, but that does not fall under his definition of bingeing. He also set specific criteria of it being at least or more than once per week, and lasting for at least 3 months to be considered bingeing.

    And here is another article about it: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=123539741

  4. Veronica says:

    Honestly I don’t know what a healthy day of eating looks like for me. I don’t ever remember a time that I ate healthy…

  5. Rachael says:

    Yesterday was a healthy day of eating. And being happy. I had had 4 hours sleep so instead of freaking out that I didnt have the energy to exercise and therefore bingeing because the “day was wasted” I just ate healthily, went to bed early and went to gym this morning.

    B: 1 slice brown toast, tomato & satay tofu, 1 nectarine
    S: Almonds, soy milk
    L: Tuna, beans & salad wrap, 1 apple
    S: Plain natural yogurt
    D: Satay Tofu & salad with cottage cheese and tzatiki
    S: 2 dried prunes, 3 squares of chocolate

    This should be my “Little Victory” story!

  6. By George, I think she’s got it!

    People wrongly assume that healthy eating means eating stuff that resembles straw. What it really means is breaking the addiction to packaged foods and pop. Eat a balanced diet of real foods.

    Your eating for the day is very much in line with what I eat, except I try to get in a few more veggies. It all sounded good to me!

    Thanks for adding some sanity for those on the chronic weight loss quest. Maybe if more of us are speaking up we can actually change things.

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