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Thoughts on Balanced Eating

Posted Jun 09 2012 1:55pm

My Dad is one cool cat. Look what I arrived home to last night after work!

Hello Kitty!

I’ve had a not-so-slight adoration for Hello Kitty since I was roughly 8-years-old, so coming home to this was such a nice treat. Isn’t she precious?! I think she and Rainbow Brite had a play date and Hello Kitty borrowed one of her leotards and bows. Naturally, I immediately thought of my Hello Kitty-obsessed friend, Katie , and sent her a tweet! My dad rocks.

Workout

Um, ow. Thanks to my two favorite trainers, I can barely move from this morning’s workout! This morning, I completed a mish-mosh of Tone It Up routines: the Summer Arms workout from the Beach Babe DVD , a SHREDmill workout, and the Lond & Lean routine from the Beach Babe DVD. My arms and legs are already sore from these workouts! K&K never let me down. :-)

Lunch

Oh my goodness – I’m still daydreaming about today’s lunch. I really didn’t want it to end. Cabbage boats, anyone?

I have been loving raw cabbage leaves, lately, as my choice of wrap. They’re crunchy and hold up a little better than collards. Today, I made some with classic Sabra hummus, halved cherry tomatoes, sliced carrots, avocado, a drizzle of fresh lemon juice, and a sprinkle of Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb seasoning (obsessed). While prepping my boats, I roasted a small sweet potato in some organic olive oil cooking spray and, before I knew it, a dreamy lunch awaited.

I went back for a couple more cabbage boat wraps afterwards. They’re so fresh and delicious! I love the contrast of the crunchy cabbage and soft hummus and avocado. They definitely fueled me well through today’s non-stop day of research on bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses. Microbiology is killing me a little bit!

Thoughts on ‘Balanced Eating’

The term “balanced eating” is thrown around the nutrition/health/fitness world all over the place. We are often encouraged to achieve “balanced eating” which, in turn, is equated with finding true happiness. Balance is an important and vital thing to achieve in all aspects of our life; and it’s freakin’ easier said than done! Balance provides us with mental clarity and a sound peace of mind. When we are in balance, we are better people and can better serve others and be a beacon of light in our and others’ lives.

Balanced eating is different for everyone. It comes in many shapes and sizes, just like our beautiful bodies. In my recovery process, balanced eating was very difficult for me to come to terms with. I kept reading material on how to achieve balanced eating and how I should define balanced eating – namely, only having so many fruits and veggies and only eating “treats” so many times per week. I soon realized that this was damaging for me because it didn’t allow me to have any creative freedom. I couldn’t decide what balanced eating was for me. I was still being controlled by others’ thoughts instead of my own, and this only fueled my eating disorder.

                                                                                                                                      Source: thecollegeprepster.com via Heather on Pinterest

It took me many food binges and exercise purges to figure out that we all have our own journies to achieving “balanced eating.” Here’s the thing: balanced eating, in my personal view, is kind of like a seesaw. We need that even amount of weight (no pun intended) between giving our bodies what they want and giving our bodies what they need. There might be an RDA (recommended dietary allowance) dictated by the USDA but that is only a guide. We don’t need to follow it to a T every day. Otherwise, we’re striving for perfection - not balance – and striving for perfection never gets us anywhere. In essence, we drift further from listening to what our bodies actually want.

Here is an example: Physiologically speaking, my body needs 70%  protein and 30% carbohydrate after a challenging morning strength workout. Mentally, I want chocolate protein pudding oats (duh!).  So, I fix myself a bowl every morning (no shame!) with about 1/4 cup fruit and it makes me feel amazing inside and out. I don’t care that I’m eating close to the same thing every day because, mentally, I love it and want it. It’s something I look forward to every day. I don’t care about the research that says my body will become too accustomed to the same thing and not change – because it’s my body! I will treat it the way it wants to be treated. ;-)

Ultimately, I’ve found that my way of living a “balanced” life is eating clean, vegan food to fuel my body. I try to look at food first as fuel and second as pleasure. I love my pinot grigio, sea salt popcorn, and ice cream on occasion and I savor every last bite. In my mind, these are not “treats” – they are part of living a life of balance; they are part of the seesaw of want and need.

How do you define “balanced eating” for yourself? If you’re still on that journey, what are you learning?

Stay lovely,
Heather

The two winners of the Color Me Rad 5K Giveaway are MK (Twitter handle @mkat_tiu ) and Kat (Twitter handle @KatClark21 ). Congrats, ladies – I’m so happy for you! Email me at heather@fortheloveofkale.com with your mailing address and I’ll get those out to you on Monday!

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