My Perfect (for me) Diet: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

by Nicole on April 5, 2013

Happy Friday!

I’ve been quiet on here lately, but I have so much to say. I haven’t figured out how to get it all out there yet so until I do I’ll wait.

Since I had Olivia I feel like I’m not sure where I fit in in the blog world. I’m not a full time blogger, but I used to post way more often. I mean that is so typical when you have a baby, so I don’t really have any pressure put on myself to do it more right now. When I look at the catagories of bloggers I’m just not sure where I go.

There are your typically healthy living bloggers who share their food and document their days. I don’t really have any interest in sharing what I eat on a daily basis on here. It’s not THAT interesting and I don’t really think it’s very healthy to do for me or for others. I’ve found that there is so much comparison between others and I don’t want to stress anyone out. I’ve definitely stopped reading some blogs because of their want to be “perfect” in their meals.

No carb, paleo, no fruits, no sugar, raw, protein everything, etc. It just stresses me out. (To be clear, I’m NOT singling any blog out, whatever works for you is GREAT…I’m just doing the same and doing what works for ME.) I eat. And I eat a lot of different foods. Gluten doesn’t bother me….so I eat it. Grains don’t bother me either, so I eat them too. And ya know what? I even eat cheese and dairy too! (Even though when I eat too much of that…it does bother my stomach, so I have to limit my intake to every couple of days.) I don’t use protein powder in my meals. I don’t make protein everything. (Although I’m not 100% against it. I don’t hate protein powder, I just hate it being used in every meal of the day.)

I just eat. I enjoy food with my family and friends. I eat what I want and don’t regret it…but that’s because I eat healthy the majority of the time because it makes me feel GOOD and energized. (And let’s be real…I need all the energy I can get.) I naturally choose foods that are good for me because if I don’t consistently I feel like CRAP. But I DO love chocolate…and cookies…so I eat both. (Again, I feel I need a disclaimer here…however you eat that makes you feel GREAT, whatever that may be, is great. I don’t mean to judge ways of eating, I’m more pointing out those who say it makes them feel great, but just use the “diet” to restrict what they eat.)

I HAVE been there when I’ve felt guilty for eating something and spent a lot of time thinking about whether I should have eaten something or shouldn’t. (This was back in college, when I did have pounds to lose.) The more balanced I became and the more I ate what fuels my body well, the more I choose these foods. When I go out for dinner or when I have a party to go to I eat what I want. I don’t spend hours not eating before or hours on the treadmill to work off what I may eat later.

My point is, I’m NOT perfect and I DO NOT have a perfect diet, and I certainly don’t have a perfect body. I eat well, I exercise (mostly) 5-6x a week for 45-60 minutes and I enjoy my life. I love my family, I love my friends, I love food (and a lot of other things, like shoes, clothes, bags…etc but you get the point.) I’ve seen so much restriction going on these days that it makes me sad. I wish I knew the answers to help people enjoy life. Maybe a portion of the answer is to stop hiding behind the computer and go out and enjoy the people who love you. Maybe the answer is to talk to someone Maybe the answer is to let yourself off the hook and stop thinking so much. I truly don’t know the answer.

Where does this come from? Sparked from Lisa’s post. If you have any thoughts I hope you share. I certainly didn’t mean to offend anyone. Just had to get some things off my chest.

Thank you for letting me share my thoughts.

I’ll leave you with the title of this post: one of my favorite quotes by Michael Pollen:¬†Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

Samantha April 5, 2013 at 8:16 am

I LOVE THIS POST. Thank you so much for writing what I think a LOT of people are thinking. I have stopped reading quite a few blogs for the exact reasons you list – the restriction, the need to document every meal of every day, etc… It doesn’t make you feel good, at all.

I recently cut out gluten and have been talking about it a lot because it hasn’t quite become a lifestyle for me yet. But I don’t call it a diet – it’s more like “What can I do to make my stomach happy?” (since I don’t have health insurance I have to experiment on my own) But I am like you – I eat what makes me happy and I don’t feel guilty and I don’t restrict and I don’t exercise for a million hours to burn it off.

I am immediately sharing this post – I feel more people need to think like you!

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Nicole April 6, 2013 at 8:38 am

Thanks Samantha! It’s so important to keep you (and your stomach) happy! I’m glad you could relate to this post.

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Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) April 5, 2013 at 8:47 am

Um, HELLO! I am so with you. I don’t know where I fit in with blogging right now. I started blogging to share my adventures with food through the discovery of my issues with dairy. Since then, I’ve discovered that I can’t do wheat or soy either and all three of my guys can’t have wheat (Tony has celiac). I’ve now become a certified personal trainer and specialist in fitness nutrition, which goes well with my culinary degree, but my thoughts on food are different from what they were originally and I feel like I have so much more to share but less time. Heck, I’ve now gone two weeks without blogging. I feel like I constantly have something in my head that I want to type up, but then it’s gone because I’m not even near a computer and by the time I get to the computer, the passion for what I was going to write is gone…

I love that you’re happy right now and fulfilled with your life. Enjoy your family. We are constantly evolving and honestly, I respect you more for sharing things like this and taking the time to be with your baby and husband.

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Nicole April 6, 2013 at 8:37 am

I love how much you love your family. It is so obvious in your writing. I have loved following along with your journey and always enjoy your recipes. :) thanks Sarena!

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Maria April 5, 2013 at 8:50 am

I love this post Nicole :) It’s so refreshing; thank you!

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Nicole April 6, 2013 at 8:36 am

thank you maria!

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Heather Waxman April 5, 2013 at 8:53 am

This is amazing, Nicole. Your truth is shining. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that you don’t “fit in” to any “category” of bloggers. Here’s the deal: you don’t have to fit into any category of bloggers. Just be yourself. Be real. Post what you want to post. Keep sharing your truth and you will blossom even more into the blogger that you are. I’ve found, in my journey, it hasn’t been about “becoming” a certain blogger but it’s been about really giving myself permission to be who I truly am…removing the stuff that doesn’t serve me one tiny right action at a time. You are an amazing woman, mother, and wife. But most importantly, you are amazing YOU. xo

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Nicole April 6, 2013 at 8:36 am

thanks Heather! YOU are an amazing woman. Love what you are doing!

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Cat @ Breakfast to Bed April 5, 2013 at 8:55 am

Yes. This. Precisely this. Exactly this.
I just did a post this week? last week? I can’t recall about the very same thing. I’m effing sick of all the paleo preaching or this or that. Not everything works for everybody. It’s just that simple.

As for the Michael Pollan quote?
My favorite ever.

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caitlin April 5, 2013 at 11:28 am

I must go find this post, genius.

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Nicole April 6, 2013 at 8:35 am

I’m sick of it too! Went and found your blog post – loved it too!

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Lauren (@PoweredbyPB) April 5, 2013 at 9:01 am

This post is bloody fantastic, so thank you for it!

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Nicole April 6, 2013 at 8:34 am

thank YOU for reading!

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Maggie April 5, 2013 at 9:29 am

Lovin’ this post, Cole!

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Nicole April 6, 2013 at 8:34 am

thanks mags!

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Brittany @ Barr & Table April 5, 2013 at 9:30 am

Absolutely love this post! I can totally relate.. people ask me all the time what kind of diet I’m on; Paleo, low carb, etc. I just eat what works for me and what makes my body happy. No labels, just me.

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Nicole April 6, 2013 at 8:34 am

Yes – love your comment. No labels and happiness = perfect.

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Presley @ Run Pretty April 5, 2013 at 9:36 am

If I posted every I ate, people would laugh. I eat well, I do the best I can, but I still eat things I “shouldn’t” according to some people. Screw ‘em. haha I like french fries, cake, and “fake” food. I’ll eat them if I please. I balance it out with a mostly veggie-centric diet, so it’s all good in my opinion.

I also post whatever the heck I feel like, even when I know someone is going to judge me.

DO YOU. We love you for it. :)

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Nicole April 6, 2013 at 8:33 am

I love your posts. I agree, balance is key…also agree: do you. <3

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Lauren Fulton April 5, 2013 at 9:36 am

Nicole, I LOVE this post so so much! While I could definitely eat a little bit better I agree with everything you said and it’s been my philosophy for the last 2 years or so. I got so tired of obsessing over how big I was and all the things I shouldn’t have eaten. I was constantly comparing myself to my friends and their diets and their bodies and it was just a terrible way to live. So I finally decided to start living according to something my dad used to say to me when I was younger, “Eat right 75% of the time”. If I want something kind of terrible for me I have it but then I just stay conscious of what I’m eating the rest of the day or the next day and just try to make healtheir choices. I don’t always succeed. There are definitely weekends of food debauchery haha but most of the time I’m pretty good and I just try my best to enjoy life. Whatever choices anyone makes are ok and great for them but I have seen so many people try to lose weight by cutting carbs and eating only certain fats and this and that and sure it works but as soon as they lose the weight they stop and then all the weight comes back. I feel like you just have to do whatever you feel you can sustain for the rest of your life. If you can eat a zero carb raw diet for the rest of your life more power to you because I would fail miserably at it. I know I’m rambling but it just makes me so sad when I see people saying oh I HAVE TO eat like this person or work out like that person because that’s how to get skinny or stay skinny. You don’t HAVE to do anything but what makes you feel good and most importantly, good about yourself. This post made me so happy and it’s why I love you so much. I’ve adopted so many thoughts and ideas from you and your lifestyle and tried to incorporate them into my way of living. You’re just so supportive and lovely!

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Nicole April 6, 2013 at 8:29 am

thank you Lauren! Life is all about balance and I’m so glad you are feeling good. You certainly DESERVE to feel amazing and BE HAPPY!

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Presley @ Run Pretty April 5, 2013 at 9:36 am

everyTHING* haha

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char eats greens April 5, 2013 at 9:37 am

I hear you with this post on SO many levels. I eat what I wanna eat. Ya, most of it is healthy because I love it (and nutrition in general!), but I would NEVER not eat the handful of chocolate chips due to restrictions or because of what other people might say. My body, my rules, my decisions.

I love your honesty and love what you do :)

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Nicole April 6, 2013 at 8:26 am

<3 chocolate chips by the handful. I LOVE what you said: my body, my rules, my decisions. SO true!

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Susan April 5, 2013 at 10:29 am

This is an awesome post! I don’t know how many blogs I read that I feel so guilty after reading them. There are times I’ll stop and look what I’m eating and go “Is this clean? What is clean? OMG IS it DIRTY??”. I don’t know why, but until I read your post, it didn’t occur to me to just stop reading those blogs.

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caitlin April 5, 2013 at 11:28 am

I’ve definitely had to stop reading my fair share of blogs that give me those triggering thoughts!

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Nicole April 6, 2013 at 8:26 am

I didn’t occur to me to stop reading either until I was getting so annoyed reading some and I was like WHY am I doing this to myself?! :) Hope you can stop too!

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Sally Kuzemchak April 5, 2013 at 10:48 am

Thank you!! I have been writing this kind of post in my head for weeks. Like you, I’m frustrated by bloggers who seemingly eat “perfectly” (if there’s even such a thing) every bite of every day. And sometimes when I mention having some of my child’s Easter candy or even baking bread I get comments from people about how poisonous wheat is or how I shouldn’t ever ouch candy because it’s filled with toxic chemicals. It’s not a competition–but it can sure feel like one! I appreciate you honesty!

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Nicole April 6, 2013 at 8:25 am

It sure is not a competition. I guess it’s a slippery slope, because we put our lives out there but everyone’s way of eating is their own thing and no one should judge!

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c April 5, 2013 at 11:27 am

as i told you on twitter i really love this post nicole! i can completely relate to not trying to be paleo/gluten free/etc, to not trying to follow a specific training plan, and to NOT eating protein powder. i cannot relate to the blogs that every day teach readers how to eat a protein cake or muffin or smoothie or this or that all just made of freaking powder, haha. i am a foodie and though food gives me anxiety sometimes i am working on concentrating on my passion and living in the moments and not on trying to be X kind of blogger or follow Y kind of diet. i try to be as real as possible on my blog because i hope that maybe those who have something going on and don’t know it or are afraid to be real will be inspired to reach out!

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Nicole April 6, 2013 at 8:22 am

thank you c! I always appreciate your honesty. And I’m sure you’ve encouraged many to reach out and take steps to getting better!

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin April 5, 2013 at 12:25 pm

I can completely relate to pretty much everything you said in this post. I eat grains, dairy, red meat, you name it. And I’m not a fan of protein powders, especially not when they’re used to make butchered baked goods. :P I love food and I try to be healthy, but my version of healthy involves burgers and skipping workouts. So I don’t really know where I fit in either. I feel like a lot of HLBs live an extreme version of “healthy” and I just can’t relate to that!

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Nicole April 6, 2013 at 8:20 am

I can’t relate to the extreme version of healthy either. I feel like protein powders do have their place and serve their purpose, but the protein everything all day long really rubs me the wrong way.

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nicole April 5, 2013 at 7:11 pm

Hi Nicole, I discovered your blog while I was searching for healthy food recipes, and I love what you wrote. In the past, I tried to eat a variety of ways, vegan (which lasted for about 2 weeks), vegetarian (didn’t work out), etc., and I find that I eat what makes me feel happy, and I have to say food that is made with love (from my mom, sister, myself, etc.) makes me happy. I also try to eat healthy as well, and when I do not eat healthy, I do not feel great. Thanks for this post.

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Nicole April 6, 2013 at 8:19 am

I agree: food that’s made with love is the best kind!

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Liz April 5, 2013 at 9:56 pm

I have been thinking about this lately too. I’ve cut out some blogs, but I still read others that I think are probably triggering for me. So many bloggers seem to think intensely about every single morsel that goes into their mouths and I just can’t be down with that. Food is so intensely personal, but seeing so much restriction touted as “healthy” rubs me the wrong way.

Thank you for this post – as another commenter said, it’s very refreshing.

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Nicole April 6, 2013 at 8:18 am

I’m glad you enjoyed it. I was so unsure of whether to publish or not.

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Kate Sartorius April 6, 2013 at 3:14 am

I’ve been following you for a while and you just reminded me why, for your honesty and realistic approach. I completely agree with you on this and am so glad to see someone else say what I have been thinking. I started as a ‘healthy food blogger’ a while back but always struggled with documenting everything I ate because I thought it was boring and I didn’t always eat perfectly so why would I share that and risk losing followers? I started to feel I wasn’t being true to myself and couldn’t be honest, and I felt pressure to eat perfectly and keep up with everyone else in te blogging world. Basically it wasn’t healthy for me and I got fed up of feeling imperfect and like a failure. The end result was me leaving my nutrition qualification behind and now I make cakes! I know it’s quite an about-turn, but I finally learned to follow my heart and enjoy food and creating with it rather than analysing every morsel that I put in to my body. Some people are still surprised when they ask how my nutrition work is going and I tell them I’m setting up a cake business instead, but you know what it doesn’t matter as long as I’m happy!

Thank you for being so honest, realistic and for opening up the conversation on this topic.

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Nicole April 6, 2013 at 8:17 am

Thank you so much Kate. I’m glad you followed your heart and are doing what you love. I’m also glad you recognized the pressure and did what was best for you! That’s so exciting you make cakes! What’s your website?

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Kate Sartorius April 7, 2013 at 2:43 am

It’s still very new as I only recently started, it’s http://www.adventureswithcake.co.uk and I have an Adventures With Cake Facebook page :o ) Only 30ish likes so far, but we all have to start somewhere!

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Michele @ Nycrunningmama April 7, 2013 at 10:20 pm

I already texted you, but gosh, I LOVE this post. You have said everything that has been in my mind the last few months when I’m reading blog posts of those who are extreme eaters. I don’t eat that way and it actually makes me feel guilty about eating the things I eat. I consider myself a healthy eater. I don’t eat healthy 100% of the time – but you know what? That’s why I work out !
Beautiful post, Nicole. Another reason why I <3 you! xoxoox

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GiGi Eats Celebrities April 8, 2013 at 12:26 am

Love this because DIET IS NOT ONE SIZED FITS ALL! This is why I HATE diet books, because they brain wash people into thinking that there is ONE specific diet out there that’s BEST for EVERYONE! This is NOT true AT ALL!

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Ari @ Ari's Menu April 9, 2013 at 3:02 pm

A-freaking-men!

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Stacey April 10, 2013 at 2:21 pm

I love that you’re taking a “what works best for me” approach. I think in the health, food, and fitness world…we all get so caught up in making sure we eat the “right” foods and the “good” foods and are doing the “right” exercises to help us burn up whatever we ate before. There seems to be such a lack of emphasis on choosing what works for you, as an individual. Foods that may energize and fuel one person, may not work for everyone across the board. Making smart decisions is what matters most–listening to your body and loving your body. It’s so important to remember to enjoy your life and live it to the fullest and use real foods to help you ENJOY that life! Thanks for reiterating this for me :)

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Nadiya @ Milk and Honey on the Run April 13, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Great post!!! Those What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW) posts actually annoy me a bit. Like it’s cool sometimes to check out what interesting things other people eat but I don’t like comparing what I eat with others. I’ve done one WIAW post because I was requested to but it felt weird.

Yeah… I see restrictions everywhere one blogs and so many blogs where people are trying to lose weight when they don’t need to. It’s actually scary because it inspires other people to do the same :(

We have the same food philosophy ;)

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Amy Hagerup April 15, 2013 at 3:00 pm

HI Nicole, Great to meet you here. I blog on health too. I love your philosophy. I’m right there with you. Looking forward to visiting again. Blessings, Amy

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