Healthy(ish) cooking on a Budget(ish)

What do I mean by Healthy(ish)?

What do I mean by Healthy(ish)?

Let me preface this by telling you that I am eating a very healthy brown rice & veggie bowl for lunch, but I ate leftover pizza for breakfast.

Alright, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way I can discuss how I try to eat mostly healthy and how I encourage everything in moderation. Some people call this the 80/20 rule, but I am not a huge fan of math so I call it healthy(ish).

Tell me if you have done any of these things in your life:  

  • You decide you are only going to eat rice, chicken, and veggies because those are the only healthy foods you know of.
  • You decide you are going to become a vegan because you saw a documentary once about how animal products can kill you.
  • You decide you are going to devote an hour a day to P90X and do yoga every night before bed.
  • You decide you are never going to eat fast food again.
  • You decide you are going to pack a lunch for every work day.
  • You decide you can only shop at Whole Foods because you need the most local, most organic products to be healthy.
  • You decide you are going to a 7 day juice cleanse to clean out your system and lose 10 pounds.

I’m not judging, I’ve done a few things on this list! I think most people have (or at least something similar). And if you are still doing something on this list, I’m still not judging you! Everyone has their own views, beliefs, values, and ways of living. I’m just here to share my lifestyle and what I blog about. 

So, have you done any of those things? What usually happens within a week of starting? Yup, you quit or mess up and go back to your old habits. This does nothing to change your lifestyle or how you feel in the long run. In fact, it may discourage you from trying new things in the future!

Enter: the Healthy(ish) Lifestyle.

This lifestyle isn’t a diet. It’s not a workout plan. It’s not one-size-fits-all plan either! For me, it’s the motivation to eat healthy most of time, work out most days, and have fun all the time! This lifestyle allows the following:

It allows me to have fun in social settings

I love eating out, my boyfriend loves eating out, and my friends love eating out. Most of our social interactions involve food of some sort. While I’m not down to eat pizza every outing, I’m ok going to any restaurant because I know that I ate healthy most of the week and can enjoy a good pizza and have a few beers. It also helps me avoid being “that friend” that will only go to the healthiest restaurants (although, on occasion I do try to suggest those ones!).

When you out with friends and you get biscuits and gravy fit for the whole table.

It allows me to enjoy vacation

Because what’s Mexico without burritos and margaritas and Texas without BBQ? I love to travel and I love to eat different foods when I travel. I’ve learned the hard way that I tend to eat super healthy in the weeks leading up to vacation, then stuff my face when I get there. Then I feel crappy the rest of the day! (This is called binge eating and a very common problem with dieters). But if eating decently healthy leading up to vacation and then eat a fun meal or two on vacation, I have a great time. And it lets me explore the local area for healthy options, such as this fantastic smoothie bar in Denver.

It doesn’t make me feel guilty after a heavy meal

Some days I have the best intentions when we go out.  Then I see so many deliciously not-so-healthy options on the menu and decide to opt for those instead! If I’ve been eating mostly healthy before, I don’t feel the guilt of eating the entire juicy burger with fries. I know that in the morning, I’ll be back to eating healthy!

Healthy
Backpacking + yoga on the top of a mountain!

It allows flexibility

Life isn’t always predictable! I usually plan for 4 dinners at home a week because I know that there will be a day that I don’t feel like cooking after a long day of work. I know that my boyfriend will have a hockey game after work and doesn’t have time to come home and eat. I know that sometimes food will be catered at work and I can eat my lunch for dinner. Having flexibility in my lifestyle allows us to adjust our plans for the day without worry.

So what exactly do I mean by healthy?

Healthy is different for everyone! Some people will say eating vegan is the only healthy lifestyle. Some people will say eating no carbs is the best way. Some people say getting a medium fry instead of a large fry is healthy to them. Like I said in the beginning, everyone has their own views and beliefs. This is what I believe is healthy:

  • Avoiding processed foods and cooking from scratch whenever possible.
  • Avoiding artificial sweeteners and added sugar.
  • Avoiding foods with preservatives.
  • Avoiding high saturated and trans-fat.
  • Avoiding “empty” calories (food high in calorie content with no nutritional value)

To quote Pirates of the Caribbean, “these are more guidelines than rules” . Because healthy(ish)! If you look through my recipes, you’ll see plenty of recipes that follow these bullet points (like these tasty bowls with avocado roses), but you’ll also see recipes that don’t (hello focaccia sandwhiches!). As the reader, you pick and choose which recipes you like and fit your lifestyle!

Now it’s time to get your input!

Do you live a healthy(ish) lifestyle?

Do you wish you did?

What’s your biggest hurdle to getting there?

Do you disagree with this lifestyle?

Let me know how you feel about this topic!

Healthy
Backpacking near Mt. Rainier



23 thoughts on “What do I mean by Healthy(ish)?”

  • good write up, and I believe i live by these principles pretty much. I am still sticking with the REAL cheese. My bread consumption is way down. I love your recipes for ideas . . .haven’t tried them all & I have used some as a starting point for a meal and then branched with it.
    You are doing great. You look great. Hoping you feel great, which is the important part.
    I feel real good physically for an old lady.
    Take Care. Mom

    • I’m going to be sharing a vegan ricotta cheese recipe on Friday- you should try it out! Glad you are enjoying though 🙂 I’m feeling great! Love you!

  • Hey, also you may suggest Azure Standard for shopping for your subscribers. You can buy a lot of healthy products at a fraction of the cost from them, and then use your local farmers mkt for fresh produce.

  • Good plan of action- I like how you take a moderate approach, showing how you can be healthy without constantly dieting or taking things to extremes, while still having a good time.

    • I love your suggestions!! I do actually have a tentative “what I eat in a day” post planned for later this month- hit that subscribe button (or follow me on Instagram) and stay tuned! I would also love to do Instagram live videos some day when I have a bigger following 🙂

  • I do TRY to have a healthy-ish diet but have my weaknesses and I definitely need to work on the empty calories thing! Love this philosophy though, as I’m not one for fad diets or restriction.

    • Definitely! Find out what works for you! Maybe a cheat meal or two a week isn’t enough for you, maybe you need a cheat snack a day!

  • Yup, I’ve done several of the things on your list. Your ‘healthy’ definition is great, but those artificial sweeteners rule my life. Diet everything and coffee, tea and anything else I drink has them in it. I also eat the same thing over and over and need much more variety….It’s never gonna be right ha ha….

    • We all have our own food battles! Try slowly fading them out and subbing real sugars when you feel the craving. Fruits are amazing!

  • So agree with this post! We have started making gradual changes too, and have started cutting down on everything processed or filled with artificial flavors and ingredients. Figured it might be easier to do it slowly rather than jump into it with both feet at the same time! ha 😉

  • I love your definition of what a healthy lifestyle is! I believe my son and I live a pretty healthy lifestyle, I know I at least try! Thanks for sharing!

  • I love this idea. I generally try to eat healthy, but I don’t have restrictive rules. I used to be a vegetarian, but not anymore. I like to be able to eat out and indulge on vacation.

  • Living a healthy lifestyle can only be determined by the person choosing it and what they feel is a healthy lifestyle. My son started eating just whole foods and I am going to try working towards this type of healthier eating. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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