Once upon a time I was a devout processed food junkie who detested the idea of healthy eating. Today I eat healthy all day, every day. I don’t have ‘cheat days’, count calories or worry about my weight, and I never have to say no to dessert. It’s been a complete 180. Becoming a healthy foodie is one of the best things that I ever did for myself. It’s part of my self-love language; my body deserves to be fed with love. And it’s allowed me to thrive with Graves Disease, something I never could have imagined 4 years ago.
I could have made this transition sooner. If only I had known how easy and fulfilling healthy eating could be. I believed that a healthy lifestyle was built on sacrifices, but in actually it’s built on adjustments. There were so many healthy eating myths that held me back for years… that hold many of us back from making the switch to a healthier lifestyle. It’s time we shatter those misconceptions and move forward (with a healthy body and a happy sweet tooth).
Here are 5 Healthy Eating Myths that are Holding You Back:
You have to say goodbye to dessert
No dessert?! Shut the kale up! I eat dessert every day and I never feel bad about it.
But the idea that I would have to give up dessert if I became a healthy foodie was a belief that I once held. And I harbour a pretty excitable sweet tooth. Past me never could have imagined myself as a healthy foodie, because, in my mind, healthy foodies couldn’t gorge themselves on ice cream and wake up in an alley covered in chocolate (ok, that’s a tad dramatic. But I think you get my sweet food obsession).
But, shock and awe, it turns out that you can make a healthy version of almost any sweet delight! Not only do I eat ice cream, chocolate and so much more… I now know how to create healthy versions, which is pretty damn cool.
Check out some of the sweetness that eating healthy has to offer:
I don’t know how this happened, but there’s a prevailing idea that eating healthy basically means living off of boring, flavourless salads. I love salad. But I would be bored as hell if I had salad morning, noon and night.
Let’s put this idea to bed. Becoming a healthy foodie has been one of the most rewarding shifts in my lifestyle because it introduced me to a ton of variety! Years later, I’m still discovering new and interesting foods. While it’s always handy to have a few quick and easy meal staples, like salad, up your sleeve, the options available to you are as endless as your imagination.
Need help getting started? We’ve got Kale Basil Pesto Pasta, Carrot Soup, and Stuffed Sweet Potatoes. If you want something interesting and different, check out this Jerusalem artichoke stir-fry (pictured above), or these Patty Pan Squash Rice Bowls.
It’s too much work
Healthy eating can certainly be more work. It’s definitely more work than picking up fast food (but is speed really worth the detrimental effects to your wellbeing?) There are tons of ways to work around that!
Food prep is one major work around; putting together a few freezer meals or having veggies chopped and ready in the fridge for a quick soup, salad or stir fry are a couple easy examples. There’s food prep inspiration everywhere; it’s a speedy way to simplify healthy eating. Health-Esteem Queen Kelli provides marvelous meal prep information on her site Nutrition Not Restriction.
But what about when you have a long day and you just want something that requires little time and attention? That exists too! Having nutritious broths on hand, like Pacific Foods allows you to throw a meal together in minutes (especially if those veggies are prepped and ready). And don’t forget about old classics, like spaghetti. Throw in some of your favourite vegetables and use nutritional yeast instead of powdered parmesan and you have a B Vitamin complex filled meal that will love you back! And never forget the magnificent power of a good smoothie!
It’s certainly possible to spend hours creating a meal, but the same can be said for unhealthy eating. If you don’t believe me, look into the process that goes into creating a cheese cake. The time and effort involved are up to you – the quality of the ingredients doesn’t have to suffer.
Here are a few links to some of my quick and easy go tos:
It’s too expensive
Eating can be crazy expensive, healthy or otherwise. But that doesn’t mean that it has to be. If you want to eat healthy and save moolah you have so many options available.
Bulk stores offer deals on a variety of nutritional products.
Farmers sell their products at a fraction of grocery store prices; support them and shop at your farmers market.
Make friends with fruits and veggies – they are far less expensive than processed or boxed foods (even the healthy varieties).
If organic is too expensive for your budget, remember that eating fruits and veggies, regardless of whether they were grown conventionally or organically, will benefit you. You can look into the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen by the Environmental Working Group if you’d prefer to avoid foods with higher pesticide residues.
It doesn’t matter
I remember thinking that I could eat whatever I wanted as long as I exercised regularly. But life has taught me that you can’t outrun a bad diet. Today I have an autoimmune disease, but I continue to thrive in spite of that. How do I manage? Among other things, I eat healthy, 100% of the time. Why? Because I’ve come to realize that food is our fuel and I love my body enough to provide it with the best possible fuel I can so that it can function optimally.
What you eat plays a GIANT role in your health, both physically and mentally. It’s one of the few things that you can actively influence positively on a regular basis. Eating well allowed me to find remission and feel better than I ever have in my life. It allowed my father to kick pre-diabetes in the butt and get off of the high blood pressure medication he’s been on for the past 10 years. Healthy eating has allowed so many people to overcome health conditions or, in the case of incurable conditions like mine, to thrive with what they have.
We often stubbornly avoid admitting that food matters. But we all know that it does. Food is a contributing factor in diseases like diabetes, heart disease and stroke. What we eat effects how we look and feel, emotionally and physically.
It all boils down to this: Healthy eating matters because you matter. You are worthy of vibrant health. The food you eat can either fuel you or destroy you. Choose wisely.
Now it’s your turn – what healthy eating myths would you add to my list? Let me know in the comments.
Health and love,
Thought of the day: I love myself and I feed myself with kindness.
Your Health-Esteem Journey Starts Here with a Free Self-Care Planner!
Plus, I’ll send you weekly inspiration and support to help you create your ultimate healthy lifestyle.