3 THINGS : ways to eat healthy without restricting yourself

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eating healthy. what a tricky expression !
everyone seems to have their own idea on what it means, and how to achieve creating the diet that will best support your body.

i would encourage everyone looking for that healthy diet to be very sceptical of everything you read and hear on the matter. be sceptical of this. of the post you’re reading right now. be sceptical of me.

my aim with this post is not to convince you that i have all the answers, or that you can be healthy in four weeks by following these 3 easy steps. my aim is to simply share a bit of info on what has worked for me personally. perhaps the same things could be helpful to someone else too ?

i’m also eager to write this post to get my opinion on one thing clear – i do not believe in restricting ourselves. if you’ve been reading this blog for a while you already know this. but it can’t be said enough times. we are told so often to deprive ourselves of pleasures just to be good and healthy. i find this sad, unnecessary and downright dangerous.

it is completely possible to reach health, and creating a good-for-you diet without counting, weighing, restricting, measuring. in fact, i believe it easier to find health without the measuring tape and kitchen scale.

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also i would – as usual – like to hear from you. share your health stories with me in the comments below ! what has helped you ? any pitfalls ? let’s inspire and learn from each other.

ok, with that off my chest – let’s get on with the list.

listening to your body
instead of listening to a scale, i try to listen to my body. when is it hungry, in what situations does it want a treat, how do i feel the day after eating or drinking a specific thing, what makes it heavy, what makes it full of energy ?

in my diet, this is key. i had spent so many years not listening to my body that when i started, it was a revelation.

granted, for a lot of people, it takes time reaching a point where listening to your body is a good idea. if you’re addicted to anything. if you’re used to depriving yourself to the extent that it has messed up your apetite. if food for you means comfort, a way to get through the day in a not so healthy way. if so, moving on to the next step and then revisiting this after you’ve reset your eating habits might be a good idea.

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packing nutrients
another lifechanging mindset switch was when i stopped worrying about what not to eat, and start caring more about what i want to eat.

what type of diet do i want to create ? how do i want food to make me feel ? what kind of foods will get me to that point ?
and when i figure that out – going for it.

for me personally, this means packing as many nutrients into my diet as possible. i want my diet to be a positive one, filled with all the goodies that will make me happy, energetic, kind to my body, and reassured that i’m taking care of this vessel of mine. eating this way means that i don’t have to worry about eating ‘ bad ‘ food. if something less healthy slips into that tummy of mine once in a while, it won’t matter, because that unhealthy meal is surrounded by veggie-packed meals. it’s not about every single isolated mealtime, it’s all about keeping an eye on the bigger picture.

besides, i believe it to be healthy to have some flexibility and forgiveness in your diet. being ok with not being perfect. it keeps my relationship to food chilled out and relaxed.

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finding the love of food
you know, all this talk about health can sometimes be so harsch and hostile. like we’re in a war with food. like food is something we want, but should feel bad about wanting. like loving food isn’t sound, but hating food is no good either. like being in a happy loving relationship with food is impossible and we just have to accept that. and use all of our self-control to fight our urges.

i’m so over it. done with the hate-love relationship, on-and-off-again romance. for the last few years, i’ve been in a serious, passionate relationship with food. sure, we sometimes have our problems, but which relationship doesn’t ?

i’ve found out that food isn’t a bad boy. he’s the guy next door, husband material. i was wrong about him. and now we’re happy together. we treat each other good, and i’m not ashamed to shout my love for him from the rooftop.

ok but seriously, appreciating and prioritising my relationship with food is one of the big joys in my life. buying good quality ingredients, putting care into my cooking. letting it be a priority each week, being in the kitchen preparing food that will last us days. knowing it will do mine and david’s bodies good. going out trying new things and flavours. letting it be both sustenance and pleasure. and taking care of our planet and animal friends in the meantime. my diet is based on kindness. and i know i’ve said this so many times before but it’s worth repeating, in my opinion.

i don’t always succeed. sometimes i make choices that aren’t good for me or the planet. but that’s ok, because the next morning i’m right back on track with my kindness diet once again.

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and what about health ? is it working for me ?
well, i have no numbers to show you. i don’t care that much about values, measurements, or digits.
what i can say is this : i feel great.
better than great, i feel happy. and that’s good enough for me.

love // jenny

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other posts you might like :
my love letter to my tummy
how i deal with late night cravings
why i don’t weigh myself or count calories

13 Comments

  1. my health improved so much since going vegan, but when I took it up a notch and went raw (fruit-based), it skyrocketed, not to mention all that energy I have. it’s just amazing <3

  2. Beautiful post ! My diet is completely unhealthy, I know it and I want to improve it. My body is suffering, I know it too … Your blog is so inspirational and helps me to realize all that remains for me to change in my everyday life. You show me all the possibilities, all the beautiful things I havent tried yet !

    Thank you so much for that !

    • oh this just made me so happy !
      sending you all my support, you can do it – step by step ! <3

  3. vackert skrivet, du är verkligen en fin förebild!
    glad grapefruktens dag förresten :)

  4. Loving your way of writing even more with each post. This article is full of love – and it felt very good to read it. Thanks for your positivity, Jenny. Anyway, I’m more or less the same, trying to eat in a way that won’t hurt people, animals, the planet or my own body.
    I eat when I’m hungry, sometimes small portions, sometimes HUGE ones! I go with the flow…

  5. Pingback: HEALTH : 7 ways my body has changed from going vegan | jenny mustard

  6. Excellent post, Jenny! What you say is so true <3

    When I was a teenager I really wasn't aware of what I ate affected in one way or another my overall health. I didn't know about processed foods or bad ingredients (chemicals), it was just food, it tasted great and that was it. Fruits I always loved, veggies?…not so much, I was very picky. But as I grew up I came to know that food really has a say in our health and my switch changed. I started reading labels, I became aware that most of the things I ate had unpronounceable ingredients I didn't understand and didn't provide any benefits. I decided that eating whole foods was way better, and left those overly processed things behind. Once I changed those habits I realized those cravings for processed treats weren't there anymore, I almost never got sick, except for one or two colds during the year. Never counted calories like a maniac and even lost weight. I feel happier, with more energy and I love it :)

  7. This is so inspiring to me! It is exactly the way I feel, I just can’t ever seem to express it in words! I’m sharing it with everyone I know!

  8. I struggled a lot with food, even to the point of starving myself, and then bingeing on all of the things my body does not appreciate.

    Since going vegan, my relationship with food has gone from despising it, to accepting it, to loving it. Recently I am so much better at eating healthfully because I WANT to, not just because I want to be skinnier or prettier or what have you.

    Yes, I do have a goal to lose some weight, but that is because I have found out that my weight and stress are contributing to health problems. But I have learned how to work on weight loss without making it all about depriving myself and starving myself and doing nothing but work out.

  9. Thank you for this post and for sharing your beautiful view of food. Reading this was very therapeutic in a sense. I’ve struggled with disordered, restrictive eating for too many years, and the last six months or so have been a breaking point for me – a time for me to realize that I no longer wish to live and think this way. The road to recovery sure won’t be a walk in the park, but seeing that food can be experienced in such a loving way as you do is truly inspirational.

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