Eating classifications

I tend to get a lot of questions on my eating style.  Am I a vegetarian? Vegan? Do I follow the clean eating lifestyle?

The answer is no to all of the above.

I answer by saying I try to eat healthfully.

What does this mean?

1.  I try to eat more natural foods than “unnatural”

I try to eat foods without an ingredient list — such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean sources of protein.

chicken

A typical dinner at my house: baked chicken cutlets, sautéed vegetables and brown rice.

 

Chicken is chicken, vegetables are vegetables.  Nothing else is added to them, so they are “natural”.

2.  I try to eat organic.

I have been diagnosed as having allergies to chemicals often found in fertilizers and pesticides.  Granted, this is a skin allergy, but I figure consuming food that was treated with pesticides isn’t good for me either.  Eating organic is expensive, so I sometimes make hard choices.  I look for sales and try to stock up when possible on organic baking ingredients and meats that I can freeze.

3.  I try to only buy foods with natural ingredients.

After being diagnosed with some food allergies, I started looking at ingredient lists in foods and was pretty shocked at what I saw.  Things that I considered “healthy” contained a lot of man-made chemicals.  And since I’m allergic to a lot of chemicals, perhaps I shouldn’t be eating foods with so many chemicals.

So when I look at an ingredient list, I want to see foods I can pronounce, and no chemicals.

And it’s incredible what you find on ingredient lists!

Did you know shredded cheese contains a chemical called cellulose (that’s derived from wood pulp and is not digestible) to keep the shreds from clumping together?

So I’m phasing out pre-shredded cheese and buying blocks to shred myself.  It’s a little extra work, but honestly, it tastes so much better!

There are some foods that I tend to make myself.  I make my own bread and muffins to avoid chemicals that prolong shelf-life in baked goods.

I use my bread maker every Sunday to make fresh baked whole wheat bread.

I use my bread maker every Sunday to make fresh baked whole wheat bread.

4.  I’m not perfect and don’t try to be.

You will find me eating a cheeseburger and fries on occasion, and I will partake in chips, crackers or pretzels from time to time.

If I go to someone else’s home, I’m not going to avoid eating something because they used pre-shredded cheese or their meat may not be organic.

I think this is what really separates me from any category.  I’m choosing a lifestyle that works for me – and it doesn’t put limits on what I can eat.  But it does provide healthy guidelines on what I eat the majority of the time.

I just can’t imagine skipping out on a yummy baked good because you are paleo, or starving at a college football game because you are eating clean and all they have is processed foods.  If you can do that, great!  But it’s not for me.

I like to eat healthfully when I can, which is most of the time.  But if I can’t, you won’t see me starving!

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6 responses to “Eating classifications

  1. I LOVE this post. Eating the best you can when you can and then not sweating it when you can’t do better is really the healthiest diet plan.
    I especially love that statement you make at the end that we won’t see you starving. Funny!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I get the “hangries” pretty bad – so I’m pretty sure whoever was with me would force feed me food rather than have me starve 🙂 But yes, you can’t go through life fretting over food constantly. It’s just not fun or realistic!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Ashley, great blog! Your fitness tips are really encouraging.

    One thing though–the cellulose is a natural part of plants. Even though we don’t digest it, that’s “dietary fiber” in plant-based foods that helps remove waste.
    http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/nutritional-value-cellulose-have-1789.html

    Nothing to worry about and you are eating a lot of it with those healthy grains and veggies! Totally with you on shredding your own cheese though.

    Thanks and keep up the great work on the blog! Julia

    Like

    • Thanks for the comment Julia! I am well aware cellulose won’t hurt me – and I apologize if it came across that way in the blog post! I just prefer my cheese be 100% cheese. Not that I’d turn my nose up at mac & cheese made with pre-shredded cheese! Yum 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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