My Food Philosophy (Dana’s)
I use a common sense approach to eating healthy. I find joy in eating and cooking, and I believe having strict rules on the foods we eat take away a pleasurable part of life. Some say I’m a vegetarian, but the truth is I don’t like the label. I love vegetarian dishes and I cook many vegan recipes, too. I grew up on a farm in south Louisiana, and it’s hard to be a vegetarian Cajun. So with that said, I will occasionally eat fish, seafood, and I will use a small amount meat and dairy products. If I still lived on a farm, and we raised our own chickens and cows in a safe, healthy manner, I would see no problem in eating a small amount of meat. I don’t eat processed foods or the foods I call “junk” food. My kitchen is filled with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. I have a strong belief that the majority of our diet should come from plants.
I also think we must find a balance in what we eat. For instance, I love chocolate chip cookies. I love pizza. I love French fries and biscuits, pasta, Italian bread with oil, and my mother-in-law’s Mexican cornbread. Yum! I can’t say I’ll never eat any of these things, and you may see many of these “not-so-healthy” recipes on my food blog from time to time (with a disclaimer and warning, of course). I can’t recommend making these foods a part of a daily diet, but I don’t recommend saying you’ll never eat them. Instead, I rather say “try not to indulge too often on foods like these” When I do, I watch my serving size, and I always pair it with healthy foods, a salad or plate of fresh steamed vegetables. And I ALWAYS read the ingredients to make sure I’m not putting harmful chemicals and GMOs into my body. Just use common sense and do what works for you.
I don’t claim to be an expert, but I have been trained as a Blue Zones Wellness Coach, and I am currently involved in wellness coaching. I also have years of personal experiences at finding a permanent diet and lifestyle that makes me feel good, have energy, look my best, and get an A+ on my wellness report card. I have experimented with many diets, failed at more than I’d like to admit, read a stack of healthy eating books, philosophies, and tons of research (I’m kind of a nerdy, bookworm at times).
But, this is my opinion for you: If you feel good and energetic, if you have healthy check-ups, and you like the way you look; then, your diet must be working for you. If not, I recommend doing your research, checking with your doctor and finding a healthy diet that you can live with for the rest of your life because your diet has to be something permanent. If it’s temporary, the results will be temporary, and you’ll go right back into your old habits. Until I found something permanent, my weight fluctuated with my diets and so did my energy level and health.
My hope for everyone is to have a long, healthy life and many happy travels.
Note: James has a different food philosophy: If it tastes and smells good, eat it. He loves fast food, potato chips, and Popeye’s fried chicken. But I want him to have a long, healthy life so I have to make sure to provide lots of good tasting healthy choices at home, or I will find a hidden order of chicken wings tucked away in the back of the fridge.