I know today is What I Ate Wednesday, which typically means a light and fluffy post, but I’m not feeling it. The reason is I need to get something off my chest, and it’s something that’s been bothering me for quite awhile now. It started months ago as a small itch and has since turned into a full-blown rash. Hopefully you’ll understand my need for a little verbal purging, although in order to avoid letting you down completely, I’m going to pepper my diatribe with my meals from this past weekend.
When I first started blogging I was desperate to find others who were just as excited about health and fitness. I very quickly came upon the Healthy Living Blog community, and I was so ecstatic over connecting with other foodies, I jumped right in. I didn’t look left. I didn’t look right, and I certainly never stopped to think it through because I had found my people. Or so I thought.
The more invested I become in the HLB community though, the more I wonder if it’s actually the right fit for me.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the HLB community. The people who make it up are incredibly supportive and kind. The women are empowering and they are fun, funny and do fearless things with food. Some of their culinary delights are incredible, and there are many who I connect with on a personal level.
There’s also some HLB blogs I’ve read and comments I’ve seen where if I’m being honest, I just don’t understand. I can’t relate, and while I try my best not to judge, I can’t sit silently by either. Silence isn’t in my nature; the Hubby can vouch for me here.
With that being said, I’m guessing today’s post isn’t going to win me any friends, but at the end of the day, I’ve got to stay true to myself. What you see on my blog is what you get, bad yolk porn and all (#no shame in my game).
On my blog, I reveal my great and sometimes dead sexy eats, my regular weekday meals, the days I’m too tired to cook, my light food days, my ugly food days, my eating extravaganzas, the salads, the sweets, and even those days when a bowl of cereal is all I can muster for dinner. I talk about the highs, the lows, the hormones, the on the floor sob fests, mad monkey love, dance parties, and my own self-diagnosed neurosis.
There is no such thing as being perfect, and there is no such thing as eating perfectly. I want to make that abundantly clear.
One of my main goals is to share my eats with others because I strongly believe in a food body connection. What you eat impacts how you feel Every. Single. Day. so my desired target audience is really for most Americans who struggle with obesity and obesity related illnesses, who have failed at diets, and who don’t believe healthy eating can be fun. I want to encourage people to eat real, whole food without a bunch of chemicals and crap, and I want to teach others that eating well doesn’t equal boring. I want to help people find a way to eat healthy and nutritious meals, yet still love what they eat at the same time because food should be an occasion and a celebration.
I thought the Healthy Living Blogging community felt that same way, and to some degree, many do. But, I’ve found just as many who have taken eating healthy to an unhealthy extreme. Who are all about restriction, the numbers, and avoiding fats and carbs at all costs. Normally I would say to each their own, but today isn’t that day.
What I take issue with is promulgating an unhealthy relationship with food under the guise of healthy eating. When people become so consumed with calories, they no longer enjoy their food. When the use of olive oil, a healthy fat, becomes cause for concern. When whole wheat flour is looked down upon. When so many “healthy” substitutes are made, the end result no longer bears any resemblance to the original dish. When people avoid healthy, yet nutrient dense meals because they exceed calorie counts, but have no problems subsisting on rice cakes, chemically enhanced sugar substitutes or frequenting fast food chains because they can still come in under their numbers.
No one really talks about this stuff, not outright anyway; probably because they don’t want to offend their audience, which in my opinion just breeds further confusion of what people actually deem as healthy or not. I don’t want there to be any confusion about my food choices. I want to be crystal clear, so here we go.
I do most of my cooking with olive oil. I eat bread, pasta, cheese (I seriously have a love affair with cheese), loads and loads of fruit, and egg yolks like they’re going out of style because that’s where the nutrients live.
I bake with oats, whole wheat pastry flour, brown sugar, sugar in the raw, white sugar or even beans on occasion, honey, maple syrup and sometimes Greek yogurt.
I cook with soy milk, almond milk and even buttermilk or cream from time to time.
I consume veggies in mass quantities, along with grains, legumes, brown rice, and quinoa, and I even indulge in sweet treats and the occasional glass of wine. Far be it from to deny someone a good morning mimosa either.
I eat moderate portions, many times throughout the day. I rarely walk away from a meal still feeling hungry or uncomfortably full either.
I don’t mess with protein powders, I’m a vegetarian, despite being taunted by bacon, and you know what? My protein count is just fine.
I’m happy with myself, my body and my doctor is loving my numbers. “Whatever you’re doing, keep on doing it,” she says.
My point is I love the way I eat. It’s healthy and sustainable at the same time, and I even have the numbers to support it. Although in many cases, it’s way more indulgent than those in the HLB community, and I refuse to feel guilty or second guess myself because others won’t partake in a slice of cheese or a cocktail every now and again.
So where does that leave me? The answer is I don’t know.
At the end of the day, I want to help people gain a healthy understanding of food and their own bodies, and I’m not sure I can do that in the HLB community.
I could be wrong though. It certainly wouldn’t be the first or the last time. Who knows? Maybe I can make a difference with someone, somewhere, somehow, and whether I’m part of the HLB community or not, at least you know exactly where I stand when it comes to food.
If you’re a blogger, do you ever question whether the HLB community is for you? What’s your reason for blogging in the first place? Do you feel like you’ve achieved it? How do you see healthy eating? Does it include a smear of butter or a slice of cheese?