The “Y” in HealthY Eating

by Khushboo on September 24, 2012

It’s no surprise that there is a growing trend towards eating healthier.  Despite the number of McDonalds outlets opening by the second and the increase in heavily processed foods on supermarket shelves, a huge chunk of the population now gravitates towards more nutritious choices.

Eté Salad at Suzette: Rocket with pomengranate, orange slices, almonds & zucchini

As cheesy as it sounds, one of the best things about starting a blog is being able to communicate with a large number of people with a similar interest.  No matter how different our backgrounds, age, nationalities, and definitions of a “healthy diet” may be, we are unified by the desire to eat healthier and lead a more balanced life.   Although our reasons for why we value a healthy diet may not be same, here are my main motivations…in no particular order:

1) My weight: Some people are blessed with a metabolism that allows him/her to eat almost anything without gaining weight.  I am not one of those people.  I saw this quote a while back which perfectly sums up my point: Intensity almost always beats duration when it comes to exercise – but not diet.  Whether you want to lose or maintain your weight, it’s not a case of finding a quick-fix solution….but instead a style of eating which you will be able to maintain 15 years down the line.

Hummus Burger with Grilled Veggies & more Hummus

2) My workouts: Getting a great workout goes beyond the number of miles I log on the treadmill or reps I bang out in the gym.  From past experience I know that the food pre- & post-workouts make a world of difference to the quality of my workouts & overall fitness levels.  Whoever said that healthy eating and exercise go hand-in-hand together was on to something ;) !

3) My energy levels: As much as I love all-things dessert, I don’t like the sugar level crashes which follow shortly after.  Although various studies will tout foods like salmon, almonds, blueberries & spinach as “energy-boosting” foods, personally eating any nutritious, minimally-processed & wholesome food keeps my energy levels in tact.

Because any kind of healthy eating plan has room for indulgences…including Ben’s Cookies

4) My skin: As individual as skin is, I know what works for me.  Whether or not I splash out on expensive products, my complexion relies primarily on what I eat.  A combination of plenty of veggies, healthy fats & water seems to do the trick. And I guess I can also thank my genetics to some extent!

5) Taste:  I know several people associate healthy food with tasting bland and boring. It’s about experimenting and seeking out foods which suit YOUR taste buds.  And although this wasn’t always the case, I look forward to eating a salad as much as I would a bowl of ice cream…and the former has nothing to do with the number of nutrients it may be providing me with.

Salmon Teriyaki & Grilled Veggies at Fenix

6) My health: Simply put, prevention is better than cure.  I am still young & my immunity is high.  Rather than wait for some kind of illness to be a rude awakening for me to change my eating habits, I’d rather nurture my health while it’s still in tact.

And finally…

7) Because I can:  There are so few aspects of life that we can truly control. We live in a generation where healthier options are as accessible, affordable & quick as eating crap.  Whether I want to eat a healthy diet or not, it’s entirely in my hands.

What are your reasons for eating healthier?

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Alex @ therunwithin September 24, 2012 at 7:40 pm

I love this, i think defining why healthy is healthy for us is so ideal. creates a much better relationship

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Khushboo September 25, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Exactly- it make healthy eating more of something that we “want” to do as opposed to “need” to!

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Kat September 24, 2012 at 7:42 pm

This is awesome girl.
Healthy for me is FUELING my body. Im a soccer player, and I want to be the best on the field. When I eat like crap, my game and training suffers, which drives me nuts. When Im eating well, my body thrives and I feel like I can do anything on the field!

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Khushboo September 25, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Thanks, Kat! Regardless of what sport you play, I think training only partially contributes to overall performance..nutrition makes as big of a difference!

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Alexis @ Hummusapien September 24, 2012 at 8:11 pm

Hummus burgers? YUM–need that recipe. Being healthy is all I know–makes me look better, feel better, and know that I am living my life maximizing my healthy potential :)

And I like how healthy food tastes…weird, I know.

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Khushboo September 25, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Haha I guess I’m weird as well then ;) ! And why am I not surprised you want the hummus burger recipe …it’s loosely based on this recipe: http://www.livelaugheat.com/2012/02/03/chickpea-veggie-burgers/

It’s YUM!

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Sable@SquatLikeALady September 24, 2012 at 8:47 pm

Great post!! I prefer to eat healthily because of how much better it makes me feel physically – I always feel like crap when I eat crap!

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Khushboo September 25, 2012 at 4:07 pm

You’re right- as tasty as “crap” food is in terms of nutrition, there’s only so much I can handle before I start to feel like crap!

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caloricandcrazy September 24, 2012 at 9:07 pm

Love this post!
We are what we eat, so why not eat healthy when we have the option? Eating healthy feels good and helps our bodies, so why not? :D . Eating healthy also includes allowing yourself those indulgences like cookies and cake once in a while when your body craves it ofcourse, but I find myself craving salads, vegetables, nut butter, and greek yogurts more often than anything else :P !

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Khushboo September 25, 2012 at 4:08 pm

It’s great how smart our bodies actually are- after too much indulgence and giving into my cravings, my body starts to crave more wholesome food. Salads should come with a disclaimer: “Tastes better after too much sugar” ! haha

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Allie September 24, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Love it, there are SO many reasons to eat well, and you’re right, blogs help us find people with similar interests and read about their own journeys to eat well/discover what works for them. I definitely eat well for my skin (among ten million other reasons–including building muscle!)–getting enough healthy fats makes a HUGE difference for me!

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Khushboo September 25, 2012 at 4:10 pm

It’s great just how broad healthy eating can be….and you’re right, it’s interesting to see what kinds of foods make other people thrive and feel their best!

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Alexandra September 24, 2012 at 9:42 pm

LOVE THIS!!!!! I love eating healthy just because of the added energy and how genuinely great it makes you feel! And the other health benefits are a nice extra ;)

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Khushboo September 25, 2012 at 4:11 pm

EXACTLY- I used to wonder why workouts would make me feel lethargic….purely because I wasn’t eating enough to fuel my body!

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Amanda @ .running with spoons. September 24, 2012 at 11:32 pm

Great post, Khushboo! You’ve pretty much hit all of the great benefits of healthy eating. I eat [mostly] healthy because I love how much energy it gives me and how it makes my body feel. Although I love my treats, like you said, there’s nothing worse than that slumpy sugar coma feeling that comes after a little too much indulgence, and while I don’t mind dealing with it every once in a while, overall I love the vitality that I get from whole and nutritious foods.

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Khushboo September 25, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Thanks, Amanda! There’s only so much indulgence my body can handle before the pleasure turns into regret…and not because of guilt/calorie overload but just because of the way it makes feel physically!

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JoJo September 25, 2012 at 2:08 am

Hi friend! It’s been a while :)
I missed reading your lists lol
So true, it’s always good to touch bases with yourself on WHY you are trying to eat healthy.. I definitely feel better when I eat better. Knowing that I am taking care of my body gives me confidence! And my body feels great too :D

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Khushboo September 25, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Welcome back, Jojo…nice to see you commenting again!

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Renae September 25, 2012 at 3:34 am

I love this way of thinking, and I too believe in all of the benefits that you listed. I too get just as giddy when making a salad as I do when preparing a bowl of ice cream. Funny how I never thought a salad can be one of my favorite foods.

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Khushboo September 25, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Haha you and me both, Renae…I think it’s because I used to hold that stereotypical view of salads merely consisting of leaves!

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Honey What's Cooking September 25, 2012 at 6:37 am

Hola, i’m back. finally!
reasons I eat healthier is …
1. vanity.
2. scared of health problems.
3. wanna be able to eat crap in 15-20 years.. as you mentioned. i don’t wanna have any privileges taken away from me.

i really like your new blog look.

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Khushboo September 25, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Welcome back, Nisha…hope you have been doing well :) !

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Brittany September 25, 2012 at 8:26 am

I love the blog world. I seriously felt so alive when I took the plunge and started my blog. SO many amazing people that share the same interests and healthy life!! I lovee eating/being healthy. I feel better, I glow, I smile more, I fit into my clothes, I feel proud, and I know I have a happy inside!

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Khushboo September 25, 2012 at 4:16 pm

You know what’s funny…I only discovered this whole arena of “healthy living blogs” after I started my own blog…and thank goodness I did :) !

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Sara @ Nourish and Flourish September 25, 2012 at 1:55 pm

My reasons for eating healthy–and my definition of what “healthy” is–have evolved tremendously over the past 13 years! I became extremely health conscious when I was 13, and at the time, cared only about cutting calories to promote weight loss. As I grew older, my interests broadened, and I started focusing (err, obsessing) about reaching certain macro/micro nutrient goals. I was eating according to a “rubric”because I thought that doing so was my golden ticket to health. :-p

Now my motivations are quite different. Instead of choosing healthy foods for the sake of meeting some silly macronutrient requirement ( ex: *must eat 30% protein!*), I eat healthfully because it makes me FEEL my best. Choosing unprocessed food *most* of the time provides me leaps and bounds of energy, and alleviates many digestion issues. When I indulge in sweets (I will never give them up), I don’t necessarily feel so fantastic afterwards. ;-p However taking pleasure in what I’m eating–healthy or not–is the ultimate health “food” for soul, and I definitely think there’s some value in nurturing that component as well. Most of the time that means kale salads and grilled salmon, but sometimes it means creme brulee. ;)

Hope you’re having a fantastic week so far! xoxo <3

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Khushboo September 25, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Our stories sound quite similar, Sara. Healthy eating to me used to merely be a means to eat as less calories as possible to lose weight…and then trying to achieve a perfect diet by making sure I got perfect quantities of each food group…and finally I have found a style of eating which allows me to fuel my body with wholesome foods, indulge every so often, enjoy the foods I eat, and most importantly STAY SANE & continue living my life.

Love your point of nurturing the component “food” for soul…regardless of what that may be!

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Katie September 25, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Love that quote! So many think that if they work hard in the gym, they can eat harder afterwards-so not true! I eat healthy because that’s just what I do; I’m not trying to be like anyone else. I eat what’s appropriate for my energy levels, activities, likes/dislikes, and (most importantly) taste buds!

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Khushboo September 26, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Love that you said you “eat what’s “appropriate..” – there really isn’t a one-size-fits all eating approach. You just gotta find a way to make it work for you!

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table September 25, 2012 at 7:33 pm

you are so right about the blogging community – it’s great to be around so many like-minded people. I love your last point – we have a choice about what we put in our bodies. I choose to not fill it with crap.

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Khushboo September 26, 2012 at 12:53 pm

What drives me crazy is when people try to find other sources to blame about the way they eat…at the end of the day, the choice comes down to YOU!

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Tessa @ Amazing Asset September 26, 2012 at 2:07 am

Great thoughts here woman! When people think of “healthier” it is often thought of as food that is gross/unflavored and is going to help you lose weight. Of course there is so much more to that! I eat healthy because I honestly love the taste of fresh produce or greek yogurt, cottage cheese, sweet potatoes and such… and it also gives my body plenty of energy that I need

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Khushboo September 26, 2012 at 4:17 pm

The crazy part is that “healthy food” which is fresh & flavorful is thought of as “gross” & “unflavored” whereas packaged crap is thought to be “yummy”…hmmm ;) !

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Sig September 26, 2012 at 10:24 am

Agree with all your reasons there!

It definitely makes me feel better both inside and out and the best part is being healthy in a way that suits you!

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Khushboo September 26, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Exactly- u have to make it suit your life, not vice versa!

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Parita September 26, 2012 at 7:05 pm

Love this post! I 100% can relate to every point you made. I think the BIGGEST reason I eat well is so I can live well. End of story. :)

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Khushboo September 27, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Love that: “eat well to live well”–> might be my new motto :)

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Katy October 3, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Your quote really hit me: “but instead a style of eating which you will be able to maintain 15 years down the line.”

I was going to write an entry on that because lately, I’ve been more conscious about my diet (I’m pretty good when it comes to exercise but I love food so so much). My co-worker keeps on telling me once you hit 30, your metabolism really slows and the thought of that scares me! I know it’s not exactly 30, but as I get older, I can definitely see my metabolism slowing down so I’m trying to really eat healthy and not indulge as much as I did before… which I allow myself to do because I exercise so much and it works. Sigh.

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Khushboo October 3, 2012 at 2:46 pm

I’m looking forward to reading your post on this topic. A friend of mine who is 29 was actually telling me how she isn’t able to eat the way she used to…especially as she has always had a great figure despite eating junk / never working out!

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