Wednesday, March 28, 2012

all in good health

straight from the earth. spring 2011
health·y [hel-thee] 
1. possessing or enjoying good health or a sound and vigorous mentality: a healthy body; a healthy mind.
2. pertaining to or characteristic of good health, or a sound and vigorous mind: a healthy appearance; healthy attitudes.
3. conducive to good health; healthful: healthy recreations.

Last week I asked a question:
what do you want me to talk about? 
You answered. 
I loved it. 

Before I get started on some of those posts, 
I thought of something I should have done, oh, forever ago......
.....define what healthy means to me. 
(today we're just talking about healthy eating.....of course this goes hand in hand 
with a physically active lifestyle)
This may be completely different than your definition, but this is my 
"healthy", and what all the food posts on The Blog will center around. 
It's an always changing, always learning, always growing-process. 
It's not perfect every day, but it's what we aim for. 

The most important rule for me, and the one rule I try to focus on is:
Everything in Moderation. 
for example: 
a cupcake is good. seven cupcakes is not. 
we eat meat in our house. we don't eat it every day. 
Also, we really do try to eat a little bit of everything. 
Varieties of grains, beans, colorful fruits and vegetables--not just the same thing all of the time.
How many different foods can we try? It's fun.

We eat them. We love them. We eat as many whole grain (not refined) products as we can. 
Whole wheat bread. 
Whole wheat pasta. 
Brown Rice. 
We eat barley, bulgur, quinoa, oats. 
And you know what, sometimes with soup, sourdough bread tastes AWESOME, so we eat it. 
And we don't sweat it because we eat all those other whole grains every day,
 so we have some wiggle room.

We eat meat. but we eat it sparingly. 
A few times a week. (I posted a bit about that here)
various beans and legumes. 

I really like cheese, therefore it gets it's own category.
Cheese gets a bad rap in "health" magazines or blogs because of it's fat content. 
So just don't eat so much. And eat real cheese. 
"cheese" spreads are not cheese.

My favorite. 
We eat any variety we can get our hands on. 
We like to buy local when we can (for Utah that is mostly in the summer), and we grow what we can. 
We like to try to eat what is in season--
it's fresh
it tastes 1000x better
it has more nutrients when you eat it pulled straight from the dirt, 
and it doesn't have to travel in a truck across the country.

and other sweets. 
We eat them. 
Again, referring to that very first rule--we only eat them every so often.
Last week there was a birthday in our house. 
Cupcakes were made (post coming!) and enjoyed. 
sugar, flour, no "healthy substitutions". 
I want my cake to be cake, and my cookies to be cookies. 

We like GOOD fats. 
nuts. seeds. salmon. avocado. olive oil. 
These are another food group that have a bad reputation, but our bodies and brains need these good types of fats to thrive. 
And they taste good! How could we stay away?

There are always fruits and veggies in our house to be snacked on.
"but my kids don't like them" you say. 
You have to keep at it. Start NOW. Keep offering. (a post about this here)
Handful of nuts. 
I try to by as few pre-packaged snacks as possible, and when I do, I look for snacks that are REAL food with REAL ingredients that I can read (and pronounce!) on the label. 
(more snacks here.)

I do not get hung up on the word "organic". 
I like my produce free of pesticides and my meat free of growth hormones and antibiotics. 
I like to read labels, and if everything in my crackers/cereal/tortillas is an actual ingredient that I recognize as food, I will buy it--regardless if it's labeled "organic" or not.
(an organic post here. ha! same photo!)

Fake Food.
we eat real butter. real cheese. real beef without fillers. food that was grown in the ground and not produced in a science lab. High-fructose corn syrup won't be found in our house.

That is a very basic overview-kind of a guideline that I like to go by. 
What it all comes down to for me, is If It's Real, Eat It. 
If it's Not Real Don't.

Next week I'll post about eating healthy on a budget.--I'd love to hear any questions you might have. 
How do YOU define healthy eating?


Pavithra said...

Hi, This is the first time I am commenting on your blog, though I have been following it over the years. I looooove your reason for keeping The Blog going :) and that is why I wanted to comment. To me, as you rightly say, outdoor activity is one main factor for good health, and so with all that you have mentioned here in this post, outdoor activity should be incorporated into our normal lifestyle.
And as regards to healthy eating, I have one question and that is I come from a family of vegetarians and we don't eat even eggs. So is beans the only source of high protein I can get?

Maria said...

I try to more or less follow things the way you do. Everything in moderation, as natural as possible and good variety. I'm lagging in the physical activity department though, so I'm trying to work on that.

Maria @ Orchard Bloom

Heather Hoerr said...

Hi Sheena - I found your blog through pinterest I believe and have been reading it for the last few months. LOVE this post about being healthy - I think I agreed with everything you said to a tee! It's nice to see other people view being healthy in the same well rounded, nothing too extreme perspective. I also love your food and really love your pictures! I've started a little food blog myself and realized how hard it is to get good pictures of food (esp when just using an iphone camera :)). keep up the great posts!

Jane said...

i like this post a lot. great break down. healthy to me is nothing extreme. It's thoughtful, planned, and moderate. And it's real. When it comes to what you eat and how you exercise it should be all those things.

Alison said...

We eat very much the same, except for the meat part. Our household is vegetarian. Dropping meat actually pushed us to be better eaters and try so many new things like gardening, learning about where our food comes from. My previous picky eaters are now very adventurous. Can't wait to see where you take this theme on your blog. Love everything you do.

Unknown said...

i feel the same way about all of this. sometimes i dont always follow these rules but i am gradually getting there.

one thing that we have tried to do is make our meals more basic. and by basic i dont mean less ingredients-but just a protein and veggie for dinner instead of pasta with a cream sauce added. i have loved having more simple healthy dinners so when we go on walks at night we feel great after eating-not loaded-down-feeling-like-we-want-to-explode!

thanks for the post-has given me a lot to think about! whats type of tortillas do you use?

also any late night "healthy" snack suggestions?
Ive been on a peanut butter and apple kick, or handful of homemade granola, dried or fresh fruit? im a snacky girl and need some more ideas :)

melissa said...

calvin's idea of healthy is this: cheese and strawberries, with maybe some cheese later and a side of strawberries to go.

Kristin Hanson said...

My husband is an Athletic Trainer and manages a gym, so he's very aware or health and fitness. He's very against denying yourself things, so we, too, believe in moderation. There's nothing wrong with eating something you love, like cupcakes or hamburgers, just don't eat a ton of it.

When we lived in Utah, I bought a lot of frozen produce. It's more healthy than the canned or even the produce in the winter, since it's frozen right after its picked (one of the few things I remember from my chemistry in the community class in high school) and doesn't have all the salt needed for canning. Now that we live in California, I buy most produce fresh or grow it ourslves, except for bell peppers. Frozen bell peppers are so much cheaper than fresh! Unless of course, they come from your garden. :)

Courtney said...

Thanks so much for sharing. I feel like I eat pretty healthy and exercise regularly, but you helped me realize the other day that not everything I eat is REAL. So I'm taking babysteps to not eat so many processed things.

annaleah said...

Any advice for a college student cooking for one? Things to stock up on that won't go bad, or simple dishes that don't feed an army and only require super generic but fresh ingredients and spices?

sarah@mysleepykitchen said...

Your blog has quickly become one of my favourites - recipes, photos and philosophy on healthy eating! I too am using food as medicine; I've recently started a blog about how I'm using gluten free and whole foods cooking as a way to overcome Chronic Fatigue, so it's great to find someone else on a similar mission.
Your description of healthy food is definitely in line with how I live my life - finding a balance between pleasure and health; I too believe that everything in moderation is key to being healthy.
Beautiful blog - I can't wait to read more!
-sarah (

emily said...

absolutely love this post. thanks so much for the insight! you are sweet and simple- love that! do you have you have your own garden? i would love to hear about your planting and gardening!
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