I have been asked many times to share about what kind of foods I eat and what I feed our family. Am I vegan? Do I eat all organic, and so on…
Well, it is kind of a big deal these days: From “Clean” Eating, to Vegan, to Gluten-free, Paleo, and on and on…you can’t look very far without finding someone talking about their new eating habits these days. Especially here on the internet.
And it is a good thing. I LOVE to see people making positive health choices, and bringing their family along for the ride. My husband will be the first to testify to the long-term health effects of making poor choices (food and other.) Sadly, he takes care of very sick people every day who literally find their way to the hospital 100% due to lifestyle choices. “Food is medicine?” Yes, I really believe it is.
**And I also think there are a lot of tasty, healthy options available if we are willing to put a little effort in! (more on that in a moment-OR skip to the bottom, and find the recipe! :))
So, with all of that said, it might seem a little funny that I am not choosing to eat a completely clean diet, or even eliminating gluten, meat, or really anything at all.
There are a few reasons why…First, at the risk of sounding like an old lady, I have to say that since I can remember, I have watched food fads come and go. And at the time, each and every one of them have sounded like the best thing since…well, sliced bread. (haha, couldn’t resist that one.)
And back in my dieting days, I tried a lot of them, becoming a diligent student of each one, and restocking my cupboards with whatever that diet called for. Yet as different as each diet was, they all had one common denominator: They all eventually ended. And when they ended my eating habits went back to what they were before. And my body did too. (Which will be discussed in that ebook I am working on related to all things diet.)
You might also remember (from this post/Vlog) that in those dieting days, I had an unhealthy obsession with food and body image. So with all of that in mind, I have pretty much steered clear of any thing that falls in the category of “diet,” or a strict eating plan. Kinda how an alcoholic is wise to steer clear from drinking establishments.
All of that to say that No–I do not call myself any one type of eater, as fun as it sometimes sounds.
Now to be fair–Many of the diets of today are not all about weight loss. I applaud anyone cleaning up their diet for the sake of their health, and the health of their family. I know of women who have finally been freed of migraine headaches by cutting out certain foods, and so many other people who have lowered blood pressure, lost weight, and are now happier, healthier people because of drastic changes in their diet. Please continue all of that! It is worth the sacrifice and commitment. Some people are making a few changes for lent, or for a period of time, simply as a cleanse, and that is also admirable.
I would say that I have begun to move closer and closer towards the “clean” eating side of the spectrum, more aware of buying locally grown produce, and trying to avoid GMOs. Since my dad has Celiac disease (he can’t eat gluten,) I eat a lot of gluten-free meals when my parents are in town. I have especially focused on giving up some of my bad habits of using artificial sweeteners (diet coke,) mostly because I think there is a connection between the sweeteners and migraine headaches. As a family, we have always tried to eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, and we have also never eaten a lot of meat, usually choosing fish, or lean meats like organic chicken breasts when we do eat meat.
But honestly, as the grand-daughter of a butcher, every now and again I like a good steak! I also enjoy a fresh-baked cookie–the kind made with real sugar and real butter. I still crave an occasional soda, now opting for the real thing, and not diet. And I guess I just don’t want to give anything up…at least completely.
SO, the end of the story is (and I’ve said it before,) I continue to major in moderation. Most of my meals are very healthy, and a few of them aren’t. I don’t give myself a label, both because of my past issues, and because I know that I’d probably end up changing my mind and feeling silly. I’d rather quietly eat healthy and not call it anything, because then if someone catches me chomping on a burger and fries, I will have nothing to explain. haha.
And with all of that said, how about my favorite recipe for energy balls!? I think they satisfy every diet I know of: Clean, Gluten free, Organic, Paleo, and totally Raw! Plus, they taste really good. 🙂
There are many recipes for energy bars/balls out there, and the awesome thing about this kind of treat is that there are endless variations…I always encourage you to experiment, and find what your family likes best.
BTW–A few people have asked me to share a “What I eat in a day,” type of post, so I’ll try to do that soon. And if I do, a typical breakfast might be 3-4 of these energy balls. (I’m not a big traditional breakfast person, but I love a healthy, hearty snack that I can eat on the fly!)
- My Favorite ENERGY BALLS
- 2 cups organic oats
- 1 cup dates, finely chopped
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 cup finely shredded coconut
- 1-2 Tablespoons chia seeds, flax seeds, or your choice of nutritious extras
- 1 cup crushed walnuts (or your choice of nut.)
- ½ cup agave nectar or honey
- ½ cup organic mini dark chocolate chips (or chips of your choice.)
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. cinnamon (optional.)
- In a medium bowl, combine oats, dates, shredded coconut, nuts, and chocolate chips. (I like to use a food processor to make sure everything is chopped very fine.)
- In another bowl, or in a medium sauce pan over low, combine the peanut butter, agave nectar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Combine well. (It isn't necessary to heat it, but it might make it easier to combine well.)
- Pour the gooey mixture over the oats mixture and blend well. At this point you may find the consistency too dry or wet...Add more of any ingredients that you like.
- Using your hands, roll into bite-sized balls, packing them in as tight as you can. Place finished balls into the refrigerator to firm up, and store in an airtight container.
I would love to hear where you fall in the diet spectrum. Have you tried anything new lately that you love? Are you a chain-dieter? 🙂 Do you avoid diets like the plague? Share if you would, I am very curious!
And as always, pin, and share so your friends can get in on the conversation and the recipe!