Growing up in the mitten state aka Michigan...
I never thought much about food. I never thought about what the human body needs from food. I never thought about the fact that to run this body and to run it well - I needed to nourish it.
I understood that some people “ate healthy”, but that was just fiction something to be made fun of on sitcoms. The people that were granola and kooky “ate healthy” not REAL people.
I grew up in a small town called Ortonville and though I think my parents did their best to feed us “healthy” food, they were slightly misinformed. We had a garden, which was awesome, but we also had a BOAT-LOAD of processed food and to be honest that was the majority of our diet.
We never ate as a family. The only time we gathered together for meals was holidays and that was the only time I was exposed to "side dishes". My Dad was the cook and he would make one thing and only one thing for dinner. This could be burrito pizza (his invention), spaghetti for days, chili, or a taco salad.
I had two sisters and the three of us would sit at a table together facing a window as my Mom and Dad sat in the living room and watched TV.
This was how we did dinner.
As we grew up dinner became less of a thing and often we were allowed to make our own food. I never really understood how cook real food - so I’d stick to baked potatoes and noodles (LOTS of noodles).
You know, good fat-free, options.
We never had breakfast together. We were a fend for yourself pour some cereal tribe. We had Lucky Charms, Smacks, Cap’nCrunch, but we also had Raisin Bran, Cheerios, and Honey Bunches of Oats, you know the healthier choices. (See why this is terrible here.)
We’d all pack our own lunches for school. Typically peanut butter and jelly - some sort of fruit snack and then maybe cookies with a juicebox. PACKED LUNCHES EQUAL HEALTH LUNCHES, right?!
As I grew older I thought it would make sense to try and go through school without eating much (PORTION CONTROL). I remember not bringing a lunch and purchasing one singular oatmeal cream cookie and slowly eating the whole thing.
I’d then go home and eat SO MANNY BAGELS. Bagels are fat-free = healthy! Then I'd spread on margarine = a healthy choice and I might also add low-fat or better yet completely FAT FREE cream cheese to garnish my - at least - 2 bagels. Healthy, healthy, healthy!
I have a vivid memory of one night really craving some chips, but choosing a half a loaf of potato bread (fat free!) instead - I was so proud of myself.
If you had asked me, I would have said “I eat pretty healthy” because I thought I did. I really truly thought I did. I thought it was all about portion size and I knew sometimes I went a little nuts with the amount of food that I was consuming, but all in all - I didn’t do too bad.
I believed that working out was the solution.
Food was secondary.
And man. I felt awful.
It would take me a long, long, LONG time to learn how to properly nourish my body and understand what "pretty healthy" actually means.
To understand what food to eat, how to enjoy it, be nourished by it, and not constantly be hungry.
I had to discard SO MUCH that had been ingrained in me and realize that being the kooky sitcom person is in fact sustainable.
So my question to you is how do you define "pretty healthy"?