I try to keep the majority of things on this blog focused on food/recipes/reviews, and this is certainly the most personal post I have ever written, but seriously…it needs to be said. I apologize if this post seems a bit disheveled, but I had so many thoughts going on and it was tough to get it all down at once.
I am fed up. I am frustrated. I am exhausted. I am annoyed. And, quite frankly, I am so tired of feeling guilty. About what, you ask? Well…a whole ‘lotta things.
I am tired of feeling guilty about…
…not eating “enough” vegetables each day.
…eating “too many” treats.
…eating white bread at restaurants when I “should” be eating whole wheat bread.
…occasionally eating or drinking products that contain high fructose corn syrup.
…treating myself at restaurants now and then.
…drinking and eating products that contain artificial sweeteners (yes, I drink Crystal Light and a Diet Coke now and then and chew lots of sugar-free gum- sue me).
…resorting to frozen meals/TV dinners (even if they are Amy’s).
…eating “too many” processed foods.
…eating foods that contain unnecessary preservatives.
…etc., etc., etc.
I realize that this blog is called “Clean Eating Veggie Girl.” And if I were being honest and was choosing the name all over again, I likely would have picked something different. But I didn’t. This is it. This is Clean Eating Veggie Girl. I eat a mostly vegan diet that is full of lean proteins, whole grains, healthy fats, and plenty of vegetables and fruit. I do pretty well for myself when it comes to the healthy eating department. But I am not perfect, nor should I be expected to be. And while I may not eat “clean” (and by whose standards?) all of the time, I still consider myself to be a pretty healthy eater and I am proud of that.
What I am not so proud of are my feelings of guilt for not being “clean enough” or for not living up to the name of my blog. If you were around me, eighty percent of the time you would probably consider me to be a pretty “clean” eater. And the other twenty percent of the time? Well, that is called sanity. Some people may be able to eat “clean” all of the time. Me? Not so much. I need a processed (yet still vegan) veggie burger, hot dog, “meatball,” or corn dog now and then for the sake of ease and deliciousness. I need an aspartame-filled Diet Coke when my body and mind are tired and I do not have access to a Zevia. I need a Crystal Light packet in my water on a daily basis in order to help me increase my water intake. And, quite possibly the most important thing that I need is holiday candy (especially these) for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, and Christmas because honestly nobody should be without these (unless for medical reasons), especially for a reason so silly as trying to be a “perfect eater.”
So what am I going to do about these feelings? I am going to keep on blogging. I am going to eat a diet that is based on my standards for “clean eating” and healthy living. And I am going to enjoy life more by eating those “not so clean” foods that other twenty percent of the time. But most importantly, I am going to work to quit feeling guilty about doing so, and I am not going to apologize for eating in a way that is best for me. Trying to be the “perfect eater” (<–I somewhat blame my Type-A/perfectionist personality on this) has consumed my life in a way that is simply not worth it. It has caused me stress, it has left me feeling sad and guilty, and it has resulted in me missing out on things over the past year or so. Those things, to me, do not equate to happiness. And, my friends, I am looking for a life full of happiness.
Now don’t worry. This does not mean I am going to completely change the things that are important to me and my health. I am still going to follow a mostly plant-based diet. I am still going to eat lots of veggies- because honestly, I crave vegetables (especially when topped with and dipped into nut butters or hummus). You will still find plenty of mostly plant-based and “clean” recipes and meal ideas here, but you will also be finding more accounts of me doing my best to eat what I want, not what I think others expect me to eat as a “clean” healthy living blogger. I have said moderation is key, but I actually want to practice that philosophy. Oh, and the same goes for Twitter and Instagram. If you do not like my Diet Coke picture on Instagram then please unfollow my account. I am hard enough on myself as it is and do not need those feelings from others.
I am not perfect. I should not have to be perfect. And I really think very few people out there expect me to be perfect. I sure hope you don’t. I
am going need to focus more on enjoying the good and fun parts of life. Following a mostly plant-based diet can be and is delicious to me, but so are the occasional Reese’s eggs, cans of Diet Coke, and overly-processed meals and condiments. Food is about balance. I have taken things to the extreme and now it is time to get back to a life of balance. I want to be full-time friends with my food again, not just part-time friends when I am being “perfect.” Most importantly, I want to enjoy the little things (like the occasional sweet treat or pop) in life because avoiding these little things has caused me to miss out on a lot of the BIG things that really matter.
-Signed, the now sometimes Clean Eating Veggie Girl
Tell me…how do you find a healthy balance when it comes to “clean eating?”