Food Philosophy

If there's one thing I've learned about food philosophies, it's that they change. Or, more accurately, people change and what we choose to eat reflects that growth.

When I created this blog in August 2012, I followed an everything in moderation philosophy with an emphasis on eating less processed foods. I believed that balance was key and restriction was unhealthy. At that time, I was focused on teaching myself homemade recipe staples, so I could save money and rely less on pre-packaged, store-bought foods. I'm still doing that now. There's always something new to learn.

Today, my food philosophy is more closely aligned with the 80/20 rule and a strong emphasis on real food, i.e. less processed foods. 

For example, I now seek out:
  • 100% grass-fed beef
  • pastured eggs & chicken
  • humanely raised pork
  • full-fat dairy (or non-dairy) products
  • healthy cooking fats (like butter from grass-fed cows, coconut oil & real olive oil)
  • local and/or organic produce
  • natural sweeteners (like real maple syrup & raw honey)
  • fresh baked breads
  • foods without added sugar (or less sugar)
  • foods that are GMO-free 
  • foods without a laundry list of weird ingredients (no preservatives, additives, fake sweeteners, etc.)

Check out my recipe index for more of what I like to eat!

The idea behind the 80/20 rule is this:
  • 80% of the time you eat "healthy" (that term is subjective, although most of us will agree that fresh fruits and veggies apply)
  • 20% of the time you eat whatever you want (junk/comfort food, etc.) 

The ratio isn't solid (it can be 70/30 or 90/10), but the important part is it gives you the freedom to splurge.

Flexibility (wiggle room) in your diet is vital because restrictive eating or an obsession with healthy eating (orthorexia) can cause lots of stress, which will deter the benefits of the foods you're consuming. 

Food is for nourishment, enjoyment, and community. Not just for achieving your 100% daily intake of "x" vitamins or macros. It's not about perfection.

The reason I abandoned the everything in moderation philosophy is because there are things I just don't eat anymore. And not because I'm a snobby foodie or adhering to food trends. 

Certain processed foods make me feel sick, so I don't eat them. It's as simple as that.

The momentary satisfaction I felt after eating 1/4 a pint of commercial ice cream or a fast-food (even high-end chain restaurant) burger was not worth feeling gross for hours afterward.

You might be feeling the same way and not even realize it. 

When you eat processed foods for so long (or grow up on them), you become accustomed to digestive issues, or general side effects. Feeling bloated or gassy throughout the day is normal when you're used to drinking several cans of soda a day or eating fast food 2-3 times a week. 

How about upset stomachs, headaches, lack of energy? Sound familiar? Unfortunately, this conjures up memories of my adolescence. I ate way too much processed crap.

The good news is that over the course of the last year and a half, I've made changes in my diet and learned to listen to my body more. I'm removing foods that upset my stomach and my digestion is improving, as are my energy levels. All this while still eating comfort foods, mind you!

Books That Have Positively Influenced My Food Philosophy:
The Nourished Metabolism
Have Your Cake and Lose Weight, Too!
From Scratch
Real Food Survival Guide For Busy Moms 

Here's the thing I want to emphasize to YOU, dear reader: 

Discovering which food lifestyle fits you best is not a destination, but a journey. 

It's not about perfection. What works for one person, may not for another.

Don't stress out over it. 

And don't feel that you have to follow food rules or fit into a "category". By all means, eat whatever you want!

A Balanced & Healthy Food Philosophy |

I encourage you to try new foods, push your taste bud boundaries, and listen to your body. Most importantly, mindfully enjoy the food you eat.

Best Wishes,

P.S. Want to join me in my real food and healthy living journey? 

Sign up using the form below to get my blog posts delivered straight to your inbox (I usually post 2-3 times a week). 

Or you can sign up for my weekly newsletter and snag two free printable PDFs of the Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen List!

Have a question or want to strike up some conversation with me? 

I spend way too much time on Facebook, Pinterest, InstagramGoogle Plus and Twitter, so those are good places to find me. :)

Like my style? Some of My Top Posts, For Your Reading Pleasure: 


  1. You go girl! Love your blog, and your recipes. In addition to steering folks away from processed foods, I hope you also get into local, pasture-raised, organic meats.

    1. Awww, thank you so much for the kind words, Kathryn! I do primarily eat local, pasture-raised and sometimes organic meats, but I haven't written any articles on my blog about it yet. All in good time!

  2. I live by the "everything in moderation" mantra as well! (and the "real food"...), but I love that your food philosophy looks pretty identical to mine! I really, really hope to meet you and all my other new like-minded online pals at the YL convention one of these days (i.e. next year?!!)

    1. Sounds like it's going to happen! Thanks for taking for taking the time to stop by and comment. :)

  3. I love your food philosophy Elaina :) great minds think alike. I also love your blog and now am following it. Natural living is something i'm striving for more and more each day. And I have come a long way with that these past years, on and upward.

    1. Thanks, Jacqueline! I appreciate you stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. Making changes for the better is always a work in progress, but it's worth it. :)

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