Walking the Talk

There’s a potential cost to blogging about healthy living. I thought about it before I started this blog and the fact that it exists still worries me just a teeny bit. What’s the cost? It’s simply this. Once you’ve put it out there….the dos and don’ts….the shoulds and shouldn’ts… People. Will. Watch. You.

People ask me what they should order for dinner, what I eat for breakfast, and where I shop for fish. They want to know how I make my oatmeal, what brand of salt I think is best, and whether or not they should shell out the money for organic milk. And if they don’t ask, they just observe! In the grocery store, at restaurants, at parties. Don’t get me wrong, I’m usually quite excited by these inquiries – they give me a chance to talk about my passion and who doesn’t love that?

It’s just that knowing that other people are watching can create some pressure to be….well…flawless! Sometimes I feel like I have to make the healthy choice all the time. And friends, that’s just no fun.

During the time I was nurturing the wisp of an idea that would eventually become Nourish, I had dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in Cincinnati (Boca, if you’re curious). I ordered something that sounded amazing from the menu along with a fantastic glass of wine and looked across the table at my husband. It struck me at that moment that I did not want to start a business or create a life that would ever preclude me from repeating this experience. I worried out loud that if I started a healthy living company, then I would not be able to have these happy moments of indulgence because people might judge me for them. My husband (smart guy, that husband of mine) put a stop to this quickly. We resolved that any philosophy I adopted within my public persona would be entirely consistent with the philosophy I already espoused in my private life. This decision would allow me always to walk the talk. We sealed the resolution with a toast and I breathed a sigh of relief. There would be more Boca evenings in my future. Whew.

So what is my philosophy? In a nutshell, I believe that if you are eating fresh, healthful, homemade food MOST of the time, then there is ample room for periodic indulgences at great restaurants or at family celebrations or around the kitchen counter of a girlfriend on a Friday night. I think if your child eats healthy lunches and nutritious snacks most of the time, they can have ice cream and potato chips and chocolate, too. (Not sure about Airheads, though. I’m on the fence on those.)

In my heart of hearts, I’m a foodie. I’m one who has learned that too much food or too many indulgences make me feel like garbage and make it difficult to fit into my jeans. And so I’ve discovered ways to feed my foodie self with healthy renditions of my favorite kinds of foods. But a foodie I remain. I try to get this across in my blog posts, my speaking engagements, and my coaching sessions – there is no perfect diet or lifestyle. There are no “good foods” and “bad foods.” You get to decide what is right for you, right in this moment.

So when you see me order the key lime pie or you spot me at my favorite pizza joint, don’t panic and look the other way. Come over and say hello – ask me what I had for breakfast or where you can buy wild caught salmon – or just grab a chair and ask me for a bite of my pie. (I believe in sharing, too.)

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