10 Rules For Healthy Eating (My Eating Philosophy)

by Matt on December 20, 2010

I would be lying if I said that I have never had a rocky relationship with “healthy eating”.

Healthy Food

In the past, I’ve tried:

  1. “Diet Foods”: Splenda, egg whites, sugar free everything, and so much more. I think you know what I am talking about. This “healthy eating” experience was absolutely terrible. I was tired, cranky, and just run down.
  2. “Low fat”: This was terrible as well. Not only was this eating plan completely devoid of heart healthy nutrients, it also tasted like my butt.
  3. Low carb, no meat, ect… I think I have tried everything, but I never felt my best.

If you want to know more about my journey through “healthy eating”, let me know and I will do a post on it.

To me, the term “healthy eating” is not a diet, it is a lifestyle choice. I choose to eat “healthy” everyday because it makes me feel my best. It’s that simple.

My philosophy on food and “healthy eating” is about enjoying everything in a balanced manner.

Food is one of life’s greatest joys, yet we’ve reached this really sad point where we are turning food into the enemy and something that we are afraid of. I believe that when you use fresh, organic, and wholesome ingredients, you can eat burgers, pasta, pizza, and desserts every single day.

If you want a bowl of ice cream and a few cookies before bed every once and awhile, that is 100% OK. Just make sure that it is a sensible portion that is made with fresh, wholesome, REAL ingredients (this is by far the most important).

I love burgers…

CIMG1033

The Perfect Burger

I love pizza…

BBQ Chicken Pizza

BBQ Chicken Pizza

I love pancakes…

Pancakes 006

Honey Buckwheat Pancakes (my favorite pancake recipe)

I eat all of these daily with absolutely no guilt at all. To me, these are healthy foods.

To help explain my food philosophy, here are 10 rules that I live by every single day:

10 Rules For Healthy Eating

1. Eat plenty fruits and vegetables (preferably organic).

2. Don’t eat anything with an ingredient you can’t pronounce (ditch the processed foods).

3. Buy grass fed beef, wild seafood, organic eggs, and organic poultry.

4. Avoid fast food like the plague.

5. Cook. I know that is foreign word to most Americans, but if you cook your own meals, you control EXACTLY what you are eating.

6. Balance your meals with protein, fat, and carbs. Together, these will create a well rounded meal that will keep you satisfied and energized.

7. Eat until you are comfortably full, not until you need to be rolled out of the restaurant. Just because you are served a 16 oz steak, that doesn’t mean you are obligated to eat the whole thing. Bring half home for another meal and you get two meals for the price of one.

8. Drink plenty of water.

9. Enjoy your meals. Sit down with your family, eat slowly, and enjoy their company. I don’t have this luxury often since I live by myself, but when I am at home or out with friends, enjoying a meal with people that I care about is more important than what I am eating.

10. Indulge. In my opinion, you can still have a 100% healthy diet while indulging in foods you love. Instead of that preservative laden store-bought cookie, bake a batch of cookies using fresh, natural ingredients. It tastes so much better, but your body will also thank you in the long run.

* It has taken my four years, but I have finally settled on a food philosophy that makes me feel my best: EAT REAL FOOD. Some people think I am nuts, but screw them ;) *

What are your “rules” to eat by?

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

December 20, 2010 at 8:15 AM

I’m the same exact way! I did WW earlier this year (when the program encouraged eating processed, low point foods) and even though it helped me lose weight I wanted to eat better. I definitely take the time at the grocery store to check the labels and make sure I can pronounce everything.

And with the cookies, I bake every week. My colleagues at work LOVE me. :-)
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MattNo Gravatar December 20, 2010 at 9:54 AM

I kind of wish I was one of your coworkers ;)

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December 20, 2010 at 8:18 AM

EXCELLENT philosophy – here’s to continuing on a healthy journey :)
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December 20, 2010 at 8:57 AM

I find that when I cook, and control the portions, I am always surprised at how little it takes to make me full. Now if only I can translate that to the restaurant and then I will be solid! Great post! Great tips!
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MattNo Gravatar December 20, 2010 at 9:54 AM

Thanks!

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Bama PapaNo Gravatar December 20, 2010 at 9:11 AM

Matt, this is an excellent article. I agree that if you eat the right types of food as you outlined and exercise, you should be able to maintain your health and your weight.

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December 20, 2010 at 9:16 AM

I 100% agree with everything you said. I have tried so many any other diet choices/plans, but for the last year I have only eaten whole foods, and it has been such a transformation. I agree that eating real foods is the best thing you can do for yourself

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December 20, 2010 at 9:29 AM

I’ve been there, too. Everything from low-fat, fat free, processed cheese in a box, blech, blech, blech!
If only I had learned about whole, healthy food at your age!!!! :)
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MattNo Gravatar December 20, 2010 at 9:56 AM

I am glad I realized it early :)

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December 20, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Great post – and you are right on target. Food should be enjoyed!
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December 20, 2010 at 10:46 AM

I love your list! It is awesome (all except the meat part…no meat for me)!
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SamanthaNo Gravatar December 20, 2010 at 11:48 AM

First off, I would love to read a post about your food history. I find everyone’s story intriguing. There are always things to learn from others experiences. I also agree with all your rules.

Do you suggest to eat organic because of the environmental impacts? Or is it more of a nutrition policy?

Ideally I could follow all these rules. But, when you live (and cook) for someone who doesn’t share the same “rules”, eating can become difficult. Most nights I find myself making 2 meals, or just giving up on mine, and eating what I make him. Because I don’t always stick to my rules, my body (and mind) crave the junk. The cycle is hard to break, for me at least. My diet is a work in progress…and I really appreciate the guidance (and recipes!) you provide.

Thanks for the great post!

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MattNo Gravatar December 20, 2010 at 11:54 AM

Now quite a novel… More like a chapter ;)

I buy organic mainly because it is healthier for me. No pesticides, preservatives, hormones, ect… I don’t like putting that in my body. The environmental aspect is important to me as well, but that is not my main concern.

Have you tried just cooking one meal for the both of you? Like what YOU want to eat?

When I am at home, I pretty much do the cooking because I enjoy it. If my mom or dad doesn’t want want I am making (they usually love it), then they can heat up a can of soup or make something for themselves. I think this only happened once when I made tofu. LOL.

I will try and get a post up about my eating history within a few days. I’ve had a few other people ask, but it is just so long that I have no idea where to begin.

Hope this helps!

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December 20, 2010 at 12:15 PM

I love these rules! Especially about indulging. I’ve learned that instead of having crappy store bought treats, making my own is so much better!

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MattNo Gravatar December 20, 2010 at 4:17 PM

For some reason your comment went into my spam folder :(

Glad you enjoyed the post :)

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lindsayNo Gravatar December 20, 2010 at 1:28 PM

awesome post! Thank you!! Its nice to see REAL food on here. Bacon and eggs, yes please! moderation is key, real ingredients are key! :)

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lindsayNo Gravatar December 20, 2010 at 1:28 PM

ugh, again, I forgot my link. GEEZE!

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MattNo Gravatar December 20, 2010 at 4:11 PM

I am totally having bacon and eggs and CHEESE tonight ;)

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December 20, 2010 at 2:59 PM

“To me, the term “healthy eating” is not a diet, it is a lifestyle choice” >>>
I could not agree more ! :)
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December 20, 2010 at 4:18 PM

Humm. My rule? Never move out. My mom makes amazing, fresh and healthy meals!!!!
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MattNo Gravatar December 20, 2010 at 4:27 PM

What is your favorite thing she makes?

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December 20, 2010 at 5:12 PM

These are definitely rules I try to follow. I love the way I feel when I eat well. I love shopping for food and selecting wholesome, fresh ingredients. I also love cooking it and sharing with others. There are times when I need to keep meals simple and times when I can go gourmet, but either way, real food makes every meal better.
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December 20, 2010 at 6:52 PM

Your rules sound smart to me. I’m trying to eat less processed food. It still creeps in here and there though. But I’m okay with that.
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December 20, 2010 at 11:16 PM

I definitely agree with your rules! I’ve never had a frozen dinner in my life, and I think more people would enjoy eating healthy if they actually knew how to prepare foods for themselves. I get sick of eating out when I’m on vacation and I just want a simple meal.

I think one of the most important things is that food is meant to be shared with others. I eat most of my meals alone, and I hate it! If you’re eating by yourself, in the car, in front of the computer, etc, then you’re just eating your food and maybe not really paying attention to it. I like sharing a meal with other people, especially if they’ve cooked for me. :) It gives it much more meaning.
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December 20, 2010 at 11:58 PM

These are so true man, and I couldn’t agree more. When you cook with real foods made from REAL and non-”created” ingredients, there is no reason they should not taste amazing. Butter should be 2 ingredients- cream and salt- not some created margarine thing. Same goes for cheese.

That pizza looks amazing too- I’m searching your recipes right now for a pancake recipe for the morning!

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December 21, 2010 at 2:00 AM

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE YOUR FOOD PHILOSOPHY!! You have nailed it:) Oh, the diet foods….I can’t believe I ever did Atkins, I was miserable and cranky. I am all about eating tons of whole foods, fruits and veggies but also allowing myself to eat treats too:) COOK!! I could not agree more with you. That pizza made me drool!
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December 21, 2010 at 6:44 AM

A big “Amen!” to all of the above! :D
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December 23, 2010 at 7:39 PM

A big “Amen!” to all of the above! :D

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January 4, 2011 at 8:56 AM

This is extremely helpful and something I will probably be adopting and commenting on in the next few days as I give it some further thought on my new “journey towards thirty!”

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EmilyNo Gravatar January 24, 2011 at 4:46 PM

have you ever heard about pb2 products? How do you feel about them regarding your food philosophy?

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