Good vs. Bad Food

Let me just start this off with there is NO. SUCH. THING. I just feel like I had to get that out there first to all readers whether you clicked on this because you were interested in learning more, you think there are good and bad foods, or you thought to yourself what does this *&#$ know,  I’mma prove her wrong. No matter how you got here, I’m glad you did. I have a very important message–one that is very personal to me and my experiences–that I want to share with everyone. I have a lot of jumbled thoughts that I’m going to attempt to neatly pack together so stick with me, you won’t be disappointed you did.

As I’m sitting down to write this, I’m actually eating a giant salad–what most people in the health/fitness industry would call health and #micros. Me included. There is no doubt that salads full of veggies have plenty of micronutrients as well as many healthy ingredients. But that does not mean that it is a “good” food nor that you are better than someone eating pizza, a “bad” food. During my ED, this was mentally a big obstacle I struggled facing and living. I would feel superior for eating “clean foods” and look down upon those who didn’t. I would see someone who was skinnier than me eating a burger and fries, or a slice of pie, and think ugh they eat whatever they want (“aka bad”) and still look like that, why can’t I. I’m not kidding–they were horrible thoughts (so was wanting to be as skinny as possible) and they were centered around thinking there was such thing as good and bad food.

Food is food, made up of different amounts of calories and macronutrients. And while yes some foods/meals/ingredients have more nutrition or health or benefit than others, food itself cannot make you fat or cause you to lose weight or be good/bad. Amounts and quantity does this. You could eat nothing but fruits and veggies all day, go over your caloric expenditure for the day and still gain weight (and vice versa with eating nothing but junk food but eating less and losing weight). Specific foods do not cause this therefore they have done nothing to get the label of “good” and “bad”. This is entirely something come up with by society, the diet culture/industry, etc. and it’s wrong! It leads to disordered thoughts, restriction, and overall an unhealthy and unbalanced  lifestyle. Heck this thinking even led me to staying away from white rice and white potatoes for THE longest time (even though I love white rice) because some idiot in society had deemed it “bad” or less than brown rice and sweet potatoes. It’s not bad; it has less fiber, it’s different, but it’s not bad, good, better or worse.

So now that we have established that, let’s see why people think this way. Mostly it’s because people who lost weight cut out all carbs and ate nothing but boring salads all day so we think we should follow that. Especially because that one guy ate pizza and cookies and gained weight, so we must stay away from those foods, they’re BAD. Well let me tell you the person lose the weight because cutting carbs cuts water weight and b) salads and healthier foods tend to have less calories therefore allowing person to lose weight. And the person who ate junk, ate too much of it. Again it’s the amount not the actual foods. Of course there are foods that are more or less nutritious, but that doesn’t correlate to good and bad. Everything in moderation is okay. Make sure you hear me loud and clear and understand: MODERATION IS KEY!!! Get the good vs. bad food thinking out of your mind and focus on finding a balance that is sustainable.

So here’s my suggestion when it comes to this thinking. Whether it be an 80/20, 70/30, 90/10…use this balance. Fill most of your diet with lean proteins, healthy fats, whole grains, rice, potatoes, fruits, veggies, etc. AKA foods that have more healthy ingredients, benefits, and overall may be healthier for you.  But still find room for those items that are less nutritious too. Maybe that’s ice cream or a burger for you. For me, for the most part, it’s sugary cereal in my dessert bowls, Halo Top ice cream, and granola/granola bars; occasionally it’ll be pizza, froyo, burgers, etc. But no matter what I eat, it is not good nor is it bad. It’s food, it’s fueling my body and it’s making me happy.

Healthy Lunch Ideas

In order to keep on track with your nutrition and healthy eating during the day, it is important to be prepared for all meals! I know I’ve talked a lot about breakfast and snacks on here, but lunch is very important too–especially because many people seem to skip it because they find themselves “too busy” or running “too late” to make or buy healthy lunch. Or instead of skipping it they pick up fast food every day. So I thought I would share  some of my super easy go-to lunches that take about 10 minutes or less to prepare–either the night before or the morning of. Don’t sacrifice your hard work and progress by skipping meals or opting for the “convenient yet unhealthier option”!!


Avocado Egg Salad

Ingredients

1 Hard-boiled egg (or more if desired)*

Avocado

Lemon juice

Seasoning of choice (Garlic/Onion salt, Nature’s, etc.)

Instructions

Mash the egg(s) in a bowl. Add the avocado, lemon juice and seasoning, and stir/mix together.

Serve and eat it in whatever way you want: on a salad, in lettuce cups, on a sandwich or toasted bread, in a wrap, etc.

*If making only one serving, use 1 egg. Use 2 eggs for 2 servings.

**You can make ahead of time and store in the fridge in tightly sealed container for 1 day. The avocado may turn a little brown, but it is still good to eat.

Avocado Chicken Salad

Ingredients

Shredded chicken pieces

Avocado

Lemon juice

Seasoning of choice (Nature’s, Onion/Garlic salt, etc.)

Instructions

Add the chicken and avocado together and mix. Add in lemon juice and seasonings and stir together.

*Same suggestions as with the avocado egg salad

Healthy Chicken Salad

Ingredients

1 6oz. container plain Greek-yogurt

Shredded Chicken pieces

Lemon Juice

Celery, cut into pieces

Craisins/Raisins

Any additional add-ins: grapes, nuts, apples, etc.

Instructions

Put desired amount of chicken into a bowl. Add the Greek Yogurt and stir to combine. Add in a few drops of lemon juice until thickness is what you want. Mix together again.

Add in desired amount of Craisins, celery, grapes, etc. into the mix and stir together.

*Good in a sandwich, pita pocket, lettuce cups, on salad greens, by itself

**This can make as many servings as you want. 1 container of yogurt will only get you 1 or 2 servings, but to make more just add more yogurt and more of the rest of the ingredients. Can be stored for 1-2 days in the fridge in Tupperware or in the bowl with plastic wrap on

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Yields: 2 servings

Ingredients

½ cup uncooked quinoa*

½ cup black olives sliced

1/3 cup red bell pepper, diced

¼ cup red onion diced

1/3 cup feta cheese crumbles

For the dressing:

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

½ tsp. dried oregano

Salt, pepper

Instructions

Cook quinoa according to package. Once cooked, drain and set aside to let it cool.

Prepare the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together.

In a medium bowl, combine quinoa and the rest of the salad ingredient. Pour the dressing on to. Mix everything gently and enjoy!

*Meal prepping a batch of quinoa at the beginning of the week will make preparing this meal much quicker!!

**Only pour dressing on amounts you are going to eat. If you want to store it, wait to pour the dressing on until before serving and eating.


There you have it! If you have any other suggestions, I would love to hear them in the comment section below!