Life Lessons: On Being Human

There’s a reason why my picture of Graeter’s mocha chip ice cream gets triple the likes on Instagram as my picture of broccoli. Ice cream is fun and yummy and scandalous and broccoli is boring and blah and so last season.

Life Lessons On Being Human

I’ve been desperately wanting to write this post for weeks now.

I like sharing pictures of ice cream and pizza on Instagram because I want—no, I NEED—you all to understand how much of a “normal” (what does that word even mean?) person I really am. I went to Cleveland last weekend and ate out for nearly every meal, including pizza and pancakes galore. What can I say? I loved food before I even loved nutrition.

I really am a foodie at heart. So when I post a What I Ate Wednesday and you don’t see any ice cream, it’s not because I don’t ever eat ice cream. I’m sick and tired of people portraying themselves to be something they’re not, painting a picture of the ideal woman who only eats Quest bars and broccoli slaw and making everyone else feel like crap. The truth is that I work out often and I balance fun foods with green smoothies, which I actually adore. I don’t force myself to eat healthy to be thin—I eat healthy because I actually love the taste of hummus, sweet potatoes, lentils, and bananas. I love how healthy tastes and feels, but you won’t see me passing on pasta, either.

I live in a world where people judge and pick apart everything I do. That’s what happens when you’re a food blogger or health professional. If I post a picture of ice cream, is some vegan girl going to unfollow me? If I didn’t eat any green veggies today, is everyone going to think I’m a big fat phony? The ridiculousness of it all!

I’m only human. You’re not healthy if you don’t live life. But whether you like it our not, there is constant comparison going on all.the.time. Forget the haters! Be YOU. You’ve got one life to live and you sure as hell shouldn’t be living some one else’s.

crackers

I thrive on balance. I’m not some one who can avoid all added sugar or gluten or caffeine for a month—I’m just not. I get cranky and weird. Sometimes I go out on the weekends and drink vodka sodas and eat pizza at 2am. Sometimes I wake up feeling hung over and lazy and too tired to work out.  But I always, always, always find my way back to balance.

I don’t try to be perfect because I don’t want to be perfect. Perfect isn’t real. Perfect is weird. So find the beauty in your imperfections. Life will be a lot tastier that way.

* * *

For more Life Lessons posts, check out:

On Being Too Healthy

On Natural Body Care

On Counting Ingredients, Not Calories

On Beer & Kale

On Packing a Lunch

 

Comments

  1. says

    You know what, this post ROCKED! And I know what you mean. I certainly don’t eat the way I photograph or present the food on my blog; it’s much messier and in much larger quantities and I will add an egg on top or some cheese or a scoop or two of brown rice. No such thing as “perfect,” especially when it comes to eating. Certain days I crave certain things and eat them, other days, I don’t. I think we need to feed our bodies with what works for us. And, I too, couldn’t give up sugar or caffeine for a month -not for me. I think people believe you’re supposed to be this squeaky clean specimen of a human when you’re a health profession and food blogger, like yourself. Having to “hide” or “sneak” other non-kale-ish foods is no way to live and you should never ever have to do that!

    I agree 100% with this: “I don’t force myself to eat healthy to be thin—I eat healthy because I actually love the taste of hummus, sweet potatoes, lentils, and bananas. I love how healthy tastes and feels, but you won’t see me passing on pasta, either.”

    From one ice cream eater/weekly pasta devourer/foodie to another, I truly loved reading this. Your candor is inspiring, girl! (PS Sorry for taking up the entire comments section hehe.)
    Allison recently posted…Golden Curried Red Lentil, Vegetable & Coconut SoupMy Profile

    • says

      Wow–best commenter ever award!! I really appreciated everything you said and I’m so glad to know that I’m not the only one who eats huge quantities of food with an egg on top!! XO

  2. says

    AMEN. We need to hear this over and over for some reason to understand it. Ice cream and broccoli make a killer combo of an evening, and yes, Instagram makes me want to pull out my hair out when my sexy healthy bowl of noms isn’t liked compared to an ice cream cone. BUT you are such a great model of balance for all of us and I love that this reminds us to be REAL.
    Marisa @ Uproot from Oregon recently posted…Red Grape, Walnut and Goat Cheese SaladMy Profile

  3. says

    This is great, Alexis! I was shocked when I posted a photo of a burger a few weeks ago and people said “oh you eat burgers” or “what a big difference from vegan zoodle pasta”… well, yeah. Because I eat what I feel like. It’s all about balance. I just hate when people judge how others eat!
    Cassie recently posted…Getting it Together Thursdays: Goal Check InMy Profile

  4. says

    Great post girlfriend! I could not agree with this more. We are young and SHOULD be having fun and living life to the fullest. It actually makes me really sad when I see bloggers who swear off everything – alcohol, sugar, bread, caffeine, etc. That is booooooring. I eat healthy beause I like the way it makes me feel and how much energy I have and because I want to take care of myself, but I could never and would never remove foods that I love from my life in order to be “healthy”. I love food too much. End of story. :)
    Claire @ Keeping Up With Claire recently posted…WIAW – Slacker EditionMy Profile

  5. says

    It honestly does suck that we even have to work to look “normal.” (like you said, wtf is normal though) What I mean is, why do we consciously have to balance out the pictures we share? It’s craziness! And even then, you still will get people calling you out. I can relate- I can’t even count the times people are surprised I eat meat (uh I always have) or are shocked to see me eat a hunk of cake.
    If I could use emojis here, I would use the two hands up emoji (preeeeeach).
    Ang @ Nutty for Life recently posted…Grilled Honey Mustard ChickenMy Profile

  6. says

    Amazing post. Being new to this blogging world I am constantly surprised at how many people talk only about the healthy stuff they make or eat. Life is about eating all the food – the ‘good’ and the ‘bad,’ but everything in moderation. I may have had steel cut oats and a green smoothie for breakfast today, but last night I rocked double chocolate brownies and a mojito.
    Melissa @ Mango About Town recently posted…WIAW: Camping EatsMy Profile

  7. Shay says

    I can only say that *this* vegan girl will NEVER unfollow you! And, because I’m vegan, I am also expected to eat super healthy at every moment- um, no. I am vegan cuz I lurve ALLLL the animals, not for health reasons, so I struggle to eat healthy just like everyone else! The things I want are coffee, chocolate and pb anything, pasta, bread…and I eat/drink them! I also have a green smoothie most days to help balance the other stuff! :)

  8. April says

    First thing’s first you’re the realest. Honestly, this is why I love you and can connect with you. I am always so impressed, inspired and proud of you — your sense of self is admirable, and for every hater, there are a helluva lot more lovers. <3 Thanks for always reminding us to be our beautiful, unique selves, that "perfect" doesn't exist, and that balance is key. I learn from you every day. Thanks for being you! XO

  9. says

    I love this! What’s the point of being a “perfect” eater? People can’t stand that shit! ;)
    PS You are so cute and I love your blog (been following along for the past few weeks)! I’ve made a few recipes…yum!

  10. says

    This post is really inspirational – and I hate when people say this. But it honestly makes me rethink (again) my eating habits. I’m on a constant journey of finding balance in my diet, to enjoy all kinds of foods without feeling bad about it afterwards. It’s a back and forth, but I think I will achieve that true balance some day. Give me that broccoli, and than the ice cream, please!

    • says

      Finding balance really is a constant journey. It’s way easier said that done. I ate ice cream last night because the other couple I was with wanted it (even though I really didn’t) and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a little guilty about it. Just keep at it, girl!

  11. Nadia says

    Thanks for this post, Alexis! As someone who has recently started her journey to a healthy lifestyle, I constantly find myself comparing my habits to others around me, from my friends to nutrition bloggers. A reminder that we’re all different and our journeys, likes, dislikes, and habits are unique to us is definitely needed now and then.

    The stress of trying to conform to something we see online or in magazines is ultimately unhealthy and discouraging. However, it’s easy to forget this and let the fads influence us. I’m slowly figuring out what works for me, and allowing myself time to do that and be happy is part of that journey. Encouraging, realistic messages like this post from someone who is a RD are definitely appreciated! Thank you for caring about your readers enough to pen this post =)

  12. says

    You go girl!!! So true! I live by the 80/20 rule. I’m human and I love indulging from time to time, but I know that nothing taste as good as healthy feels so I choose to fuel wisely because of how it makes me feel, but sometimes vodka and 2am pizza is just necessary! :) thanks for putting it all out there! I think as healthy bloggers our goal is to inspire and you nailed it!
    Brooke@SweetnSweaty recently posted…Gluten Free Egg Free Banana Oatmeal Quinoa MuffinsMy Profile

  13. says

    Adore this post, Alexis…almost as much as I adoree you :)! Seriously though, I love that you always keep it real- there’s a time for broccoli and a time for ice cream…and there’s always time for hummus ha!
    Khushboo recently posted…Snackity SnacksMy Profile

  14. says

    the BEST post I’ve read in a while. Ironically I think you writing this post makes you even more perfect than I thought. Eating perfectly all the time isn’t living. Nor is feeling guilty about “indulgences”. Eat what you love and if that consists of fries on some days and sweet potatoes on others, then so be it!
    Davida @ The Healthy Maven recently posted…Vanilla Mango SmoothieMy Profile

  15. says

    Alexis… I LOVE this. “Perfect isn’t real. Perfect is weird. So find the beauty in your imperfections. Life will be a lot tastier that way.” Thank you for your honesty and seriously this just rocks. I might even have to piggy back off of you and write something similar in the coming weeks– I get so frustrated with people who paint a picture of the “perfect diet” and “perfect life” on social media because it makes them feel like hot shit. Perfect is BALANCE! Perfect is happiness which really has little to do with food and everything to do with confidence. And yeah, sometimes I post ice cream on Instagram because I know people will go crazy over it and love it, and why not? Life is meant to be enjoyed. :) xoxox, happy weekend and thank you for this!
    Jordan @ The Balanced Blonde recently posted…Recovery Series #3 // OutlookMy Profile

  16. says

    Always love your posts but this one especially!! So inspiring and awesome for people to hear. Balance is the key and you said it so well :) Makes me love your blog that much more when you do posts like this!

  17. says

    I was JUST talking to some friends about this. Now that I’m a health coach, I feel like all eyes are on me when I’m eating and it makes me feel so weird when I want to indulge! People make a big deal if I have dessert or eat pizza. It actually really bothers me, so I’m learning how to deal with that aspect of all this. I think it’s so important for healthy living bloggers to share both sides, so thank you!
    Danielle recently posted…Vision Board Friday: Live in the MomentMy Profile

  18. says

    Great post! I couldn’t agree more. It’s hard to do your thang when people are constantly watching to see what you’re going to eat or drink or what exercise you’re going to do, and then passing judgment on it. I just try to ignore all that noise and focus on what’s important: how I feel. For me, balance is a healthy meal, a great glass of wine and sometimes a whole pint of frozen yogurt. I may get some interesting looks when leaving the froyo shop, but I don’t give a crap.
    Whitney @ To Live & Diet in L.A. recently posted…LDLA Alert: Food & Fitness Events & a Giveaway!My Profile

  19. says

    THIS. ALL OF IT. It’s EXACTLY HOW I FEEL.
    I especially love all of this” I thrive on balance. I’m not some one who can avoid all added sugar or gluten or caffeine for a month—I’m just not. I get cranky and weird. Sometimes I go out on the weekends and drink vodka sodas and eat pizza at 2am. Sometimes I wake up feeling hung over and lazy and too tired to work out. But I always, always, always find my way back to balance.”.
    Coming from someone who just got back from a wedding weekend full of booze, mom’s home cooking, 1 AM pizza, and more than one diet coke this makes me feel great. I’ll eat healthy today, workout and get back on track. I felt bad for feeling tired and lazy on Saturday and not working out but life happens and working out 5 days a week instead of 6 is still damn good. Sometimes there is a bubble of healthy eaters or clean eaters and I forget that most of the world isn’t like that. I’m not broken with no self-control because I can’t do a whole 30 or restrict a food group or count calories-I’m human!

  20. says

    Graters ice cream is the BEST. I’ve even had it shipped over to Cleveland (or at least my in laws did) so I know how good it really is.

    I’m all about balance. For real, look at my IG feeds: it’s a bowl of veggies, next to a brick of cheese, followed by a fitness class, then a bottle of booze, bad yolk porn, pasta and some fruit. Oh and toss a random cat picture in too because I’m really a feline is disguise. Cat Woman, I like to say.

    Keep being you, keep doing you. Other people’s judgments are worth your time or even energy.

    P.S. Do people really associate Quest bars as being healthy. Geesh, I am so out of what the community deems as healthy. I think that’s a good thing.

    • says

      I love that you had Graeter’s shipped to Cleve! I die for black raspberry chip. Horray for balance!! And yes, people sweat by Quest Bars. I think it’s the athletic/weight-lifting community that loves them so much.

  21. Brooke says

    I hate to hear that people have been giving you a hard time. Since discovering your blog just about a year ago, I (along with all of my family and friends I’ve shared your blog with) have learned so much about high quality, nutritious, and most importantly, DELICIOUS food that has made me look and feel so much better. And I’ve always appreciated your transparency when it comes to maintaining a healthy balance – we’re only human!

    I agree with all the comments above – don’t focus on the negative. What you’re doing is great and so helpful for so many of us, keep up the awesome work!

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