Defining healthy is like defining happy. You define what happiness means to you and you also determine what healthy means to you. The term is so broad that saying “oh I’m going to eat healthy” it’s like okay are you going to eat salads all day, stop eating bread, eat massive protein? All of those things are a little ridiculous. The term healthy should be defined by these things:

A truly healthy diet has a little bit of everything. You don’t have to cut out bread to be healthy, but you should be making modifications like eating whole grains and not eating massive amounts of doughnuts. So eat your vegetables, fruits, and proteins but don’t just pick one thing and eat a whole lot of it because it’s “healthy”.

This term can be tricky for those who lack self control but it’s an important term to live by. Love mac and cheese? Adore girl scout cookies? Everything in moderation is truly key. You can learn to fit these guilty pleasures into your balanced diet. Maybe you have to make your own mac and cheese with better ingredients or only have a couple cookies instead of the whole sleeve, but if you can discipline yourself you can still enjoy and you won’t feel as guilty.

There’s a reason fruits and vegetables go bad after a week but things you find in the center of the grocery store have a long shelf life. As most people know there are so many added chemicals and preservatives added to food and do we really know if something is “organic” unless we grew it in our own garden with no pesticides? It’s really difficult to make sure you’re eating the finest ingredients but it is easy to make smart swaps. Instead of buying prepackaged things, you can get your own fresh ingredients and make something. That way, you know whats going into your body. Ever wonder why grandma’s home cooked meals taste better then the cafeteria?

So now that you have a better understanding of what eating healthy really means, you can still define it for yourself and do what works for your body. And remember, the extra calories you eat and the guilty pleasures are usually the best moments of your life: trying a new dish while traveling, celebrating a birthday, indulging after finals. Don’t strip yourself of your life just because you’re concerned with being “healthy”.

Morgan Holben
Author: Morgan Holben

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