Ok, let’s be real. This isn’t philosophical. But “food philosophy” sounds way better than “Sarah’s thoughts on food, not really founded on anything specific.” A philosophy is, after all: a set of ideas about how to do something or how to live.

My thoughts on eating well, are the same for being well and living well - its about freedom. It’s about garnering self-discipline but not being chained to restrictions. It’s about finding satisfaction and not guilt. No stress eating, no yo-yo dieting and no condemning. Just a balanced approach to eating and enjoying food.

The choices I make work for me me. It is not a diet I endorse, but a lifestyle I choose. I have the power to choose and I choose to eat well.

My thoughts are not sound doctrine, nor are they prescribed by a doctor. My philosophy comes from years of choosing food and then listening to my body. It comes from researching and learning all that I can about nutrition and how my body responds. That’s what I love about nutrition – it’s a grand experiment. We get to make choices and see how our bodies respond. Then, we have the power to alter those choices to enable our bodies to thrive the way they were meant to. And, we get to have some fun with it along the way, I hope.

Part of my fun is coming up with healthier ways to indulge, because I am a dessert addict. And I have no intention on recovering. I do not restrict myself from things I love. You heard me. I will shovel down a hot and gooey cookie from Panera if it’s in front of me. However, I will make balanced choices for the rest of the day so that my blood sugar doesn’t spike off the chart leaving me with a 3pm sugar crash.

It’s all about balance. If we say no to everything remotely indulgent, is that really living? Not in my opinion. So instead, I make healthier versions of the things I love. To me, it’s even more fulfilling when it tastes good and I know it is DOING good for my body.

Here’s an overview of what my nutrition game looks like.

I calculate Macros. IIFYM (if it fits your macros) is how I balance my food. My macros are adjusted based on my fitness goals. I track what I eat using an app and it helps me plan ahead. Not sure what IIFYM is? Check out this tool to calculate yours.

I eat whole foods. Organic, free range, grass fed, local (when we can), non GMO foods. For the most part, we stick to raw foods around here. I stick to this general rule: Real food doesn’t have ingredients, real food IS ingredients (and apparently it doesn’t help you with correct grammar.)

Lots of water! I only drink water and coffee. French press, ya’ll. If you don’t have one, get one. It changes your coffee life forever. We hand grind the beans and it makes one legit cup of coffee. Ok - back to water. It’s the best thing you can do for your skin, muscles, organs, etc. I carry a bottle with me everywhere I go. Drink that H2O!

Here’s what I don’t do:

Restrictive plans. I am not a vegetarian or vegan, and I do not endorse paleo, atkins or any other restrictive eating lifestyle. We do not have any diseases or food allergies that require us to restrict any one food group. Recently, I decided to not eat dairy at all. More on THAT journey later.

Refined. I limit refined grains and sugar based on personal preference. Sugar is my big thing. I’ll bore you on that later, sister.

Alcohol. It’s not that we don’t drink, mama loves a good glass of cabernet. But just once a week, maybe two if it’s a special weekend. Honestly, I just don’t love the way it makes my body feel. So I make sure to get enough H2O in while sipping my cocktails.

And my philosophy? It’s hard to summarize, but my best articulation is this:

Eat to love and love to eat.

Earth shattering, right? I know. I’ll let it sink in.

Eat to love your body. We only get one, why not honor it? Everything we put into our bodies is either fighting disease or fueling it.

Love to eat. Don’t be a slave to food, afraid of food, or obsessed with eating food. The goal is a healthy love for the creation God has provided us. A balanced love, free from guilt.

If you take only one thing from this post, let it be this: Food is not your enemy. Find what works for you, what makes you feel good and own it. Owning our health is something no one else can do for us. There can be freedom with food, I promise. Dont believe me? Check out this book.

Peace, love, and macros.