Everyone seems to have a different definition of “healthy eating” these days, so I’m going to let you know what kind of eating makes me feel healthy, and maybe it will work for you too! First off, I believe in really enjoying my food. Life is meant to be enjoyed, and if that means eating ice cream or my favorite guilty pleasure once in a while, then I relax and enjoy every bite! Depriving myself of the foods and drinks that make me happy all the time may not necessarily help my overall health.
What has worked for me for the past year has been the 80/20 rule. For about eighty percent of the time I eat foods that I know will nourish, energize, and replenish my cells (leafy greens, fruits, healthy fats & proteins, and dairy). Low carbohydrate meals have generally worked for me in terms of keeping my blood sugar in range. The other twenty percent of the time (mainly weekends because those are my weakness) I eat the foods that I know may not be so healthy for my body, but will put a big ol’ smile on my face.
In college it is not always easy to eat healthy. Many college students’ diets consist of ramen, soda, alcohol, and domino’s pizza. I used to feel uncomfortable much of the time because I was one of the only ones eating a salad or relatively healthy meal, and people would unknowingly make me feel embarrassed by saying things like “Really? You’re gonna get a salad at a pizza place?” After a while I realized that it doesn’t matter what they said because we don’t have the same body.
At the end of the day they may not go to bed with a high blood sugar, whereas I might be feeling like crap because that pizza really got to me. I know how certain types of food affect my blood sugar, so if I have to explain to someone that I’m eating a salad at a pizza place so that my blood sugar doesn’t rise, then so be it!
On the other end of the spectrum, sometimes people who know we have diabetes may be judgmental when they see us eating things like ice cream – it can feel like we just can’t win! I have learned to treat myself from time to time with the foods that really make me happy. There is also no shame in taking the time to explain what certain foods can do to blood sugars of people with diabetes, if it will help others better understand our food choices.