I’m stealing this post title from a similar post that Megan wrote at the beginning of the month — because it’s so true.  Food bloggers are normal people!

 

One question that I was asked at the Healthy Living Summit was:

 

Do you ever feel pressure to eat "perfectly" or "complete dinners" because of your blog?

 

The answer is, of course, yes!  I display my meals for thousands of people each day; I naturally think about how it will be presented.  I strive to eat enough veggies, plant-based protein, and whole grains and to limit discretionary calories to a balanced amount.  All in all, blogging has made me a cleaner and more balanced eater.  Hooray!

 

But sometimes… sometimes I just don’t care about vegetables.  Or whole grains.  Or any of that nutritional jazz.  :) 

 

When I have a bad day, my natural response to stress is to eat, eat, and eat.  Before I realized that my stress eating was actually bad for my health, I kept things like cookies, potato chips, and ice cream in the house.  I would promise myself that I would portion control these goodies, but then stress would hit and I’d inhale three servings of cookies before I even realized what I was doing. 

 

Now, one of my life philosophies is:  "Don’t set yourself up to fail."  Since the Husband is also a huge stress eater, we don’t keep a lot of junk or treats in the house — maybe one or two things at a time.  When we want ice cream, we go to the ice cream shop (which is about once a week!).   This isn’t "depriving" ourselves ourselves at all.  It’s basically a smart way to manage one of our bad habits (stress eating).

 

It’s rare that I "splurge" (I hate that term, by the way) at home because — seriously — it’s kind of hard to splurge on health food.  For one, it’s GOOD for you, so it’s not a true "indulgence" (I also hate that term!).   And two, who wants to eat stuff their faces with carrots after a crazy night at the bar?  šŸ™‚

 

This is a really tangential way (is anyone even still reading?!) of saying today was a stress-eating day, as much as it can be in my house.  I snacked my way through the afternoon — but it was, luckily, all healthy snacks!  I don’t get all worked up about stuff like this because I know it all balances out in the end.  And sometimes, a little comfort eating is exactly what I need! 

 

Here are my afternoon eats.  Pickles:

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Nuts (times three):

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Crackers (times two, at least):

IMG_0831

Watermelon:

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And a huge bowl of granola + Greek yogurt (SO GOOD):

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Obviously, I straight snacked away my appetite for a "real dinner"!  And yet I did feel pressure to make a "real dinner" for the blog, but then I thought how silly that was — I’ve eaten a tons of healthy foods today and more than enough calories to maintain my active lifestyle.

 

So there you have it — food bloggers are normal people.  Sometimes, I really would rather eat several servings of pickles, nuts, crackers, granola and yogurt, and watermelon than a "real" dinner.  šŸ™‚

{ 49 comments }

 

  • Mary :: A Merry Life August 25, 2009, 6:15 pm

    You can't be perfect every day and I really don't think we all expect that anyway. šŸ™‚

  • Taylor August 25, 2009, 6:23 pm

    I have days where I just want some snacks instead of a meal! And we are normal šŸ™‚

  • eatingmachine August 25, 2009, 6:23 pm

    keeping good snacks is key!
    I love potato chips (especially when I'm pms-ing), so i never keep them in the house. it's rare that i'm going to be motivated enough when i'm all hormonal to go to the store just for chips, so it makes me find a healthier snack instead….
    it was bad when i nannyed for a family that always had chips. bad. šŸ™‚

  • angieinatlanta August 25, 2009, 6:24 pm

    I'm a stress eater, too, and I can't keep certain foods in the house either!

    Kudos to you for being honest in your imperfection!

  • randomlymikey August 25, 2009, 6:28 pm

    i'm so glad you posted this. sometimes i feel so much pressure to eat more like the other bloggers. but i have to tell myself that i am ME and whats working for me right now is not the same as everyone else. as long as i know i'm working towards being healthier and happier i shouldn't worry right? but there is pressure.

  • Rose August 25, 2009, 6:30 pm

    All I gotta say is… Word. Girl, you nailed it. No one's perfect.

  • chandra August 25, 2009, 6:40 pm

    I had peanut butter cookie dough (and then finished cookies) for dinner tonight… with a veggie/hummus plate for dessert. LOL Stress eating here today too. We're human! šŸ™‚

  • Susan August 25, 2009, 6:46 pm

    I think it's important to remember that a lot of bloggers don't post all their eats like you do too. I don't photograph every cracker or pickle that enters my mouth, but it happens! No one is perfect, nor should anyone be perfect šŸ™‚

  • Mel @ She Runs Brooklyn August 25, 2009, 6:48 pm

    I hear that! Today I gave in to goldfish at the office. Not a bad food at all, but not something I normally go for. But for some reason, 3pm hit today and I didn't think I could make it without some carbs in a cup!!

  • Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) August 25, 2009, 6:57 pm

    I've found that going out for ice cream versus buying a carton and keeping it in the house has helped me and my husband so much! If it's not in house, I won't go overboard. It's easy to grab a kid's serving of ice cream!

  • Erica August 25, 2009, 7:21 pm

    Great post chica! I agree with the setting yourself up to fail concept with junk food! Josh really enjoyed certain treats so we do keep some in the house (luckily Josh and I have VERY different taste in treats!) I think your dinner looks fab…I could go for a giant bowl of granola right now šŸ™‚

  • Lizzy August 25, 2009, 7:26 pm

    i'm not so much a stress eater as much as i am a bored eater. but everyone is different.

  • Joelle (The Pancake Girl) August 25, 2009, 7:28 pm

    Thank you for always being honest! And I agree with the motto about now setting yourself up to fail- so true!

  • Emily (A Nutritionist Eats) August 25, 2009, 7:30 pm

    Great post, thanks for sharing!

  • biggirleats August 25, 2009, 7:34 pm

    Amen sister!

    Loved this post. I am also a stress eater and generally turn to carbs! I had a stressful day today too, and realized after I had eaten my second LaraBar that while it was NOT that bad for it – I didn't enjoy it or even realize I what I was eating. That is the point where I know I need to stop, breathe, and reevaluate.

    The granola. Drool!!

  • Ashley Lauren August 25, 2009, 7:36 pm

    Hope everything is ok! Good job avoiding junk-y stress eating!

  • Niki August 25, 2009, 7:43 pm

    Haha I am totally with you girl!

  • Rosey Rebecca August 25, 2009, 7:45 pm

    I totally agree and that bowl of granola looks so yummy!!

  • Holly August 25, 2009, 7:57 pm

    Love it! You're totally real!

  • Kailey (SnackFace) August 25, 2009, 8:01 pm

    Yes! I love this post! I normally want a series of snacks instead of meals, so I love to see that on others' blogs too. You gotta do you, I gotta do me. To put it eloquently šŸ˜‰

  • Voracious Vorilee August 25, 2009, 8:02 pm

    I have days where I'd rather snack throughout my evening instead of preparing dinner. I think it makes for a tasty evening!

  • *Abby* August 25, 2009, 8:04 pm

    I have been thinking about food blogging for awhile but I was concerned about all the 'imperfect food moments' that I have.

    thank you for being honest…I really needed that!

  • Melissa August 25, 2009, 9:06 pm

    I love that you posted this. I agree already that blogging has made me more aware of what I eat (and I only started a few days ago), but you're right.. we're all human, and we always need to "splurge" sometimes. No one can be perfect all of the time!!

  • Jolene - EverydayFoodie August 25, 2009, 9:10 pm

    Great post Caitlin! Of course you are normal, and we don't expect anything else šŸ™‚

  • Nobel4Lit August 25, 2009, 9:32 pm

    By golly, I wish I could be perfect as well… I gave up sweets until Halloween, but I've been eating other weird food in their place… so yeah, we're human!

  • Jenn Eats Nutritiously Now August 25, 2009, 9:33 pm

    I love this post. I think it's really important to remind some readers that you are a real person with a real life and real emotions.

  • wholebodylove August 25, 2009, 9:57 pm

    I really appreciate the honesty of this post. We don't all eat in meals and our days vary depending on schedule, mood, appetite. So, it's nice to see that the seasoned food bloggers don't have perfectly planned eating schedules and beautiful meals all the time.

  • Tay August 25, 2009, 10:23 pm

    Well said (or written)!! The actual definition of "healthy eating" says that you can overeat at times, undereat at times, eat until satisfied, sometimes eat until uncomfortably full – it's normal to occasionally stress eat!

  • Marissa August 26, 2009, 12:14 am

    I love pickles!

  • Kiki (Run Kiki Run) August 26, 2009, 1:49 am

    I'm not so much a stress eater, i'm more of a bored-eater. If I'm home all day, if I have to do work I dont enjoy, I immediately reach for the food. Good planning with having no junk at home!x

  • Anonymous August 26, 2009, 2:34 am

    It also must be SO stressful and frustrating to know that if you post the "wrong" thing, you're going to get a nasty comment. Half the jerks will say that you're eating too much or that the food is unhealthy, and the other half will say you're starving yourself. (Just look at the comments Kath and Cristin get — it would be enough to make me stop blogging altogether.)

    The reason people read your blog is because they love YOU, regardless of what you eat, and possibly because you're so relateable and fun. A good role model, but not an example of extremism. I especially love that you don't ever punish yourself for what you might think are food or exercise mistakes — you just move on, and balance it out. I just LOVE that about you.

  • Miz August 26, 2009, 4:00 am

    I think initially I fretted about trying to avoid writing a word which people would misread or would "trigger" people—-and then after blogging daily I realized I simply had to be ME and let the proteincards šŸ™‚ fall where they may.

    love your honesty.
    love your blog.

  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point August 26, 2009, 4:03 am

    oh man thanks for the support guys!

    anon – hahha its funny you mention that because FOR SURE i thought this post would make the nasties come out (i get bad comments too, like kath, i have a strict deletion policy when people are being directly mean to me). it was a nice a pleasant surprise to wake up to sweet comments instead. thank you for reading!!

  • Sarah August 26, 2009, 4:20 am

    I think a lot of us put a lot of pressure on ourselves to eat well *all the time*, and as you point out, it's just not realistic. For me, it's about balance. When I had a child, the pediatrician told me to look at what she eats on a week-to-week basis, not just a day-to-day basis . . . and you know what? Makes sense for us grownups too. If you derail, best thing to do is to get back on ASAP!

  • Lauren August 26, 2009, 4:26 am

    Sounds absoultely perfect to me! there is no rule that says you have to eat real dinners all the time. One of my favorite comofort dinners is a big bowl of cereal and cold milk. So sue me! šŸ™‚

  • Sarah (Running To Slow Things Down) August 26, 2009, 4:46 am

    Looks like a wonderfully balanced "meal" though, still, I have to say. šŸ˜€

    Some days are just like that…snacking here and there rather then one main meal. It all works out! šŸ˜€

  • Lexie August 26, 2009, 5:31 am

    I am the same way and sometimes just don't feel like eating a very balanced meal. Sometimes I just want cereal for dinner.

    It is good to show your imperfections…we are all human!

  • Kate August 26, 2009, 5:33 am

    Your "bad" ("normal"?) days are better than most peoples' good ones! You deserve a pickles-and-granola night once in awhile too šŸ™‚

    It totally balances out in the end. Good for you for having a balanced perspective.

  • MelissaNibbles August 26, 2009, 5:41 am

    Great post Caitlin. The pressure must be tough sometimes, but I think you handle it just fine. It's impossible to "eat perfect" anyway. Everyone needs an ice cream cone sometimes! Have a great day!

  • Emily @ Relishments August 26, 2009, 5:42 am

    Wow! I too was just having a discussion with my husband about being a 'normal person' too! That's one of the reasons I don't post everything I eat–you deserve credit for doing so. Thanks for the reminder that I'm not the only one.

  • Pam (Highway to Health) August 26, 2009, 6:31 am

    Great post! I love the fact that you can be imperfect it makes the blog much more easy to relate to.

  • Graze With Me August 26, 2009, 6:53 am

    Ha! My "afternoon snacks/dinner" last night was frozen berries, popcorn w/carob chips, half a box of Annie white cheddar bunnies and a smoothie! Way to represent the random food attacks. šŸ™‚

    I hate the term "splurge" too…

  • Anonymous August 26, 2009, 7:23 am

    This is one of my favorite posts of yours yet! It's inspiring to know that you actually craved/crave different things but that you're makng the choice to eat healthier calories. I think that I sometimes assume that the only kind of people who can eat as clean as you generally do just don't have a sweet tooth like I do.

  • Jenna August 26, 2009, 7:59 am

    love the post girl! you got some great points there!
    bloggers ARE normal people!
    jenna

  • jack+alli August 26, 2009, 8:33 am

    id much rather have snacks for my meals most days!
    i dont let myself buy granola too often because i could very easily eat a cup or two like nothing! and at 220 calories per half cup….that's not so good! šŸ™‚

  • luckytastebuds August 26, 2009, 10:33 am

    ahh yes!! Thank god for this post!! Thanks for reminding us all that even our "idol" bloggers have stressful days and don't always eat "perfect". if there is even such a thing! It really should be what works for your body and your lifestyle no?? Totally agree with you on hating the fact that "splurging" is impossible for healthy food. *sigh* when did society reach this point of being so judgemental and so critical on something as important to our health as food??

    I love big big bowls of cereal for dinner sometimes…once in a while it hits the spot! šŸ™‚

  • Chloe (Naturally Frugal) August 26, 2009, 10:35 am

    Love this post Caitlin, it's a good reminder for all of us readers out there that those we look up to aren't perfect and make all sorts of the same choices we do.

    Hear hear on keeping healthy foods in the house, I have my chocolate stash but other than that we go out for treats if we want them. Good post!

  • mtbcy August 26, 2009, 10:47 am

    I love your idea that it's silly to get worked up about snacky afternoon. Especially when they're such healthy snacks! I really appreciate your healthy and realistic comments- it makes it easier for me to stay motivated about and committed to a healthy lifestyle šŸ™‚

  • Jenny August 26, 2009, 1:47 pm

    well said, Caitlin! I think i used to be so caught up in being a "perfect blogger" that i began buying things and eating things with my readers in mind rather than myself. Though it's great to share recipes and new foodie finds, i thin it's really important to make sure our wants and needs are number one priority šŸ™‚

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