The 80%

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Ugh.  Lesson learned (again): Eating lots of junky food makes me physically feel like… well, like junk. Yesterday was very busy and a little stressful, and without really realizing it, I managed to eat a huge portion of chips and salsa, a bowl of ice cream, and French fries within 5 hours.  Tasty, indeed.  Healthy? Um, not something I should do everyday.


I generally operate on a 80/20 split of healthy eating v. not-so-healthy eating.  I find I’m much more likely to stick to general healthy habits if I build flexibility into my life (plus, dessert rules – duh!).  But yesterday was a bit much.  I paid for it with a severe stomachache that plagued me all night long.


(Side note: Nicole and I were recently discussing how so many things in like are 80/20 – as a therapist, she says that you should love 80% of your partner’s characteristics; if you can live with the other 20%, that’s great.  And my realtor says if a house meets 80% of your wish list, you should make an offer.  I guess 80/20 is the magic split!)


So, here’s to the 80% in life – the healthy foods that make you feel good, the partners who make you laugh, the houses with walk-in closets.  The rest can be tasty, dangerously sexy, or quirky, but it’s really the 80% that makes for a balanced life. 


And here’s to breakfast!


This Tofu Scramble was out of this world.  Healthy is delicious!


To make this scramble:


I followed the general directions for cast-iron tofu but broke up the blocks of tofu once they began to brown.  Then, I added in sliced carrots and tons of raw spinach.  I let everything cook on high for a bit in the wok, and then I added the eggs and scrambled everything for a few minutes.  I was making this dish for the Husband and I, so I used 6 eggs and 2/3 block of tofu, and I ate about 1/3 of the result. With some salt and pepper, it was perfect.



Off to try to find an 80% perfect house.  Smile



  • j3nn February 19, 2012, 9:00 am

    Yep, balance is all that matters in the grand scheme. Your scramble looks so delish!

  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) February 19, 2012, 9:06 am

    I think the 80/20 split is a good philosophy. I did the same thing on Friday w/ my eats…. cheesy pizza for lunch, ice cream snack in the afternoon and then ice cream again after dinner. I am feeling much better after a Saturday filled with healthy and delicious eats.

    Good luck house hunting today!!

  • Lee February 19, 2012, 9:11 am

    You are right – the 80/20 rule does apply to a lot of things in life. You’re never going to find the 100% perfect house and if you do, there’s going to be one thing wrong – you can’t afford it! (I mean you in the general sense, not you specifically!) Good luck house hunting.

  • Nathalie February 19, 2012, 9:12 am

    I am always surprised to how many things and situations the Pareto principle applies!Great that you brought it up…must remember it more often 🙂
    Good luck house hunting 🙂

  • Greta @ Staying Lost February 19, 2012, 9:19 am

    The 80/20 split is such a good philosophy. I think finishing 80% of a to-do list on the weekend is realistic, for example! Your breakfast looks really tasty.

  • Katie @ Soulshine and Sassafras February 19, 2012, 9:40 am

    As I started to eat healthier, I started to become more sensitive to how eating too much junk food would make me feel sick. Now, I never think, “I shouldn’t eat all that, it’ll make me fat”, I think “I shouldn’t eat all that, it’ll make my tummy hurt”. It feels like a much healthier attitude to have.

  • Stephanie @ Legally Blinde February 19, 2012, 10:11 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard the 80/20 perspective before – that sounds really smart and applicable to a lot of things. I’ll definitely take that into consideration in the future – thanks! And good luck with your house-hunting!!

  • Ann @ Turbo Teacher February 19, 2012, 10:17 am

    I hate the feeling I have when I eat too many unhealthy foods – But it happens. It is amazing how great your body feels when you feed it clean, nutritious foods! Good Luck in your search for a new home!! How exciting!!!

  • Bec February 19, 2012, 10:18 am

    Ugh. We are joining the house hunting adventure. We haven’t even officially started looking at houses and I’m over it, but that starts soon. So stressful! Good luck on your search 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP February 19, 2012, 7:42 pm

      Yeah – it’s really not as fun as they make it seem on TV.

  • Heather February 19, 2012, 10:24 am

    What a coincidence, I just watched this clip by Dan Savage, on “the price of admission” – which goes along with your 80/20 rule on relationships. Must be a theme today! (it took me a long time to figure it out, but I finally matured enough to love the 80% and accept the 20% in someone!)

  • Julia Steele February 19, 2012, 10:28 am

    The 80/20 split support my calorie-free weekend pizza idea! Good luck on the search.

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen February 19, 2012, 10:33 am

    Unless the walk in closet is in the 20%…then I disagree with your realtor 😉 That’s a must!

  • Laura Jane @ Recovering Chocoholic February 19, 2012, 10:42 am

    So true! I really like the 80/20 concept. Nothing is going to be perfect.

  • Khushboo February 19, 2012, 10:52 am

    80/20 rule all the way…perfection is boring!

  • Caroline February 19, 2012, 11:46 am

    I know what you mean- whenever I eat fried foods nowadays (things I used to eat much more of!) I end up feeling sick!

  • Sonia the mexigarian February 19, 2012, 11:58 am

    I so hear you on the unhealthy eating yesterday. A bag of sesame seeds, pirates booty, a tub if Ben and Jerry’s phishing ice cream, sprinkled on top with fish tacos, granola bars and a monitor….. Yeah. Not my best day. lol.

  • Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon February 19, 2012, 12:04 pm

    Good luck with the house hunting!!!

  • HTPDad February 19, 2012, 12:05 pm

    the 80/20 rule is called the Pareto Principle, and it applies to an amazing amount of things –

    • JenRD February 19, 2012, 6:25 pm

      Great philosophy!

      • CaitlinHTP February 19, 2012, 7:41 pm

        Awesome! I didn’t know if was a real philosophy.

  • Amanda (modernation) February 19, 2012, 12:08 pm

    Totally timely post for me. I have been really trying to focus on healthy eating lately as I have been having an “anything goes” mentality since the holidays. This past week I was totally on-point until Friday afternoon when I had a few cocktails and dinner was cheese, crackers and chocolate covered caramel corn. My instinct was to wake up and beat myself up, but instead I remembered how delicious the caramel corn was and moved on. Being perfect 100% of the time wouldn’t be any fun! Cheers to 80%!

  • Jen February 19, 2012, 12:08 pm

    I didn’t know you were still looking! Good luck!

    Also – do you use oil in the wok?

    • CaitlinHTP February 19, 2012, 7:41 pm

      Yup, some Earth Balance. It’s key for the frying of the tofu!

  • KaraHadley February 19, 2012, 12:17 pm

    80/20 is a much more manageable split than 90/10. And now I can’t think of anything that it doesn’t apply to.
    G’luck with the house hunting.

  • Kristen@Change of Pace February 19, 2012, 12:37 pm

    I love the carrots in this. Carrots for breakfast? Yes please! I try to stick to the 80/20 rule too. I think it’s totally manageable!

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie February 19, 2012, 1:06 pm

    Yeah eating junky is never fun in the end! However, now I do want to eat some ice cream…thanks. haha

  • Christine @ BookishlyB February 19, 2012, 1:10 pm

    As a teacher that’s true too; we try to get 80% of our students to “get it” on the first try, and then spend extra time with the remaining 20% of the kids reteaching.

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape February 19, 2012, 1:15 pm

    Ugh, it’s the worst when you overindulge and then pay for it all day. I had that last week. I rarely eat french fries and I had an entire pouch with this greasy (but delicious!) sandwich. All night, my body was not too happy with me. It definitely kicks you in a healthy eating direction the next day!

  • Joss February 19, 2012, 1:24 pm

    That’s a good rule – not too strict…i could live with it 😀

  • Hayley @ Oat Couture February 19, 2012, 1:49 pm

    For some reason I have been craving a tofu scramble all week, despite never having one before in my life! This one just confirms to me though that I definitely need one! 🙂 Completely agree with the 80/20 rule as well!

  • Sana February 19, 2012, 2:04 pm

    My life is 60/40. Work in progressss

  • Nena February 19, 2012, 2:15 pm

    I like that reasoning. I’m going to go with that. Seems to be true.

  • I Feed You February 19, 2012, 3:31 pm

    Awesome Blog! Love your work!
    I just started my Blog about healthy eating and cooking! Please take a look at it!

    • CaitlinHTP February 19, 2012, 7:40 pm

      Welcome to the blogworld.

  • Libby @ PracticallyPatientlyParenting February 19, 2012, 4:18 pm

    I’ve had some serious “over the 20%” junk days, lately. Blech.

    I wanted to let you know that I hit the pool at the gym today for the first time ever… just because you always make it sound like a great change-up on the blog. It was great! I think I might look a little like a drowning walrus for the time being, but that’ll pass!

    So thanks!

    • CaitlinHTP February 19, 2012, 7:40 pm

      Yay! I am glad you tried swimming 🙂

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey February 19, 2012, 6:39 pm

    I hear you! If I eat too many junky things, i feel like crud!

  • Caity February 19, 2012, 6:50 pm

    I totally agree with the 80/20 rule. Diets DON’T work because complete self-deprivation always ends with a breakdown and binge eating!

    I just started a healthy living blog myself, and your posts are very inspirational! Thanks!

    • CaitlinHTP February 19, 2012, 7:39 pm

      Welcome to blogging!

  • Marci February 19, 2012, 8:37 pm

    I don’t know if I agree with 80% rule about house hunting. We just bought a new house, haven’t even moved in yet, but I think you have to love most things about it and it can’t have any deal breakers. If a deal breaker were in the 20%, it’d still not work for me! For us, it was location, price, layout all had to be what we wanted. Then the rest can be changed! Good luck, it is a stressful process.

  • Allison February 19, 2012, 9:20 pm

    With regard to the house hunt: I think that rather than giving a specific percentage, my husband and I focused on the ‘non-negotiables’ we wanted in a house (3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a fireplace, and a driveway and garage, walking distance to a train to NYC…tough list). We are able to have all of those things by living on the fringe of an urban area. Once we satisfied those criteria, we were left with 3 homes. We picked the least terrible one and are now fully gutting it.

    It is not the easy way, but we nearly have everything we want.

  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More February 19, 2012, 10:46 pm

    Now that you mention it 80/20 does sound like a pretty good split…I’m now going to start thinking about that anytime I’m debating…well, anything! 🙂

  • Charise February 20, 2012, 9:50 am

    I shoot for 80/20 with eating, too. I am fascinated that it is an actual theory/principle!

    For our house, it’s hard to tell – like some of the other commenters, we had “must haves”, “nice to haves”, and “doesn’t matter to us”, plus some deal breakers. I think we ended up with all our must haves and some of our nice to haves, but since we started out with a priority list, it’s not easy to tell which things should go in the 80 and 20% categories.

  • Lindsay February 20, 2012, 12:16 pm

    I’ll have to remember the 80/20 split for all things!

  • Lindsay @ Salt, Sun & Sanity February 20, 2012, 3:00 pm

    I had a day like that on Saturday where I was just in an awful funk. While I was wallowing in my own apathy, I realized that I been eating some pretty unhealthy food for the past 24 hours. I don’t know if the funk made me eat the junk, or if eating junk put me in a funk… but I know it didn’t help make things better!

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