When living healthy becomes unhealthy

After reading through your submitted requests for advice on "how to live a healthy lifestyle," I realized that I had a bigger issue to address before I gave advice on "how to live healthy." That post will come, but first, I urge you to read this one. It's probably the most important about healthy living that I've ever written here at Inspiralized.

When living healthy becomes unhealthy

As a blogger/influencer/someone who shares their day-to-day life publicly on the Internet, I receive a lot of unsolicited advice in the form of DMs on Instagram, e-mails direct to my Inbox, and comments on my blog and social posts. It comes with the gig, and I understand that people feel brave behind a computer screen and may overstep their boundaries when their intentions are good.

But I’m not here to vent about the mean or judgmental comments I receive from my followers (haters and lovers, alike!). I’m here, instead, to talk about the comments I get from my readers and followers that worry me. The ones that make me say to myself, “It’s such a shame that the media puts these obsessions, worries, and anxieties on people that are just trying to live a healthy, balanced life.”

Someone recently DM’d me on Instagram to tell me not to season my food with oregano, because studies show it causes miscarriages. I mean… in that case, how do people in the Mediterranean even have babies? And on the same day, someone told me that I shouldn’t cook my vegetables, because essential nutrients are lost when you heat vegetables to a certain point. I sighed so hard on this one – it’s hard enough for people to figure out what “eating well” means, and now we have to confuse them by telling them they shouldn’t eat vegetables unless they’re raw? They’re vegetables! Raw or cooked, they’re great for you! Much better than a salty bag of Lay’s!

And the thing is – their hearts are in the right places. And I’m thankful and grateful that people care about me (absolute strangers, in fact!) enough to send me messages. But there’s a larger issue happening here. These people are trying to “help” me, but what they’re doing is projecting their own obsessions and insecurities on how to live a healthy life on me. “Why isn’t Ali doing X? Doesn’t she know that can kill her?!” Sigh. No, it won’t kill me. And I honestly feel sad that people think the occasional BPA-lined can will end their life prematurely.

The truth is that it’s not even their faults! It’s the media. The media is giving us SO much information every day about how we need to live our lives in order to be our “healthiest.” Unfortunately, it’s doing the exact opposite: confusing us and causing anxiety and stress, which is unhealthier than eating corn syrup. Yes, anxiety and stress is unhealthy for the mind which causes physiological problems, way more problems than eating sugar can.

I recently overheard a conversation at a grocery store, where a girl told her friend, “Oh I’m craving an apple!” and then after discovering that there were no organic apples available, she announced to her friend that she wasn’t going to have an apple, because it was “infected” with pesticides and would cause her cancer. Literally, she said eating that single apple would cause her cancer. I wanted to so badly say, “Eat the apple, I promise it won’t kill you. Rinse it, enjoy it, and move on.” And of course, an apple is on the “dirty dozen” list, so we should try to buy organic when we can and that decision alone is a privilege – not everyone can afford organic produce!

These days, if you don’t drink matcha in the mornings, avoid gluten and sugar, only eat organic and non-GMO, drink solely from metal bottles, use reusable food storage bags, avoid plastic, put oat milk in your coffee, buy brands only made from recyclable products, eat probiotic foods like sauerkraut every day, drink thick smoothies overflowing with superfood nut butter, exercise daily, take essential oils, track your sleep through an app, use non-toxic skincare and home cleaning products, jade roll, detox after a “bad weekend,” take collagen and adaptogens, create daily “routines,” apply face masks at night, and stay out of the sun, then you’re not living your best, healthiest life.

When living healthy becomes unhealthy

Where do you draw the line?

Okay, now that I’ve vented, I’m sure you’re sitting there, tapping your nails (hopefully polished with non-toxic polish, because God forbid those chemicals seep into your nail beds and cause a hormonal imbalance!) asking, “Okay, then what’s the secret? Where do you draw the line? What advice do you take and what advice do you ignore? How do you live your healthiest but maintain your sanity?”

Unfortunately, I don’t have that answer for you, because, and get this: the healthiest way to live is whatever works best for you. Whatever allows you to achieve BALANCE. Let that word sink in for a second: balance. Not all or nothing. Balance.

And what it truly is, is a mindset.

How do you achieve balance? Moderation. I’ve talked a lot about the 80/20 “rule,” which I’ve applied to not only my diet but my life. 80% of the time, I eat well, exercise, and do everything to nourish my mind, body and soul. Then, 20% of the time, I listen to the lustful Ali. I let the dishes sit in the sink overnight to stay up binge watching The Sopranos until midnight, I drink a bottle of wine with a friend over dinner, I go to the store JUST to buy those sugar-laden, MILK chocolate covered almonds, I let my son watch Sesame Street on my iPhone so he’ll sit peacefully for 5 minutes so I can relax, I don’t wash my face before bed, and I buy a plastic bottle of water while I’m out running errands.

A lot of you need “plans” and “rules,” and unfortunately, I can’t give that to you. But I have some ideas to help you change your thinking about living healthy in general. And it may involve a total mindset overhaul. But again, I only am sharing with you what works for me, so you’ll have to do your own soul searching and research, because what works for me may not work for you.

For me, “living healthy” isn’t at all about the number on the scale. At all. For me, “living healthy” is about living a life that I enjoy, makes me feel good about my decisions and their impact on those and the environment around me, and most importantly, fills me with happiness. Physically, this way of living also makes me feel good most of the time. Not all of the time, most of the time. Because heck, you need the times when you’re in a sugar coma – they’re cathartic, they fill you with temporary bliss, and yes, that’s okay. I’m in tune with my body after many years of struggling to get this place. Many years of feeling guilt over every non essential food that entered my body.

Instead of focusing on every single food or wellness decision I make, I focus on bigger picture parts of my life that cause the trickle down effect and fill my life with love and happiness. What are those things? My friends, my marriage and other relationships, my work life balance, my son, and taking advantage of all life has to offer by traveling, going out to new restaurants, and experiencing new things.

When you shift your focus from food food food and focus more on the honestly more important things in life, you stress less, you’re happier, and the food decisions fall into place. If you’re happy and less stressed, you won’t emotionally eat (which was a huge life lesson for me.) The happier you are in general, the more you’ll realize that that pesky number on the scale or the size of your jeans really doesn’t matter. AT ALL. As long as it doesn’t cause other health problems (like cases of extreme obesity), there’s nothing to worry about.

There are times, sure, when I know I could curb my snacking or sugar intake to feel better and maybe drop a few pounds that are making my feel lethargic, and I do. It makes me feel better overall, I have better mental clarity when I eat better, but I don’t look at those snacks and sugar as “slip ups.” They’re just part of my healthy lifestyle. It’s a lifestyle, a journey, it goes on for a LIFETIME, hence, lifestyle.

I just want you to know this and let it absorb: your weight won’t make you happy. You’ll get to a certain “ideal” weight, want to lose more, or spend all of your mental energy on maintaining that weight. Instead, listen to your body and let your body tell you what it wants and what weight it needs to be at to sustain your happiest life. And I hate to break it to you, but that may be an extra 5, 10 or even 15 pounds. For me, it’s usually about 5-10 pounds, depending on the season of my life.

When living healthy becomes unhealthy

What about living clean?

And as for living a “clean” life in terms of the products you buy and use on your body and in your home, realize that it’s an absolute privilege to even be able to make those decisions and spend more money on “cleaner” products, so be proud of your conscious decision to make that change. And don’t stress if you forget your canvas bags on a trip to the market. You’re not a selfish person, you’re a real person. Did you know that living one day of veganism saves GALLONS of water? That’s huge! Every little bit helps. Take a step back and know that even the littlest of changes go a long way. Don’t let people make you feel bad who are all-in. That’s their prerogative and they’re living extremely (in a good way, but still extremely!) and that’s okay. It doesn’t need to be yours, if it doesn’t fit into your lifestyle.

Perhaps you can pick out which areas of your life you want to focus the most on going cleaner. It doesn’t need to be every single aspect of your life – that can be overwhelming and result in burnout or obsession. For me, I try my best to buy organic when I can, bring my reusable water bottle everywhere, limit my paper usage by using services like Dropbox, going digital with all my bills, and eliminating paper towel usage at home. I switched over to a completely non-toxic home cleaning regimen and a mostly clean skincare and beauty regimen. I try to eat my best and buy brands whose missions I believe in (like Siete Foods or TOMS shoes.) I don’t stress about every single little decision (like buying a can of beans that is BPA-lined), because overall, I live a balanced, clean and healthy lifestyle.

A note on the word excessive

If you read articles on “how to life a healthy lifestyle” or “how to live clean”, you’ll notice that almost all of them say, avoid “excessive” use of the not-clean and not-healthy products. Yes, if you eat sugar all day long everyday, that’s excessive, and will results in physical and mental health problems. But, if you have a donut one morning because you walked by a gourmet donut shop you’ve been hearing great things about and wanted to try it, that’s not excessive. That’s living. Take slow bites. Savor this experience. If you allow yourself these experiences, they won’t seem so forbidden and you won’t crave them 24/7 and then feel guilty when you eat a box of donuts, when you could’ve just enjoyed that gorgeous donut when you actually wanted it.

Somehow, this idea of excessive gets lost on readers and people think they have to totally eliminate these foods and products in order to live healthy or live clean. And this is where people fall short and miss the idea. This is where moderation and balance is ignored and obsession enters, leading to feelings of guilt, confusion, and sadness.

Perhaps part of this new perspective on your lifestyle will necessitate that you stop following people on Instagram or other social media channels who are excessive and clearly obsessed. If you don’t want to be like them (and analyze every single decision you make in life), then why are you following them? Find someone who lives a more balanced lifestyle! Find someone who inspires you to be a better version of yourself. Here’s an easy step to take: if you hate follow someone, UNFOLLOW them. Hate following is one of the most negative, unproductive things you can do. It can only make you into a more venomous person. Only follow people that you’d personally want to be friends with!

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my influence as an influencer, and what message I want to put out there in the world. I want people to know this: life is precious, we only get one life to live, and life is meant to be enjoyed and loved. Do your best to love your life. Don’t spend your life fearing it and looking at every decision as “good” or “bad.” Get messy, makes mistakes, have fun, get hurt, learn, get up and keep going.

Thanks for listening!

with love, Ali

leave a comment


  • This this this!!! ❤️??? I never comment but felt like this was just what I needed today. Thank youuu. Your perspective and insight is soooo refreshing.
  • Thank you for this article. I was home for the holidays recently and was making roasted beets in the oven. My dad saw what I was making and made a comment that it was unhealthy because of all the natural sugars that are released with that cooking method and that if I wasn’t going to have them write in a smoothie then I I should’ve boiled them instead. And a couple days later made another comment about the cereal I was eating that it had no nutritional value to it (never mind the blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, BlackBerries and bananas that I also had to acompany that “unhealthy“ rice cereal.) Both of these comments infuriated me. I eat healthily and was shocked by these these obsessive remarks. To his credit I have been very sick this past year and he only cares about me; however, once I stopped listening to what I can and cannot eat from my doctors I have gained so much more strength and am so much healthier than I was when listening to all the chitter chatter around me. The funny thing is is that I also get comments from my family when I want to eat something very healthy instead of what they might be having for dinner not because I’m afraid to eat it but because it just doesn’t make me feel good after. People just need to stop obsessing..... Thanks again!
    • ? Awesome post!
    • Thank you for this post! It’s amszing
    • Love this post! Thanks!
    • I cannot thank you enough for posting this. I was one of those who researches everything to figure out how to feel my best, and it never worked. I’ve tried most everything...except listening to my own body and trusting that it will tell me what it needs. ❤️ Thank you again!
  • You are so right with your post! I don't know why people put so much effort into being negative or telling people not to do things! They should mind their own business!
    • AMEN & AMEN!!
  • Thank you, thank you, thank you for this.
  • Very well written! Amazing perspective and advice. :)
  • You sum it up in this quote right here...“the healthiest way to live is whatever works best for you. “ Great post!
  • Wow I love this! I'm never one to comment, but felt moved to after reading it - thank you so much for putting this together so eloquently! <3 <3
  • Thank you for this! As a registered dietitian, these exact issues are a constant battle for me with my clients. It's wonderful to see an influencer like you address this problem with the media and wellness culture.
  • Your message is a great one. Thank you! Keep doing you. I am trying to do me too.
  • I just read this post slowly and thoroughly and kept thinking to myself, "YES, YES, YASSSSS." Though, of course, I'm sure someone will *still* comment here and tell you to reconsider eating a non-organic apple for health purposes, haha. ;-) Thank you, always for your honesty. This is really a stellar post!
  • 100%on point! I am taking so much encouragement from this post! I use to be the extreme...it is exhausting! Moderation is such a happier place! Thank you!
  • Yes!
  • This has been my creed for ever: You can eat everything and anything in moderation! I am from France and was lucky (in a way) to grow up in a poor family. We raised our own vegetables, our own chickens for eggs and rabbits for meat. I was always jalous of my schoolmates who stopped at the bakery to get a croissant to eat at recess, while I had only a sugar cube in my pocket. But this experience gave me good habits. To this day, almost 70 years later, I still eat everything and anything in moderation (except for chocolate sometimes!!!!!) and I cook from scratch MOST of the time. I still fit in all my clothes of 20 years ago. You are very wise and your post is spot on. By the way this is my first time commenting, but want you to know that I enjoy many of your recipes. Thank you for your valuable time.
  • Thank you very much for posting such a wonderful positive message. My daughter is currently getting treatment for an eating disorder. This all stemmed from wanting to eat everything “healthy”. It’s so easy to lose perspective on eating for your health and the rest of your life and eating to fit into a size of jeans that is not sustainable or desirable.
  • Yes yes YES! This is what EVERYONE needs to hear... I've been in the extreme and still have moments where I need to step back and tell myself to chill. Thank you Ali for this post- it is SO needed!!
  • ? Yaasss ??????
  • Thank you, Ali. I needed to read this. What really stood out to me is the notion that when your wellness strategy causes you stress, that can be just as unhealthy for you as other negative habits. I’ve been striving to live more healthfully but have also found that some of my choices are causing me anxiety. Talk about counterproductive! I think that sometimes we want a quick fix, but finding balance and living joyfully in the present is so much better. Thank you for your example and for this important message.
  • Thank you for always inspiring me to live a healthy life! I love this post.
  • It's like you are speaking directly to me in this post. I've been thinking about these things a lot lately and not able to articulate them nearly as well. After this, I've decided my word for 2019 is MODERATION. Thank you for this post.
  • Such a great post! I love the idea of being mindful about nutrition and being clean. It's not about being perfect but working to get better! Www.themilestraveled.com
  • Thank you
  • I don't believe I have ever commented on one of your blog posts...this post is amazing. 100% on point, so truthful and speaks volumes!
  • YES YES YES! Thank you so much for writing this...people can just go so far in one direction it makes NO sense! We all just wanna live, right? THANK YOU!
  • Oh Ali thank you so much for this. Being “healthy” — exercising every single day and eating “clean” caused me to lose my period and along with it my fertility, my bone health and so much more. So many of us think we are being healthy and “good” according to what we see and read in the media, but I’m learning the hard way that you can actually be doing the exact opposite. I’m so glad you brought attention to this — every body is different, and there are no right and wrong ways to live. Being happy is much more important than killing yourself to keep off those extra 10lbs.
  • Hi Ali. I've never commented on a post before, but couldn't be more thankful for not only the content of what you said, but also of its timing. Every year I try these ridiculous resolutions that are not feasible for me, the all or nothing rule fills me with anxiety, stress, and eventually guilt. This year, I'm taking a different approach and thinking more of moderation and making small healthier choices each day. I even started a daily journal entry on a app where I write a quick, one sentence reflection on that day. I'm already feeling more at ease, mindful, and grateful. I appreciate this realistic look at the world we live and thank you for your honesty and grace, something we all need to have within ourselves. Thank you, again, and Happy New Year.
  • Love it. And love your work ♥️
  • I needed this. Thank you.
  • So damn true, so damn necessary. I think I need to print this one out and pass it out to so many people I know. Spot on Ali, so beautifully written. Thank you.
  • Ali, I love your blog, I love your food, and I love your posts. You are so right on; how dare anyone tell you how you should or should not live your own life. Blessings for you, my friend, from the great state of Texas
  • Gracias Ali. Muy de acuerdo contigo, solo tenemos una vida y no puede ser llena de privaciones todo el tiempo, moderación es la palabra!
  • Ali, I LOVE this post!! I have been stuck in a rut since having my "baby" (who's now a four year old!), hiding behind my inability to be "perfect" to avoid having to try at all. This post is so true!!!
  • I LOVED this. Needed to read it. Thank you. Have been a follower for years and won't be leaving anytime soon! xoxo
  • Thank you, thank you so much for this post, Ali. This really resonated with me. You are an inspiration, keep doing what you are doing (I've been following you for awhile and have loved watching your path - you are changing lives!).
  • Awesome post and perspective, as usual! I think this is an important read for all moms, particularly of girls, as we try to raise women who won't fall prey to the pressure of being "perfect" in this era of social media ( while we, ourselves, may be dealing with that exact issue!). If anything, I need to adopt this healthier view point for my daughter if not for myself! xo
  • 100% agree....as I eat the 10 cinnamon bears that I grabbed from the bulk section today...heehee! Every single one of them was delicious and hit the spot regarding my sugar craving today. And now I’ll probably go another 5 years before I even look at them again. ;) I don’t believe in restrictions unless it’s a medical situation. Great post!
  • You hit the nail on the head! So well-spoken and truthful. LOVED reading it! Wish there were more influencers like you out in the world. Keep it up!
  • Living veganism saves gallons of water? Wondering what your meaning is here. Love the post ❤️
  • Hey Ali, Such a lovely and thoughtful post. It reminded me of the book Just Food. It covers many of the same points, and it you haven't read it, I think you's enjoy it. I volunteer with a non-profit that helps make fresh produce inexpensive for customers that have the ability to pay. Then, at the end of the day, any extra produce that we have is donated to local food pantries that are able to handle perishable produce. (It's much harder than it sounds, because many food pantries can only handle shelf-stable products.) Anyways, we buy conventional produce, organic if it's available, which isn't very often. As a result, we're able to help families that have the privilege of being able to pay for produce, and also help food-unsecure families get access to fresh produce. And guess what, people are happy and eat nourishing foods with loved ones more often as a result. It has helped me gain an appreciation for what privileges and choices I have with food. It also makes me think about how my choices impact my community and city. I try to make try to make the best choices possible, but am not going to punish myself for enjoying dessert, or sometimes using paper towels, or not always composting. Life happens, and each day is an opportunity to celebrate something great. Life is about balance, and your lovely post beautifully covered so many aspects of that. Well done! Love your honest, real, positive voice!
  • What a refreshing and realistic view. I too agree that the journey is personal and there is no right or wrong way to do things. Same goes with parenthood. Thank you!
  • Thank you for a great post ! Loved reading it. Agree ?!
  • I can't clap loud enough for your message! Bravo! Thank you for expressing my feelings on the matter in such a concise manner. The world is becoming more and more obsessed over what not to do that they miss out on living and enjoying life. I remember in your first cookbook, you told about a trip to Rome where your family ate a pasta dish and you passed it over (even though you really wanted it) because it didn't "fit" into your current-at-that-time diet. You always regretted it. This really struck me, because you can't take back those moments. Just eat it and enjoy! Then move on, eat healthy most of the time and enjoy!
  • What a powerful message. Thank you!
  • What a heartfelt, beautiful message. I have found that intermittent fasting has given me the freedom to eat when i am hungry and to eat what is good. I thoroughly enjoy the flavour of food now, and really enjoy the occasional treat. It is funny though that others pick on those few times to judge you! Keep up the good work!
  • This is exactly what every woman needs to read! Why are we all so hard on ourselves trying to be the best we can be when we don't even step back at listen to our own bodies! We should all try to be the best of ourselves which is different for everyone. Great words of wisdom ♥ ♥ ♥
  • YES-YES-YES! Balance is the best advice! Thanks for addressing this issue. You’ve gotta LIVE....life is too short to deny yourself an urge. It’s all in moderation. LOVE THIS POST! Thanks for being YOU, Ali!
  • Very powerful and well written. I appreciate that you embrace the gray areas, whereas most health advice makes everything seem black and white. We all benefit from finding our balance. Please continue to be the wonderful influencer that you are.
  • It’s all about Balance! You said it perfectly?
  • Great post Ali! I live by the 80/20 rule too and after New Years I did an Instagram clean up dropping over 100 follows. As a 50 year old I look at some of the stuff out there that “influencers” are telling us to eat, drink, do, etc. and I have to shake my head to make sense of why anyone would want to partake in some of that stuff. Knowledge, balance and an open mind.... Thank You for your honesty
  • Beautifully said.
  • I really needed this post. Sometimes I can really get lost in the food obsessions of others on social media, believing it is what I need to do as well. It def can cause an extreme amount of anxiety for myself, and has made me step back from the social media world at times. I will now take all your tips in to action. I look forward to referring back to this blog ? thank you so much, truly !!!
  • This post is amazing! Thank you so much for writing it. Thank you for your positivity here on the blog and on social media!
  • Ali, you are such an inspiration - I love reading all of your posts and am still enjoying your two cook books very much.
  • Spot on, Ali. Thanks for taking the time to address this here.
  • Thank you so much Ali! ?
  • Lovely insight. How true, your comment about how all those "brave" souls who hide behind their computer screens, who choose to be so negative, and are allowed to throw out their ignorant comments for the world to see, and the innocent to believe. Thank you for the positive, helpful, common sense, and well needed comments and information....truly something to be proud to sign your name to. I am a registered dietitian for a local WIC clinic, I usually don't even read your blogs (sorry).......I just jump to the recipes. The pictures make them look so appetizing I can't wait to try them.
  • Outstanding article!!
  • THANK YOU!!! This was exactly what I needed to read today. I heard a podcast yesterday with the theme "your weight won't bring you joy". I think someone is trying to tell me something :)
  • You said it! Simple, honest, forthright, no nonsense. You live by your principles with no excuses necessary. It's your life! The important thing is to be true to oneself and live fully without regret. As healthily as possible, as happily as possible.
  • THANK YOU!!! Years ago when I was trying to get pregnant, people (God bless them) who just loved me gave me all sorts of advice...some I tried. I was practically standing on my head after sex and not exercizing for weeks because I listened when I should have just said “thank you.” That was one of the ways I learned over time about Balance. Thank you for your insightful article. P.S. never got pregnant. We adopted two babies from Korea! Can you share what some of the brands are that you use for clean beauty products. That’s one area, til now, I haven’t spent much attention to. Thanks.
    • She did a post on this last year, not sure if items have changed but here it is https://inspiralized.com/my-transition-over-to-non-toxic-beauty-and-skincare-what-i-ate-today/ There’s also a lot of great info on this stuff and helpful people in the reddit skincare community. Only part of that site I’ll read. haha Congrats to you for making your family happen! ? And thanks Ali for posting this impactful piece.
  • Anna Thank you Ali for a well thought out post. It is extremely confusing and annoying when somebody finds fault in your lifestyle choices. To give “non critical advice/an opinion” is one thing; to quote something as “gospel” is just wrong and not helpful. Exchanging information and ideas should be to help (not force) people to analyze their life choices thereby helping THEM LEAD a healthy and happy life. 2018 was an eye opening experience in how to make healthier choices for my family and myself, via use of your cookbooks (other online resources and books), my daughters over two year vegan lifestyle, and the desire for my husband and I to live a healthier and more satisfying life. May 2019 be a better, happier and healthier year for you and your family, and ALL!
  • Thank you for this. I have survived 9 years of Lyme disease and all that goes with it and will tell you 80/20 is perfect. I keep non-toxic everything, all organic and all whole foods in my house. We only eat 20% animal products and still go out to dinner once a week and enjoy meals with friends. After nearly dying and years of changing 'diet' I have learned that for the best immune system stay under 20% animal products, eat as little processed as possible, lots of fruits and veggies and bean and mushrooms, organic as much as possible. After 1 year of that you will know if something goes in your body that is not good for it. Do not worry so much! Fill your home with healthy food and non-toxic products and the other 20% will be beat by your body while you enjoy it!
  • Thank you for this, Ali. I lost my husband 1 year ago to cancer....he was only 58. While he was sick, I was so worked up about what he should eat or shouldn't eat....based on articles like the ones you mentioned....that enjoyment of food was taken away. We had enoigh to deal with and worry about without that thrown into the mix. Nothing would have changed what he had....there is no magic cure...all the pseudo-science in the world couldn't have saved him. Cleanses? That's what your liver and kidneys do naturally....don't get me started. I'm trying to find balance in my eating now. I still indulge too much, but thank you for being a voice of reason in an ocean of craziness. A Canadian follower. ??
  • ALi... you are so wise beyond your years! I have always felt I lived a balanced life... taught that in my years as a health counselor at Canyon Ranch and also a Health and Wellness Director for a corporation. The 80/20 Rule was in my vocabulary maybe even before you were born! At 59 years old, I can say that your wisdom is right on! Especially in today's world of way way too much information! We all need to stop worrying about the next best thing and just enjoy more REAL food, less chemicals, less processing and just do the best we can. It IS a journey and it should be enjoyed, not fretted over. You are such a good role-model for your community... and I assume also for your child(ren)! That is more than anyone can expect. Much love to you. Continue on your amazing journey!
  • needed this-the guilt of not eating perfectly clean was harming me more than the food itself--enjoy your life--do the best you can--a splurge here or there is FUN and won't kill you
  • Beautiful and well said! Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all just focus on being nicer and better versions of ourselves. I make choices for me and my family that work for us, we try to live the 80/20 but we don’t beat ourselves up when we can’t. We also try to only spread nice out to others. The only way to stop the spread of mean is to not participate with it and to make the choice to live positive.
  • Wow! Ali! Such wisdom from such a youngster. LOVE it. Thank you for saying it out loud. WE all need to hear it. Love and Aloha from an old woman in Hawaii
  • Great read! I agree, and I'm so glad you put this out there! Tho I did about snort my water when you threw in the "living one day of veganism saves GALLONS of water". Not sure how that is possible, considering all the water needed to grow, and wash, "vegan" foods. :) Like you, I blame the media. They jump on an observation or a study of the effect of something on people who's bodies can't tolerate that thing, and make it sound like it's bad for everyone, when many of us have bodies that are tolerant and thrive on that one thing or ingredient. Take that one thing away and more people would likely be unhealthy than the few (hundred thousands) who are intolerant. (take my chocolate away and a lot of folks will feel it! But that's a null point because we all know chocolate is good for us! in moderation, of course) ;) Thanks for the great reminder that moderation is key and balance is a good thing, not to mention tolerance & acceptance of others who know and believe differently. :)
  • How refreshing! Thank you and Happy New Year! :-)
  • Brava! Ali! You've said it all so perfectly. Life is to be enjoyed, not stressed over. As long as you are doing the best you can do and you feel good and healthy, you're doing it right. I love the word BALANCE. It's my motto. Isn't that what are body is always trying to do anyway? Homeostasis...stable equilibrium...BALANCE. Not only am I going to share this, I'm going to mark it as a favorite and store it electronically. :-) How blessed you are to be so wise at such a young age. And that you share that wisdom with all of us.
  • Thank you for taking the time to write THIS IMPORTANT text! I found it to be an EXTREMELY well-written article and a HUGE breath of fresh air for me personally. One of our five sons, at the age of 27, was shockingly diagnosed with stage 4, colon cancer last August. I'm not sharing this for sympathy, but instead to explain how deeply overwhelmed we've been with all the diet information we've inundated ourselves with since his diagnosis by not only the media, but all those who have claimed themselves to be "experts", regardless of their backgrounds or educational experience. Our world has been jolted in previously unimaginable and horrific ways, and we have been at our most vulnerable grasping for WHATEVER we could do to help him. We're getting closer to finding our balance as we navigate this journey and your article, as I said in the beginning, was a breath of fresh air during these difficult days. So, thank you, thank you, thank you.
  • Hahaha omg A-fucking-MEN!! I hope the obsessive people who read this take this post to heart and relax a little!
  • This post is SO needed. I recently realized that I subconsciously view every single type of food as bad because of some notion that some Dr. or diet guru has perpetuated. Literally every food down to tomatoes have been vilified and it's paralyzing. Thank you for sharing these thoughts and giving your readers the permission to embrace moderation.
  • Absolutely !!!! I am so happy this message is taking hold in a bigger way. When I see comments from people acting like eating a non-organic apple will be life threatening or freaking out over a gluten containing cookie it makes me sad for them. Life is meant to be savored and to be paralyzed over the overwhelming amounts of information on wellness is no way to live at all.
  • Amen, sister! Thanks for sharing... I love your perspective.
  • I love this post! I have a dear friend that I've known forever, we just reconnected last weekend and went on a walk and had breakfast. She's one of those people that means well but is easily influenced by people, meaning she gets some good info and some questionable info. She's not crazily into healthy eating as much but still likes to point out that fast food is bad, peanut butter is bad, etc. Yet she buys processed foods. Her preaching also went into the form of "the world could be ending/the grid COULD shut down" and that I should stock up on water, canned goods (okay these aren't horrible ideas in case of disaster) and learn how to fast in case we need to ration food. All the while she's drinking out of a plastic water bottle (she used to tell me those were bad but I guess suddenly they are okay to her) and puffing on her vape pen. It's funny to me how people like to tell others what is so bad and how they should be living, yet in this case, she's doing some contradictory things. I would say she is obsessed with these theories and is living in fear. I don't see the point in that. Again it's about balance so maybe that is balance to her, I just thought it was funny. This post reminded me of that!
  • Thank you for this! As a yoga teacher, I am always sharing the best I can with my students. So I'm sharing this on my blog, referring them back to yours. My assistant, Julia Fairchild, turned me on to your website and spiralizing, and we love it here in Hawaii.
  • ANYTHING in EXCESS is unhealthy. In my opinion.
  • ❤️❤️❤️
  • Thank you so much for making this post! I think a lot of health influencers ignore or forget about this aspect of health, and I most certainly fell prey to this kind of harmful mindset. Luckily I am no longer a victim of an obsessively healthy lifestyle and unattainable goals, but I think it's so important for people to recognize everything you said in this post. It's an especially easy trap to fall into because people think they're just doing what's best for them, but "living healthy" when taken to an extreme takes a toll on our mental and physical health.
  • Yes yes yes!!! Thank you for posting this Ali!
  • Great post! Right on the money! Thanks!
  • Ali, thank you. This was so informative. You are helping so many. We appreciate you and all you do.
  • Balance and breathe!!! Awesome post! I’m printing this for my 4 grown children to read! We can’t be everything, but we can be our own Best!!
  • This is so wonderfully written. Thank you! This is what I try live by. What a breath of fresh air.
  • Great post! Thank you!
  • I have hired someone from https://buffalonutritionist.com/ told me this, "it's not bad if you want it, like a craving. But take it slow," and this post reminded me of that. "Take slow bites, Savor this experience. If you allow yourself these experiences, they won’t seem so forbidden and you won’t crave them 24/7." it is not bad as long as you know when to stop.
  • I had the same learning from my nutritionist in our Buffalo area. Their business is here: https://goo.gl/maps/Q1YonUEzPRpQRrjJ8. And one of their guys taught me a lot especially about my nutrition; what's healthy and WHAT'S not. Plus, it's also not about the food that I eat but my attitude towards my food. Just like what this post is saying.
  • I have found after being on a health pathway for many years, I found that if I paid attention to inner signals (I know that it's not good English to use "I" but this is what I found), I gradually and naturally would move to a new healthier step. Some steps are long term and I continue to do them today. Some were short term. For example, I wanted to do a parasite cleanse but the cleanses were all very complicated and I knew I wouldn't follow through. Finally, I found something simple and did that. But I don't do it all the time. Once was enough. Years ago I tried to drink more herbal tea, and failed. I tried to force myself to do it because I knew it was good for me. I couldn't do it. Now I drink much more herbal tea and want to, it is not a forced thing like I tried before. As the body gradually detoxes and balances due to right choices, the moments of stress over a "slip up" become fewer because you naturally don't want certain things any more. I believe also that fat cushions vital organs from toxins in the body so I think losing the last few pounds becomes difficult unless we have gone through enough detoxification.
    • Thank you so much for sharing, Cheryl!
  • This is so great to see someone saying. I was raised by someone who was OBSESSED with organic. everything. (even in the 80s), and a 100% spotless house at all times. Sadly, her health is now far worse than the average woman her age...because of extreme and constant anxiety. She's beginning to see it, but it's late in the game. Funny on the conventional apple too. I once said to her that I'd rather eat a conventional apple than an organic white-flour, sugar-filled cake and she was appalled at me. You're exactly right, it gets down to the point of obsession. Obsession = anxiety. Anxiety = heart disease (my guess as to why it's the number one killer of women!), high blood pressure, autoimmune disease and sad or broken families, which causes even more anxiety. I say all that from both first and second-hand experience.
    • Thank you for sharing your experience with us, C! You couldn't be more right. It's about mental health as much as it is about physical. You can't have one without the other.
    • So happy to hear this! You're so welcome!