Healthy doesn’t mean strictly kale and quinoa
Before you throw out and donate everything in your pantry, let’s define what we mean by “healthy foods.” Flaxseed, chia, and Greek yogurt are among the most nutrient-packed things you can eat -- but that doesn’t mean they’re the only things you can eat. “I don’t want everyone to think they need to only eat kale, spinach, and fruit to feel healthy,” says NYC’s Rachel Mansfield (@rachlmansfield), who started her Instagram account and accompanying blog in 2015 hoping to inspire others to eat “deliciously clean.” Many of her recipes represent this mantra. Your food can be gluten-free, dairy-free, plant-based, and vegan-friendly -- and still be tasty.
Take her most well-known post (which Mansfield says is still the most frequently-visited recipe on her blog despite being published almost a year ago): a completely nut-, dairy-, soy-, and gluten-free banana bread. It uses sunflower butter, bananas, chocolate chips, coconut flour, maple syrup, coconut oil, eggs, and some other things like cinnamon and vanilla extract. The words seem scary -- this-free, that-based, this-friendly -- but you would never know the difference when you eat it.
“I just want people to feel like they don’t have to sacrifice anything just to eat healthy and feel good about themselves,” she says. “You can have cookies after dinner -- just pay attention to what you’re putting in them.”
Eating healthy is all about balance. “It’s easy to put out only the most wonderful healthy foods. And it’s like, well that’s not real life,” Liz Harris (@floatingkitchen) of Newburyport, Massachusetts says. “The food that I’m sharing is what I’m eating every day -- and sometimes it’s treats and sometimes it’s salads.
“I’m a real human being. Sometimes I think that gets lost in blogging and social media.”
The bottom line: Use real ingredients and make things yourself, and not only do you not have to eat salads every day -- but you don’t have to spend $12 on salads every day.