Healthy Eating Without a Label

I’ve been wanting to share a post like this for a while now and I finally took the time to put it into words and share.

So are you ready for a little heart to heart? I’ve been struggling with the idea of diet labels. There are so many labels thrown around in the health and wellness world… paleo, gluten-free, raw, vegan, vegetarian, keto, pegan (google it, it’s a thing).

I think labels can be really helpful in certain circumstances, especially for those with food allergies and for labeling menu items at a restaurant or recipes on a blog, but in general, I don’t think it’s necessary to label your diet in order to eat healthfully and at times it can feel a little too diet-y to me. 

Women in a black jumpsuit in a kitchen with a mint green coffee mug.

Of course, I totally support anyone who does label their diet and rocks it — you do you, girl. But for me, because I’m in the health world and have a health and wellness site focused on sharing recipes I think a lot of people expect me to label myself and/or my site. And I never really have. 

Do I make vegan recipes? Yes. Do I make gluten-free recipes? Absolutely. Do I have recipes with meat? Yes. Do I make paleo recipes? Yes. Do I share dessert recipes? Yes. 

I realize that if I picked one way of eating and only posted that style of recipe my blog would be more niche and likely grow faster, but I am hesitant to do so because I honestly don’t think that one style of eating is better than another (although I do think some styles are too restrictive) and my focus is to show that you don’t have to follow a specific diet or have a specific label to eat healthfully!

Healthy eating should be about eating a balanced diet with a variety of nutrient-dense whole, real foods. It should be about tuning into your body and eating what your body craves and what makes YOU feel good!

All this said, there have been periods of my life where I did label my diet. I considered myself a pescatarian for six years and at the time, that was great for me. I cut out gluten for two years and at that time I considered myself gluten-free, which also worked for me. As I got older though I realized my body was needing different foods, but I was so worried about starting to eat meat/gluten again because I’d be “breaking my label”, which defined me for so long. I literally ate chicken secretly for a while before I shared here on EBF that I had reintroduced meat because I was so worried what people would think. I was eating how I had labeled myself instead of listening to what my body really needed. 

I also know that just because one way of eating works great for someone it doesn’t necessarily mean that eating that way will be best for me or anyone else. As a blogger in the food/health/wellness world I understand my influence and I want you to know that you don’t have to eat exactly like me to be healthy. Experiment and find what foods make you feel your best! 

Today, I eat a wholesome diet focused on real food. I’m drawn toward plant-based options and feel my best when I eat a lot of vegetables. I eat a ton of salads and am mindful to load up half my plate with veggies. I use plant-based protein powder because that’s what feel best for me and whey protein powder seems to cause breakouts for me. But I also eat eggs, yogurt, fish and lean meat. Because I fall somewhere in the middle of all of the diet labels, I often gravitate toward the flexitarian title but I don’t use it to label my diet. I embrace “clean eating” and use the term often to describe how I eat but clean eating has so many definitions depending on who you’re talk to so again, I don’t use it to label my diet. And I personally hate the idea of labeling foods as clean or dirty, good or bad. If a food isn’t spoiled or hasn’t fallen on the floor, it’s not dirty! 

Here’s the thing. I don’t feel like it’s necessary to put a label on the way I eat and I don’t think you should feel pressured to do so either. I eat foods that I enjoy, foods that make me feel good and sometimes I eat foods that aren’t considered “clean” or “healthy” and I think that’s great and part of a living a healthy, BALANCED life. 

Here’s to healthy eating…  without a label.

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    32 comments
    1. Jessica
      May 6, 2021 AT 12:33 pm

      I totally agree with this. I went through my share of eating with certain restrictions. I have been looking to see what is the best way to eat for my body and enjoy the food at the same time. Now being pregnant and going off the health wagon I have been searching for a healthy way of eating with out restrictions at the same time. Came across your blog and I love how you have so many different options of eating. I have come across many blog sites with only one way of eating. I have never seen this healthy clean but tasteful way eating. So happy I came here.

    2. Katherine Erasmus
      February 10, 2020 AT 8:51 am

      great read! exactly how i feel about “diets” and “labels”
      So glad to have found your wonderful page, while looking for new healthy meal options for me and my family 🙂

    3. Elsa Reed
      November 18, 2019 AT 5:48 pm

      I found your blog while looking for a chia pudding reciepe. Im officially re-inspiredand motivated to healthy eating. thank you for doing what you do.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 19, 2019 AT 2:29 pm

        Aww, thank you for the sweet message. I’m so glad you found EBF! <3

    4. Kathy
      October 15, 2019 AT 8:17 pm

      I am glad to read this! I am 50 and realize that there are all sorts of phases in life too. It is great to be open and roll with what comes at you. Listen to your body, eat well and savor the good food and let specific diet labels fall by the wayside.I really enjoy the variety of recipes and foods you share with your readers!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 16, 2019 AT 5:00 pm

        Thank you so much Kathy! I am happy to hear that you enjoyed this post and that you are enjoying the recipes on the blog. 🙂

    5. Kori
      October 14, 2019 AT 12:46 pm

      I agree that while labels can be helpful (Matt has Celiac and must know if something is GF), I no longer label myself in any way. I eat foods that I enjoy, that nourish my body, that brings joy to my life, and I don’t feel the need to box myself into a certain group. I so appreciate you sharing this and think by not subscribing to one way of eating, you are doing us all such a favor! Your recipes have variety and are fun and nutritious.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 14, 2019 AT 11:51 pm

        I’m so glad that you have enjoyed this post, Kori! Also happy to hear that you’re enjoying the recipes too. 🙂

Parchment paper lined with protein balls.

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