WIAW: Health “Rules”

I’m a very healthy eater. I love fruits and vegetables, I genuinely prefer whole foods over processed foods and I try to “eat the rainbow.” However, I’m not perfectly healthy…more like healthyish (hence my blog name). With all the food advice, fads, guidelines and perceived social norms, it’s overwhelming trying to keep up.

I try not to overthink my food choices, but living with roommates on diets and just being on social media has alerted me to certain random “rules” that I naturally don’t follow. By no means am I looking down on those who do follow these rules or am I saying that this is the right way to live (no qualifications here). I’m just sharing what works for me now. 


Health Rules I Break (featuring pictures of yesterday’s meals)

Rule 1. Buy everything organic. In a perfect world organic and conventional foods would cost the same. Since that’s not the case, I try to do what I can in my current broke college student situation. I will splurge for organic lettuce and buy frozen veggies (which aren’t too expensive) but for everything else, unless the price is right, I don’t buy it. I hope that changes in the future as I do support eating organically (and locally).

Typical breakfast at home

Rule 2. Eat all-natural nut butter (with no added ingredients). I break this rule multiple times a day and I’m not stopping anytime soon. Contrary to its name “Skippy Natural,” my favorite peanut butter, has added sugar, salt, palm oil and things that probably make some people cringe. But the plain nut butters aren’t as good, so why torture my taste buds?

Rule 3. Eat rolled oats instead of instant. People always say “it only takes 5-10 minutes to cook them on the stove top,” and it’s better for you than instant oatmeal. Honestly? I don’t have the patience or time for that. 1 minute in the microwave and my packaged instant oatmeal is ready. Technically I do prefer the plain oats which don’t have added sugar, so I guess that makes it more accepted health-wise.

Lunch: Zucchini noodles, 1/2 avocado, chicken tenders and quinoa

Rule 4. Plate your food away from where you eat. Basically, don’t serve family style meals and put away leftovers after plating up.  I see how this encourages mindful eating and prevents going back for seconds, but sometimes it’s just easier to leave my cooked food out in case I’m extra hungry. Again, I try not to overthink these types of things.

Rule 5. Measure food. I have no conception of the “correct” portions for things. I can’t eyeball a tablespoon of oil or 4 ounces of chicken and I only use my measuring cup when I need to boil water. My best judgement is my stomach and general instincts.

Snack: KIND bar at work

Rule 6. Don’t snack throughout the day. Some people seem to be all for snacking while others are not. I normally have an afternoon and nighttime snack. Not every day is the same but I’m usually hungry between meals and need the extra energy to finish out my day.

Coconut water while cooking dinner

Random Dinner: Lemon rosemary chicken, sweet potato, 1/2 avocado, zucchini and a few leftover pieces of butternut squash

Rule 7. Limit fruit intake. I’m obsessed with fruit and hate the stigma of its high sugar and carbohydrate count. I understand that some people have trouble digesting too much fruit at once (sometimes me), but I’m not one to ever associate fruit with sugar or carbs.

Snack: Fuji apple

…followed by a few spoonfuls of peanut butter


I’m sure there are others that I don’t follow but these few stuck out.

There is one rule I DO follow: Listen to YOUR body. You know yourself better than anyone else and no list of rules should dictate how you eat.

What health rules do you break?


  1. Strength and Sunshine says

    Eh, I do a lot of this stuff :/ But I’ve had to get away from the always organic thing…although I still cheat and buy organic for my produce weekly, but all the other produce I eat (i.e. the dining hall) isn’t organic. Sad stuff, but the money is just not there :(

    • Emily says

      That’s completely OK- you keep doing you :) I feel like some schools on the west coast do have organic options, but definitely not mine!

  2. Elsie @ Sharing Healthiness says

    The point is to always try to go healthier but as always it is less convenient and more expensive…I usually break the rule of having a balance between carbs, protein and fat in my meals..sometimes I want all the carbs! Ha!

  3. catfoodisgoodforyou says

    Very well said! I’m with you on all these rules – I mostly stick to them but I definitely break them when taste is of the essence! Hence why I’m sat next to a few empty fudge wrappers… ;)

  4. Yi says

    I love this post! I feel like living in SF, I’m constantly surrounded by people who only shop at Whole Foods and won’t touch anything processed. I’m sorry but I just can’t live like that! I love my Diet Coke too much! LOL

    • Emily says

      Miami isn’t as much of a “health-focused” city as SF so I can’t imagine feeling that pressure all the time. Don’t worry- I can’t live like that either (at least for that long!).

  5. IHeartVegetables says

    I’m all for snacking!!! I can’t imagine not snacking haha. And I try to buy organic when I can but sometimes it just doesn’t fit in the budget!

  6. Miss Polkadot says

    Healthyish – that’s just the right approach. There are many rules in life that make sense but food rules are meant to be broken. I think as soon as we hear one of those our inner rebel wants to break it. Living according to our own, well, I wouldn’t say rules but go with preferences, is best. All that being said some rules I regularly break: limiting fruit or snacking in general, cutting out carbs for dinner [one of the worst rules in my opion] and buying everything organic. Breaking the last one breaks [sorry for the bad pun] my heart but oh well, the budget …

    • Emily says

      Yes! Living according to our own preferences/wants/desires is the happiest way to live. If I could afford it, buying organic is the one rule I probably wouldn’t break as frequently.

  7. marylegare says

    Rules are meant to be broken! I’m a rebel, what can I say? I follow your organic foods rule about the same way. I try to buy organic produce that grows in soil (like lettuce or potatoes) and fruits with thin skin like apples or grapes. But I go with frozen most times. Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods have really reasonably priced organic frozen fruit and veggies. The rule I hear time and time again is “Don’t eat late at night.” Sorry…but I eat dinner at like 10. That’s just the way it works for me. I get home around 8 after the gym, I prep for the next day (breakfast/lunch/coffee/etc), enjoy a glass or 2 of wine, and before I know it, it’s 9:30 or 10. It doesn’t seem to be a problem for me. Rule broken!

    • Emily says

      Unintentionally or “intentionally” I break that rule very often! Some days meals happen later than others and I pretty much always have an after dinner snack, which is later in the night.

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