Healthy Eating: It’s Not an Illness!

by Ashley on July 30, 2010

Healthy eating is not a disease, I repeat, healthy eating is not a disease, in fact, it may just cure your disease.

I cannot tell you the number of times people have treated me like I have an illness or problem because I choose to eat healthy.  “Ashley, can you eat this?” or “Are you allowed to have that?”  I can eat and can have, with the exception of dairy products, anything I want! But what most people consider food, I consider science.  No, I don’t eat packaged, processed chemicals, but it’s a personal decision, not because of some impaling illness that I’m trying to cure.

The other day I was going to the grocery store and of course, Cameron (my 12 year old sister) added a few things to the list as I was leaving, like any kid would do:  Strawberry Frosted Mini Wheats, Special K Fruit Crisp Bars, and and the bottom of my list she printed, “Sprite, PLEASEEEE!”  Girl knows me too well, yeah right, the “please” in this case does nothing.

I was going to Publix instead of Whole Foods that day, so I went with the intentions of finding something similar to what she wanted, just without all of the chemicals, ADHD inducing dyes, preservatives, etc.  Yes, she was going to complain once I got home, but I’ll listen to it because I know the trade off would be worth it.

If I were going to Whole Foods I know they wouldn’t even sell that crap, but Publix often sells the crap and the good stuff too.  Unfortunately, they didn’t have anything comparable so I had to FORCE myself to buy the terrible food that my little sister requested.  It literally killed me to support companies that are truly hurting kids more than helping them. My dog, Boss, eats a healthier breakfast than Strawberry Frosted Mini Wheats, literally.

Now, as far as the “Sprite, PLEASE!!!!” comment… no way.  There is no way I would harm my sister that much, even though she doesn’t understand, one day she will.

Cameron is my work in progress; it’s hard to stop a kid from being a kid, but I want to expand her knowledge as much as possible while I am home.  She went with me to Whole Foods on Tuesday and loved it.  She got a clean smoothie made with all of the right ingredients; it’s things like this that truly make me happy.  She even tried a sample shot of Wheat Grass.  This is why I know I’ll love working in the Nutrition field;  I can help others make simple decisions that will really change their lives.

Cameron once said to me, “What can I do? I have no energy.” I told her to drink a lot of water.  “Water?,” she said. “Water has nothing in it.”  Exactly.  Before there were billion dollar companies trying to steal your money on energy drinks, God gave us water.  A few hours later, she came to me and said, “I did what you said and drank water and it really did work!?”  Slowly but surely she’s learning and hopefully helping her friends too.

I am so lucky, glad, blessed, etc. that my mom and dad “get” it.  They understand.  They will spend the extra money on organic foods because it’s worth it.  Life would be really difficult if they didn’t, especially since we are living with them right now.  My mom cooks clean, enjoys organic meats, and doesn’t treat us like we have a problem for wanting to eat clean, healthy foods.

Dustin’s parents “get” it too.  Recently we went to the beach with them and Dustin’s mom came to me and said, “This was the first time I’ve ever lost weight on vacation.  It’s because you’re teaching me how to eat healthy.” See people can enjoy life, enjoy vacation and not sabotage themselves with the chemicals (some call it food) America in now mass producing.

Heather Williams September 21, 2013 at 10:57 am

I’m so glad you posted this. As someone who eats extremely clean, nothing processed and hasn’t touched junk or fast food in literally 10 years, it just infuriates me when people treat me like the odd person out. I mean, isn’t that how we were made to eat anyway? Where has this world gone to where it views science food and junk as normal. My family eats that stuff and often treat me like I’m the weird one while I make my healthy meals. It doesn’t bother me anymore, but for awhile, I actually felt bad about it. Yet, I know in my heart it’s the right thing to do and that’s why I blog about it. I’m so glad you were able to help your sister. My family refuses to get on board with it, but I’m not losing hope!:) Great post!
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Ashley September 24, 2013 at 5:08 pm

I know, I used to get so frustrated with it too but now I just continue about my business and hope that eventually it will become the norm. Isn’t it incredible that we can feel so passionate about something which leads us to write it all out. Those are my favorite kind of posts! Don’t ever lose hope, you never know who is secretly taking notes from you and will come to you one day with questions, ready to change!! Thank you so much for your sweet words, always! Have a wonderful week!!

Natalie Wester at Clean Eating Teen December 17, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Wow. This was JUST what I needed to read! We have so much in common… seriously.

I have been eating clean and workingout daily for the past 5 years. I am a sophomore in high school and have -proudly- made a name for myself at school, with friends and family, and around town as the “hippie” chick.

Most of the feedback I get is positive. I work with teachers at my school and peers with healthy cooking/meal planning and working out… most people think it is great that I am already so passionate about health at this age. I also do all the cooking at my house, and when ever people try my food or I talk about it, they usually like it.

However, I get LOTS of negativity with the positive. Some of it isn’t even meant to be harmful. Kids before have asked me why I was eating “rabbit food” (uh, since when have rabbits eaten sauteed root vegetables and organic meat?) at lunch, or why I chose to not eat pizza or cake at a party (I cant tell you how many times people have said “Oh, come ON. One time wont hurt you.”) Many times it is from family, too. “Where do you get your protein?” “You don’t eat sugar. Oh, well this diet soda says sugar free!” OR… (and this is the most hurtful of them all) “I bet your family feels deprived, having to eat with you.”

I get that last comment alot. I too have a younger sister. She is 12… a TOTAL junkfood-aholic, too. I try my best to make her healthy versions of her favorites, and to make meals that she will like. We have made progress in her habits (my mom wants her to get healthier too), but she is very resistant. Even though she is never “deprived” of ANYTHING she wants (fast food, junk food), people still seem to think that the “poor girl” has to go without “real food” because I am a “health freak.”

I’m sorry, but since when is Fruit rollups, Hamburger Helper, fast Mac n Cheese, or Dr Pepper REAL FOOD? Since when has McDonalds qualified as something healthy to feed a growing girl who needs nutrients (especially in a time or hormonal change… read acne, PMS, ext). It drives me crazy, and is really hurtful to me.

I cook daily and live this way not because I feel I have to, but because I LOVE to. It is my passion. So when people insult it, and make me sound like a freak, I am hurt. I spend a lot of time planning nice meals for my family and friends, and when others don’t even give it a chance or make fast assumptions that it is “yucky”, it stings (I still haven’t heard the end of the time I made black bean brownies. They were great, but even my mom made fun of me on that one.)

Anyways… rant over! 🙂 Seriously though, this post is great.

Ashley December 18, 2013 at 10:22 pm

I am SO happy that you were able to relate to this post! That is TRULY AMAZING that you have discovered this so young!! That is such a blessing!! You will be so thankful in a few years! Don’t ever get discouraged because the longevity of your life depends on it! Your story truly excites me and I hope to follow you through this journey – you are going to do incredible things! Keep your chin held high and know that you are amazing and the decisions that you are making for not only yourself but your family too will take you so far in life. Although they might not realize it at this time, but they will thank you one day. Keep it up girl! I am so excited that you found me and now that I found you!

steven August 15, 2014 at 7:18 pm

On this site for over 20 mins now….guess I like it 🙂 Good site, will stop by again!
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