There is not a single question I hear more (or some form of it…)… DO I CHEAT?

It is the easiest to answer: Let me put it this way… I currently have 19 Blog posts half-written and I was able to completely finish this one in about 3 minutes… Because the truth is:
This is real life.
I am not a Pinterest Board and I am not a hardcore fitness buff.
I am a mom, with three kids, a husband, a dog and an accidental full-time thriving food blog!

With that said, the short answer to that question is actually: NO! I don’t cheat. Cheating insinuates that I am on some kind of diet (or inappropriate dating site!).
Eating clean changed my life… completely and totally redirected everything about my life, where I thought I was going and where I thought I would be in X number of years. I never, in a million years, thought I would be this mom… the one who is scared of yellow dyes and ingredients I cannot pronounce. Never. If you could have seen me “momming” in my twenties, this version was nowhere in sight.

Here’s the deal: My life lacked something. I didn’t really know what it was, but I always felt like things could be better. I could be different. I could feel better. Our family could function better. I had just had my second baby (albeit 14 years apart!) and I was fighting the postpartum Baby Blues and the postpartum Baby Bulge. I had just gotten over a horrific stomach bug and I felt like I was at my absolute worst. After a long conversation, with a close friend of mine, I knew I had to make a change in how I was running my family. By some miracle, I stumbled upon a blog about clean eating and immediately I was pulled into everything I was reading. From my post-partum issues, to my weight, my lack of cooking, my family’s lack of overall energy… everything. I made a change right then and I have never looked back. That is my story.

Fast forward four years later and here I am. So do I cheat on clean eating? Sure… we go to birthday parties and dinners, with friends, and vacations. Food is everywhere. Our society has built itself around food (and really divisive political party lines, but…). You cannot escape birthday cakes, sugary cocktails and holidays. It is impossible to eat clean 100% of the time, all the time.

The difference is… I just make smarter choices! I find grain-free options, when possible, and I skip dessert! I don’t turn a night out with friends into a whole week of take out, ding dongs and donuts! I don’t leave a kids birthday party and head through the drive-through. However, I see nothing wrong with letting my little kids have a celebratory cupcake, with their friends, or even (cringe…) a juice box, at the party. I don’t want them to grow up feeling different. How we eat, inside our home, within our four walls, is different than how we choose to celebrate “life” outside.

We eat clean, as a way of life now. We all feel better, look better and our overall health is undeniably superior, to what it used to be. I will never go back to cooking pasta and cookies, at home. I will never stock my pantry with processed food. My refrigerator stays packed with fresh vegetables and clean meats. It is how we live life now. The good news is… once you start eating clean, those “cheats” become less and less. Your stomach and body will hate you and you will be quickly reminded of WHY eating clean is your lifestyle choice now… But if you see me out, I may have a cocktail, in my hand, and a plate of something deliciously evil in front of me…