What Is Healthy?

What is healthy? Is it being a vegetarian, drinking green juices, doing yoga, cleansing, exercising five times a week, or shopping organic? What makes someone’s lifestyle a healthy one? I realize it is totally subjective, but still, is there one approach that is better than the other?

I have spent most of my life searching for the most nutritious foods, the healthiest forms of cooking, and the best workouts, all so that I could deem myself a “healthy” person.

After years of fad diets, waiting until a Monday to start my new and improved lifestyle, or restricting myself until the point of bitterness and self-loathing, I finally found it!

Balance. Yep, that’s it, balance is what makes me healthy. I eat everything; I drink green tea AND enjoy a freshly brewed cup of coffee with creamer, I roast seasonal vegetables, eat a juicy burger with fries and a beer, I love kale prepared in any way, and I am at the mercy of anything chocolate.

I exercise (which I prefer to call “moving my body” it’s just less offensive to my psyche) as often as I can. Some days are vigorous and sweaty, others are just about stretching and breathing, and of course there are the days I just attempt to move my body in some way, shape or form. Regardless of the style, all of it honors my attempt and desire to keep my blood pumping.

I honor my feelings, and feed my cravings. And you know what, I am happy. I feel strong, empowered, and liberated. I do not restrict myself of anything, quite the opposite, I indulge in every part of life; the food, drink, and movement. I strive to be mindful through all of it. I have realized that “healthy” is more how you feel, than what you actually do, and I do it all. I am the healthiest I have ever been simply because I have found my balance.

healthy snacks

I wasn’t really sure how to capture balance through photography, so I thought I would take a few photos from my week. It mostly captures what I prepared and ate, because how the heck am I supposed to take a photo of myself in a pilates or cardio class? But I did capture my favorite workout; it was a very long hike I took with my daughter. We wore matching necklaces and tennis shoes, brought tons of snacks, took about 15 stretching breaks, and ran a lot! It really was the highlight of my week (well that, and a burger I had that was on a Hawaiian bread bun, deliciousness, we’ll discuss that later).

Balance equals a happy and healthy me.

What makes YOU feel healthy?

Food & Lifestyle blogger Patty Joy writes about her approach to a balanced and mindful life while living in the hustle & bustle of LA. She shares healthy recipes, her ideas about staying in good health through food, fitness (which she prefers to call moving your body) & ways to stay connected with ones true soul self, as well as a glimpse into her personal life through family, motherhood & travel.   * Find Patty on Instagram at FoodandSoul


  • Jeanella

    October 17, 2013 |

    My first thought to “What is healthy” was, and still is, “Balance”! I know, and have known, many 90+ people who eat/ate balanced diets, including meat, a bit of wine, and desserts, including their favorite: chocolate! And routine is important, too. Three good meals a day, and believe it or not, the biggest meal: Dinner. Well, that is my life long “survey”. The best we can do is “poll” the 90+ seniors, and there lies the answer! I doubt of any of them were on self-imposed strict “diets”.

  • Preveena

    October 17, 2013 |

    I agree with you Maegan. I went through lot of diets and i couldn’t keep up to any of them. My trainer suggested to me eat everything in moderation and workout harder. Thats what i follow now, there are some days i eat more than i should be but i just workout extra on those days to balance it out.

  • Guest

    October 17, 2013 |

    Don’t overdo one particular food group. Variety is best! Balance is best!

  • Amanda @ A.Co est. 1984

    October 17, 2013 |

    LOVE THIS. I never thought of it that way, but appreciate reading it as so. Sometimes, no matter how healthy or physically active you are, reading about others being even more so can be intimidating. This was not that at all, and I felt like I could relate. Well written!

  • MA

    October 17, 2013 |

    I completely agree with you, Patty, and at the age of 52, I feel good and have learned to modify, stabilize and correct. Thanks for your insightful blog! 🙂

  • Guest

    October 17, 2013 |

    “STRONG” is better than weak and deprived.

  • JoDi

    October 18, 2013 |

    Is there any way the author info can be included in the email subscription version of posts please? I read this whole post in email thinking it was written by Maegan until I got to the end with the part about the hike and realized it was someone else. I don’t mind that there are other voices here now, but I would like to know whose voice I’m listening to when I start reading. I also think each post should have author info at the top of the post on the website. People shouldn’t have to scroll to the end of the post to find out who wrote it before they start reading.

  • Maegan Tintari

    October 18, 2013 |

    YES! I totally agree and am working on it! Sent the exact request to my designers yesterday 🙂 Thank you!!

  • Fashion Snag

    October 19, 2013 |

    I thought this was about Maegan too until I got to the end!

  • Maegan Tintari

    October 19, 2013 |

    Sincerest Apologies!! I’m hoping to get the author by the title next week! 🙂

  • OrnaBakes

    November 9, 2013 |

    I couldn’t agree with you more Patty! I think that now that I’m in my forties, I have finally learned to be kinder to myself and not see things as black and white. I think “moderation” is the key – being able to have one slice of pizza or a piece of chocolate (sometimes on a Monday!) and not feel guilty! Or going for a twenty minute walk when my body just doesn’t feel up to a rigorous workout. And to trust myself and my body and not be influenced by all the “health” fanatics around me. A lot of my mommy friends are a lot younger than me, and work out 5 times a week, sometimes twice a day! I can barely find time in my schedule to do Pilates twice a week, but for me and my body… and my life… that’s okay.

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