I’ve written about my wellness philosophy in the past, but wanted to touch on one specific piece of it for today’s post: The 80/20 rule that Anel and I try to follow in all walks of our life.
Essentially it means exactly what it sounds like… 80% of the time we try to live as cleanly as possible, and 20% of the time we let things slide. We’ve found that this ratio is the perfect mix of respecting our bodies and having fun while we do it.
Because we do eat a lot of healthy food and use a lot of organic products, when I share something that isn’t totally clean for either us or the baby, people freak out as if they’re disappointed in me… But that’s exactly the life that I’m trying not to lead. One where I have to freak out over every little thing. To me, that’s no way to live!
So I thought I’d give a little history on how we’ve gotten to where we are, why we make the decisions we do when it comes to wellness for our family, and encourage you to give yourself a break sometimes too. Because what is life without chocolate chip cookies or a glass of red wine on a cold snowy night?
Before I get into it, I want to note that just like my philosophy on motherhood, my philosophy on wellness lives in the fact that every person and every body is different so if this way of living isn’t for you, that’s totally cool!
For us, it started with an extreme…
After Anel and I went through a holistic health coaching certification program and became health coaches (years ago), we were super strict with both what went in and on our bodies, but the stress of keeping up a perfectly organic, chemical-free life became exhausting.
I spent six months as gluten, dairy, sugar, and alcohol free. I’m not going to lie, I felt amazing for the first month or two for sure, but then I was just unhappy and starving all the time. I felt like I was missing out on everything because I was so strict with my diet.
There was a big element of fun missing, so I brought gluten, alcohol, and a little sugar back into my life and finally felt human again. Realizing how I could feel good without being totally “clean” was a huge eye opener for me. At first I felt guilty about eating bagels or a margarita, but when that dissipated I was able to enjoy life with an ease that I hadn’t felt in a long time.
But whenever I went too far in the other direction, eating whatever I wanted with a blatant disregard for my health, I felt like garbage. After maybe a year of tinkering with it, I realized that 80/20 was my magic health and happiness ratio.
When I eat 80% clean, organic food my body feels fueled, strong, and healthy, but the other 20% of the time allows and ease into my life that makes my mind and emotions feel fueled, strong, and healthy.
About a year later, I had another aha moment when my skin was breaking out like crazy and I realized that maybe I didn’t need to use all organic facial products. I switched to a routine that worked for me and my skin looked clear and glowing.
I need to make a few updates to my beauty routine post but you can get the gist of how I roll when it comes to the things I put on my body. Again, it’s about 80/20.
The same thing happened when we moved into our house and had to start cleaning a much bigger space than we were used to. When I was trying to conceive, we went all organic on cleaning products, and while it may or may not have helped the process (we’ll never know), my house simply didn’t look as clean and as someone with mild OCD, that was not working for me.
Guess what our ratio is for home cleaning products? Ding ding ding if you guessed 80/20! For Amalia’s toys, bottles, and high chair, I use exclusively organic cleaning supplies but for everything else I’m more lenient. When our bathtubs started looking really icky, that was pretty much the last straw for me and my organic tile spray… Although if any of you have recommendations for one that actually works, I’m all ears.
I don’t know where I’m trying to go with this except to say that giving yourself a break now and then is ok. It’s really changed the way I live and look at food/wellness, and takes a lot of the guilt out of things.
So tell me, what’s your magic ratio or wellness philosophy?
Photos by Carter Fish.