what does "food with integrity" mean to you?

7 Jul


You guys had some fun comments on this morning’s post about kickboxing and yoga classes.  It seems that most of you have tried kickboxing at some point or another and LOVED it.  So exciting to hear the changes you’ve seen through kickboxing!

I was a busy busy bee today.  I keep wondering…how did I ever work a full-time job?  Haha.  only kidding.  I guess I just never met up with friends over lunch, worked out 3x over the course of one day or talked to my sis-in-law on the phone for an hour and a half. doh.

I met my friend, Grace, at Chipotle for lunch today; we had so much to catch up on!  And we caught up over some dang good food, I tell ya.  Chipotle is where’s it’s at!

vegetarian salad with black beans, grilled veggies, 3 kinds of salsa and guacamole! nice.

Chipotle is one of my favorite restaurants because I feel good about eating their food.  The following is a quote from their website regarding what “food with integrity” means to them:

It means serving the very best sustainably raised food possible with an eye to great taste, great nutrition and great value.
It means that we support and sustain family farmers who respect the land and the animals in their care.
It means that whenever possible we use meat from animals raised without the use of antibiotics or added hormones.
And it means that we source organic and local produce when practical.
And that we use dairy from cows raised without the use of synthetic hormones.

I love that:)  It makes me really think about what “food with integrity” means to me.  Honestly, I feel like I’m still working toward my own definition of the phrase. I’ve been a vegetarian for over a year and a half now and mostly vegan for about 6 months; one huge reason why I eat the way I do is because I can’t feel good about eating food that has been produced by unethical means.  Food Inc. is one movie that set me on this path, and I’m in the middle of a couple of books that are continuing to help shape my ideas and beliefs about having integrity with my daily diet.

The more I learn and discover, the more passionate I feel about making a difference.  Even if it means that I give up one new food item each month, to me that is an accomplishment that I can feel proud of.  Many people often say to me “I can’t be a vegetarian/vegan because I can’t give up X” or “it’s just too hard, I’m afraid I would fail” or “I can’t buy organic because I can’t afford it.”

I want people to understand that it’s not about being perfect. It’s not about never having ice cream again or never eating real cheese again…or even never eating steak again (if that’s what floats your boat:).  It is about doing even one small thing to make a difference.  Such as eating vegetarian one day each week.  Buying organic, free range chicken fifty percent of the time.  Or eating one vegan meal each day.  Or just giving up red meat except on weekends.  Those are just some ideas.

My husband has said before that he can’t be vegetarian because he can’t give up Chick-fil-a sandwiches.  Eat that Chick-fil-a sandwich if it’s what is holding you back!  In no other area of our life do we say “if I can’t be perfect then I’m not even going to try.” Why would we say that about our diet?

I will be honest…I have eaten real ice cream in the past few weeks.  I’ve had real cheese in the past month.  But those have become the exceptions in my life.  I feel good about that, and I don’t beat myself up for the imperfections. Perfection is boring anyway;)

Let’s take steps together to throw out labels and do the best we can each day to improve our health and make our world a better place for our children and our children’s children. That’s what it’s all about!

This afternoon was by far the busiest part of my day!  I met Mohammad for a tutoring session before rushing off to power yoga.  Yoga made up my 3rd, yes 3rd trip, to the gym today.  I think it put me over the edge a bit.  My arms were still feeling weak from my class this morning, and I just didn’t have much left in me.  I pushed through, though, and by the end was super glad I went.  Always am with yoga:)

For dinner I decided to whip up a quick spaghetti dish

with tempeh, my love:)


whole wheat pasta…

and my new favorite Bove’s Organic mushroom and wine pasta sauce.  yippee!

And a wonderful dinner such as this wouldn’t be complete with out some veggies

green beans – straight from my mom and step-dad’s garden.  Sauteed in olive oil with chopped onions, garlic powder, sea salt and black pepper.  To die for.  I’m not even kidding.  Thank you mom and Clark:)

I just kept picking at these green beans all night, finally resorting to moving them to the fridge so I’ll have some left for later!  I might dream about green beans tonight.  I need help.

First thing tomorrow morning I WILL have up the 100th post giveaway contest. You must stop by because you don’t wanna miss it!

What does “food with intergrity” mean to you? Do you think the meaning should be universal?  Or do you think it can be different for every person?

What small thing could you do to make a difference without feeling the pressure of perfection?

Can’t wait to hear your responses!

***just FYI – I have now moved my blogroll from my sidebar to a tab at the top.  Check it out for some of my favorite reads!


10 Responses to “what does "food with integrity" mean to you?”

  1. Grace July 8, 2010 at 5:15 am #

    You said…
    “In no other area of our life do we say “if I can’t be perfect then I’m not even going to try.” Why would we say that about our diet?”

    This is such a good point! I think it has to do with not wanting to try change though. I’ve seen clients in therapy who have said things like, “This is too hard, we’ll never reach our goals. We quit,” rather than pushing themselves to change. The problem with that is that we miss out on SO much when we’re unwilling to open our minds to the idea that things can be different… In our marriages, in our diets, anywhere in life!

  2. Rhea a.k.a. Greek Feaster July 8, 2010 at 5:31 am #

    Your pictures are so pretty! What type of camera do you use?

    Re: the integrity of food– this post definitely sparked some questions, but I need to get some coffee in my life before I put anything in writing 😀

    • candice July 8, 2010 at 9:31 am #

      Thank you! I use the Canon EOS Rebel XS, and I love it! I’m still learning how to use it – and I have a long way to go, but it’s hard to take a bad picture with this camera:)

      Can’t wait to hear your questions:)

  3. Kat (Bubble Gum Gym Kat) July 8, 2010 at 6:05 am #

    I think a diet should be different for everyone..and if being vegetarian or vegan makes that person better for themselves then more power to them. I love vegetarian food, I have recently opened up to it..I now integrate it into my diet along with meat because I love the diversity and options. I honestly praise people who are vegan..it would be so hard in this world today, with all the crap and temptations out there. Everything is great in moderation (like real ice cream ) but to each their own. GREAT post.

    I recently gave up meat for three days. Now I eat at least 1 or 2 vegetarian meals a day.

    • candice July 8, 2010 at 9:33 am #

      That’s awesome! Way to go for stepping out there. And I totally agree- every person has to decide what is best for his/her self. We’re all so different!

  4. Heather (Where's the Beach) July 8, 2010 at 6:06 am #

    We do not have a Chipotle here, and I’ve never been to one. I feel cheated.

    You say, “In no other area of our life do we say “if I can’t be perfect then I’m not even going to try.” Why would we say that about our diet?” But there are so many people who never try b/c they “know” they will fail at being perfect – or use that as an excuse at the very least.

    I’m always amazed at how people really do think eating healthy, eating cleanly is too difficult. I have friends who honestly believe they will never get their diet under control and have no clue how on earth I eat so “good.” I hear it all the time, “You’re so good about eating.” I am just eating the way I always eat – it makes me feel healthier, I don’t feel guilty about eating b/c it’s not cookies, donuts, an animal. Ahhh, soap box ramble sorry.

  5. Seems like this is a popular topic in the blog world this week. For me eating with integrity is being educated and aware of the impact that my food choices have on myself and my health, the enviroment and the animals that are raised for that purpose. I am not officially a vegetarian although I don’t eat much meat and I don’t need the label to guide my choices. I may eat poultry again but that doesn’t mean I can’t eat vegetarian meals most of the time right?!

  6. amber@SAHM's musings July 9, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    I’m such an all or nothing girl. This was so encouraging. It’s all about small steps.


  1. prepare to drool|ChiaSeedMe | My Healthy Living Blog with a Sprinkle of Chia Seeds - July 11, 2010

    […] green beans (click for recipe) from my step-dad’s garden. […]

  2. 2010: a look back|ChiaSeedMe - January 3, 2011

    […] I talked about what “food with integrity” means and about every one of us throwing out labels and doing the ……and not judging each other in the […]

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