A few days ago, I posted a picture on Instagram of my breakfast, with the caption about fueling up for my busy day ahead of me. They were blueberry and chia overnight oats and they were the bomb, so creamy and delicious.
In response, I got likes, I got comments… and I got a few DMs telling me I shouldn’t be eating oats if I tell people that I’m Paleo.
The thing is, firstly, I tell people I try to follow a Paleo diet the majority of the time. But that doesn’t mean that all of my food is Paleo-compliant, and it doesn’t mean that I ever pretend that it is. Most of the time I eat Paleo because I prefer the way my body feels, but sometimes? I just want to eat oats. My Instagram and blog are called Primally Imperfect for a reason.
Secondly, I’m in the middle of marathon training and I’m burning a lot of calories through running. I’m currently in the middle of a 46-mile training week, and that’s in addition to lifting at the gym, walking around town and generally just living my life. I know that my body functions better during exercise if I don’t restrict my carbs, and the day I posted that picture I knew I’d be running at least 9 miles (it actually turned into 12 miles after an unexpectedly intense running club workout). I didn’t have any banana or sweet potato in the house, and I wanted to ensure my body was getting sufficient macros to fuel me up. So, I turned to the oats which I use on the mornings of my long runs, and was extremely happy with the results.
Living in Chile also has a huge impact on what I can eat when, and how I can afford it. When I lived at university or at home, I had the freedom of grocery stores I knew back-to-front, which sold everything I was expecting – and more. They had paleo snack bars, paleo cereals, reams of dairy alternatives, and all at a low price. Here, although I know where I can buy some of these things, they would cost a lot more than I have a budget for. I am still a student, and working as an intern, so I don’t actually get paid. I am surviving on my student loan, and some money from my dad, but it isn’t enough to let me splurge on expensive food all the time.
I’m also living in a room in a shared flat, which doesn’t exactly have the kitchen appliances I’m used to. I used to have a really quiet hand blender which I would use to make smoothies in the mornings. Smoothies are pretty vital for me as a breakfast food, because I think they’re a great way of getting in micronutrients in the form of fruit and sneaky bits of veg. However here, the only blender I have is hella noisy and smokes. It’s fine, but means that in the mornings I don’t want to wake up my flatmates, so have to resort to other foods. I’d been eating yoghurt bowls with banana, but it has been getting boring lately – hence the chia/oats experiment. (For anyone wondering, I just don’t like savoury food in the morning)
Anyway, I thought it might be a good idea to show you guys quickly what I eat in a day, taking yesterday as a random example (mainly because it’s the one day I can actually remember without checking MyFitnessPal).
Morning food was actually overnight oats again. After Wednesday’s unexpectedly high mileage, I was really hungry and just wanted carbs. So, it was oats, mixed with plain organic yoghurt (an indulgence over here) and protein powder, left overnight. Then topped with banana and melted dark chocolate.
Was really hungry as I was covering a debate all morning with representatives from each of the presidential candidates and didn’t get a time to stop for any more coffee. I walked home, did a bit of work then realised I needed to go shopping as I had next to no food in the house. Made myself an omelette (2 whole eggs, 2 egg whites) and served it with a pile of mixed veggies.
After a late afternoon run, I sautéed enough turkey mince to last me for three meals, with spices, and mixed it with more frozen veggies and broccoli. Turkey mince is on super special offer this week at the supermarket, so I picked up a few packs to freeze.
This is where my non-Paleo foods come in – it was my flatmate’s girlfriend’s birthday!! So, I made brownies, using my trusty old recipe. And of course, I had a bit of the batter and a bit of brownie once I had finished. I haven’t baked anything in ages so I wanted to make sure I had worked out the oven properly, because it can be temperamental… But all good 😊
As you can see, most of my foods are paleo compliant. For snacks, I normally eat nuts, fruit or chocolate, but yesterday was a bit of a one-off. I’m not going to try and hide that from you guys though.
My point is that I’m not fanatical about keeping to my Paleo diet, because I think that it is very easy to use a way of eating like Paleo as a way to just restrict your intake of food. I know that I’m prone to becoming obsessive about my foods, and so I don’t want to impose strict rules on my eating even if I think it’s for “my own good”.
I’m also not going to apologise for what I choose to eat, and the pictures I choose to post on Instagram. I could post lots of “clean” food, and pretend that was how I ate absolutely 100% of the time, but I want to be more genuine than that. When I set up this blog, one of my first posts was about how I named my blog, and why I chose to put the “imperfect” part so prominently. I’ve always been open about my eating, and I’m not planning on changing that just because some people have stumbled onto my page and think they know me better than all of my own followers.
Anyway, rant over. I hope you’ve all been having a great week – I can’t believe it’s Friday already! This week has gone so quickly…
Do you sometimes have to defend your food choices? How do you balance your blogging persona with just living life how you want to?
Leave me a comment below or message me on Instagram, I always love hearing from you all!