I started to really dial in my nutrition when I graduated college in 2012. I found a passion for fitness and wanted to prioritize taking care of myself. It usually takes something drastic for this change to happen and when both of my parents got sick at the same time, it became even more evident to me that health and fitness were the most important parts of my life. For me, health was not exclusive to just going to the gym everyday, but also about what I was doing outside of the gym and how I was fueling my body. Prioritizing my nutrition resulted in me feeling more balanced. I noticed that as I started to eat better, the better I slept, the more focused I felt, and the faster I was able to recover. My overall quality of life drastically increased and I felt better both physically & mentally, plus I developed a healthy relationship with what I was eating. I eat clean and healthy about 80% of the time and the other 20% I eat whatever I want and I don’t stress about it because sometimes life just gets in the way. No one can eat 100% perfect all the time, it is just not realistic. We can drive ourselves crazy if we freak out every time we eat a cookie, or enjoy dessert at a family party. I can’t emphasize enough to everyone the importance of a healthy, balanced diet and how it directly relates to how we function on a daily basis. I am not talking about eliminating an entire food group or starving ourselves but rather having a healthy relationship with what we are putting in our bodies and creating healthy, sustainable habits. You do not need to weigh and measure your food. You do not need to drive yourself crazy with hitting exact numbers of macros. That is an easy way to burn out quickly and fall off. Instead focus on developing healthy habits that will directly impact your life every single day (Drink enough water, prioritize 6-8 hours of sleep, eat whole well balanced meals). That is why I don’t look at nutrition as a diet; it’s a lifestyle. It is a lifestyle that I hope to spread to others so everyone can benefit from a happy healthy relationship with our food and our habits!!