Evenings at my house are chaotic. My partner and I have two-year-old twins, and that gap between preschool pickup and bedtime can be the toughest part of the day.
We both have busy jobs and are always doing too many things at once — cooking, trying to remember if anyone fed the dog, and diplomat-level toddler negotiations, to name a few.
Amidst all that, we’re supposed to be eating healthy foods, exercising, getting enough sleep, and practicing self-care. Who has time for all that?
These days, my biggest healthy eating challenge is finding the time and energy to plan balanced meals for myself and our family. Increasingly, we can do it together in a way that we couldn’t when the twins were babies (I’m not even sure what we ate for the first two years of their lives, to be honest). They like to go grocery shopping and eat the foods they see us eating. I’m excited to keep moving in this direction together.
But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Toddler food whims change daily, and sometimes they just don’t want to eat anything. Evenings for me usually end up the same way — with two kids on the counter or one in my arms, spending time together and “helping” me cook dinner.
This is our healthy eating reality. What’s yours?
Illustration by Wenzdai Figueroa
My healthy eating journey
I am not a poster child for healthy eating. I will say I’ve trended better in that direction as an adult, but I used to follow what I now understand was a poorly planned vegetarian diet.
I was a vegetarian from childhood through my mid-twenties, mostly existing on fruit, yogurt, cheese, bread, and pasta. My partner still likes to tease me about being a “milk-tarian.”
What I didn’t understand then is that any diet, especially one that removes certain foods, requires planning and balance. I started planning more balanced meals that included a variety of food groups when I moved to Iceland in 2015. I also started eating fish, which is fresh and plentiful here. For me, this was a life-changing decision, and I’ve enjoyed exploring the culinary opportunities a more flexible diet has provided.
These are my preferences, and a mostly pescatarian diet is what works for me.
However, that doesn’t make it the right diet or eating pattern for you. Healthy eating is a journey — one that changes over time — and you have the power to determine which foods and eating pattern make you feel your best.
The challenge of healthy eating
We know healthy eating can be challenging. It can be tough to know where to start, we’re surrounded by nutrition misinformation, and healthy foods can be expensive or hard to find.
Nevertheless, healthy eating is an important wellness goal for many people.
In a study conducted by Healthline Media, 72% of respondents said that “eating healthy and nutritious foods” was their most important health or wellness goal.
In another study we conducted, two-thirds of participants said they were interested in nutrition content. However, only one-third said they eat “very or extremely healthfully.” The rest reported their eating habits were either not at all, a little, or somewhat healthy.
This really stood out to us, as it means the majority of these people wanted to eat well, yet fewer than one-third actually did so.
So, what’s standing in the way?
Change is hard, and life is busy. People want more than information and need actionable steps to get started, as well as support along their journey. Recommendations need to be accessible and affordable. Community and connection also matter.
Furthermore, biases and inequities in our food system contribute to issues of access and health disparities. There’s also a clear need for cultural competence in nutrition — too often, what is considered “healthy” is seen through a homogenous, Western lens that often ignores and “others” foods and traditions with deep cultural roots.
In this field, we have a responsibility to challenge and broaden our definition of healthy eating and provide more appropriate and relevant recommendations to better help people meet their health and wellness goals.
Introducing Healthline Nutrition
Welcome to Healthline Nutrition, the newest brand from Healthline.
Our approach is all about healthy eating in the context of your real life. We know that for healthy eating to be doable and sustainable, it has to be realistic. You are at the center of your healthy eating journey, and we are here to support you in finding a long-term, healthy eating pattern that works for your needs, preferences, and culture.
To us, healthy eating is not about every dietary decision you make, but rather the overall trends of your choices — what your habits are like most of the time. Additionally, you won’t find us recommending quick-fix solutions or promoting fad diets.
All of our nutrition information is based on studies, which you’ll find cited in numbered, clickable references in our content. Our p are written and medically reviewed by registered dietitians — who are experts in their fields but real people, too. They have their own healthy eating journeys, and they’re happy to share those perspectives with you.
Our aim is to meet you where you are in your healthy eating journey, whether you want to learn about supplements, pe into meal prep, focus on weight management, discover diets, shop, or learn about eating for specific health conditions.
We want to help you implement doable, lasting change that you can put into action today with our “just one thing” takeaways, which you’ll see both on our article pages and in our upcoming newsletter challenge. During the challenge, you’ll receive exclusive tips — one per day for 20 days — designed to help build positive and sustainable eating habits.
We want to help bridge the gap between intentions and actions by providing realistic nutrition information paired with actionable takeaways you can implement in your life today.
We know healthy eating is hard, and you’re not alone in this. We’re in it together.
Happy reading (and eating)
Before meals in Iceland, we say “gjörðu svo vel.” It means “here you go,” and invites everyone to pe in and begin eating. With that, I welcome you to Healthline Nutrition.
I’ve been working with our nutrition content for six years, and am very proud of who we’ve been and where we’re going. It’s been incredible to watch this cohort become the top nutrition source of information on the internet, evolve, and reach many millions of people every month.
I’m beyond excited about our new direction, and I hope you are, too.
I also want to acknowledge our team and all the people who work on nutrition content at Healthline, both past and present. We wouldn’t be where or who we are without you.
Thank you, all, and cheers to our next chapter!
Editorial Director, Nutrition and Fitness