Running on Real Food

Food Philosophy

I eat all foods but enjoy a mostly whole food plant-based diet. It works for me and I love how it makes me feel. Plant foods are full of vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats and all the energy I need to do what I love.

I eat what I want but most of the time it’s whole foods prepared in simple and delicious ways.

I try to keep my recipes as simple and minimal as I can and most of the recipes you’ll find on Running on Real Food don’t require any fancy or hard to find ingredients.

Am I vegan?

Nope. I am not vegan but I do enjoy eating a heavily plant-based diet, most of the time.

I’ve eaten what’s considered a vegan diet for extended periods at various times in my life but I don’t label my diet or eating philosophy in any which way, nor feel I have to explain my dietary choices to anyone.

I do enjoy seeking out vegan restaurants and cooking mostly plant-based at home. It’s also just really easy to do so here in Vancouver, BC.

Most days my diet consists of vegetables, fruits, fermented foods, nuts and seeds, some whole grains like oats, brown rice and quinoa, some soy and some beans and lentils. I sometimes eat eggs, meat and fish. I sometimes eat dishes and products that contain dairy but I prefer to avoid dairy because my skin and digestion are better without it.

I’m also an athlete so nutrition is important to me. When I eat well, I perform well, recover well and have all the energy I need to do the things I love and I love being active!

I definitely focus on food for function for the most part but there’s always room for pleasure too.

Am I gluten-free?

Nope. I don’t eat gluten-free but you’ll find most of my recipes are naturally gluten-free or easily made gluten-free.

I naturally don’t eat much gluten and I do feel better that way though. The only gluten I really eat regularly is sourdough bread, which I love! That being said, I don’t actively avoid gluten when eating out, travelling, etc. and it’s fine for me to consume it.

What I Eat in a Day

During the week I typically eat a smoothie, sweet or savoury oatmeal, tofu, egg or chickpea scramble, veggie hash, pancakes, toast or cha pudding, leftovers from the previous evening for lunch and simple whole food meal for dinner with a protein, carb and lots of veggies.

I eat a lot of salads and bowls because they’re so easy to through together and I aim to include a balance of carbs, fat and protein with every meal. I do try prioritize protein in my diet to help me feel satiated and support my training in the gym and recovery.

I snack mainly on fruit and veggies, hummus, dips, nuts, seeds and homemade energy bars. I use some products such as plant-based protein and a few other vitamins to help supplement my diet and support my workouts.

Digestion & Skin Health

I’ve struggled with digestive issues and hormonal acne over the the years but I’m now at a place where everything is really working and I feel really good.

There are certain foods I can no longer eat. I can’t eat cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, peanut butter (so sad), pea protein, some beans. As I had to cut some plant foods out of my diet, I started including some high-quality animal proteins like local fish, eggs and a bit of meat.

I’d gotten to a point where I didn’t want to feel the way I was feeling any more and had to make some changes, so one of the reasons I eat the way to I do is to keep my hormones balanced and digestive system happy.

For me that means prioritizing sleep, water, wide variety of vegetables and fruits, plenty of fiber, healthy fats like nuts, seed and avocado, eating slowly and without distraction, proper rest and recovery, including gentle exercise along with the high-intensity training, eating lots of fermented foods and more.

Love What You Eat

I think food should be fun and I love to eat, so I don’t worry too much about it. It’s pretty simple, eat whole foods most of the time and don’t worry about the rest.

Life and food are to be enjoyed! I love eating. I love trying new foods, I love experiencing local culture when I’m travelling, I love sushi, pizza, dessert and my husband and I love exploring new (and old favourite) restaurants.

I think 80/20 is a good general rule for enjoying a balance of food that’s good for the body and food that’s good for the soul.

How I eat is just part of my lifestyle. The reason we should eat is to keep the body healthy and strong, and a healthy body leads to a happy mind. Maintaining a healthy body weight is just a by-product of eating foods that are good for you.

I love cooking healthy meals at home. I enjoy experimenting with recipes and new foods. I love how amazing a healthy diet can make you feel inside and out. 

I avoid overly processed foods in my diet and prefer to keep things simple. I don’t really have need for processed foods when it’s so easy to make your own healthy options at home.

That being said, I still eat processed foods sometimes – life is short! I love pizza, chips, cookies, chocolate and all the fun vegan meat and dairy alternatives that are available today.

I feel fortunate that I have the choice to eat the way I do. I have access to fresh, seasonal and local produce, farmers markets and health food stores. I know that’s a huge privilege and something I never take for granted.

Why would you eat any other way when we have access to all this beautiful food?  I think it’s amazing what you can make out of whole plant foods. I often don’t tell people what I’ve made is vegan and they would have never guessed.

I believe one of the keys to living a happy life is eating well and focusing on whole foods. Foods that simply are what they are.

I also think there’s a lot of demonizing of foods though and I don’t agree with that, or any other part of diet culture – we’re all just doing our best. Food isn’t good or bad but some foods provide more nutrition than others. We don’t have to follow any one diet or eat or avoid any one specific food to be healthy.

Changing how people eat begins with education, so if I can show just a few people how simple it can be to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle without the stress and pressures diet culture and societal norms place on us to look a certain way, it’s incredibly rewarding. I just want to feel good and I want you to feel good too!

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated and it doesn’t require any restrictive or confusing diet, I hope Running on Real Food can help show people that.

Eating should be fun and enjoyable and not a source of stress in your life. Real food tastes amazing, real food is fresh and real food is good for your body and mind.

Do What’s Best for You

All that being said, I’m not perfect and I’m not a doctor or professional. I’m just doing my best like the rest of us.

I love food and health and sharing my recipe creations and experiences but these are simply the general guidelines that I follow.

What works for me may not necessarily be what’s best for you but if you find a recipe here you enjoy, or find some little tips and tricks that make healthy eating easier and more enjoyable, I’m happy.

Woman holding 4 cookies towards the camera.

Treats Included

When it comes to social events, holidays, travelling, and time with my family I don’t restrict my diet at all. We love our weekly date night, going to breweries, ordering dessert – it makes me happy!

Nutrition = health + happiness, so while I think it’s important to eat food that’s good for your mind and body, so is enjoying yourself and eating food that’s good for your soul.

Contact Me

I’m always available by email at deryn at runningonrealfood dot com on social media @runningonrealfood if you want to chat.