Intentional Eating: The 80/20 Rule

2014 - 06.18 - #13 - Intentional Eating 80-20 Rule - #1

Remember the last time you started your day saying something along the lines of, “I’m going to eat really well today – eat more vegetables, fruits and stay away from sugar and processed foods.” How long did that intention last… until noon?

I think we sometimes set ourselves up for failure by setting the bar really high which, let’s be realistic, is not really realistic.

Here at Vibrant Life Source we believe that we eat to fuel and support our bodies with a twist of realism. Of course, I want you to consume your vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats and stay away from sugar, processed foods and excess dairy.

Is eating that way all the time realistic for your lifestyle? Kudos to you if it is! For the average person, not so much. So, rather than set the intentional eating bar so high that we fail miserably, we encourage eating with compassion, self-love and intention.

First of all, I think the word “diet” is a bad word. It creates negativity, restriction, isolation and frustration. We’ve all fallen off the diet wagon, some of us repeatedly, getting back on to, yet again, fall off. Up and down we go until we completely exhaust ourselves.

When we do this, are we living our most vibrant life, being the most vibrant image of ourselves? Of course not!

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like how I feel on a restrictive diet that tells me to eat this, don’t eat that, do it this way and don’t even think of doing it that way. You’re wrong if you even look in the direction of chocolate.

Well, I’m taking a stand and saying enough! No more restricting myself to obtain a short-term goal that I know I won’t ultimately keep. I want long-term change that I can maintain with ease.

So, scrap all your diet books and say hello to your new way of living and eating – the 80/20 rule. It’s easy – because if it wasn’t I wouldn’t be doing it!

The 80/20 Rule:

  • 80% of the time you eat to fuel and sustain your vibrant bod.
  • That means veggies, fruit, lean meats, whole grains – you know, all the good stuff that will rev your engines and keep them humming throughout the day.
  • The other 20% of time you enjoy that dark chocolate, glass of red wine or whatever suits your fancy.
  • The kye is to get back to the 80% after enjoying the 20%.
  • Don’t fret over enjoying chocolate cake but rather savor every bite.

I have found that introducing clients to this type of eating allows for more flexibility and enjoyment. Take pleasure in all foods – just limit the not-so-good stuff to 20% of the time.

“When it comes to what we eat, passion and intention supersede everything.
Every bite is an exercise in savoring life.”
David Romanelli, Yoga Teacher and Creator of Yoga for Foodies workshops

You can incorporate the 80/20 rule into your daily eating plan if you like:

  • Make healthy choices throughout the day and give yourself a little treat like some dark chocolate (my personal preference) or a little frozen yogurt.
  • Don’t fret about overdoing it; just have a little amount.
  • Remember to savor every bit of your 20% treat.
  • Sit down, turn off the TV and close your eyes.
  • Oh yeah, now that’s what I’m talking about!

Here’s a great recipe for your 80% that will nourish your body, make your taste buds sing and fuel you through your day – my Roasted Cauliflower & Curried Quinoa Salad!

I got the idea from watching a show on the Food Network and switched it up to my preferences. The curry is mild, so adults and kids alike will enjoy it. The salad travels well – great for lunch, picnics, potlucks or snacks.

If you’re new to cooking with quinoa – never fear! It’s a forgiving grain and full of yummy goodness – protein, fiber and iron! Just try one serving of this salad and you’ll be a quinoa believer!

Roasted Cauliflower & Curried Quinoa Salad Recipe

2014 - 06.18 - #13 - Intentional Eating 80-20 Rule - #2-2Ingredients

Whole head of cauliflower cut into bite size pieces
2-3 cups cooked quinoa
1/3 c. chopped red onion (or green onion)
1/3 c. dried cranberries (more if you like)
1/3 c. roasted cashews, chopped (more if you like)
1 15 oz. can of chickpeas, drained (optional)
½ c. cilantro, chopped
½ c. mint, chopped
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. tandoori spice
Salt and pepper to taste


Juice of two lemons (or limes)
1/3 – ½ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut up cauliflower into bite size pieces and place on cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake until tender but still has a bite. While cauliflower is roasting, cook quinoa in either water or broth (chicken or vegetable) with curry powder, turmeric, tandoori, cumin and cinnamon. When done, set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, place red onion, dried cranberries, cashews, cilantro and mint. When cauliflower and quinoa have cooled, add to bowl and mix.

Make dressing in a separate bowl. Combine lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk in oil olive until it emulsifies. Toss with salad to coat.

Salad is best at room temperature but can be served cold as well. Enjoy!

Until we meet again, here’s to Living Vibrantly!



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3 Responses to Intentional Eating: The 80/20 Rule

    Andrea Johnston Monday, June 23, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

    If you haven’t tried this salad, don’t wait another day. It’s the recipe that introduced me to LeAnn’s style of cooking, and I was hooked. Served it to a family gathering with folks from 9-80. Everyone tried it at the buffet, and I should have doubled (or tripled) what I brought.


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