Let go of perfection - there is no perfect diet
We do not eat the same way we do as babies. As women, our food requirements can vary depending on where we are in our menstrual cycle; whether we are trying to fortify and strengthen our bodies at preconception or to nourish and heal postpartum and to replenish the energy drain of breastfeeding or busy motherhood life.
At one end of the spectrum we have foods labelled as "dirty" food (think ready made meals, take- away foods, high sugar food etc). The yin to these yang foods is the "clean", "healthy" "raw" and "natural" foods.
I don't believe it is helpful to label foods "good" and "bad". This suggests nutrition is black and white - one way offering a more noble diet to follow. It denies the grey in between, the individual in that moment who can not be shoe horned into the latest "diet" fad.
We hear "guilt free" used often. This implies we should feel guilty if we eat certain foods. I do not believe in the moralism of food.
Putting this in the context of a new mother (my area of specialism), the last thing she needs is a judgment of her food choices. She may have a slice of cake one day but that should be it. Done. A pleasure in that moment. No lingering guilt thrown in on a side plate. Balance and context are key.
Using cake as an example, you could explore that deeper. It may be part of a celebration so in that case it forms part of a social context. Or it may be more of a craving. Tune in to this and see if it is a good time to enjoy it mindfully, or would it be better enjoyed later when you can really savour it. Or look at the time of the day you are eating the cake. Or, related to my post on undereating, is the reaching for cake a result of dysregulated blood sugar levels because you haven't eaten enough during the day.
I prefer to think of foods as providing nourishment. It's all about balance. How and when we eat and in what combination we eat different foods are things I consider in clinic. Also, how food affects the body of the individual. How you FEEL is a much better guide than an arbitrary label of "good" or "bad".
I am more interested in looking at your whole life, your whole self set in context to ensure you turn up each day as the best version of yourself.
As for perfection, this is subjective - formed from personal perspective, feelings and beliefs. Rather than an independent, objective point of view. Striving for balance over perfection is more healthful for all of us.