We’ve all heard about healthy vs unhealthy (aka whole food vs junk/processed food) eating. We’ve heard about this diet and that diet – Atkins, Paleo, Vegan, Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian, Pescatarian, any-other-label-arian or even the 90% vegetarian “because sometimes I eat meat but I don’t eat cheese” scenario. There are so many labels for so many different diets. Some people benefit from one diet and others won’t.
Did anyone ever stop to think WHY?
WHY are there so many different diets and WHY do some diets work for certain people and not for others? WHY do some people react to certain foods one way, some react a different way and others don’t react at all? WHY isn’t there a one solution for everyone?
Have you ever thought that maybe, just maybe, it’s because we’re all different? Maybe we all have different, unique genetic codes and internal chemical/biome compositions? Maybe some of us are predisposed to require more of a certain nutrient than another and others won’t need a particular nutrient at all?
WHAT IF each of us requires a diet that is unique to the individual, like a fingerprint? If that were the case, would anyone feel guilty for eating what they eat in the proportions they eat it? If it was good for them and they knew that it was good, specifically for them, would they feel guilty for eating it? If you knew it was good for them, would you make them feel bad for eating it?
That’s the thing that bugged me about all these diets – the guilt and shame aspect. When I speak with people about diets, they really beat themselves up about it if they’re not eating “healthy” (whatever this might mean to them) or if they’re not sticking to the tight regimen that’s required of their chosen diet. A lot of people, when asked about their diets feel the need to justify their choices. Then there are of course, those who think they’re healthy and have made all the right choices, who get all righteous and evangelical about their diet even if it involves making people around them feel awful or inferior. Then, there’re those who don’t like the way they’re made to feel about their diet so eat even more of it eg. people who chose to eat a 10 patty burger on Meat Free Monday when they would never have eaten a 10 patty burger ever, just to say “you can’t tell me what to do”.
So many times I’ve asked people if they eat meat and they actually look down, hang their head and shuffle their feet when they say “Yes”. Not sure why this happens, considering they’re talking to me, I eat meat and am asking so I can recommend a good steak restaurant… Doesn’t anyone else find this phenomena odd?
Diets and eating habits are not religions. So shame and guilt have no business being in the food industry.
Just thought I’d clarify that for those of you who are so consumed by your self loathing or righteous indignation that you’ve forgotten. If you want to beet yourself up (see what I did there?), go and prostrate before a pumpkin, tell it how many Twinkies you’ve eaten, say your penance and then go home to guzzle down some ice-cream full of Oreos and M&M’s just to make yourself feel better so you can then feel bad about eating the fat and the sugar and go back to the pumpkin the next day to do it all again.
If you want to be dogmatic about your diet, go start your Church of the Gluten-Free Omno Lacto Pesca Vegans so you can preach from your carrot pulp-it (haha I did it again!) while using celery stems to bless people with apple juice and then watch how many times they have to go prostrate before a pumpkin.
Don’t you worry, I’ve been on both ends of this crazy diet spectrum. I grew up with meat for every meal incl breakfast, litres and litres of soft drink and trips to the chicken shop to get a large bag of salty crispy chicken skin and I loved it. 2 years ago I went on a 7 day juice fast and I loved it. I attempted 40 days raw vegan and I hated it. My diet life was like the Jerry Spring-Vegetables Show.. “YOU ATE MEAT?!!!! OMG!! What do you mean you don’t eat meat?? ” *Gasp* There was guilt shame and righteous indignation all around.
But I’ve seen the light. Seriously guys… GUILT over food? SO MUCH JUDGEMENT of each other and guilt and shame, all over food! Food is supposed to be nourishment and sustenance not some fucked up emotionally manipulative moral issue.
This is why I’ve decided to go on the Good For Me & You Diet. What is it? It’s my newly coined term for eating whatever the fuck I want as long as it’s good for me and as a consequence, that’ll be good for you. What does that mean? It means, whatever food I deem is good for me (more on how I work that out next week but for now, it’s whatever makes me feel good both emotionally and physically). If it’s an apple, then it’s an apple. If it’s ice cream, then it’s ice cream. If it’s a steak sandwich, then it’s a steak sandwich. It is whatever makes me feel good both emotionally and physically, at that time.
Guess what this means for you? If I am feeling good emotionally and physically – then, that’s good for you!
Remember, this isn’t the Good For YOU diet. So I’m not going to eat things just because YOU think it’s good for me. Nor is it the It’s Not Good For You Because It’s Not Good for Me Diet. By the same token, whatever is good for me, may not be good for you to eat.
I’m not making you go on MY diet so you go ahead and go on your own diet and you know what? I don’t care what you eat as long as there’s no guilt or shame involved for either of us because guilt and shame are not part of a balanced and thriving ecology.
Guilt and shame don’t belong with food but food belongs with your body. Therefore guilt and shame do not belong in your body and must be separated from food. Henceforth, the Good For Me & You Diet must not contain ANY shame or guilt.
This is the Good For Me & You Diet. I will eat whatever I need to keep my ecology balanced and thriving and that in turn will mean I will be balanced and thriving and that will be good for you as it will give you permission to do the same.
If what you eat and how you feel afterwards, creates guilt or shame in yourself or the need to create guilt and shame in others, then it’s not part of the Good For Me & You Diet. So don’t eat it again.
Will there be slip ups? Of course!! Of course I’ll eat something one day thinking it’s good for me emotionally and physically and then realise it wasn’t. It’s all part of working out what is actually part of my own unique Good For Me & You Diet!
But since guilt and shame are not part of the diet, if you or I do slip up, then I would rather just take note not to eat whatever it was again in future and call it a day.
There you have it. A simple, effective diet that anybody can stick to and the best part is, it makes you feel good and as a result makes those around you feel good too.
All it involves is eliminating guilt and shame and food becomes just food again.