In today’s world of rapidly evolving dietary discussions, it seems we’re always looking for a place to fit in. From paleo to vegan, our diet descriptions have become both our identity badges and, sometimes, our personal chains. Here’s my personal journey through the realm of labels, and my plea to remember that food should first and foremost be a source of nourishment and joy.
Navigating Dietary Labels
In recent times, I’ve observed the rising trend of attaching ourselves to specific dietary labels. From vegan to gluten-free, and pescatarian to soy-free, it appears as though everyone has a name for their dietary choices. I vividly recall an instance when I posted an image of my latte paired with a slice of gingerbread loaf on Instagram, only to be quickly reminded: “That’s not vegan.”
Can we pause for a moment? Not to point fingers or place blame, but to reflect on what these comments represent.
Yes, my breakfast wasn’t strictly vegan. And while I hold immense respect for committed vegans and the positive environmental shifts their choices foster, I don’t claim to be one. Sure, I often enjoy plant-based meals, and indeed, my social media is filled with #vegan and #plantbased tags. But then again, I relish my ice creams, adore my pizzas, and don’t shy away from showcasing them. My fashion choices and indulgences might not always align with veganism either.
My Vegan Experiment
For a year, I embraced a diet devoid of animal-derived products. Not because I wanted a label, but to experience the lifestyle. It left me feeling boxed in. With continuous cravings and the continuous hunt for “vegan-approved” junk food (surprise: sour patch kids are vegan!), I found myself more obsessed than ever with food.
One day, feeling deprived, I overindulged in Nutella – my once forbidden love. It was a moment of awakening. I realized that for me, assigning strict labels to my diet was counterproductive.
Discovering My Balance
Today, I focus on eating foods that genuinely nourish my body and soul. From healthy salads to indulgent lattes and the occasional dessert, I’ve found my unique balance. For me, it’s all about enjoying a diet rich in plants without the rigid confines of a label.
It’s distressing that food choices have become a yardstick for judgment. Whether one’s eating habits are ‘too clean’ or ‘not clean enough,’ everyone seems to have an opinion. But here’s the thing: your dietary choices should be about you. Just like the good old days when we enjoyed food for its sheer deliciousness.
A Plea for Food Freedom
In an era where we are bombarded with information, sometimes it feels like we’ve lost our innate connection with food. But perhaps it’s time to revert to a simpler approach:
Eat with joy.