I’ve been really surprised recently by the levels of criticism and vitriol being experienced by some of the current wave of healthy food advocates such as Deliciously Ella who have been condemned as ‘boring’ for following a gluten-free, vegan way of eating which is free of refined sugars and processed foods. Now, I’m not saying that this specific way of eating is the best approach for everyone because we are all different and bio-individuality means that what enriches one person can be challenging for another. Ella’s approach works for her and she has experienced personal benefits changing her diet in this way.
However, this reaction is indicative of the issues some people face when they want to make the move towards a healthier way of living. Friends and family can be unsupportive as you start to explore different options. You may start to feel like you’re that annoying, difficult person who is asking way too many questions about the menu when you’re out for dinner. You feel like you’re being judged for what’s on your plate, “Oh, no bread? Are you being healthy?” In some cases, people may actively try and persuade you to come off the path you’re following, “Come on, why don’t you just have another glass of wine, it won’t hurt you.” The pressure can make you feel boring and restrictive and having a more nourishing approach to food seems like it’s a negative thing.
The issue is that people seem to focus on what you’re not eating. Mainly because it makes them question their own diets and feel uncomfortable in their own nutritional decisions. The optimum choices we can make were distilled by the fantastic Michael Pollan when he said:
Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
And that’s essentially it when it comes to diet and nutrition. Focus on real, whole, fresh food, not processed and refined (e.g. fresh fruit, veg, eggs, fish, meat and wholegrains). Increase the amount of vegetables in your diet. And don’t eat to excess. It’s that simple. Yes, there may be personal variations (e.g. dairy-free, vegetarian, etc.) but the principles remain the same. If you’re following that basic approach to your food, you’re onto a good thing.
Fine, you might not be eating pizza anymore, but let’s focus on the beauty of what you are eating – the delicious, fresh, nutritious food that nature has given us in abundance. There’s more to a plant-based diet than steamed vegetables and you’re being brave and exploring different parts of the menu which is exciting and positive.
Who cares what anyone else thinks? It’s your body, your business. You know how different food affects it and what it does to your overall health. And if you’re paying for it, that’s an even better reason to make sure you’re eating what you want to eat. So it’s about having confidence in yourself and your food choices and above all enjoying it. Your MISSION starts here…