Why is it so difficult for others to accept good eating habits? Why are these same habits an invitation for opinions and comments? As one that is often the recipient of ill informed questioning and disapproving glances, I wish I had the answers. Summer is especially challenging in dodging the uninvited diagnosis of my diet. With family picnics, parades, dinner parties and weddings, this time of year is rife with landmines for people such as myself on nutritionally aware diets.
I am baffled as to why eating healthfully has become such a point of discussion. Walking into a grocery store, I see people buying things that do not even classify as food, chock full of chemicals and fake ingredients. They look at me as if I am the one with the sickness because I choose to feed my body healthfully no matter what day it is. I never “cheat”. There is no such thing as cheating if I want to keep walking, hiking and dancing. I chose living a full life over a store bought cheesecake…hands down.
This is not deprivation in any way. My idea of a “treat” is a grain, dairy, nut and refined sugar free cookie. They are incredibly sweet to me and I never feel deprived. Some in my family still raise an eyebrow when they learn what I exclude from my diet. My father is convinced that if I remove grains, I have nowhere else to get carbohydrates and therefore must be deficient. I simply don’t have time to argue the merits of my diet any longer. I also can’t spend another minute of my life energy explaining why I only eat when I am hungry, which is usually twice a day. Why do I care if society has completely bought into the made up structure of three meals a day? People shovel food into their mouths simply because a clock tells them too. That is madness to me. We eat to live, not live to eat.
I know this way of life works and my doctors agree. Most importantly, I feel better when I eat this way. Please consider carefully what you say the next time you attend a family function, or holiday party. Do not force ice cream on someone and give him or her a verbal lashing for not participating in your sugar fest and do not become the sugar dealer of your family.
Finally, please do not pass along your misgivings about how you eat to me; I categorically refuse to take on that burden. Choose to hold your tongue instead of offering a litany of misguided nutritional information. It may make you feel better for your choices, but it does nothing to me beyond making me aware how few understand food is medicine. Love yourself, cut the crap (pun intended)and feed your cells what they need. It is a gift that you give yourself and well worth the effort.