Occasionally, I have a topic on my mind to blog about and while I’m waiting for the ideas to build and the words to formulate themselves, I come across a post that says exactly what I was thinking. This happened to me just a few weeks ago.
Developing and practicing my food and health philosophy is constantly evolving task for me. While three years ago I would have described myself as completely lost (even though at time I thought I was healthy), now I consider myself moving in the right direction, but still far from perfection.
That is, if you even believe that perfection exists in these areas. I have to say I’m not sure that it does. Sometimes I think perfection with healthy eating is just an imaginary goal that we strive to achieve without every really getting there. Why? Well, because things are constantly changing and everyone has a different idea of how perfection is defined.
Now to that post I mentioned earlier.
My Google Alerts end up finding me all kinds of interesting things to read when it comes to food, real food and fake food. To Be, or Not to Be: Omnivores, Herbivores, and Deciding What’s Right For You posted at the Health and Happiness Club is an example of this.
Let me correct myself. Not just an example, but one of the best, respectful, well-balanced posts on the subject that I have yet to read. As I read everything word for word, which I should mention doesn’t happen all that often (yes, I’m a scanner), I realized I couldn’t have said it better myself. It was as though the thoughts in my head were right there on the page.
I encourage you to read it, but I will summarize a bit for you here. It is about how different people are meant to have different styles of eating. What works for one person, may not work for another. That means that some people are perfectly happy eating meat, others it doesn’t agree with so well whether due to personal beliefs or in physical digestion. Some can thrive on only vegetables or raw food while it makes others feel as though they are missing something nutritionally.
I happen to fall into the meat-eater category and I’ve especially realized this through my running. Before I started training for this half marathon I probably would have told you that I would have no problem becoming a vegetarian, although I’ve never really desired to proclaim myself as such. We eat a lot of high-protein vegetarian meals and I go many days without any meat. And you know what, personally, now I can tell when I do. I need the nutrients that humanely raised meat gives my body. However, you may be completely different.
My choice is not to push my beliefs on others verbally, but to show them by the way I live and eat. I haven’t always been like this, but there are a couple reasons why I have developed this philosophy.
One, preaching to others will make you a hypocrite. Yep, if you are going to work hard to spread the word about what you believe is right and wrong with how to eat you better not get caught going off the path you have paved for yourself. I’m an advocate of non-processed foods and have eliminated a lot of them from our diet, but I can’t promise you I won’t eat an Oreo at the next family picnic. I’m human, and I do love desserts.
Two, I really do believe that different eating styles work for different bodies. You just have to find what makes you thrive. I feel confident that I’ve found what makes me thrive and perhaps you have to, but we should be open to the fact that we might both be wrong.
Sometimes I think people may feel that this type of attitude means you aren’t standing up for what you believe in. You know, the whole, “if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything.” However, for me it is about respect. I respect the meat-eater, the vegetarian, the vegan and the raw foodie to name a few. I may not agree with the associated philosophies for myself, but I respect a person who has the ultimate goal to be healthy. Agreeing is different than respecting, of course. Respect is essential my book, agreeing is optional.
With all that being said, I think there are some things that most of us can agree on. Fast food and processed sugar aren’t going to help us out any. However you might believe the old saying, “everything in moderation” while I happen to believe there are some food-like substances that were never meant to be consumed.
However, I’m not going to preach what not to do. I’m going to do my best to be an example and live what I believe is right path for health while respecting your choices at the same time.
What is your food philosophy? And if you read the post I linked to, I’d love to hear your thoughts.