I want to introduce to everyone a very special guest blogger. She’s a little gun shy about blogging publicly, but boy does she have a lot of very interesting thoughts about healthy eating. Please give a warm welcome to my friend, Chris-Anna.
Most of us seem to like labels to some degree. It helps us to know where we are in this huge world. Who are you? Who am I? What am I eating exactly?
I have worn many food hats (vegetarian, whole food, natural, unprocessed, etc.) over the years and they have all been problematic for one reason or another.
Why do I look for a label in the first place…..good question. In the past it has helped identify for myself what I want to do or what statement I’d like to make. Sometime I am mostly focused on eating “healthy” foods, sometimes it is about the environment, sometimes it is the way I would like to see myself. Labels have given me identity and rules to follow.
Over the past 20 years or so, I have come to realize I don’t need or even want any labels. It’s too restrictive and unnecessary. I have been to many dinners where the host was graciously attempting to honor my label, but would make food I did not want to eat…..now what? Likewise, I have served meals that my guests were not so thrilled about (who knew so many people don’t eat beans?)
So if I don’t have a food label, what are my food rules now? I try to eat mostly veggies and whole grains. I would say this is about 80% of my meals. The other 20% varies week to week. My biggest weakness is cheese. Because my kids eat it, I am around it regularly. It is beyond me to throw out DELICIOUS mac and cheese…….I MUST finish it if they don’t. Maybe two times in a year will I eat a full portion, but I will “finish” portions about once a week or so.
My main goal is to be healthy. Of course, consuming very little animal protein also helps the environment. That is great, but not why I am doing this. After reading and reading about this subject for decades, I have come to the conclusion that vegan, raw, or other super-restrictive labels are not necessary for where I am in my life right now. I do dry or stock sauté when at home, but I eat out and don’t ask how things are prepared. I know they have oil and salt and I’m okay with that. I use soy creamer, but will use milk when out if soy is not available. I buy mostly organic fruits and veggies, but go to other people’s home and eat whatever they have, happily.
Should I mention “plant strong”? It may fit me, but do I even want that?
What about you? Do you like having a label? Do you like not having a label? Has wearing a label caused you any problems?