When was the last time you ate something, and didn’t think twice about it? What did you think when you were eating? Did you enjoy it? Were you wracked with guilt? Did you catch yourself trying to justify your actions? Any idea when that behavior started? Or better yet, why?
There’s so much more to food than the biological purpose it serves, and somewhere, that has been forgotten and replaced with morality. The consumption of food, on its most basic level, is to nourish us so that we stay alive. We all need it. And we all need different types and amounts probably at different times throughout the day and none of those differences make one person’s way of eating more right or more wrong than another’s. What does make it wrong, is when we assume that the way someone else eats will work for us, too. What does make eating differently wrong, is when we start to tell ourselves that we are wrong for eating certain things, at a certain time, by ourselves or with other people - when we start to identify our value based on those things that we are or are not eating.
Food does not have morals. Food is not ultimately good or bad. Therefore, no matter what the food is that you are choosing to eat, you are not a better or worse person for it. You are simply, a person. A person who is consuming some food, because that’s how you stay alive.
Now are there foods that are considered healthier and less healthy? Absolutely. Like many other things, foods fall on a continuum. On one end of that spectrum, you have your healthy foods – the nutrient dense ones with antioxidants, proteins, fiber, etc. that tend to be less calorically dense (which in my mind means I can eat more of them) and provide an array of vitamins, minerals and macronutrients that our bodies benefit from. On the other end you have the foods that are packed with different types of lesser quality nutrients, particularly fats, sugars, simple carbs, etc. which have significantly more calories in a smaller serving. These tend to be tastier (thanks to the fats and sugars) but don’t provide as many benefits to the body. Just remember, choosing to eat a healthier food doesn’t make you a good person the same way choosing to eat a less healthy food doesn’t make you a bad person; you are still just a person.
So the next time you catch yourself criticizing your decision to have an ice-cream cone (because let’s be serious, ice-cream is amazing), just stop – take a breath – and enjoy the hell out of that ice cream, because when you’re eating that drippy cone with love, the nourishment* your body will receive isn’t a supplement that can be found in a gummy form on Amazon.
*Stay tuned for an upcoming blog on nourishment*