My philosophy around food and eating has probably changed as many times as I’ve been asked the question. I really think that is okay. We are constantly learning and educating ourselves, testing out our theories, finding out what is practical and sustainable, and what we are willing to make sacrifices for. Below is what I submitted in an assignment for the Academy. It’s an overarching theme rather than a strict yes-this no-that. What also follows is my current interpretation of my own food philosophy. I hope you will let me know your thoughts, what your food philosophy looks like, what you eat or don’t and why. I am so curious!
Eat responsibly for all mankind.
Honor your privilege of choice. Choose foods with a positive impact on the planet and humanity; it is an ethical imperative. If you aren’t growing your food, someone in the world is. Make sure that someone is compensated fairly so they can afford their share of the crop. Make sure your food practices do not compromise vulnerable communities around the world. Source, production, packaging, shipping, distribution, and price all have an affect on the overall health of the world and humanity. When in doubt, stay local and small and purposeful.
Eat foods found in their most natural form.
Eat like a hunter/gatherer: from the earth, hand-processed, nutrient-dense, seasonal, wild and naturally grown, homemade, grateful and without waste. Know the source.
Eat intuitively. Look to the planet for healing.
Eat to fuel your body and brain. Eat what feels and tastes good, makes you groove and laugh and find your creative niche. Don’t be fooled by tricks and trends. Eat what you would make for yourself. Don’t eat the same thing every day. Eat sweet and savory and succulent and smart. Above all else, let the earth be your healer and guide. Nature already has what you need to survive.
Eat for best health.
Eat the right foods for your body so that you feel good in your skin. Eat because you get to, not because you have to. Keep an open mind and try various styles of eating to find what works best for you. When you fuel your body with the proper nutrients, you gain a certain zest for life, and in turn make yourself a better companion for your loved ones. You don’t have to be the grumpy one whose mind is always “elsewhere.” You can be present in your life and full of vibrancy.
I wish we could talk about our diets in terms of what we DO eat, not just what we don’t. But that doesn’t always give the whole picture, as you might tell from my philosophy. Although I’d love to give the long list of wonderful, healing, and delicious foods I eat, it’s probably more clear if I note foods I avoid. I’ll do a bit of both just for clarification.
- Meat, fish
- Dairy (all animal milk and byproducts, including sheep/goat cheese, etc)
- White sugar and flours, gluten
- Processed food: things with refined sugar, refined carbohydrates, vegetable/canola/corn oils and other modified oils. To me, processed foods generally include anything that itself is not an ingredient (granola bars, cereal, munchies, beverages, veggie burgers, yogurts, ice creams, etc) and also includes doctored-up almond milks, canned soups, chocolate, protein powders, etc. All this because they almost always include preservatives, food colorings, MSG, other chemicals, GMO derived products (soy, corn), and cane sugar in all its various forms. I am definitely one of those people that reads every. single. label. and almost never purchase packaged foods.
If I’m dining out, it’s a bit of a different story. I mean, at the end of the day, I’m a FOODIE, and I have needs. 😉 Because I don’t do it often (read: once every couple months), I stretch the limits and basically just avoid meat.
- I eat what I call “backyard eggs,” which means I get them from people I know who live in town, have small flocks of birds and let them run free in their yards, feed them vegetables, and hand pick the eggs themselves.
- I am loving ghee, which is clarified butter with all the milk solids and lactase removed (it is not a dairy product and is a healing food; can be used like butter and other cooking fats).
- I also love honey and it is my preferred sweetener of choice because the raw, unfiltered kind is packed with health benefits that many alternative, plant-based sweeteners are lacking.
- I love fats (even saturated) and eat fairly low-carb. I definitely could get more protein in my diet, and I’m working on that with things like sea vegetables and seeds and the like.