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Veg* Is Not about Feeling Bad

I spent a good chunk of my week traveling and in the field, so instead of getting to cook a lot of wonderful food, I got think a lot about wonderful food. When I got back to the land of internet, I logged onto tumblr, obviously, and was immediately hit in the face with a reblog of some sort of bizarre diet plan that basically banned all food ever. It made me think about how much my attitude towards food differed from theirs.

For starters, I have nothing against eating healthy, or looking for ways to cater your diet to make you feel and look better. I know that eating certain foods makes me feel tons better than eating other foods (chickpeas versus kidney beans, for example). But I am of the school of thought that food choices must be thoughtful and motivated at least in part by your happiness. Does it make you feel good to make little people out of cheese and then bite their heads off? That’s cool, I’ve got an army of headless animal crackers. Basically, I don’t care about what people eat as long as people are thinking about why they eat what they eat.

But I feel strongly about taking a cheerful, fun attitude towards food. I recognize this attitude might not be possible for everyone, and if you fall in this group, I am not asking you to toe the cheerful line. However, I hate it when diets or food plans get so strict as to ban all junk food. Like, take eating vegan, for example. Some people take this to mean eating super healthy and green all the time. I take it to mean that when I drive by the grocery store with vegan donuts one hour out of town but on the way to my other work site, I pick up a ton of vegan donuts. And let me tell you ““ there is nothing like the rush I feel when I discover a new, totally unhealthy junk food that’s now being produced in accordance with my food choices.

And beyond just picking up foods, figuring out new ways to make old favorites is so much fun for me. It means I get to play with chocolate! It means that I get to throw together new and weird food combinations in an attempt to create some junk foodie, frankensteined food awesomeness. I don’t know, maybe it is not as cool for you, but for me, creating my own versions of foods I once loved and will love again, is like putting together a food puzzle, and as everyone knows, that is the most delicious kind of puzzle.

Well, unless you ask my cat, but there is a reason he does not write these posts: he’d have you all eating cardboard boxes and bugs.

6 replies on “Veg* Is Not about Feeling Bad”

This is why I’m kinda anti-dieting. You need to change your way of eating because 1) You want too, 2) You’re motivated to make the changes, 3) You’re patient enough to wait for said changes. This doesn’t happen with “I will use Diet A and have a new life in x-number weeks!”

I’m a big, big fan of food and I know there are people out there who are completely the opposite of me and don’t care what they shove into their mouth as long as it gives off energy and doesn’t taste very close to shit. For me, that’s a wrong state of mind, but it’s their state of mind and they’re allowed to have it. I won’t impose on them, so they shouldn’t impose on the people they don’t understand their ‘ways of food’ from.

I think I saw that same food post! It depressed me. I don’t like that “SHUT UP AND DON’T SAY IT’S HARD BECAUSE CANCER IS HARD AND EATING RIGHT IS NOT HARD AND YOU DON’T HAVE TO CHEAT YOU WHINER IT’S JUST 30 DAYS SUCK IT UP” kind of encouragement, especially (ESPECIALLY) not with food, but also not with fitness, not with work, pretty much, um, never. I can’t make everything in my life a struggle to suffer through X restriction. It just really bums me out.

When people say stuff like that (you know, cancer is hard, think of that and how lucky you are that your biggest problem is exam stress…) I always point out that when someone has a heart attack instead of cancer, you don’t go tell them to suck it up. Because not everything has to be the hardest thing in the world for it to be difficult for someone.

And in any case, like you say, food does not have to be a struggle anyway.

I agree wholeheartedly. When it seems like people everywhere are trying to guilt me into making “better” choices, I defiantly choose foods that make me happy. And, yes, I do look for healthier options that I enjoy, but I hate hate hate it when people try to make it into something morally correct, instead of something that tastes good and makes me feel good in the process.

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