I say this quietly and a little cautiously – I am not on a diet .. nor am I on a nutrition program or a food plan – I am not having meals delivered made to measure and I am not , excluding food groups. The reason I am cautious is that it would appear this is now not the norm – it appears everyone is doing some kind of ‘eating thing’! and to eat normally i.e just a normal day of food -sometimes good food , sometimes rushed on the run food, sometimes admitting I skip lunch then have a packet of crisps for tea, is quite frowned upon – added to the fact that many people are deciding they know best about what you should eat and more importantly what you shouldn’t eat ..and overall it’s making me hurrumph !
Hurrumph – the noise you make when you also perhaps roll your eyes and have that feeling of ‘ really ! the noise I make when the ‘ food police’ make their appearance.
Now before you all start saying -well it’s all about education and everyone needs to eat healthy. I agree .. so stop because I agree. People do need to eat a healthy diet – they do need to understand what’s in food and have options about what they buy and from where … and from that they are free to do an amazing thing – they are free to have choice.
Choice is great – and if you are choosing to eat any of the above types of diets or lifestyle things then go ahead – you may medical needs or moral and ethical views or you may just like eating that way .. but remember it is your choice! – and others can make theirs. What really makes me hurrumph is firstly that you are surrounded by so many differing messages about what is and isn’t good, which change depending on the fashion of the time .. and that people then feel they can impose their choice on you. Recently I experienced a situation in which I reached for a small piece of chocolate ( milk chocolate not pure 70% bitterness) ..and 4 people started to discuss how they just couldn’t eat it – they were juicing , detoxing , cleansing , only eating purple food , living off liquid smoothies , shakes , no carbs and various other non- enjoying eating pastimes.
Aside from the way this makes me feel on a personal level there is a more serious side to this which I view in my world as a Psychotherapist and my view as a mother to a number of young women.
I grow concerned about the number of people who set themselves up as food experts, all saying their way is best, when in fact they have no real qualification to do this – they have no knowledge of how to educate and work with, or in some cases importantly without, individuals who have medical conditions. I grow concerned by some of the messages available on social media that advise people that if they break away from this ‘ clean eating trend’ they have somehow failed themselves. These messages which drive impressionable people to focus solely on what they are told they shouldn’t be eating – not as a healthy balanced diet but because it is THE way to eat. Feeding literally into the eating disorders so many young adults can struggle with, linked with self esteem and body image challenges.
I also grow concerned by the scare tactics used by individuals who believe one way of eating is best and anyone who eats differently is helping in the extortion and pain of all animals or towards a ruined world. Grouping everyone together rather than again helping people make good balanced choices about where they source their food.
I love food – I love the social aspect of it and the sharing of it and it feels to me as though we are in a world where that is no longer really enjoyed. Rather that every ingredient is dissected and judged lest it not meet approval. Beware of the dinner party you cook for the list of what people will and will not eat could be mind boggling!.. and to be perhaps really controversial I don’t want the calories of every choice laid out for me in certain coffee shops – if I am buying cake and a milky coffee I am aware that it is not ‘slimming’.
So I guess what I am looking for is a way in which we can enjoy food again. We can choose what we eat and have a balanced and healthy approach with clear and consistent guidelines. Where we don’t have regular reminders from salt / sugar / protein police and people telling us over cooked potatoes could be toxic… to find a way in which we can #justeatnormal again …..