You Are What You Eat... Or Are You?

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Sometimes people ask me “So, What Are You?” when it comes to how I eat. It’s a question that I don’t like to answer, because I know the expected answer is to say “I’m a vegetarian” or “I eat Paleo” but the truth is much more complex than all that. Because I’m a human! (A hungry human!)

I’ve been around the nutrition block, so to speak, and so I’ve had a lot of food identities, from “Low Fat” to “Low Carb” to “Everything in Moderation” and a bunch of others. For a long time I felt that I needed to have a label to structure and justify why I ate the way I did.

There are foods I don’t eat (most of the time), because I don’t digest them well and that makes me feel crappy. One of them is cow’s dairy. For some reason that often results in people assuming I don’t eat eggs, or that I’m vegan. (For the record, I love the vegans, many of my close friends are vegan. I’m not though) A lot of confusion ensues from those conversations!

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These days I’m pretty tired of the nutrition identity scene. For one thing, I never applied myself 100% to any of those labels. I’m an individual and I like doing my own thing. So no matter what the rules were, I always modified them to suit my needs.

When you have a food identity, the identity tells you how to eat. This is a big problem if you want to eat in a way that involves listening to your body. It interrupts the mind body connection. Are you hungry? Bummer, because your low fat diet says you don’t get any more food today. Craving some avocados? That’s too bad, you’re on a low fat diet and you only get X grams of fat per day. Oftentimes, just learning to eat more slowly is the ‘solution’ to overeating. Countering overeating with under-eating is a bit counterintuitive - not to mention just plain mean (what about hunger!?).

I don’t want to have one food identity anymore. I’m tired of cycling through different ‘ways’ of eating - even the healthy ones. Because it’s not all bad, or based on unfounded nutrition science. It’s just that being able to eat mindfully and intuitive is very important to me. I want to be me, and to eat food that tastes good and is good for my body.  

And so I’ve become “Vanessa Who Eats Really Good Food”. Or, for those who do prefer labels, I’m a “Mindful intuitive chocoholic flexitarian” (and that will likely change in the future). These days I eat about three or four times a day, which usually consists of a big breakfast, lunch, maybe a snack and then dinner. I like having lighter dinners, so I often eat vegetarian meals later in the day. My main protein sources are fish, eggs and plant based proteins. I eat on a consistent schedule most days, but I also eat when I’m hungry. I like really good coffee and dark chocolate and I have both pretty much every day.

Should you eat like this too? I have no idea. But I can help you find out! LINK TO CONTACT  PAGE!

Vanessa VellaComment