I had the pleasure of spending time with friends over the past weekend. Every January we get together in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State. I'm a breast cancer survivor and one of our friends has multiple sclerosis. Both of us eat a plant based diet for health reasons. He made the switch when he was diagnosed ten years ago and the progression of his disease has been very very slow.
Over the weekend there were several discussions about what we choose to eat. The one thing I observed is that a lot of people look at it as though we are depriving ourselves of something. We are depriving ourselves by not eating meat, eggs, cheese and other animal based foods. I don't look at it as deprivation. Food by definition is any nourishing substance that is eaten, drunk, or otherwise taken into the body to sustain life, provide energy, promote growth, etc.
I think what has happened here in the United States is that we look at food more as something we do for pleasure and want to get some kind of pleasurable experience out of food. I'll admit it has been true for me over the years. I love food, love to eat and overindulge sometimes. I think it would be better if we went back to looking at food for what it is really supposed to be.
Food can still be quite pleasurable and good even when you're eating a whole foods plant based diet. And, I'm not saying it can't be but I feel we've gotten away from food being for the nourishment and sustainability of our bodies, to promote health and to give us energy. I definitely think we have lost sight of that. I want to encourage you to take some time and think about it.
It can be hard to make the best food choices all the time. I struggle with it myself. Sometimes I don't choose the right foods, especially when I'm eating out. Are the less healthy choices satisfying, do I feel good after I ate them, is the indulgence worth it? Not really. I'm not saying you should never eat something you really want. Have the piece of cake. Eat a steak if you really want one. Just do your best to make the good food choices day in and day out and only stray once in a while.
It's not about deprivation. It's about eating and choosing foods that are going to promote good health and help sustain your body. Eating foods that may prevent or even reverse disease. Once you've faced something like cancer it's easier to make a conscious effort to change your lifestyle. Healthy nutrition is a choice.
Choose what's best for you! Make an intentional decision to better support you and your health. I want to inspire you to think about food differently and for you to look at a whole foods plant based diet as a positive thing and not as deprivation. It doesn't matter what other people think. Do it for yourself!
If you want to be more active, feel better, lose weight and get off medication(s), good for you. Awesome! I want to encourage you and I hope that your family and friends will do the same. If you're trying to make a difference in your life in a positive, natural way you should be applauded!
Food can still be pleasurable. You can still get a lot of enjoyment out of it even though it's plant based. It's a great way to promote your overall health and wellness. It's for nourishment and energy and sustaining life. I'm going to do a better job of making the right choices. I hope you'll join me!