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I just returned from a short weekend getaway and rediscovered the full, uninhibited joy of experiencing a far-away town, not so much because it was a new place (we’ve been there many times in the past) but more because I liberated my food choices to all those I wanted to taste and not be restricted to just those dictated by some “diet.”
This reminds me of the terrible restriction I used to endure on vacation while eating some specific diet that’s based less on free-will and free-living and more on conspicuous intellect and rightuous arrogance.
You know those diets: low-carb this, high-protein that, unheated fats only, no saturated fats, fibrous-carbs only after 3pm, or a series of trademarked “lifestyle diets” like those of the Atkins, Zone, Pritikin, or (gasp) Paleo.
No, I’m not here to say those diets suck, but I will say that they make your life suck. I’m also not here to say that you should eat Twinkies and cupcakes, but I will say that once in a while a home-made pastry made by Roberta from Rome may not add years to your life but it certainly won’t take any away — and arguably it adds life to your years.
You already know that I promote smarter food choices to include mostly whole, real food that’s minimally processed. In this post, though, I’m making it clear (if previous posts have not) that I also love food far from whole and deemed by food militants as “not real.”
I don’t promote the concept of healthy food or unhealthy food. I promote a healthy relationship with food, because the healthy relationship itself is what keeps us healthy. It keeps our eating habit healthy.
The moment we categorize food as good or bad, real or fake, is the moment we relinquish our own power and settle for eating choices based on fear. How on earth have we become so fearful of food?
Far better is that we have some idea of the caloric value (and potential) of the food we choose to enjoy. This way, we’ll have power over how much of it we let enter our mouth, because in the end it is the dose that determines the poison.
The act of putting skim milk into our coffee when what we love is real cream becomes self-defeating, not because of the caloric difference (which, from a day’s worth, is nearly insignificant) but because we put the power into the food item itself.
Instead, the power ought to be ours — the power to chose to eat, how much to eat, and when to eat, no matter the form of food.
There’s no power in avoidance of food. Food should not have the power to dictate our choices.
There’s power in eating what we want, when we want, and with whomever we want. There’s also power in saying enough. And there’s ultimate power in not eating when we don’t need to.
Intermittent fasting. Take back our power to eat when we chose to.