Let me rephrase:
Your diet shouldn’t be complicated.
Let’s start with this: What do all the current fad diets have in common?
SO MANY RULES
Now, you may be thinking that I’m a bit of a hypocrite for suggesting this when I’m a vegan myself. Let me take a moment to convince you otherwise.
I don’t see veganism as a fad diet; I see it as a well-balanced, ethical way of eating. Still not persuaded? Let’s take a look at what I eat in a day:
I like to start the morning off with granola, in some way or another, and fruits. What kind of fruits? you may ask. And to that, my response is IT DOESN’T MATTER!
Should I eat only berries? There’s this misconception that because fruits have natural sugars and carbs, you shouldn’t eat them… or at least you should avoid certain fruits. I’m here to tell you: bananas are not the devil!
Might I shock you more: my go-to dinner food is avocado toast. Carbs and fats before bed?! Shocker!
I want to tell my story because I realize I haven’t shared it yet on this blog.
I’ve always had this magical, goal weight number that has lingered in my head since early high school. It wasn’t until I was 30 pounds above this number that I really put my foot down.
Here’s the thing— I’d tried all the fad diets that are marketed on account of being “easy.” You’ve heard it; you’re bombarded with it all over social media:
Try the Keto diet— it’s so easy because you can still eat a ton of super processed, dead animals! yata yata yata… Okay, maybe it’s not talked about in quite those terms, but you get the point.
I tried all of the fad diets and had no success. I’d eat ALL the meats for a week, and come the weekend, I’d binge on loaves of bread because I just missed carbs so much. (Literally loaves of bread… If you’re craving plain loaves of bread, you know something is wrong).
Finally, after only being able to lose about 5 pounds in total, fluctuating constantly, and much frustration, I decided to take a different approach…
I wanted to eat simple, sustainable, and healthy. I thought about it: I love veggies. I love fruits. I love beans, potatoes, and bread. Why try to stick to a strict diet, where I was constantly having to research what I was “allowed” to eat? (If you’re having to research what you can and can’t eat, it’s not “easy”). Why not keep it simple, eat foods that are made by plants, and see if this made a difference? It’s intuitive.
Today, I am down 32-34 pounds (range accounts for natural fluctuations). I’m below my goal weight— the goal I’d set but had been unable to achieve since high school. I eat all the fruits, all the carbs, sugars, fats, protein, etc… I eat it all. And I’m not constantly having to research what I’m allowed to eat because it’s simple. Does it come from plants? If the answer is yes, then it’s a yes for me.
Here’s the thing: When you’re allowing your body such diverse choice in food… When your body is getting all the nutrients it needs, there is no need to binge or “cheat.” I want non-dairy ice cream? I eat non-dairy ice cream. Never have I been tempted to go “binge” on meat; my body has realized it doesn’t need it.
I don’t mean to brag here, but my energy is increased, I’m less depressed, I’m less bloated. Best of all, I’m not following some strict, crazy, regimen. My body isn’t deficient in a certain food type. I’m no longer constantly fighting with my body— no longer having to tell it “No, we aren’t allowed to eat that.”
This is not a ploy to turn anyone vegan. I totally respect your right to consume meat. I am hoping that the takeaway from this will be the power of releasing yourself from the strict, harmful way many think about food. Heal your relationship with food. Don’t make something as simple as eating complicated! Enjoy simple, whole foods, and see the difference it makes. Give your body what it asks for: give it sugar, give it fats, give it carbs. Your body is smart, and if it’s begging for a certain food, odds are, your strict eating parameters are causing you to be deficient in something your body wants. Become a friend to your body instead of treating it like an enemy that you’re always telling “no.” When you love her, you’ll see what a difference it makes when she returns this love.
*Disclaimer: I am not a licensed nutritionist. All opinions stated above are just that— opinions, based on my own experience and journey to caring for my body.