June 29th, 2016
“What diet do you follow?” Probably the most frequent question I hear when it comes to the way I have changed [my eating habits].
Did you know that if you search the internet for “lists of diets”, Wikipedia will give you an incomplete list of about 157 different pages of ‘diets’ ranging from the Watermelon Diet (which is exactly what is sounds like) to a Gluten-Free diet? No? I didn’t either until about 2.5 seconds ago.
Wikipedia’s list contains 7 categories each with their own lists beyond that: Belief-based diets (Kosher), vegetarian diets (includes semi-vegetarian), weight control diets (low-calorie, very low calorie, low-carb and low-fat), crash diets (the Subway diet is included here), detox diets (juicing), diets followed for medical reasons (strict avoidance due to food allergy falls under this category), and other diets (food combining, clean eating, and paleo are listed here). Crazy right? In reality, new diets and theories about ways to lose or gain weight are being developed every single day.
So why am I rambling on about all of this?
Well let me first point out that I really don’t like the word diet. Unless of course it is being used to describe something like said Watermelon Diet – because let’s be honest, there is no way that should be considered a lifestyle, it is truly a diet. But when it comes to every day healthy living, being vegan, gluten-free, paleo, the list goes on – these are generally more about a way of life, a lifestyle instead of a ‘diet’ per se.
So when people ask “what diet I follow” or “what I am”, I tend to pause or hesitate in my response. It kind of reminds of me of the dreaded DTR, you know, “define the relationship”. My relationship with food that is.
If you’ve gotten the chance to check out some of my recipes at Healthy A La Mode, you’ll quickly notice many are noted as gluten-free, vegan, and so forth.
So am I gluten-free? Sure, sometimes.
Vegan? Why not.
But isn’t your favorite food ice cream..? Oh yeah!
Are you confused yet? Yes? Well that’s ok, so am I.
I didn’t always have a healthy relationship with food. Fact is, sometimes I still don’t. But I have learned one extremely important thing when it comes to my nutrition: balance. While I don’t have celiac disease or lactose intolerance, I have seen and felt the effects when I eat certain foods over others. Or when I choose not to eat certain things. While I grew up with eggs being one of my favorite foods, I have since recognized that limiting whey protein tends to make me feel better overall. And while wheat hasn’t had adverse affects on my body, I love the lack of “wheat belly” I’ve noticed when I do consume more of it. I have constantly told people that it’s crazy how things like processed foods begin to taste different after you have begun to eat healthier, and it’s never been more true for me.
So to answer the original question, what diet do I follow? Well I can honestly say I am no longer one who follows a diet, but instead I choose a healthy lifestyle, which to me means so much more. I believe raw, wholesome ingredients are best. I try to buy items with less than 5 ingredients, but if it has more you better bet I should be able to pronounce all of them and know what they are. I am no where near close to perfect, sometimes I eat out and there are occasions I eat poorly. But if I am cooking, my kitchen should be producing only the best, no artificial flavors or sweeteners. Each and every day I am learning. And at the end of the day, cooking and baking with – gluten-free, vegan or even paleo in mind – are more fun for me than anything! I always love a good challenge ;)
So Wikipedia, I’d like you to add a category. Because I fall under Healthy Lifestyle.
Please note: I am not a registered dietitian or doctor. As such, this blog is not intended as medical advice. My posts are strictly based on my own research as well as personal experience. You should always consult a doctor before making any changes to your diet and exercise routine. You are ultimately responsible for your own health.