Ever since I began to educate myself on nutrition and apply it to my life, I have struggled to classify the way I eat for the rest of the world.
I’ve never wanted to be a vegetarian or vegan, for better or worse – I know that having the freedom to eat what I choose is healthiest for me. I generally consider myself a flexitarian, but that isn’t much of a universally recognized term (outside this community, of course).
A few months ago, I met someone new, and (surprise), we got onto the topic of food. After stumbling through an explanation that I’m not vegan, but much of the food I eat falls within the realm of veganism, but I still eat some dairy and fish, and I’ll also try pretty much anything once, I was feeling frustratingly long-winded. But then, my conversation partner responded, “Oh, so, you eat clean.”
I’m not sure I can proclaim to the next person I meet that “clean” is my culinary category. But the term has stuck with me – it seems appropriate.
Recently I have been learning more about the food industry in this country, and I’m becoming aware that clean is not as simple as it should be. I’d like to do further research on this, and I plan to see Food Inc. as a start this weekend.
I have to admit that in the past, my approach to food was often vanity-based. Somewhere along the way, and it has certainly been happening slowly, I’ve turned away from the mirror and instead thought about food as what it is: energy. Energy for the mind through flavor, energy for the body through proper nutrition, energy for a long life through vitamins and minerals.
As I focus more on health and less on calories, I continue to wish that healthy food was more mainstream. The food industry is peppered with misguided information, hidden agendas, and countless loopholes, all of which can make health chaotic and confusing.
Before losing all faith, however, I have to be grateful to have taken steps forward from where I was a few years ago. Eating “clean” began as a personal choice for me. If a focus on nutrition ever becomes the norm, I believe it has to begin with individual journeys.
As I type this, I am munching on the most delicious black velvet apricot, and I have to wonder: what processed food could ever taste this good?
Do you classify the way you eat? Has your eating style changed over time?