Boy, have my views come a long way since I started this blog. I remember the day I posted on my Facebook page, “If I ever become a vegetarian, please shoot me.” And I really meant it. Of course, now that I’m much closer to being totally vegan, times sure have changed.
Of course, it would be absolutely cringingly embarrassing if I didn’t wholly believe that we are all just “in progress” as people. But now I’ve totally changed my tune…or am at least am changing my tune. And I just wanted to get one glaring thought I’ve learned on my journey:
Food should not be exalted.
There I said it. See, when we get so much pleasure out of food, it becomes this thing. This place for comfort, for solace, for activity. For love. For assurance. For acceptance. For all the things we should get from ourselves instead.
I know there’s a lot of people out there who already like…get this message. Those types of people who didn’t grow up to have these kinds of actual issues. Those people you hate with really good metabolisms or just a complete lack of interest in food. I never understood those people, ya know? Because their natural, different physiology is a sort of an advantage. Because while I had always been proud of my literal obsession with food, I was at the same time jealous of their complete disinterest in the subject.
I’d wished I could avoid my cravings. They are so overpowering. But when you get a craving and go to satisfy it with a food, there’s an inner sense of, “Yes, I need this. This is good for me. I’m taking care of myself.”
But then when you’re done eating, you know you actually weren’t taking care of yourself at all. Because if you were, you’d be happy and satisfied after.
And I’ve never felt that way AFTER eating a bag of Doritos and a container of Oreos. Not once! During, yes, of course. But never after.
How to Eat Sensibly
So the message I’ve learned while eating no salt, sugar or oil is just this: When you eat a nutritionally-dense, plant-based meal in its unprocessed, natural state, you always appreciate the taste at the beginning if you’re truly hungry. It’s amazing. But then, after about 6-10 bites in, you’re like, “Meh. I could go without this.” That’s what amazes me every time.
Like, this week, I had my Vegetable Lasagna dish, and warmed it up all week as leftovers. Every single time I ate it, the first bite was absolute heaven! I was like “YESSSS!!! I love you, Little Lasagna…”
But what was so cool was that by the time I was full, I always ended up being like, “Blah. I don’t want any more…” towards the end until I just pushed the plate away from me, totally disinterested.
Acting exactly as I’ve always wanted to act, but never could.
Because processed food isn’t just the food itself. Doritos aren’t just the tortilla chip. It’s salt, oil and artificial flavor enhancers. You’re not craving the chip part, you’re craving the other stuff. Even if you just crave tortilla chips, it’s not the tortilla you crave…it’s the salt and the oil. These things are great! Of course they taste amazing. That’s why the companies can sell so many of them. Because you are hooked!
Betcha can’t eat just one.
So that’s why it’s important to get used to the idea of eating the foods themselves, rather than making them taste another way with salt, oil and sugar.
Eat the stirfry. But water saute instead of using oil. And don’t season it with soy sauce, fish sauce or any other flavor enhancer. Just make the food itself. Get used to the taste of the vegetables and your tastebuds will get used to the actual correct amount you should eat. You will get actually hungry for sustenance, rather than “hungry” for the taste.
You will stop eating when you’re supposed to and have had enough. What a novel concept!
Why Should You WANT to Eat Like This?
Because if you are eating natural, plant-based foods, minus the junk vegan/vegetarian stuff, you are certainly getting a lot of nutrients. And if you get a lot of nutrients in this way, you will be at an ideal weight.
Ideal Weight + Nutrients/Fiber = Longevity
That’s what life should be about! More time with your loved ones. More energy. More contentment.
I came across another Nutritarian’s food blog today and realized that she had had the same epiphany as me, only much earlier than me (she’s been blogging for 5 years, me only 3). She wrote it absolutely perfectly. It’s inspiring to me, so I’m gonna post it here. On her change of interest in food and blogging:
It’s not a bad thing and I think I’m mostly okay with it. It’s just that when you don’t put salt, sugar or oil in your food, and you stop eating flour, suddenly you are left with what real food actually tastes like, not some suped-up, hyper-palatable, calorie dense, manufactured version of food. In general, I just feel far less “obsessed” with food, which for someone who is a self-diagnosed food/recipe/eating compulsive, that’s a really, really good thing. Perhaps it has to do with my far more stable brain chemistry and blood sugar level? But what the heck do I know, I’m not a doctor.
Wendy hit the nail right on the head there. I hope it at least resonates with you in some way like it does for me.