Look at these two dishes up there. Both made by me, both vegan, both completely guilt free.
We know the term “guilt free”, when it comes to food generally means sugar free, fat free or low fat, low carb or maybe even gluten free.
But that's not what my meals mean at all. All my meals are high carb, I'm in no way afraid of gluten - and I don't have celiac disease so I have no reason to be - they have natural sugar for sure from all the fruit - so technically everyone should feel guilty for eating anything I consume, right?
I don't like any of those terms or the fact that "guilt free" is is making people actually feel guilty about eating completely normal foods that you generally should not ever feel guilty eating. I mean come on, sure we shouldn't be downing tons of refined sugar, but "Low Carb" and "Gluten Free" is definitely not my style and I will never feel guilty about it ever again.
So should you be made to feel guilty about what you eat? Honestly, I think it depends.
Food is food. It fuels you, it helps you do everything that you need to do, it heals you and grows you and it is the most important part of living, isn’t it? No food = no life.
When you learn about how food works, and how it reacts in your body, what good and bad it can do for you, that affects how you see food. We know that no two foods are equal – 100g of rice is not the same as 100g of bread which isn't the same as 100g of potatoes, but they're all sources of carbohydrates, which we need!
The same way 100g of dark chocolate is not the same as 100g of milk chocolate which isn't the same as 100g of white chocolate. They're all treats, and they're all chocolate. But they are not equal.
And also remember, this also means that calories are not all made equal either.
I know most people think we shouldn’t ever feel guilty when eating something. That makes us categorise food into “bad food” and "good food" and no food should be labeled “bad”. I did believe this, but I've changed my mind. There are bad foods, but what's a bad food to me might not be bad to you.
This is my experience and opinion when it comes to feeling guilty eating food. If you are intolerant or allergic to a food item OR if you have a condition that requires you not to eat something - you better start feeling guilty if you're still eating it!
For years I have had issues with certain foods. These were not issues I came up with in my head, these were issues my body already had with certain foods. What does that mean? It means I am sensitive to lactose. Not enough to be lactose intolerant, and definitely not enough to make me think it was a real problem until recently when it got much worse.
From the time I was about 13 I remember getting an upset stomach if I had cereal with milk, a milky drink, something filled with cheese or even if I had a lot of cream. As I got older, it got worse. It wasn’t just an upset tummy anymore, It was multiple trips to the bathroom, bloating, full on stomach aches. None of that was fun.
After a while I knew how much it takes to hurt me. I asked myself whether I should eat it and for some reason, I always said yes - it was worth it...right? So I ate it and got everything that came with it. Sometimes I would start feeling guilty when I took my first few bites but always played it off because a few hours to a couple of days of feeling like crap is "not that bad"
And then my body reacted and I regretted it. Sometimes I didn’t care, sometimes I got so angry with myself. Why do this to myself. Especially when I had a Magnum (i loved the ones with almonds) after dinner and then couldn’t get a good nights sleep.
It was only within the last year that I started cutting back on dairy products – and now I’m completely dairy free since I’ve become a vegan. But back then, should I have felt guilty having dairy? HELL YES.
It was terrible for my body. It affected the way I felt physically, emotionally, it had power over me to change whether or not I could workout or have a proper nights sleep. Was that really with the 5-10 minutes of “happiness” when I had whatever food it was?
Sometimes I look back and realized the only reason why I felt guity was because I knew exactly what was coming. I knew I shouldn’t be having it, yet I did.
We only feel guilt when we are doing something we know we shouldn’t.
And when it's justified, why shouldn't we say that it's a bad food. If what you’re about to consume does not do your body good, and by that I mean it makes you sick, it changes your mood and affects your health negatively, then hell yes feel guilty.
This applies to any food. Whether it’s dairy like me, or sugar or tomatoes or dates or rice or meat. If there is a food, any food at all, that you body reacts negatively to, don’t say that this is completely okay, It's a bad food, and you should feel guilty if you still want to put it into your body.
This does not automatically mean gluten or carbs or dairy or meat or anything else is bad for you just because someone else said so. Even though I'm vegan, dont just take it 100% from me without doing your own research. You need to decide how to eat for yourself, so do your own research, find out where your food comes from and how it reacts in your body then decide how you want to eat for the rest of your life - remember how you eat is not just a diet, it's a lifestyle.
Don't ever start a new lifestyle just because someone else is doing it.
Know exactly why you made this choice.
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