My Food Manifesto
I want you to take a long and hard look at your relationship with your food. I'm sure the food itself that you are eating is healthy, but how about the way the engagement is approached? I am asking you to do this because I recently did it myself. Here is how to went down:
Whenever I am feeling stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed I have a series of steps that I walk myself through. The first step is to identify the object or situation that is directly corollated with the my negative emotional response (not necessarily the causation --that shit goes deep). In step two, I close my eyes and focus on the identified thingamajig. From here I take the subject of distress, visualize it being detached from the rest of my collective thoughts. When whatever I was freaking out about is not longer stuck to the rest of my thoughts, it's a lot easier to see it for what it really is. Kind of like shining a flashlight under the bed instead of just lying there imaging the monster's slimy tentacles reaching for you from all sides. And once it has become a separate entity unto it's own, I can further deconstruct it if need be. As obscure as this process may seem, it works like a charm for me. And, since I can attest to it's effectiveness on myself, I adapt it to other situations in my life that require a bit of revision.
Let's get back to the food part.
It started as a tickle. A little itch somewhere in my brain that I couldn't quite scratch. I wont get into the specifics, as a lot of it is personal, but things just didn't quite appear as they seemed anymore. I used my well-tuned technique for addressing stressors and applied it to my understanding and particular tenets around food. Basically, this led me down a road to reevaluating a few areas of my life, particularly revolving around my food choices, the recommendations I have made, and the reasonings behind them. This process kicked the shit out of me like I lost a title fight that happened to be against a rabid pit bull. After I licked my wounds and repeatedly questioned how I got myself into such a ridiculous situation, I came out the other end with a ton of clarity. An ego that superseded self-righteousness with perspicuity for how much I don't know and have to learn. Vague, right? Here are some words to break it all down:
No dieting, No detoxing, & certainly no dogmas.
A simplified approach to food served without a side of ego.
- Never eat with a side of shame for your choices.
- Never shame or judge others based on their food choices.
- Never impose on or preach your diet on to others.
- Don’t be pressured to spend more on food than you can afford. Heath should not be defined by privilege.
- Eat mostly vegetables (duh).
- Animal products are beneficial because we are an omnivorous species.
- Eat grains and moderate sugar because glucose is an important fuel system.
- Avoid click-bait articles and snake oil salespeople who promote misinformation and claims that their diets are ‘cures’ for all that ails you.
- Don't buy into the wellness hype.
- Learn to cook a few simple recipes. Cooking from home is a valuable tool in your own sovereignty and a key component to health.
- Support local restaurants and food vendors. These people dedicated their entire lives, free-time and capital to serve and prepare delicious food. It is their art, passion and life's work.
- When you can, support farmers and growers in your area. This is your community and your local economy.
- Support fair trade when affordable. The lives of farmers and labourers around the world are valuable.
- Enjoy produce at it's seasonal peak for maximum flavour and value.
- Take pleasure in every aspect of your food.
I understand that these recommendations come from a place of privilege for my ability to make these specific points a priority. I cannot stress more the importance of buying what you can afford and never feeling ashamed for the choices you make for yourself and your family. For those of us that live in a world where we don't feel the direct effects of violence, neglect, poverty, and drug addictions -or just want to be able to make it to the end of the week alive- approach these recommendations with the understanding that you are in a position far more advantaged that a sizeable chunck of the world's population.