I think it’s good to change your diet. Like clothing styles, friendships, your job, eating is serious stuff, and should be taken lightly**, it’s not etched in stone and probably originates in some fashion from long traditions and habits. It’s complicated, it’s not complicated. If you want to stay current, relevant, and keep things fresh, change and evolution is a good thing. I’m not talking about week-to-week fad diets, rather thoughtful diet changes.
Whenever I’m talking about food…which is very often, what kind of eater I am comes up the majority of the time. Figuring out how someone eats is one of those standard questions people talk about, like the weather or occupations…and most of the time you don’t really care, but you ask anyway.
This is an example of a standard conversation:
Me: Yeah, I had this great seitan sandwich at Salt.
Person: Oh, are you vegetarian?
Me: (pause…pause mostly because I’m struggling with myself to figure out how to explain myself, and then restruggling with myself because I think, this person doesn’t care. I don’t care, how can I talk about this? The fact that I’m struggling so much adds to the absurdity of myself and the situation. Bam, in the span of about a synapse, but what feels like eternity, I say,) Well…
Person: Oh…are you a flexitarian?
Me: (Struggle ridiculous struggle ridiculous struggle) Um…well…
I’ve learned that clearly I have struggles with my brain. I’ve also learned that like ethnicity, when given the opportunity to actually talk about who they are, or what they eat, people have a lot more to say than, “I eat meat” or, “I’m a vegetarian.” I think that’s good. Humans just like boxes to put things in…biological stereotypes have helped us live all these years. That those biological stereotypes gave way to cultural stereotypes, well, who saw that coming?
Hopefully we will all live a long time, and as the years go by, who’s to say we’ll have the same diet one year or decade to the next? I’ve had people tell me they were vegetarian for 8 years, 20 years, one year, or, they’re learning to eat vegan because of health concerns. People started eating fish, stopped eating gluten.
I mean, hell, the food “pyramid” has changed.
The other thing I noticed is that, when given the opportunity to talk about their eating habits, people had a lot of guilt associated with the diet change. Though I struggle internally a lot and about a lot of things, I can say without struggle, I am DONE with the feelings of guilt associated with incorporating more things back into my diet. I encourage everyone to do the same*. Used to be vegetarian, but now you eat meat? Fine. Used to only eat raw, but had to give it up for whatever reason, that’s okay.
It’s okay to change your diet.
The ability to even change our diets and then have this guilt on our chests like the horla, this smelly rancid guilt coming out of our pores like a vegetarian might after eating meat for the first time in four years, due to changing our diet is definitely a First World Problem I say we can do without. So, eat up!
* I thought I could do it, I thought I could write a whole post without an asterisk. Well, I can’t OKAY? I had to say, incorporate more food into your diets (let me climb on this little soap box right here…that’s better), just don’t eat at McDonalds or places of that ilk. NO ONE needs that except maybe professional athletes…don’t eat there unless you’re getting a frosty or an ice cream cone made from powder.
**Want to try something funny? (Requires a Twitter account) Tweet about genetically modified food and ask a simple question, or even state something you believe about GMO foods and you’ll get a BARRAGE of folks that take themselves VERY seriously and DO NOT joke about food, at all. It’s funny. (Do this on a day when you need a self-esteem boost too because you’ll also pick up at least 3 new followers…and if you don’t…I’m sorry I just made you feel worse.)