What if you didn’t need to call yourself a vegan or follow the keto diet or even decide if you’re one or the other? Some people find joy or identity in a dietary label but for many others, it’s confusing or stressful. You start by making a declaration of a preferred diet plan then inevitably when you eat something off that plan you feel like a failure or make it mean something about yourself that’s negative and untrue.
What if you didn’t have to feel that way? I’d like to offer that you don’t have to claim a label. The best diet is the one that’s right for you. You can’t fail at food. You simply eat food and move on.
You don’t have to attach yourself to a diet label to be healthy. When people ask me what I eat or what diet I subscribe to I simply say, “food.” It drives people bonkers when I don’t explain how I eat or why because everyone is seeking the elusive answer to the question, “what’s the healthiest diet?” and they assume I have the answer.
I was once the person seeking that perfect label. I even went to a plant-based culinary school where we studied Ayurveda, Macrobiotics, Raw Foods, and more. As I immersed myself in each modality I realized they were all conflicting. That’s when I learned that different things work for different people. What works for me might not work for you.
After food and health coaching for five years, I can confidently say that I’ve seen this in action. Some people do really well eating certain ways and others thrive on something different. There’s no best way, just your way.
I navigate what I eat based on my own personal experimentation of trying different things and learning more about my body. I may have a paleo breakfast, a vegan lunch and a pescatarian dinner. I’m all of the things and simultaneously none of them. I’m free to choose what’s best for me.
Some people call this intuitive eating. This requires connecting to your intuition and learning to navigate the difference between what serves your highest self and what’s just an urge created by your brain, which is something we teach our clients.
When it comes to navigating what’s best for you, there can be a lot of grey areas, and that’s OK. Learning how to plan and experiment is a skill that requires practice and learning how to deal with your all of your emotional stuff.
When you stop making your diet mean anything about you then you’ll only choose a label if you want it, not because it makes you feel any which way about yourself. Or, you may just decide to “eat food.”