The V Word

16 Aug

Hey everyone! How do you like the blog’s new look? She’s a little more professional now 🙂 I also updated my About Me tab, so check it out!

Mama Pea recently wrote about a topic I’ve been wanting to address on my blog. I hate labels- especially labels that confine people into dietary categories. I am very familiar with being labelled because I consumed an almost entirely plant-based diet for about three years (otherwise labelled as vegan). I hated uttering those words “I’m vegan”, but it seemed like the shortest, easiest way to explain why I wasn’t digging in to the chicken wings and cheesy casserole. I hated saying those words because it usually provoked the other person to begin listing, in question form, all of the things I can’t eat. “So you can’t have cheese pizza? So you can’t have chicken? So you can’t eat cookies made with butter and eggs?” I can eat whatever I want, I just choose not to eat certain things. This choice is based on many things- health, disease prevention, the horrific practices of conventional factory farming, etc. I thoroughly educated myself on the topic, and through that process I lost the desire to consume animal products. I have continued to educate myself on all things food and I constantly reassess my diet and how the food I eat makes me feel. Recently, I’ve added a few animal products back into my diet- namely fish, goat cheese, and yogurt. I’ve found a style of eating that works for me.

Nutrition is a very individual thing and it makes me cringe when I talk to people that are “enduring” a certain way of eating because of a friend’s diet, a diet book they read, or a celebrity they want to be like. When I would have the “vegan talk” with people, many of them would praise me for my perseverance- like I was stronger than they were because I was sticking to a diet. You should not force yourself to eat a vegan or vegetarian diet (or any diet, for that matter) if it doesn’t fit with your lifestyle or doesn’t work with your body. I was not “enduring” anything, I was simply eating in a way that made me feel healthy and energetic and even though I’ve made a few dietary changes, I am still eating in a way that makes me feel healthy and energetic! THERE IS NO ONE SIZE FITS ALL DIET! Healthy eating can mean many different things for many different people.

I hate labels because they force unnecessary “rules” upon us. Once I was labelled, the freshly caught fish was off-limits to me on vacation, Grandma’s egg noodles were prohibited, and homemade chocolate chip cookies made with butter and eggs were banned. I looove food and I looove unique food experiences, so eventually I stopped using the “v” word. I was FREEEEE! I still eat a plant-based diet, BUT if I am presented with a wonderful food opportunity that happens to contain animal products, you better believe I’m going to take advantage of it and enjoy it and no “label” is going to hold me back.

Life is too precious and too short to pass up enjoyable opportunities because we are trying to fit into a labelled box full of rules and restrictions. The food we eat does not define us. Food is just food. Be proud of who you are, enjoy your life, and eat in a way that makes you feel healthy and happy!

That is all. I’ll be back tomorrow with a fun food post. Thanks for reading 🙂

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3 Responses to “The V Word”

  1. Mama Pea August 16, 2010 at 9:41 pm #

    I think you said what I was trying to say more eloquently than I ever could. I’m not ashamed to live a vegan lifestyle, I just don’t want to pigeonhole myself or have other people do the same. This was such a beautiful, intelligent post. Thank you!

    • kayli (Running On Sunshine) August 17, 2010 at 9:08 pm #

      This comment is the ultimate compliment. I have such admiration for your witty, intelligent writing and the philosophy with which you raise your children. Those two little cuties melt my heart every time I read your blog. You are setting a great example for them and for all of your readers- the food you eat does not define who you are and is not the source of your happiness. Thank you for this comment, it made my day!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Animal-Free (or not) Cookies « Running on Sunshine - August 17, 2010

    […] Aug I don’t like to put labels on myself or others, but I have no problem labeling my cookies but even that label is […]

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