I’m pretty transparent about what I eat and drink. I work hard every single day to eat food that fits within my needs yet still tastes great. If you follow me on Instagram, you know my favorite fella recently surprised me with donuts from Babycakes NYC, a gluten-free, vegan bakery. And on the same day that I had a donut (and shared donuts with friends), I also had onion rings and French fries.
And then the fur started flying. Snarky comments were made about my “healthy” choices. A few folks even chose to unfollow/unfriend me on various social media outlets, but first they took the time to let me know why, that I was sliding down a “very unhealthy slope” with my choices, that I was setting a bad example for those who look up to me, those who seek out cooking advice and lifestyle information from my blog and my classes. I was so unsure on what to do with ugly comments left on photos. I ended up deleting them where I could. No time to respond at length to those comments, I was at a conference learning more about how to be healthy while living with Celiac disease. Ironic, huh?
So here’s the deal…I eat in the way that I feel is most healthy FOR ME. You choose what is healthy FOR YOU.
For several years now I have stuck by my “One Sweet a Week” plan, indulging in one sweet treat a week. I think that’s pretty healthy in comparison to my old way of eating when all I cared about was the calorie content…which allowed me to have a donut every single day if I chose to. Now I am focused on overall nutrient density and have even remodeled my favorite sweets to contain ingredients that are more healthy for me. And fried food? Well, as I mentioned here, it had been three years since I last had an onion ring.
It’s not the way I eat every single day AND it was healthy for me to go somewhere that permitted me to have “normal” food with other ladies who eat like I do. And when an opportunity presented itself the next day to have a kale/cucumber/ginger juice, I took it. Then I had gluten-free, dairy-free beignets that night, knowing I would balance out my choices upon my return home. I also brought home the leftover donuts and stuck them in the freezer for a rainy day…or a sunny day…or a week coming up when I didn’t want to bake my own sweet treat.
For folks like me with medically-necessary dietary restrictions, those indulgent foods aren’t always available. I can’t easily have gluten-free donuts, beignets or onion rings where I live. I refuse to believe that all of my healthy actions leading up to this indulgence are going to be undone by a donut, an order of rings and some beignets. I’m making choices with my health in mind, not your idea of what is healthy.
My point in all of this: we are not bio-identical. Not just you and me, but our neighbors, our friends and our family members. What is healthiest for me might not work for you. And vice versa. I am making food choices every single day that benefit my health based on my needs, my health challenges. I’m not going to criticize you for eating gluten. But if you decide gluten-free is the way for you, I’m here to help. I’m also not going to criticize you for eating meat, even though it’s my choice not to and I’ve got plenty of Meatless Monday ideas to share. And if you want to have a cupcake, I’m not going to question your commitment to being healthy. I’m sure not going to leave judgy comments on your Facebook page telling you that you are a disgrace calling yourself a healthy eater.
In return, I would like to ask that you consider being a bit softer to me and to everyone else whose food choices you question. We aren’t all in the same space and we don’t all have the same needs. Your snarky comments do nothing to change that.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go make kale chips. Got something to say about that? 😉