LIBERATING APPROACH TO WHAT YOU SHOULD EAT

While I'm fixing my dinner, let me share with you a big secret. Yes, you are what you eat. But you also are how much you eat on a regular basis. And as important as food may be, you should only eat to go on with your life. So it all depends on what kind of life you want to live. Ultimately, everyone wants to live a happy long life. And this implies that you should also be happy with what you eat.

I could stop the article right here because I pretty much summed it all up. But I don't want to leave room to any interpretation.

So what should you eat? Quality food!... Should you be on a vegan, vegetarian, or paleo diet? It's up to you. One thing to keep in mind, in general, is that you should stop pleasing others and start pleasing yourself. You eat for yourself and your body tells you what, when, and how much you should eat. Only if you listened to your gut... If your body tells you that you had enough meat and that you should start eating only veggies, it means you really need to do that. Eat only salads and your body will start sending you signals after a while: "I want a piece of chicken, I want a piece of chicken!" And you should have it because you may be low on vitamin B12. Your body knows better. Also, figure out on your own what foods make you feel good and dump those that don't, no matter how much you like them. Or at least, stop eating them on a regular basis. Food allergies are not something to play with and are the hidden culprit for weight gain problems.

Do not, by any means, start a diet because it's a trend. I was a raw vegan for a while. I bought all the tools, cooking books, and ingredients. The food was amazing, I felt amazing and I lost 20 pounds in no time while eating quite a lot. What a joy! But cutting, chopping, grinding, sprouting, marinating, hydrating, switching blenders, cleaning blenders were so time-consuming! Fixing "real-food-like" dishes in the dehydrator was not only taking for ever but also taking over my life. I was the slave of the raw vegan diet until, reality check, an old time friend from overseas came to visit and we took him for dinner, at a nice restaurant on the Riverfront. The nearest dish to vegan I could get was a large bowl of nachos, with beef and good ol' processed high-calorie dairy cheese. And then it hit me!... The chefs I admired were full-time raw vegan because they were doing this for a living. I could not keep up with two jobs, family, social obligations and being a full-time vegan myself. So I turned back to what I could do best... being a part-time vegan!

When you speak about veganism, vegetarianism, keto, paleo, or any medical diet that require sticking to it long-term, you are speaking about a lifestyle. Lifestyle is like marriage. Requires commitment. Requires that you not only take the spouse but also their baggage, their interests, their relatives and that you're also supportive of them. Food brings people together and people get together to share the same foods. People will understand a medical condition and will accommodate you. But if you're healthy, unless you're stellar company and everyone is unconditionally smitten with you, choosing a diet or another may have a huge impact on your relationships and social life.

So, when it comes to nutrition, again, use your gut and brain, not someone else's. If you're looking for advice, discern what is really right for you and makes you feel good. Nutrition is a big business nowadays and while many can give you great advice, some will be deceiving and don't practice themselves what they preach.

Better look into long-time tested practices. Older generations lived in a world where obesity was of rare occurrence. People were eating quality foods and by this, I mean organic whole foods. Going to a restaurant was not an everyday habit and everyone was cooking from scratch. Many were still sticking to religious practices like fasting and avoiding animal products, at least three times a week. Portions were smaller because the food was nutritious and no one had to eat large amounts to feel full. Besides, people were also spending a lot of time outdoors and enjoyed physical work. I know quite a few people in their eighties and even nineties now who still enjoy their cigarettes, a few coffees a day, some Mc'Donald's and barbecue. They spend nights at the casino, rather than days at a doctor's office and still go on a cruise overseas, a few times a year. They are healthier and happier than their kids and grandkids. However, I don't know them to overeat and they look strong and fit, for their age.

Like many others, I agree that a plant-based diet is ideal and I do believe that this is the way humanity will choose to feed itself, in the future. We don't like to think about ourselves as being some other species' food. Why, then, would we choose to end other species' life, for our gratification? Plant-based food provides our bodies with whatever we need. But I'm not going to preach what myself I don't practice, entirely, yet. Only if vegan restaurants were everywhere... My schedule can get very hectic at times and as much as I'd love to, I cannot conveniently find organic plant food when I'm hungry. Between GMO processed snacks and a fresh organic piece of meat, I will still choose the latter. However, I do my best to stick to a raw or cooked plant-based diet, whenever I can. As far as I'm concerned, eating meat or sweets never harmed me, but wheat, whey, wine, chemical preservatives and processed foods always did. I believe I owe the great shape I'm in to avoiding foods that are harmful to me, eating quality food, taking quality supplements, exercising, and living according to my own nature, all throughout my life... whether others liked it or not.

What's your secret for staying fit? I'd like to hear from you...

Meanwhile, I will go and enjoy the quickly improvised all-organic dinner: garbanzo beans, carrots, and broccoli stir-fried in coconut oil; spiced with cayenne, lemon juice, and Himalayan salt; sprinkled with nutritional yeast and ornated with Thai Basil from my Aerogardens and lemon rinds. It's all vegan, you see? Bon appetit!...

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