I have written before about the latest societal obsessions with healthy eating, but I have decided to renew the discussion here for two reasons: 1. It has changed the way I think about food, and I feel this requires consideration; 2. I plan to broaden the aims and ideas on the blog to include discussions on eating for mental health stability. In respect of the latter reason, I am eager to once again consider the dangers of allowing ourselves to become too preoccupied with healthy eating before I start contributing recipes and ideas which, when viewed with the wrong mind-set, may do more harm than good.
I have held an interest in eating a healthy diet for a number of years now. I admit, it began rather restrictively - an obsession with avoiding sugar at all costs being just one example of the extreme views I took. Ironically, my attempts to maintain a healthy body ended having a catastrophic effect on my mental health. I became so focused on avoiding foods which I deemed unhealthy that I could think of little else. This was not normal, and it most certainly was not healthy. But over time, I came to realise that releasing myself from the confines of these unrealistic rules was what would really allow me to become more healthy. I love how eating well makes my skin glow, my hair shine and my body feel; that is why I chose to eat the way I do. However, it saddens me to see that an obsessive relationship with 'clean' eating is becoming more and more common. It is laughable that many "health experts" (how erroneous a title) promulgate suggestions that gluten, dairy, refined sugar etc are to be eliminated from your diet if you value your health at all. I learnt the hard way that this is not the key to health. I find that the best way to eat well is to do so intuitively, whilst bearing in mind that old chestnut about eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, reducing processed and refined foods, and drinking lots of water. I can now finally say that although I follow these guidelines day-to-day, I no longer berate myself for eating those foods (I'm not going to call them indulgences) which aren't exactly important for our bodies' health, but which are vital for keeping our relationship with our bodies healthy.
Further to my note above, a re-birth of the blog is on the cards, which I hope will include some recipes and ideas I have on eating for a healthier self - the focus being more on the health of our relationships with our bodies than healthy eating; there are enough bloggers out there dealing with the latter!