Lunch today for me was a win because while I went to a local deli and decadently ordered a greasy tuna melt, I decided not to also get the king sized candy bar that I was contemplating. When it comes to my diet, I take all the wins I can get.
I live in San Diego, surrounded by inspiring friends who are doing cleanses, embracing veganism, cutting out sugar, friends who haven’t darkened the door of a fast food joint since they were high school juniors. These are dietary gymnastics I’m in awe of but have not embraced.
My daily diet is somewhat of a mutt. I love purchasing fresh squeezed juice and salads at Whole Foods, but I also love buying monster cookies and consuming the occasional cheeseburger and fries.
If I were to give my diet a name, I would call it the “Clean Dirty Diet.” If you are thinking, “Jason there’s a lifetime of negative judgement in your use of the word “dirty,” I would at first be a little freaked out because you are reading my mind. Then I would be truthful and say, “Why, YES there is!!!”
Tell me in the comments if I’m wrong, but I don’t think I’m the only one who sometimes has negative judgements around his or her eating habits. We live in a culture that is hypersensitive to the idea that healthy and organic is good, while fast, processed, sugary, glucose-y, salty food is bad.
Now I believe that it’s true that organic food is more healthy than processed and that eating vegetarian or vegan is far gentler on our bodies, our animal kin and the planet than eating meat and dairy.
But why have I turned my ever changing food choices into a good versus bad debate?
If I’m eating a monster cookie and cheese burger, can’t I add good to the experience by accepting my choice and enjoying it? Why not have a Monster Cookie and Cheese Burger Celebration in fact?
If I choose to feel guilt instead of satisfaction about my dietary choices, not only am I adding all those extra calories to my body, but at the same time I’m adding unhappiness to my life.
If I followed the perfect diet would I be eating monster cookies and an occasional cheese burger? No!
But I will take joyful imperfection over unhappy perfection any day. I will also take happy imperfection over unhappy imperfection.
Am I saying all this, so I can rationalize an All-Sugar-Salt-Non-Organic-Processed-Diet-All-The- Time? No, I’m fascinated with the idea of healthy eating, but I also at times, want to honor the wishes of my taste buds.
I guess what I’m advocating for is that we embrace the world of both healthy eating and happy eating and realize that this blend, depending on the person, sometimes involves things like monster cookies and the occasional cheese burger.
No that’s not perfect.
But it’s human.
Can we do our imperfect best to courageously enjoy it all?
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