A strange title coming from an individual who is a huge healthy eating advocate. The world of healthy eating can be such a rewarding endeavour with energy levels soaring, improvements to our overall health and most importantly feeling awesome like we should. However, like everything in life healthy eating has a lot of downsides which I feel need to challenge.
Nutritional science is still a relatively new concept that is creating a lot of debate and conflicting information. Just type in healthy eating in Google and the information thrown at you can be quite overwhelming. One day it is the Paleo/Caveman diet or a high fat ketogenic diet and recently vegan and plant based diets. Truth be told the medical and nutritional worlds are unable to definitively say what works best, given everybody is different e.g. how food is absorbed in our bodies can be determined by a lot of external/internal factors and stresses.
Most common hardships
My introductory time as a “healthy foodie” resulted in taking pictures of my food (I still do), telling the world I am a healthy eater and occasionally being a righteous arsehole degrading everyone just because of what they were eating. Don’t be this person, this person is a prick!
I am in the fortunate position to be able to have an organic food based lifestyle alongside getting good quality cuts of meats. My ability to buy food from organic markets reduces cost significantly. Reality is prices of organic products in health shops are criminally high. When I first took on this journey, shopping in those stores was the same price to feed a family for 4 from the supermarket.
A huge issue and still a reoccurring one for me. Socialising and celebrating with friends and family usually means eating out, going to bars or cooking meals for one another. Once you become a healthy foodie your ability to socialise becomes compromised as you don’t want to be a burden to the special occasion, inevitability the onslaught of questions begin or negative statements:
- So where can you actually eat?
- Let’s go here, actually we can’t as your eating healthy
- Stop being boring
- Live a little will you
- A little bit of junk food won’t hurt you
- If you don’t drink alcohol, you will ruin my night
- Remember when you were fun to go out with
Eventually removing yourself from social situations makes life easier and seems like a logical thing to do, thus creating an environment of isolation. If you are not careful the weekends can be the most stressful and isolating periods, resulting in depression like symptoms.
Another big and common issue. Preparation is the key, staying ahead of the game has to be priority. One problem life doesn’t always stick to the rules, leading to issues like:
- Making dinner and realising that you don’t have 50% of the ingredients #ANNOYING!
- Boredom of the same meals due lack of inspiration, time or overthinking every meal.
- Having enough food for the next day, ensuring there is enough food for your family or finishing work later than expected creating stressful environments.
- Spending a lot time in the kitchen as housemates or family members know it’s a big deal to you, so they “forget” or are “too busy” to help out.
Fear, anxiety and being overwhelmed
The feeling of not knowing what to eat can be extremely crippling causing a dangerous obsession surrounding food. Stressing out whether going to a restaurant or having a treat is going to have ill health consequences the next day is not a pleasurable experience. Only recently I had to miss a mother’s day meal because I was fearful that the food being served was not suitable for my gut or my food sensitivities, which are:
- Vegetables (nightshade or starchy)
- Gluten and wheat
- Fruits (some)
Not to despair the world is not going to end, my next blog will look at how to deal with common problems as every problem has a solution.