There are many wonderful reasons to eat vegan, vegetarian, and pescatarian. Seriously. I've studied all three eating styles a lot, and they are all amazing in their own special ways.
I am stepping away from those labels. I need to find out whether I ate those ways because it was truly right for me, or if I ate those ways to maintain a certain amount of control over my eating. Did I go vegan to lose weight? Did I stay vegetarian and then switch to pescatarian to stay "special"? Do I really and truly want to eat like that?
These are the questions that I am working on answering. For now, I have no label when it comes to my eating. Unless you count "recovering from EDNOS" and "ex-dieter" as labels.
So what does this mean for my diet?
It means that I am experimenting with cooking and eating meat again. For now, I'm still eating mostly vegetarian. I still believe that a mostly plant-based diet is the healthiest way to eat for me, and conducive to giving me the ultimate fuel for my runs and other workouts. Plus, I just really love to cook vegan meals!
And when I cook meat, I usually choose fish. But I cooked and ate chicken for the first time in several years a couple of days ago. Just to see if it felt right or wrong. It was organic, free-range chicken from Whole Foods. I plan to buy any meat that I cook from local farms and Whole Foods, just so that I'm not supporting factory farming, something that I am still very much against (that much I know for sure).
I have realized that all or nothing thinking can apply to this aspect of eating, too. Just because I'm not vegetarian anymore doesn't mean that I have to eat meat every day or even every week. It just means that I no longer avoid it at all costs.
So when will I be eating meat? When I cook it myself, or when a loved one cooks it for me. I will not be ordering it when out to eat, because I don't see the point in that. I have learned to eat vegetarian or pescatarian while out to eat.
Mostly, I will still be cooking beans, tofu, vegetables, and fish. But I will occasionally now cook chicken. I'm not comfortable eating mammals, and I doubt that will change. And that's okay.
And no, I'm not going to grasp at the newly acceptable "flexitarian" label. I am label-free for now.
(Be-tee-dubs, I am not saying that labels are wrong for everyone. I understand all the different needs to label oneself and one's eating style. I just don't think that they are healthy for ME at this point in my recovery.)
Do you have a label for your eating style?
Why or why not?