Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Good bye, labels!

In my quest for complete EDNOS recovery, I decided that it was important to figure out exactly how much of my vegan, then vegetarian, then pescatarian eating was truly because that is how I want to eat, and how much of that is my wanting a label to define my eating besides "out of control".

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?  

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