As I have lived through my own food journey, so have you, and it’s personal. Your food lifestyle (diet) is a very personal journey, choice and way of living. It has to mesh with your beliefs and nourish your body or it can wreak havoc on so many areas of your life.All throughout history, food and diet have been incredibly personal. Click To Tweet
All throughout history, food and diet have been incredibly personal. People often had to eat what was available, but if they were spiritual, they may choose to go hungry instead of eating something sacred or against their beliefs.
Here in the United States (probably other countries, too) we need to make our food lifestyles incredibly personal again. We need to ditch the dieting to lose weight or look a certain way and start finding a deeper meaning behind what we eat. It NEEDS to be personal and needs to be rooted in strong, personal beliefs.
I am not going to tell you that you have to join some religion that holds a certain animal sacred or you have to become spiritual to make your food journey personal. However, you do need to figure out what you believe, what you stand for and your reasons for eating the way you eat.
Why is Diet so Personal?
Right now, you might be reading this thinking, “This guy is crazy. Benjamin has gone mad. Seriously, he thinks food is personal. What a whack job.” Think those thoughts, but open your mind and empty your cup at least enough to hear me out without dismissing what I have to say without pondering it for at least 12 seconds.
I believe your food lifestyle (diet) is very personal to you, as mine is very personal to me. If it’s not, I think it needs to become personal or I think you are wasting your time with what you choose to put in your body.
It starts with how we are raised. Your parents taught you how to eat from the day you were born. Your mother’s milk taught you to eat like she ate when she was producing it. The baby food they chose gave your body a need for those same items as you grew older. The food they fed you as a child made you crave what you crave today.
The diet you were raised on has shaped you today. It may be the cause of your obesity or your incredible fit body. It’s also why you find it so incredibly difficult to change the way you eat.
If you grew up on Twinkies, soda and pasta, you are more likely to choose that type of diet as an adult. If you grew up on fruits, vegetables and nuts, you’re more likely to choose a plant-based type of diet. This even goes for those growing up on a meat and potatoes type of diet.Your food lifestyle has been engrained in you since day one. Click To Tweet
Your food lifestyle has been engrained in you since day one. It’s something that can be very difficult to change and what you grew up with is usually the default you will return to, when you fall off the bandwagon of whatever diet you’ve tried most recently.
Your default diet may not look exactly the way it did as a child, but it will fit into a similar category; unless you’ve already made drastic changes. This is a personal thing and it’s the reason we are so protective of our mother’s cooking being the best. We struggle with changing our diet because it’s such a huge part of who we are.
What if Food isn’t Personal to You?
Maybe you struggle to believe food is personal. Maybe it’s not so personal to you, but I guarantee it is. Maybe you eat whatever you want, whenever you want and you simply don’t care. Guess what, it’s still personal.
If I start attacking the things you eat, you’ll likely go one of two ways: one, you’ll defend your actions and tell me how wrong I am, or two, you’ll agree that it’s horrible for you and make some excuse why you’re going to eat it anyway. Your reaction will prove that the food you eat is personal to you.
We love to blame other things for our lack of a healthy diet, for our obesity, for our diseases and for anything else that goes wrong in our lives. However, nobody else has control over what you eat. Unless someone puts a gun to your head and forces that box of Twinkies down your throat, you are the one in 100% complete control.
Now, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to put down the Twinkie and pick up a carrot, but you have the control and the ability to change what you eat. However, if you refuse to believe your food lifestyle (diet) is personal, you’ll never completely change.
Why “Diet” is the New Four Letter Word
What do you think of when you hear the word “Diet”? You probably conjure up images of salads, vegetables, small portions and unhappy people. If you’re on a diet, you have a right to be angry, right? This is what the marketers and modern society would love for you to believe diet means, but it’s not even close.
The proper definition of Diet is – “the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.” If we take this further and look at where the word comes from, we learn:
“The word “diet” comes from the Greek root word “diaita”, which means “to live one’s life,” and from the Latin root word, “diaeta,” meaning a “manner of living”.”
Now, doesn’t it seem that a word we have made to mean restricting oneself to lose weight (terrible definition, btw) shouldn’t be such a bad word. It literally came from words meaning “to live one’s life” and “manner of living.” It doesn’t get much more personal and neither one of those is BAD.The word Diet needs to be redefined in our society and that's why I keep referring to it as a food lifestyle Click To Tweet
The word “Diet” needs to be redefined in our society and that’s why I keep referring to it as a “food lifestyle”. After all, if the origin of the word means “manner of living” and “to live one’s life” it just makes sense that when you combine it with what you eat, you get “food lifestyle.”
Your food lifestyle (diet) is very personal, I promise you that. Whether it’s healthy for you or terrible for you, it’s personal and there is nobody else to blame but yourself. You have the control to eat as you please and nourish your body with a Twinkie-based diet or a plant-based food lifestyle.
Making your Food Lifestyle (Diet) Even More Personal
Maybe you’re on board with me now and don’t think I am so crazy. Maybe you’re ready to accept the fact that your food lifestyle (diet) is personal. Now, let’s talk about how you can make it even more personal.I believe, if your food lifestyle (diet) isn't personal, it won't stick. Click To Tweet
I believe, if your food lifestyle (diet) isn’t personal, it won’t stick. If you’re like me, you’ve been on every single fad diet under the sun and not a single one of them has stuck. Sure, it worked for a few weeks, maybe even a few months, but sooner or later, those old eating habits creep in and take over again. I have tried so many diets I cannot even count them on my fingers, toes and all of your digits.
It wasn’t until I found my current, Vegan food lifestyle that something stuck; and there’s a good reason why. No, it’s not because Vegan is so much better than everything else out there and no, I am not going to try to convince you to become Vegan. The type of food lifestyle I chose has very little to do with why it stuck.
The reason Vegan eating fits as my food lifestyle has to do with my beliefs. I believe we should be putting the best possible food in our bodies and I believe God gave us everything we could ever need to nourish our bodies, cure disease and live a life without having to kill his creature, if we choose.
There was a time when eating an animal was done for survival. We are no longer back in those days and we have a choice today. We can choose to eat meat, dairy and processed foods; or we can choose a more plant-based style of eating, even if it’s not fully Vegan.Since we have a choice, we can align what we eat with what we believe in. Click To Tweet
Since we have a choice, we can align what we eat with what we believe in. My core beliefs are what shape my diet and what make my food lifestyle so incredibly personal to me.
- Nutrition should come first; NOT Flavor
- Killing any animal is WRONG, when it’s done for appetite and not necessity
- The way we treat animals as a factory product for food is completely wrong
- A plant-based diet is the best overall choice for fighting disease and illness
- God gave us everything we need within plants to survive and thrive
- I get to vote with my dollars and I vote for organic, Non-GMO, plant foods regularly
These are my core beliefs around food and the reason for my Vegan food lifestyle. You may believe differently, and that is perfectly fine. I mention this in my Plant-Based Eating eBook because I think your food lifestyle (diet) is personal and should not be under attack by others. You get to choose what you eat and Vegan is what I choose, but you’re free to choose carnivore, pescatarian, vegetarian, flexitarian, vegan or anything else you want.
However, if you want to change the way you eat, your weight, your productivity and your overall life, you have to build a better foundation. Your foundation is built through what you eat and how you exercise or move.Your foundation is built through what you eat and how you exercise or move. Click To Tweet
Your food lifestyle (diet) will set the tone for everything else. Feed your body processed garbage and it will break down sooner in life, have less energy daily and simply fall into more temptations each day. Feed your body a plant-based diet full of healthy foods and watch your productivity soar, your energy skyrocket and your overall mood increase.
When you figure out what you believe about food, you’ll be able to build a foundation that will support your body properly, your mind well, help with your emotional health and align with your spiritual being. It doesn’t have to match my beliefs or my food lifestyle to work for you, and it shouldn’t, unless your beliefs are similar.
Why it Doesn’t Work When You Refuse to Let Your Food Lifestyle (diet) be Personal
We’ve all dieted without success. The main goal was probably to shed weight. This never or rarely works.
Sure, you may lose 30 pounds. Heck you may lose 100 pounds, but it was a diet, which means you probably looked at it as a temporary change. Guess what? That word we’ve made so ugly in modern society will come back to haunt you as you go right back to your old habits once you’ve reached a certain point in your weight-loss journey.
It happens all the time and you fail at dieting because you’re dieting. When you stop dieting and you make your food lifestyle personal, there’s something stronger than just losing weight. Sure, I’ve lost a decent amount of weight since going Vegan, but that wasn’t the core reason I chose Vegan as my food lifestyle.
I have stronger beliefs behind what I eat than just trying to lose weight so that I can look a certain way. It doesn’t do much good to look a certain way if your insides are screaming for nutrients you refuse to give them.
I didn’t choose the vegan diet simply to lose weight. I chose it to be a healthier person and because of my beliefs. I have a ton of compassion for animals and hate the way we treat them as a product today instead of a living creature. We don’t respect animals, nor are we truly thankful for the life they gave so that we can eat them.
This reason, and the others listed above, are why I stick to a Vegan diet and continue to do so every single day. I don’t slip up or have the ridiculous “cheat days” diets give you because I am not just trying to lose weight. My food lifestyle is very personal to me and it drives me to change and maintain that change every single day.Build your new foundation by changing your food lifestyle (diet). Click To Tweet
Build your new foundation by changing your food lifestyle (diet). Make it personal. Don’t just copy me. Do your research. Watch documentaries. Read books. Read articles and find out what you truly believe.
Have you discovered how personal your food lifestyle (diet) really is? Do you agree or disagree with me when I say, your food lifestyle (diet) is very personal? Leave a comment below with your answers.