Thursday, May 22, 2014

Conscious Eating Rather Than Perfect Eating

For most of us, it is not practical to eat only optimal foods. I often find myself eating food prepared by someone else in an unknown manner or eating MOUO (Meat Of Unknown Origin), and sometimes I don't have access to my favorite "good" foods.

This may happen when I'm at someone's house for dinner, not able to find a graceful way to turn down a meal that is served to me. Or I may be traveling, and my metabolic needs for calories and stabilized blood sugar may (reasonably I think) trump other considerations.



When this happens, I believe that it's important for us not to judge ourselves (or to judge others!). Orthorexia-induced anxiety may cause more harm than a mediocre meal here and there. For those of us whose lives frequently take us out of the home, eating perfectly may be an unrealistic goal.

What I aim for is to know my food goals very specifically; to make informed, conscious decisions about when and how to diverge from these goals if the situation calls for it; and not to "give up" completely even in difficult circumstances. I read ingredients whenever possible, I ask questions when it might make a difference, and I don't fret too much.

What is your experience with this?

6 comments:

Farmer Liz said...

Its hard, especially when I know that eating "normal" food will probably make me feel sick! When travelling I try to eat lots of yoghurt, at least that's one ferment you can always buy!

Alex Lewin said...

Yah, yogurt (plain, full-fat) is a great way to go, and is available at most supermarkets!

I need to remember that I'm pretty lucky. Some folks like you have immediate reactions to "normal" food. I don't get acutely sick--I'm just thinking about the long term.

NDE said...

First I've heard this word , though the meaning was reasonably clear, at least in this context (as in "orthography" and "anorexia").

Raine Saunders said...

I have found ways to reasonably satisfy my need for good quality food in most instances. Sometimes I have to compromise as in the instances you mentioned. But I have also found ways to avoid the really processed stuff when I'm out and about such as avoiding most bread and grains, asking for olive oil for my salad or for my food to be cooked in butter. I've followed these guidelines and found I don't feel compromised. Then I load up on healthier choices later to compensate.

I think it's definitely important not to let guilt or remorse become part of an eating routine - or anything else - since it can cause unwellness in and of itself.

Alex Lewin said...

Yeah, "orthorexia" is a great word, and all too applicable these days...

Alex Lewin said...

Agreed Raine, guilt, remorse, shame, etc. about eating (or just in general) just make things worse!