I’m vegetarian. Except when I’m not.
I know that doesn’t work for everyone, but frankly…I don’t worry about everyone. I worry about ME, and what works for ME.
I think of myself as plant-based rather than any kind of -arian, but saying “plant based” to people just seems pretentious or leads to more explanations. And I don’t really like talking about my diet. I like sharing ideas with people and never mind a healthy discussion or debate about food in general, but I just don’t really see why someone should care about what I put in my body.
So when I had the chance to eat some beautifully fresh oysters at an amazing restaurant the other day? I took it. And loved every slimy bite. When a chef friend sent our table a scotch egg wrapped in homemade boudin sausage, made specially for us? I took a bite and savored the spices. When my husband ordered an old fashioned with a bacon garnish, you’d better believe I sipped and without a moment’s hesitation.
The Huffington Post recently published an article called “Judging Thy Neighbor Isn’t Helping,” and when I read it, my neck hurt from nodding so vigorously.
I don’t like GMOs — who does??? — but it’s not my personal mission to get them off store shelves. I love and support that others have made that their cause but if I buy a box of cereal that may have a modified product, I don’t want to be vilified. I recycle at home and work, dragging those darn sticky boxes to the curb every week — but I also grab disposable plastic water bottles if I’ve left mine at home. I love and support that others live a completely plastic-free life, but that’s not me.
Healthy living sometimes gets the side-eye from people because they think it’s all kale and no cookies. That may be true for some, but I’ve come close enough to the edge of disordered eating (not an eating disorder, I want to stress) to know that balance, and moderation in all things including moderation, is the only way that I can be healthy AND happy.
I love real, healthy foods. I prefer to avoid meat in my diet because it doesn’t make me feel good. It doesn’t fuel me. But it’s not a rule, or something I’m ever afraid to “break.” I have treats and sugar and sodas in moderation, and that’s right for now.
All or nothing just doesn’t add up. It’s an unbending, unforgiving way of life and the best thing I ever did for my health was to free myself of labels.