If you follow “healthy eating” food blogs, you may notice disagreements among bloggers on which food is good, which products of those foods are the best, what is considered bad and what they tell you never EVER to touch.
So many of these bloggers create a “Food Guilt Trip” (do people even say “Guilt Trip” anymore or am I dating myself?) by setting their opinions up as fact, their opinions on what is right and write as though what they choose should be what others emulate. They say outright, or clearly in between the lines, that if you don’t eat the way they do, you are not eating correctly, or cleanly, or (well you fill in the rest.
Too many people I talk with carry guilt for not eating “better” or feeling as if they are “bad” because they choose, or must choose due to finances or other reasons, to eat different foods than what is promoted by and in many cases, commissions paid to, the bloggers promoting the products.
I’ve seen people post their food “confessions” for things like coffee, chocolate or whatever they feel they need to confess buying or eating. I’ve seen people apologize for their food choices or the fact that their husband, or family, or finances or location force them to not choose what the blogger(s) deems as the best foods or products.
Honestly, it hurts me to see this. I can almost feel the guilt and yes, shame in their words. Frankly, I have felt this way too, embarrassed and feeling not quite as good as someone else who eats differently, and today I am simply saying “NO.” You can too.
Say NO to food guilt
- Remember, YOUR family is not like any other family. YOUR family is unique and your needs are unique.
- What someone else does or chooses not make it right for you and your family.
- Opinions are like belly buttons. Every body has at least one, and they don’t all look the same!
- Food does not make you bad, any more than food makes you good. Choices are choices and bad choices do not make you a bad person any more than good food choices make you a good person.
- Food can become elevated to a status it was never designed to be. Balance is the key.
- Food was created by God. Romans 14 says so clearly that we are not to judge others for what they eat, or why, but verse 17 sums it up for me.
17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
What can you do?
Read as much as you can, but ultimately make your OWN choices for YOUR family and whatever your choices are, they are yours and you don’t have to feel guilty about them or compare your choices with someone else’s. If you feel your choices need to be changed, you can change them according to YOUR family’s needs and preferences.
Do you or your family struggle with food allergies or sensitivities? If so, choose your options that work best in your family. Even within allergies and sensitivities, not everyone reacts the same way to the same foods.
Are you hindered by finances? Many of us can do the best we can with what we have and some of us simply do not have access to affordable organic, or pasture-raised foods. There are options for budget concerns and again, fit them to YOUR family.
Make as much of your food from scratch as you possibly can
This cannot be stressed enough. Making foods from scratch using whole foods that you can grow, buy, barter etc., will help you eat well on a limited budget.
If you can’t grow it or raise it yourself, do you know a farmer who does?
Do you have access to a farmer’s market or tailgate market?
If you have any of these options, sometimes you can barter for food. For example there are things we cannot raise or grow, but I can mill whole grains and bake and many times I have bartered my whole grain baked goods for fresh organic produce.
Can you order from a food co-op such as Azure Standard? You can get fresh and packaged natural organic and bulk ingredients at wholesale prices. The best way to do this is to gather your family, friends, homeschooling group, church group, or neighbors and all order together.
Buy in bulk when possible
Sometimes, buying in bulk and preserving can save a lot of money. (Be sure to check and compare prices to make sure the bulk buy is actually a cost-saver.) For example, when I buy grains, if I buy them in larger quantities, I can save on the cost per pound. When buying local grass-fed meat, if I can buy a larger portion, I can reduce the price per pound. We save up all year to buy a portion of a grass-fed cow in the Fall and save money that way.
If you need to shop at conventional grocery stores, you might fins this guide helpful:
The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen by EWG:
However, the EWG (Environmental Working Group) states that it is more important to eat the healthy foods: Source
“The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure. Use EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides™ to reduce your exposures as much as possible, but eating conventionally-grown produce is far better than not eating fruits and vegetables at all. The Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ will help you determine which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide residues and are the most important to buy organic. You can lower your pesticide intake by avoiding the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables and choosing the least contaminated produce.”
Bottom line, there is a lot out there in the general food, diet food, natural food world that creates food snobs, food criticism, food judgment, food shame and food guilt and it’s time we all said NO. If we are to have a healthy relationship with food and not one of fear, obsession and imbalance, we need to remember to treat it as it was created and not become a monster or idol in our lives.
Be free of the food guilt trip today and reclaim your peace!
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© 2013 All Rights Reserved Vickilynn Haycraft and Real Food Living