Label free life

Over the years of working with both mental health and nutrition, labelling has often raised its ugly head. In mental health a diagnosis can be a helpful thing that provides comfort and a method of treatment. In other circumstances labelling can be self-limiting, discriminating and oppressive.

After studying nutrition and life coaching, the detrimental effects of labelling has become more apparent.

When training for the London marathon I chose to use it as a chance to raise money and awareness for the World Wildlife Fund, a charity that works hard to preserve and protect the environment, something I am very passionate about. In doing so, I spent a month living a completely vegan lifestyle. Due to the demand of mass farming I rarely eat meat or dairy due to the consequential welfare of the animals and nutritional quality. I thought being vegan wouldn’t be much harder.

However, my job involves a lot of travel to different events and festivals. One weekend I survived entirely on humus and  dairy free mash potato. It was not a good weekend. Another I lived off bread, fruit and humous. When I had the time and opportunity vegan food was very fulfilling and nutritious. But choosing heavily processed products over organic, free range meat, eggs fish and dairy went against my nutrition brain in situations where I lacked control. Sure I could have been more prepared but the truth is, when my boyfriend shoots a wild rabbit or pheasant I don’t feel there is anything wrong with it and my body certainly appreciates it.

For so long I was trying to find the right label to nutritionaly represent how I felt about food and what mattered to me. But this is un necerssary and can only cause negative feedback loops of guilt, failure, anxiety and deprivation.

When I could not eat vegan I felt guilty. Sometimes when I ate the only vegan option I felt unhealthy. It was at the end of that summer I realised my new belief system was limiting  and causing slight anxiety. Feelings of anxiety, more than often, are a sign of uncertainty. Eating fresh, organic whole foods, mostly plant-based, choosing quality, sustainability and keeping it local  was ultimately what mattered to my core; whether its veggies, fruit, meat, eggs or fish

When coaching, the first and simplest thing I ask people who feel stuck in their lives is ‘What are your core beliefs and principals?’ They have had them and lived by them for so long they never took the opportunity to revise whether they still served them anymore,  unaware of the limitating power they had over their lives.

Always review what really matters to YOU. Not what used to matter, not what you think should matter, but what matters to you NOW. You might find suddenly doors open that only you had locked shut.

 

 

Advertisements

4 Replies to “Label free life”

  1. I’m having the exact same battle with veganism! I eat so much more bread and chips now because often those are the only things you can eat out and about, but that doesn’t make sense as I’m vegan (partly) for health reasons!
    I’m now questioning my own core beliefs, they’re so hard to let go of though!

    Like

    1. They are hard to let go of I totally agree. I find eating a predominantly plant based diet but favouring organic whole foods over vegan in difficult situations enables maximum health benefits. That’s the trouble with labels, they limit you but being flexible opens up more healthy options. When I chose organic fish or wild meat over chips or bread I feel better and know that I eat a plant based diet the majority of the time. I would still never eat processed meats or low welfare products. Hope this helps

      Like

      1. This is the hardest situation. Luckily, a lot of my friends are aware of my thoughts on food. When I was vegan, they did take the mic a little but would provide a vegan option and it would also spark interesting conversation. Living in Devon most of the people I know source local wild meat and fish which I am happy to eat. I wouldn’t call myself vegan anymore but instead focus on any food, veg or not, being organic, wild and local, eating meat only occasionally. If i know where it has come from and am happy with this I will eat it. If not I am confident in refusing to eat it and instead fill up on accompanying foods like rice and veg etc. Since doing so most of my friends and family now rarely eat meat and when they do they sure it from local farms or the moors.
        It’s such a tricky one but hopefully your friends and family will support you and its not too difficult to provide simple vegan even if it just brown rice/potatoes and vegetables.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s