I spent all day yesterday thinking about making my own set of Food Rules a la Michael Pollan.
And then I realized that I seriously hate the word ‘rule.’ Especially when attached to food, because it triggers my tendency toward disordered eating. It wakes up my rebellious spirit. Not that I mind that spirit waking up, but in this instance it usually has disastrous results.
So the first . . . idea? thought? inspiration? . . . of my Nutrition Manifesto is simple.
What does that mean exactly? It means, to me, that no food is off limits.
Not even gluten. Wait, wait. I know. Gluten makes me sick. It makes me bloated and it hurts, it fogs my brain and swells my feet.
But guess what. If I want a sandwich, I can have one. Clearly, this is a true statement. Because when I want a sandwich, I have one. Only, I don’t only have a sandwich. Because, since I’ve already broken the rule, I figure what’s a piece of good bread with dinner and maybe pancakes in the morning. Cookies for a mid-day snack? And the next thing you know I’ve been eating gluten for a week. And I feel like crap.
That’s what rules do to me. Every time.
So just like a diabetic can choose to continue to eat sugar and a heart patient can continue to eat french fries, I can chose to eat gluten.
And knowing I can gives me the freedom to remember that I don’t have to. It relieves the stress and anxiety that comes with constant dieting long enough for me to remember that I really don’t want to eat gluten. And I really dislike that over-full bloated feeling that comes from stuffing myself full of anything, because I can’t stop once I start. (Since I’m never breaking the rules and eating cake/enchiladas/french fries again, I don’t want to waste a single bite of this opportunity . . .)
It feels weird writing “no rules.” Because my food world has been dominated by rules for as long as I can remember. It feels like an invitation to indulgence and all kinds of scary, bad things.
But here’s the thing. I don’t feel in control when I’m trying to hold to a set of rules that flip my crazy switch. I feel like someone’s switched the crazy switch in my head.
So. Inspiration/idea/thought one: No rules.
I can eat what I want, when I want.
How do food rules make you feel?