I feel like this is a public service announcement combined with a bit of chastising. Regardless, I feel it’s necessary to point out that being healthy and loving to eat do not have to be independent of one another. If you’re reading this and thinking “well duh, Teylor,” then I’m assuming you haven’t been personally victimized by those who believe otherwise.
The reason I feel the need to speak to this in the first place derives from the number of back-handed compliments and “I thought you didn’t eat that” comments I’ve received/overheard over the years.
While I do believe that your taste buds change and adapt with time, I will be the first to admit that just because I cleaned up my diet doesn’t mean I wouldn’t enjoy the taste of junk food. Just because I say no thank you doesn’t mean it’s because I don’t like it.
While a lifestyle change does come with sacrifice, it’s not nearly as extreme as those who are forever dieting, which typically comes with a period of constant no’s, interrupted by with a period of yes’s. While flexible dieting, intuitive eating, moderation, whatever you want to call it, follows a different trend of yes’s and no’s.
Personally, I am someone who ignores packaged goodies in favor of scouring Yelp for the new restaurant everybody is talking about and considering I live in Austin, my To Eat list is always growing. I typically dedicate date nights or weekend brunch with friends as the time to indulge. My trips also revolve around food, a concept my dad doesn’t quite understand. It’s a social experience that my taste buds and I look forward to. I used to be extremely anxious about going to restaurants and not knowing the ingredients so I avoided it altogether, but then I was just restless at the thought of all the delicious food I was missing out on.
Unfortunately, the days are gone that I can eat whatever I want and not suffer the consequences. I have to make some grown-up decisions as to whether I should indulge now or save it for later. Sometimes I have to rely on my “putting food together” skills for sustenance instead of leaving it to the professionals. But I’ll tell you what, I recognize an opportunity when I sit down and open that one of a kind menu. I know how to live it up in Brazil and say yes to that extra Caipirinha (alcoholic drink with so much sugar that I close my eyes when they make it), Pao de Queijo (simply put, cheese balls), and Brigardeiro (like a fudge-y cake ball).
Then I come home and get back to my oatmeal, rice, chicken, sweet potatoes (etc.) and sprinkle in the fancy stuff here and there. And it’s not torturous in the least! I’m not choking down the healthy stuff while dreaming of fried foods. In truth, the real foodies know how to appreciate fresh vegetables and well cooked protein.
So! The lesson here is to stop treating the people in your lives who dedicate 20% of their day to the gym and eat their veggies like they forgot what queso tastes like. And to those who happily eat clean and think food is solely for energy, don’t judge the people in your life who opt for the decadent slice of cake even though it’s not exactly nutritionally beneficial. And to those of us who consider ourselves health conscious, but still have a taste for the finer things…keep doin’ you. You don’t owe anyone a justification for what you decide to/or not to put in your own body. Next time someone tells you “I thought you ate healthy,” when you’re feeding your soul, tell em you can be fit and a foodie. We are living proof. (;