Vegan, Vegetarian, Flexatarian, or _______atarian?
One summer a friend challenged me to try a vegan diet. A vegan diet means no animal products (no meat, no dairy, and no eggs.) After a good 3 month effort, I retired from the vegan diet, and returned to a primarily plant-based diet with a mix of regular, soy and almond milk, my much-missed eggs, plus occasional fish, poultry and lean meats. The experience created new awareness to what I was purchasing and eating.
But in the end, I decided not to become a vegan. I decided not to become a vegetarian. I decided to be a “Bevatarian.” This is a take-off of the word “flexatarian” which means “mostly plant-based with some flexibility to eat meat.”
As a long-time devotee of Intuitive Eating concepts, which promotes eating according to listening to your body and hunger and fullness cues, I have learned that my intuition is usually right when it comes to guiding my food choices. Yours is too, unless you are a junk food junkie and have been eating high-fat, high-sugar, high-salt foods for so long that you need to regroup and start from scratch. (Yes, I can help you with that.)
External and rigid food rules often lead people to overeating because they disregard what a person really needs. It seems the more people diet the more obsessed they become with food. Maybe we need to put food on the back burner and relax about the food rules? When you listen to your body and pay attention to what it is really asking for, you may find that food is far from the answer. You may be most hungry for love, attention, sleep, relaxation, comfort, etc. If we could just slow down and pause to realize what we are really hungry for, we might not reach for ice cream.
So many people want to improve their eating habits, yet they need to start with understanding what drives them to eat in the first place. The advice columnist Ann Landers said it best years ago, “It’s not what you are eating. It’s what’s eating you…”
Would you like to rein in your overeating habits, stress-eating habits, and impulsive binges? On June 22nd, I am offering my first sessions of Outsmarting Overeating, a group coaching tele-class that focuses on this topic.
For more information, please visit my website and read more here. I also provide one-on-one coaching for this challenge. With over 28 years of experience as a Registered Dietitian and a coaching style that uses compassion and frankness, I will assist you in reaching your goals! Questions? I’m just an email away at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit: Painting “Polish Heirloom” by Barbara Benda Nagle, used with permission.