OMG! I just realized it’s been 2 years since I posted Part 1 of this article (in which I may have “promised” you more details “soon.” Ooooops!).
Well, better later than never, aye?
Okay…so…in Part 1, I explained that during the past several years of our travels, I’ve finally gotten up the nerve to lighten up a bit on my 100% additive-free diet.” I’d say I’m in more of an 80/20 sort of situation these days – 80% additive-free, 20% eating for fun, fellowship, etc.
After about 7 years of eating only “clean” foods and not eating any typical American processed foods nor going out to eat, nor partaking in social food events, etc., I’ve started doing all of these things now…at least to some extent.
(And I’m including a bunch of photos here of things I’ve eaten during the past few years for those of you who’d like to see some examples of exactly what I mean.)
Throughout the many years I spent coaching folks on how to clean up their diets, one of the most frequent questions I would get from readers and clients is, “Do you ever go out to eat?” And for many years, my answer was always, “No. never.”
And, really, that fact more than any other obstacle seemed to discourage people from eating “cleaner.” At the time, I really didn’t understand that because I felt soooooo good that I didn’t even desire to go out to eat or to partake in any foods that were less “clean” than I preferred.
Buuuuuuut….a few years ago, I started to feel differently about things.
Eventually, I just started to feel like I was “missing out” sometimes. And I’d never felt that way before.
During our full-time RV travels, we would sometimes come across cute, quirky little places that looked like they’d be fun places to dine. But I wouldn’t go.
Or we’d come across free samples of local fare, and I’d be too scared to try a bite.
Or we’d do a favor for someone along our journey, and they’d want to take us to dinner to thank us. And we’d politely decline.
And then..one day during our travels, we were on a tour of San Francisco. We landed in China Town at lunch time, and I could tell that Chad was longing for some Chinese food. (Before we started eating an additive-free diet, we used to go out for Chinese food quite frequently.)
I knew I would make his day if I offered to eat Chinese food with him…in China Town.
So, I took the “plunge.” And, honestly, even as I’m writing this years later, I still can’t believe I did it. I was soooooooo nervous, and I didn’t eat very much. But it’s a memory we look back upon fondly. And I’m glad we did it!
I’m definitely not saying that any of this is good for my health, and I’m definitely not encouraging (or discouraging) you from doing the same.
But, I definitely wanted to post an update for you about how much my diet has changed these past few years.
I do, now, enjoy going out to eat (and ordering more than water!)…and I’ve eaten holiday meals (and “just because” meals) with family and friends on many, many occasions these past few years.
I’ve even eaten some regular ol’ processed candy just to see if I would like it the same as I did before I ever stopped eating it! (Turns out…not so much!)
Basically, if I feel like I might be missing out on something these days…an experience… or fellowship…or sometimes just simply the flavor or convenience of something, then I’m generally willing to consider giving it a try.
Of course, I still fully believe it’s physiologically healthier to eat a 100% additive-free diet. And I’ve actually been inching my way back closer to that end of the spectrum lately.
I have put on some weight these past few years (which I can’t say is entirely due to the dietary changes, of course), and I don’t always feel quite as amazingly healthy as I used to. But, for now, the joy and freedom I gain from being less strict with my diet is totally worth it!
I definitely believe that our health is determined by many factors in addition to our diets…with our mental state being very high on the list. You may disagree, and that’s okay.
Loosening up on my dietary restrictions has brought me much excitement and fellowship and also encouraged me to believe that I’ll be able to travel more freely in the future (perhaps internationally?) without having to be so 100% concerned with every ingredient in every thing that passes through my lips.
And that has been so incredibly liberating!
So…how about you? Do you eat an entirely additive-free diet? Why or why not?
What factors do you consider when deciding whether or not to eat certain foods? We’d love to hear from you!
Oh, and here are a bunch of additional pics from the past few years in case you want to see more…