Jun 26, 2019

Why I don't use the hashtag #eatclean anymore

Yesterday, one of my Instagram followers had replied to my post that I should start using #anueatsclean tag. During my initial days on Instagram, I used to add this hashtag #eatclean to many posts but I no longer use it. And there is a reason behind this decision.

The term "Clean eating" has become associated with fancy super foods, imported produce, calorie counted / macros distributed plates and latest diet fads. Since I don't subscribe to any of these ideas, I decided not to tag my posts with #eatclean.

Nutrition and food has become a passionate topic for many, including yours truly. And each of us believe our ideologies strongly. Yes, these are our beliefs. I believe that avoiding packaged foods and eating fresh, local, seasonal and traditional foods is one of the important elements behind good health. 

I never said in any of my posts that calorie counting is bad OR macros tracking is bad. All I say is that I don't believe in calorie counting or macros tracking. I don't believe in latest diet fads. If you believe in these, good for you. But let's accept the fact that there are also people in the world who don't believe in these latest trends. If you don't want to accept them for their different ideologies, do unfollow them, so you can be at peace. I have unfollowed many people who promote packaged, junk foods. Believe me, I'm more at peace when I scroll through my feed.

The concepts of nutrition, food chain and diets have intentionally been made so complicated that one cannot claim that a particular diet form is superior or THE BEST to solve all health issues. As individuals, we tend to BELIEVE or NAVIGATE towards a certain form of eating. It works for us and for our family. It may not be the ABSOLUTE truth but we tend to perceive it that way. 

Until and unless we grow the food ourselves and embrace the garden-to-plate (farm-to-plate), we wouldn't be able to claim that this particular food is THE HEALTHIEST. The binary way of thinking will not help us to choose the right foods.

I prefer to take the point of view - "It's all relative". How healthy a certain food is as compared to something else?

To give you an example, cauliflower is being pitched as the low calorie food and it is being extensively consumed by those who are on low carb diets. But as a person who BELIEVES in eating seasonal produce, I wouldn't buy cauliflower in summers. I'm not aware of the kind of chemicals being used in order to meet the demand for cauliflowers all throughout the year. I'd rather pick summer veggies like gourds, cucumbers and ladyfingers that are in alignment with nature and so the use of chemicals would be RELATIVELY low (again, it is an assumption that I'm making).

 I'm a vegetarian but I don't consume a lot of dairy products. I have read many reports on the harmful practices being followed in producing commercial dairy products. So that has made me believe that I don't want to depend on dairy for my protein needs. I BELIEVE that plant-based protein sources are relatively BETTER options and I try to buy organic as much as possible. Again, it is my assumption that there are no pesticides residue in the organic dals I'm buying. 

These are examples of conscious decisions that I make based on my beliefs. As humans, it is natural that we gather evidences to support/reinforce our beliefs. In the era of social media, we tend to share these evidences and proclaim our beliefs to the world.

"We are what we eat" - you might have heard of this familiar proverb. "We are what we consume" - Our beliefs get formed based on content we consume from books, social media, videos, articles, podcasts, direct interactions with people etc. My beliefs related to food and nutrition are being formed, thanks to my family elders, Dr.Sivaraman, Rujuta Diwekar, Luke Coutinho, Dr.Khader, Healer Baskar, Semmai vanam's Senthamizhan and many others.

So long story short...I believe in eating fresh, local, seasonal and traditional foods. I don't believe in calorie counting, macros tracking or latest diet fads. My posts will reflect these beliefs. If you are offended by these, please feel free to unfollow me. 

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