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Eat Simply isn’t about promoting fad diets and quick fixes, and eating simply actually has nothing at all to do with weight loss, bodybuilding or the like.
We’re all about the act of conscious consumption, which means not punishing ourselves for our daily habits or making unrealistic limitations, as this only leads to failure. Instead, we focus on realistic and achievable ways to think about food for the long term.
In this blog post, we aim to provide a transparent explanation of what it means to lead a life of conscious consumption in an effort to show you a lifestyle choice — not a diet — that is achievable and sustainable, both for you and the environment.
How We Feel about Food
As you’ll know by now, this is a website that promotes delicious vegetarian food but, in our true laidback style, you don’t have to be a strict vegetarian to benefit.
We promote vegetarianism as a result of conscious consumption, and instead of forcing you to agree with us, we take you through the steps of taking the time to think about your food choices and make smart decisions accordingly.
To begin consciously consuming food, we first need to stop and think about what’s happening during the process. We believe this is a two-fold process:
Determine your motivation behind your food (and drink) choices. Do you choose to eat chocolate cake because you’re stressed and sad or because you’re enjoying fika with a friend? The latter is a good reason to splurge out on chocolate cake, however, comfort eating is often used a way to mask — not deal with — negative emotions.
Once you understand your desires (and often dependencies) on foods, you’re able to make much healthier choices that lead to a happier life. This is not about eliminating junk food and eating like a rabbit; it’s about enjoying the food that we eat and making sure that we face difficult emotions instead of avoiding them.
How can you keep track of your motivations? We recommend keeping a journal that outlines every meal and snack that you eat. While this may seem obsessive, this narrative doesn’t have to be a scrawling masterpiece — a simple sentence about the food item and initial motivation will suffice. Review these musings once a week to determine any perilous patterns that you should work to overcome.
Although eating is a common social practice, the primary purpose of food is survival. As such, you should work to become more aware and educated on nutrition.
This doesn’t mean you’ve got to work yourself weary in order to build a perfectly nutritious diet, but being aware of the major macronutrients (fats, protein and carbohydrates) will help you plan meals accordingly. As a general rule, you should split your meal plate into three parts to accommodate each.
If you do want to get a little more technical, don’t struggle to do it on your own. Knowing whether you’re getting enough vitamins, also known as micronutrients, can be easily done when you track your consumption using a health application like My Fitness Pal. This popular application is sponsored by Under Armour and is the ultimate food friend, which breaks down your daily intake based on your height, weight and goals.
Education and realisation are the key areas to tackle when learning how we feel about food. This can be done at your own pace — there are no strict diet plans or regimented rules to follow.
Remember, in moderation, junk food is okay, but even our favourite treat dishes can often be reformulated into healthy alternatives so that we can enjoy them on a regular basis.
Starting to Understand the Source
For those who have conquered their initial consumption pitfalls, you can dig a little deeper to start to understand the source of your food.
This element of conscious consumption is what led us to vegetarianism and what has led many to veganism.
It’s true that the luxuries of living in a privileged part of the world have made it possible for us to completely disconnect our minds from the origin of food production. We are fortunate enough to purchase food at any given moment, whenever we feel like it, which is a world away from how we would hunt in the wild some two million years ago.
The difference between struggling tirelessly to successfully catch prey and seeing meat miraculously appear on a restaurant table is staggering.
The lion, one of the animals that we portray as one of wildlife’s deadliest predators, has a 25% hunting success rate. When compared to our 100% success rate, where animals are needlessly killed to fill our plates, it shows how unnatural meat eating is.
Understanding the source of our food is important to allows us to face our conscience when it comes to consumption. This doesn’t just deal with the meat-eating morals of raving vegetarians like ourselves, but it also includes the sustainable farming of dairy products, fruits and vegetables.
Where possible, you should source sustainable products from local suppliers that boast superior quality and notable benefits for the surrounding community.
This approach isn’t about being on a diet, looking great, taking enviable food photos for Instagram or any other superficial act that we commonly associate with food. This is about prioritising ethics when it comes to consumption, just as you would in an other aspect of your life.
After all, what use is “going green” and meticulously recycling if you’re continually purchasing from suppliers that don’t do their bit to protect the planet? All of your habits can have a damaging ripple effect, even if we might not realise it on first inspection. Buying local, however, is one of the few habits that delivers plenty more benefits.
There’s More to Where Our Food Comes From
There’s plenty to get your head around in this blog, without us telling you that food isn’t the only thing that you should be worried about. But it’s true.
Much like buying food locally helps the environment and the planet, so does sourcing ethical food packaging. If you want to feel good about your food habits, it’s important to consider switching exclusively to eco-friendly packaging.
We don’t want to pile on the pressure, but favouring environmental packaging is paramount to leading a life of conscious consumption.
Whereas altering your diet can be a painstaking process, as you work to adjust the taste of your meals and your palette, using sustainable food packaging requires relatively little effort but has a great impact on the world.
Although the war on plastic packaging certainly isn’t straightforward, it’s important to ensure that you’re not adding to the overwhelming packaging pollution problem. We’re talking about the use of finite resources, harming endangered wildlife and the inevitable health risks.
As ever at Eat Simply, we would never suggest actions that are unreasonable. It’s not realistic to think that we can never use packaging to transport goods as a consumer. Of course, while it helps to own a reusable bag for shopping and quit putting fruits in plastic pallets, it’s perfectly justified to gorge on a convenient takeaway every now and then.
All we’re saying is, make sure your food is sourced from one of a handful of ethical takeaways that contribute to the solution, rather than be part of the problem.
It’s a Lifestyle
Although we talk about all things food and drink, making conscious decisions is part of a wider lifestyle that promotes awareness and consideration at its core.
Channel Marie Kondo and the minimalist values that encompass each and every part of your life.
As Marie’s konmari approach to life suggests, we should only keep items that spark joy. This helps people across the globe to declutter their lives, wardrobes and minds, and it can work for your diet too.
If that piece of chocolate cake will actually spark joy (and not just distract you from something that isn’t giving you any joy) then go for it.