‘Part-paleo’ - Why must we label the way we eat?
By Emma Stubbs
I was speaking to a client during a recent job. She said she was starting to go part-paleo. I mistakenly gave her a puzzled look. ‘Oh, you don’t know what the paleo diet is?’. Oh lady, if only you knew. I apologised and explained it was her reference to being ‘part-paleo’. She explained that she couldn’t cut out her morning oat porridge and needed dairy in her life. So I said, ‘So you’re just trying to follow a healthy diet’.
‘No, I’m part-paleo.’
Paleo. Part Paleo. Clean eater. Sugar quitter. Mediterranean. High protein. Nordic. Low carbohydrate. Vegetarian. Vegan. Pegan.
Why is that we must label the way we eat?
At the time of writing this post, there were 7,291,257,934 people in the world. Each one an individual. Science tells us that we all have our own individual genetic make up. Therefore we all have different requirements. Not to mention, we have different taste buds, daily priorities and lifestyles.
We are all individuals, living very different lives.
So why is it that we feel the need to label what works for our own body with one of a handful of generic labels?
You’ve heard it before, and as a new fad diet arises next month, we’ll say it again – there is no one size fits all approach to nutrition. Nutrition and health is not a game. It’s not about following food rules that claim to be the best or about cutting out the foods you love. It’s about the getting the basics right. Plant based & minimally processed. It’s about you. Tailor your food choices and eating patterns to suit you. If you need to eliminate gluten, or you’d prefer to stick needles in your eyes than drink a glass of cow’s milk, that’s okay. If you can’t afford to feed your entire family grass-fed organic beef, don’t like the taste of coconut oil or would prefer a piece of wholegrain toast for breakfast instead of acai berry smoothie bowl. That’s also okay.
The best eating pattern doesn’t need to have a label. It just needs to be one that works for you every day. It needs to keep you physically, socially, emotionally and mentally healthy. That way you don’t feel restricted, you can look forward to eating out with friends and still enjoy the foods that you love. Not to mention, you need to be able to follow your eating pattern for longer than a 12-week body challenge.
So let’s ditch the labels. Let us just eat a diet that is based on wholefoods and tailored to suit our own bodies. An eating pattern that is packed full of goodness, with a healthy side of moderation.