Inspiration from Meghan

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Labels are for tin cans- and I mean it!


Labels are for tins cans- is a line in my creed, but I also mean it fully and completely.

We've  been immersed in the world of all things UnDiet as we plan our six month blog tour, book launch, book club and loads more- we have been calling on people to join forces with us.

I have been surprised by the questions we get back and have come to realize the following:

1. That all too often, subscribing to one diet or another seems to become a dedication where people become unable to open up to or support the fact that there is no one best way to eat for everyone on the planet.

2. The wild and wide range of assumptions that have been made of my own diet and the assumption of point two above, that I will not work with someone who doesn't subscribe to how I eat (or how they think I eat).

For the most part, it seems, I am assumed to be vegan. Many have labelled me vegetarian. Some even consider me "hard core healthy", and the result of these assumptions about me- have people 'confessing' that they eat meat, drink coffee, or even have the occasional doughnut- fearing that these common habits may have me running in the other direction. However- I was never assumed to be vegan enough to participate in a Raw/Vegan festival. I have been reported to the Toronto Veg Association for discussing the healing powers of chicken soup on one of my retreats.

The truth is that unless you have hired me to tell you what to eat, you can do as you think best for yourself. I'm good with that. I don't pay attention to the labels and neither should you.

Your diet of choice is not who you are. (Tweet that gem!)

I have never at any time given a label to the way I eat. You won't find my eating habits tattooed on my body and you won't ever find me telling you that you need to eat just like me to be optimally healthy. And this is for very good reason.

I sincerely believe that there is an optimal way that each of us need to be eating and that each of us require our own unique formula. I do not believe that the vegan way of eating is absolutely right for everyone, all the time, ongoing. I also couldn't say that everyone should be eating meat, ongoing, all the time either. I know people who reversed disease and lost loads of pounds on a raw diet and people who did the same by transitioning to a paleo diet. I also know individuals who subsequently gained weight or developed cavities on a long term vegan diet. Dr. Gonzales has case studies of specific cancers that require a veg diet to heal and other cancers that require high amounts of organic meat to heal.

When you read someone's blog and they boast a certain way of eating that is creating health miracles in their lives- it becomes so inspiring. Be inspired by others- but don't ever let anyone's personal miracle diet make you feel like that is the only option for you.

I know through personal experience as well as through my work with others that our diets require modification ongoing. As I've spoke about before, a certain diet may serve us for a time. A specific way of eating may help us to overcome a health challenge, but does that automatically mean that this way of eating needs to be how we eat forever and ever? I don't think it does.

We live in an environment where seasons change,  our activity levels change, our hormones change, and we age. All of these factors and so many more will influence what the right diet is for you at any given time in your life, and it is then up to you to determine whether the way you are eating is continuing to support your own optimal health, or whether it is time to make adjustments. Don't ever be attached to a dietary label that sacrifices your health in the process.

I can tell you that if I were to love and support you as a vegan, I will love and support you just the same should you decide you need eggs or broth or whatever in your diet. Your diet of choice is not who you are. You being you is who you are and I would hope that what you choose to eat ultimately acts to support who you are in the most optimal, awesome, health supportive way.

Don't label me. I won't label you. Save the labels for the tin cans and lets all agree to keep those tin can foods on the grocery store shelf and instead, agree together, to just eat real food.


Share it! Your diet of choice is not who you are

27 Responses to “Labels are for tin cans- and I mean it!”

  1. Shannon C said…
    ThiS is a fantastic post, Meghan!
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      Thank you.
  2. Bonnie Duchscherer said…
    Dear Meghan, thank you for this blog, you really have sent out an important message as it can get so easy to get into one way of eating, and think that is the only way everyone should eat. Your statement on seasons and different stages of life is so right. I think if it is kept organic, and fresh, so you can go with the with the flow of life, that's what's important. Cheers
    • Meghan Telpner said…
  3. Meg Watkins said…
    I completely agree! Over the past two years, I have become 98% vegan, but rather than give myself any traditional label, I choose to tell people that I am a "conscious eater," because I don't think anyone should be made to feel bad about themselves for doing what is best for their body, or for having a moment of weakness. There isn't anything I *can't* eat - there are only things I *choose* not to eat, because of the way they make me feel, because of how they are sourced, because of what they do for our world and the living things in it. I try to always make conscious decisions about the food I choose to eat before I put it in my mouth, and to make sure that this food is feeding me, and treating our world, in the best way possible.
  4. Danielle said…
    I just loved this post! Thank you reiterating it again your diet is not what defines you, no one diet is perfect for everyone, and our bodies and environments are always changing - so why shouldn't our diet! I've begun eating meat again and was very worried how others would react - i.e. 'I told you so' from the 'meat-eaters' and shame from the vegetarians and vegans. Fortunately I've found people could really care less! Ha I think so long as we are honest and authentic and choose our food with integrity that is the best choice - regardless of what 'diet' it may happen to fall under.
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      Preach on sister! I am with you :)
  5. Raeanne said…
    Thank you for sharing this, Meghan. I'll be sharing it myself! Once at an informal group meeting at my work, we were asked to introduce ourselves a bit, so I did and in doing so mentioned that I was studying holistic nutrition. After I said that, the most senior manager within my organization responded, "so you're vegetarian?" And said no, but I'm selective about what I do eat and try to eat as clean and organic as possible. And he then responded "oh... so you run around your backyard and catch the chickens yourself" - which a chuckle, I might add. I'm not going to say where I work... but if you knew, it would bring this to another level and make you wonder about the state of food in our country... (I'll let you infer from there) :)
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      I don't like secrets? Where? WHERE??? ;)
  6. Great post! I feel the same way about labels and diets. Sometimes when I'm taking to people about food and my blog they assume I'm vegan or vegetarian and I almost feel guilty saying ummm no I eat meat. Right now I'm still trying to find the "diet" that works well for me but I'm sure it won't be found under a label and I know I won't be following it forever. I also remind myself that its great to strictly stick to a "healthy diet" but if finding the foods that fit into that diet are causing me stress then its worth rethinking. Although diet can make a big difference in our bodies, stress can do a lot of harm as well. I noticed you mentioned a six month blog tour, I'm not sure how you are running it but I would LOVE to participate! I think my readers would definitely be interested in your book and I would love to help spread the word.
  7. Ami L said…
    ahhh I REALLY love this post. I think the most important thing is people just focus on eating actual REAL food! The whole labels thing drives me nutso.
  8. Christa said…
    Thank you for this Meghan... My husband and I have discussed food and the way we eat at great length. I have been following a vegan diet (although still with honey) for almost a year now, and my husband has just recently decided to stop eating meat. He stills consumes eggs and dairy, but is also learning that not all dairy is created equal. I decided very early on that I would never 'preach' to him or 'scold' him about what he's consuming. He is a grown man and can do what he chooses. However, it is still my job to teach him what I have learned so that he can make informed choices. It has worked extremely well, and thankfully he will eat anything that I put on his plate :) I don't want those labels, I'm not perfect, and neither is anyone else. I do agree, there is no perfect 'diet', I'd rather not stress about how 'vegan' I am. Life is to be lived, not struggled through.
  9. Ashley said…
    This post is amazing. And so much of what is here was mirrored in a few conversations you and I had on the beach last year in beautiful St. Lucia. It's very easy to get caught up with labels, but it's ultimately best to do what is right as an individual in that time in your life.
  10. Sunshine Mama said…
    I can't even begin to tell you how refreshing this post is! I used to want to "be vegan", but every time my hubby (who works away) would come home, I'd end up eating meat, like the rest of the family. I felt like such a failure for a long time, just because I was trying to adhere to a label, set by myself. I was setting myself up for failure. I still eat meat from time to time, but for the most part, I've been eating a plant based diet, because it's what my body needs right now not because I want a label. I just try to be in tuned with what my body needs and how it feels at any given moment, and go from there. Right now, tofu makes me feel like crap, but the occasional fish or shrimp works for me, so be it. I can have my fish and green smoothie too. I've been thinking of writing a blog post about this for quite sometime, as many people think I'm vegan. This is just the inspiration I needed! Time to stop feeling ashamed for not eating a certain way and just BE!

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