A "Balanced" Diet

I didn't really have a specific dish, snack, fruit or drink in mind that I wanted to expand on and attempt to connect to the rest of this course. Rather, I wanted to look at food as a whole in retrospect. I wanted to look at what I've been taught and what I know about food and compare and connect it to this course. Specifically the idea of a balanced diet. Full disclosure I am not a dietitian and these are of course my humble thoughts. Do with that what you may.

When I hear the term "balanced diet" I get flashbacks to middle and high school health classes where we were taught to have a certain balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in the meals we eat. But as we all soon realized at some point early in life, comparing our physiques to that of our piers in gym class, asking why others are bigger, smaller, curvier, more skinny, more muscular, etc, we see that we are all different and that no one diet fits all. Though we didn't know it at a young age, for the most part our genetics determined our metabolism. And whether we like it or not, a big part of life is discovering for ourselves what is the right diet for us.

But it doesn't stop there. Even though as animals we must try to eat what is physically optimal for our bodies, that is only half the story. As human beings, with the ability to rationalize morality, we must have diets that meet out ethical standards. After all, it's hard to eat with a guilty conscious, am I right? This is where the idea that we are all different comes into play again. As Professor Vesna mentioned in class, a major aspect of this course is finding awareness and having tolerance for other people's preferences. A Vegan may say that eating animals supports an under regulated industry of cruelty and murder. Whereas a devout Christian, Muslim or Jew may adhere to the idea that man was put on the Earth as a steward meant to utilize the resources of their surroundings in this test of life and animals are part of that. Thus, the taking of a life of an animal in the name of God is justified. The point here is that it's important not to assume or label others based off of your own moral standards which you chose for yourself or were raised with, rather as Professor Vesna mentioned it is better to bring awareness and have others understand the other sides of the story. 

And it doesn't end there. Not only do we need food that is optimally ideal for our metabolisms and ethically appealing, but also we need it to be convenient enough. There are many more factors to consider, but I'll stop there and get to the next major point of this blog post, and that is: with all these factors at play we come to a major issue of crossroads in which we must prioritize what's more important in the face of competing and opposing factors. For example, would you choose to be Vegan, even though your dietitian tells you that you actually are getting sick because of a lack of meat in your diet? Is time and money the reason you eat a cup of microwavable ramen every night? As we see, a balanced diet is not so simple. 

As discussed in class, the easiest solution to finding that balance is trial and error. Get educated, gain that awareness of what food is to you and those around you and then immerse yourself in what interests you. To nourish our bodies, we must first nourish our minds and spirits and expose ourselves to all that is offered then can we really begin to finally and truly start to find that balanced diet that is right for us, a continuous and on-going process rather than a destination.

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