Recently, it has become popular for my friends and family to tag me in their Facebook and Instagram pictures of their meals or to text me photos of other people’s food or grocery labels. I kind of think this is intended as flattery, and I appreciate it. To me, it represents the fact that people are “getting it”, the word is spreading and people are becoming more conscientous of their food decisions. If it means I have to fill the role of paleo police, then so be it. I’m not condemning choices, but by all means if people want feedback, I’m here with it!
That said, it occurred to me recently really how far I’ve come and how much has changed in the past 3 years. Anymore, my kids and I take for granted the way we eat, or shop. Yet, it wasn’t that long ago that our pantry looked very different.
A friend of mine, who is also a teacher, sent me a photo of the contents of a Lunchable the other day, commenting about how gross it looked. While I agree, completely, it made me go back in time to a place when a Lunchable was an acceptable lunch, and $1.99 Happy Meals were acceptable as Thursday dinner. It’s truly mortifying to admit publicly that yes, grabbing a packet of Goldfish crackers as a snack actually happened in our house. Yuck.
Here is the thing, we all start somewhere and starting is the single most important part. The day you finally realize that what you THINK you know, is not at all what you THOUGHT it was, is a huge step in the right direction. As an advocate for a Paleo lifestyle, what I really am is an advocate for the truth. I believed the marketing and advertising, I believed that fortified food products provided a nutritious and convenient source of fuel for myself and my family. I am like everyone else… except, I woke up. What made me wake up… people who were in my face, consistently, for a long time, telling me to wake the hell up!
There is a lot of back and forth about our approach… “be and example”, “don’t be preachy”, “answer questions when asked, but don’t be in people’s faces about how you eat”… screw that… be whatever you are. If your approach is soft and subtle, fine. If my approach is loud and obnoxious, fine. They both work. I’ll work on the people who need an ass kicking and you work on the ones that don’t like to be confronted. You know why? because people come in all shapes, sizes and personalities, with different motivators. We need more doses of reality, more honesty about responsibility and integrity, more truth about the human condition, more walls torn down around the marketing lies, more information!
Today, I walked into the local bookstore and stood in front of their “new year’s resolution” display table… all diet and exercise and you know what I saw… books… lots of them… written by people I KNOW. People changing the world, one reader at a time, each one explaining our approach in a different way… because there is a big enough audience for all of us to share our story and we will all catch different fish! So be a voice, be your own voice… and tell your story, it’s catching on!
Without information, without hearing stories; I’d still believe that pesticides washed off my foods with water, I wouldn’t know what a CAFO farmed animal vs a pastured grass-fed humanely raised animal was. I wouldn’t know that corn syrup occupied almost everything I bought and that Genetic Modification was more than cross-breeding species. I’d still believe the lady at the store who once told me that “farmed” fish was healthier because it was fresh, whereas wild caught fish had to be frozen so it wasn’t as good. Without information, none of us would be here. So, we are charged with the social responsibility of informing others.