‘What’s your guilty pleasure’ they ask, ‘What’s your top tip for a guilt-free dinner’ they say. The term ‘guilt’ in the world of food makes me writhe.
We’ve gone into overdrive; this notion that food is categorised into two separate entities: clean food and food we should feel guilty for eating. The Clean Eating world for all of its virtues when it comes to encouraging the consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables has lulled us into panic mode. Truth is, it’s not that simple anymore; eating lots of fruit and vegetables, cooking from scratch, cutting down on fatty foods – none of this is sellable. In order for people to sit up and perk up (summer bodies in the back of their minds) we’ve been brainwashed into accepting smashed avocado on toast and an almond milk matcha latte to be the height of clean and sophistication. For one to eat a burger it must be done so as part of a ‘dirty cheat day’ meal or better yet, find a ‘guilt-free’ alternative.
Why must we have these titles, I ask myself constantly. The title of ‘Guilt-Free food’ derives this notion that we should feel guilty for eating anything other than it’s stale gluten, dairy and sugar-free counterpart. I’m fine, thanks.
For all the celiacs out there, my heart goes out to you, it really does. A life without gluten would be miserable for me, I live for pasta, bread and cake and I’m completely pro-pizza. For a medically diagnosed food intolerance I understand the necessary measures that need to be taken to eat a healthy diet through the elimination of gluten. What I don’t understand is the obsession of cutting it out when there’s no need. Does everyone really understand what gluten is or why it’s being recommend to cut it out of our diets to be ‘healthy’? I put it to the test. I asked fifty people if they knew what gluten was. Twenty-four gave me a real answer. More than half of the people I asked understood it was something in ‘bread’ but couldn’t tell me exactly what or how it’s derived. Alarmingly still, fourteen of these people were following a gluten-free diet because they believed it was healthier, that eating a gluten-free cake was a ‘guilt-free way’ of getting their sugar fix. Alarming, isn’t it?
So I propose some retro-thinking, back to basics and embracing the good old fashioned way of thinking ‘Everything in Moderation’. Face plant that fried chicken, devour that donut and do so without the guilt because not only is life too short but you shouldn’t feel guilty for eating food you actually enjoy.
My Grandfather taught me the motto ‘A little of what you fancy does you good’, something I have decided to live my life by. By all means have a brownie if you want one, that’s the joy of it, just don’t eat 10 in one go.
Deprivation is dull and food is to be fancied. Cook from scratch, eat that brownie and enjoy every mouthful. Time to ditch the food glitch and jilt the guilt. It’s time to enjoy your food again.
Milly’s Real Food is available to buy on Amazon HERE