Aren’t you being too restrictive and depriving yourself of all of the “pleasure foods”?
This is a critique we received early on from some of the people closest to us. We spent a lot of time thinking about it and came to some powerful realizations about how our society views food and the general idea of restriction. The first thing we realized is that restriction is not necessarily a negative thing. At its core, restrictions are meant to establish boundaries that protect us from things that cause harm. It would be irresponsible to be completely “unrestricted” with our children or ourselves in any area of life.
The second thing we realized is that setting restrictions (or boundaries) up front can actually lead to more freedom over the long run. There is an interesting relationship between restriction and limitation. If you are “unrestricted” in the types of foods you consume (meaning anything goes), then you will need to provide limitations on the amount of certain foods you can consume. Unfortunately, our society is experiencing the negative consequences of having unlimited amounts of these foods.
If your circle of “allowable” foods is restricted to only health-promoting foods, then you do not have to worry about limiting the amounts (other than the high-fat plant foods). As we have stated throughout this document, when you focus on low-fat, plant-based whole foods you can literally eat whenever you want and as much as your body wants. There is no need to focus on counting calories or measuring portions. We can not even begin to explain the freedom that comes with not worrying about food in that way. You must experience it for yourself!
Lastly, we have found that there are many “pleasurable” foods that we can still enjoy in our lives. We allow our kids (and ourselves) to enjoy treats or indulgent foods. There are countless ways to creatively make foods that are similar and actually far better than their traditional counterparts. Point in fact, we have had several instances where we have taken plant-based desserts to social events and ours was the first dish cleaned out!
The key to overcoming this mindset is to focus on what you CAN eat rather than what you can not.