By Alheli Garcia
The meaning of food in our lives may take on many forms. Some cultures take on a moral approach to their dietary habits, others emphasize health by focusing on whole foods and following ancestral eating habits. Many people see food as an essential source of fuel to survive on a daily basis whether it is processed or whole foods, food is food. However, being an overall healthy person is a common goal in today’s society and to accomplish that optimal health we have to start with adopting a diet that fulfills our nutritional requirements.
For a college student on a budget, it seems nearly impossible to be able to eat healthy. We are busy, broke, and short on time so we rely on fast and economic options. This can backfire on us in the future with negative health outcomes.
So what are the nutritional habits one must adopt in order to feel great? This is where the controversial debate regarding food comes along. The Paleo community claims that to achieve optimal health, one must only eat foods that our ancestors ate. Many health fanatics swear to obtain better health by following the caveman diet which prohibits dairy, grains, sugar, and legumes. The paleo dieter eats foods that could be gathered, fished, and hunted similar to a caveman. On the other side of the debate there is the vegan community. This community believes that consuming animal derived products is not only unethical but it is unhealthy. The logic lies behind the theory that the human body is not built to consume animals or anything derived from a living creature. Although meat has a high amount of protein, the saturated fat it contains overshadows its health benefits.
Yovana Mendoza is a blogger who goes by the name of Rawvana. She claims that a raw vegan diet was responsible for her life transformation. Rawvana used to battle with eating disorders, alcoholism, and drugs prior to her dietary change, but ever since she turned vegan her life became more positive and spiritual. She feels healthy and is more energetic than ever by following an 80/10/10 diet. Basically what 80/10/10 stands for is an ideal nutrition plan allowing 80% of calories to be consumed from fruit and vegetable derived carbs, 10% derived from healthy fats, and 10% derived from vegan protein. Mendoza’s motto goes something like this,
“Eat an abundance of fruit and veggies. Act with compassion towards all living beings.
Practice love and generosity to self and others. Connect your mind, body, and spirit.
Enjoy nature and the outdoors. Live life, and love your body. Use natural beauty products. Be mindful of your thoughts. Be active daily.”
Rawvana claims that you can eat vegan on just $5 a day
Almond milk: $1.79
1.65 lbs oats: $1.63
2 lbs apples: $2.69
2 bell peppers: $1.98
1 red onion: $.59
3 avocados: $5.37
4 large sweet potatoes: $3.16
1 lb carrots: $.79
1 pack of romaine hearts: $1.33
7 bananas: $1.33
4 limes: $.76
20 oz tomatoes: $1.99
2 lbs black beans: $2.27
1.4 lbs white rice: $1.11
0.40 lb flaxseed meal: $0.56
Frozen green beans: $1.49
2 lbs green lentils: $2.38
0.10 lb serrano peppers: $.10
1 bunch cilantro: $.50
1 head of garlic: $1.69
A paleo dieter who relies heavily on meat derived protein will clearly disagree with a dietary plan such as the 80/10/10. For example, blogger Matt Emery claims that the Caveman Diet will provide you with increased energy, mental clarity, and weight loss. He states that this diet,
“Deepens your connection with your being (some call it spirit)
When you are in tune with your animal instincts, you are in tune with your body’s wants and needs. Throughout this diet you will notice yourself having more clarity of mind, and a deeper sense of knowing thyself”
If you think you would do better on a Paleo diet , here is a list of cheap foods you can find at Costco! Check it out
These extremely contrasting diet plans promise similar outcomes.I believe that these two contrasting approaches to a healthy lifestyle are extremes. While being mindful of other living creatures is a pro of being vegan. I believe that there should overall be a balance of both ideas that would yield less restrictive eating habits. Additionally, everyone is unique with regards to ancestry. Various populated regions in the ancient world had their own unique diet. What work for someone might not work for others. It is also important to keep that in mind. Also we should be kind and mindful to ourselves and others no matter what kind of food we eat.