The Angry Chef has a Right to be Mad

imagesAs someone who reflexively rolls her eyes when she hears the word “detox” I can appreciate where The Angry Chef is coming from.  I’m one of those yogis who has, at times, felt guilty for eating pizza, virtuous for making her own kale chips, and silly for believing the health claims of dubious supplements.  I’ve watched my weight balloon to nearly 200 pounds on a diet of spaghetti, beans and Guinness and subsequently plummet to 118 when I chose a dangerously restrictive food path. Fifteen years ago, while too fat and again while too thin, I was vulnerable and open to the promise of any trendy, celebrity-promoted magic elixir. Even today, it doesn’t take much for me to fall under the spell of so-called “health gurus” like the pseudo-doctor Gillian McKeith mentioned in Anthony Warner’s (The Angry Chef) Guardian editorial.

Over the past few years, while dealing with the mental health issue I wrote about here, I gained serious poundage. I’m currently on the high end of a healthy weight and committed to maintaining my health while bringing my weight down and increasing my fitness. It’s a slow process – and it should be.

That’s why I appreciated Warner’s hard-edged message. And why I appreciate the reasoned sincerity of authors like Michael Pollan, Dan Barber and Ruth Reichl.

My foodie path leans far closer to vegan, but it’s their relationship to food and consequently to their bodies that I appreciate.

What Warner writes about coffee can be applied to every morsel we eat. Food is not ‘good’ or ‘bad’.  It just is. And our beautiful bodies need the calories that food provides in order to thrive. We can choose to be vegan and we can choose to be omnivores but aside from an individual’s ethical considerations of eating meat our choices are not ‘good’ or ‘bad’. They just are. If we choose too much or too little it will show.

We are not toxic. Our beautiful bodies have amazing systems for eliminating substances that don’t support our health and wellness. Gwyneth, take note. If we do our best to keep our skin, liver, kidneys, lungs and intestines functioning we’ll save $425 because we’ll have no need for this.

Keeping our bodies beautiful – and what I mean is keeping our bodies healthy, glowing, and physically fit – requires that we eat enough calories to sustain life and that we move enough to burn the excess.

Our lives are complicated enough. Let’s make living simple.