Look, I don't know about you, but lots of things go through my mind. Sometimes I eat so much SO MUCH - a whole pizza, an Indian buffet, a bag of cookies. Sometimes I run it off or stair master it off or squat for that bootay (u kno)

Why tho? To it all? I know what's good and not but I do it anyway. Gimme a list for manifestation and I'll do it, but maybe I'll just read it and eat more and run more and feel like a loser nobody sees.

Answered by Dannielle Owens-Reid

I first want to say that everyone who says it’s bad to eat a whole pizza in one sitting, is an idiot.

Everything in moderation means you get to have everything.

I don’t believe in diets. I think they’re weird. I think it’s weird to tell someone they can never eat certain things and if they do eat those certain things they have to feel like a worthless piece of shit. AND i don’t understand the culture of people who basically eat whatever they want, because they know if they work out for 2 hours every day, they’ll be fine. WHAT PERSON CAN WORK OUT FOR 2 HOURS EVERY DAY?! Not me is what person. Also, working out doesn't make you healthier unless your body is full of dope-delicious-good-for-you-shit.

All you have to do to feel really, really good about yourself everyday is eat healthy most of the time. 

Transition as slowly as you want, it’s you figuring out how you want to live your life. LIFE IS LONG, so figure it out as gently as you want. And make it easy on yourself. If you FUCKING LOVE CHEESE, don’t try to give up cheese. Like, why on earth would you force yourself to give up something you love? 

Say you learn a bunch about animal products: whether it’s how they effect your body, how the animals are treated, how it effects the environment, how it effects cholesterol, it makes you fat, whatever it is. You decide you wanna try eating fewer animal products. In your head, you’re like, “Cheese is going to be the hardest.” AND THEN… you decide to cut out cheese… WHY WOULD YOU START WITH THE HARDEST?!

Start with the easy shit. Replace butter with earth balance. Replace milk with almond milk or soy milk or coconut milk (each week try a different one if you want, who cares! it’s your life!). You love milk too, it doesn’t work out, go back to milk. Start to eat only chicken, which is pretty easy because you usually ordered chicken anyway. You have a hamburger one night and you start to feel guilty but then you’re like, “Oh wait for the past 2 months I've been eating only chicken 98% of the time. I’m fucking incredible!” So you go on, guilt-free. You discover that almond milk in cereal is AMAZING so now it's in the house all the time. You’ve been cooking at home at least 4 nights a week and use exclusively coconut oil. 

You decide to stop eating chicken and now you’re technically pescatarian, but you don’t say it out loud because you think people will think you sound pretentious. You stopped eating yogurt and now your mid-morning snack is seasoned almonds, a fruit leather, and some grapes. You officially make the switch to almond milk. You learned how to make kale with soy sauce and it just tastes like chinese take out and you think you like it MORE than chinese take out? You cut way down on bread and realize you’re pooping a lot more regularly! You get really into hummus because you don’t have to do anything to make it and the other night you got high with your best friend and realized no one cooks food because it takes way too long. You’ve fallen off and kind of stopped cooking at home. The two of you have a conversation about how technically it takes way longer to wait on food you’ve ordered than it does to cook food. You vow to cook more. BUT you don’t feel guilty about the fact that you haven’t been cooking, you feel grateful that you even remembered cooking existed. You’re looking up new recipes. 

All along the way you’re learning a bunch of cool shit. You watch a documentary on sugar, you read about becoming vegan via myself and Lauren Toyota. You read a book that makes the transition easier. Learning about aforementioned cool shit makes you feel even better because you can finally talk about it without feeling like everyone is judging you. No one is judging you, and if they are, it’s not because you’re stupid, it’s because they don’t understand your decisions and at the end of the day, they don’t have to understand your decisions. Your decisions are yours. Your decisions have been powerful, you’ve only been working on it for a few months and you already feel stronger, lighter, more comfortable with yourself, your anxiety has gone down, you realize you can breathe deeper, your skin has cleared up, you haven’t had emergency-shits AT ALL since you started eating better, you’re spending more time with the people who genuinely care about you and your well being. All around your life feels easier. 

I’m speaking from experience. This is basically what happened to me.

Learning about food also made me want to learn about the world around me. I started to feel amazing because I had replaced most of my snacks with good foods like nuts, fruits, dried fruits, fruit leathers, plantain chips, cucumber sandwiches, veggies and hummus, apples and almond butter. Julia and I rediscovered ants on a log and we’ve managed to tell all of our friends about ants on a log as if it’s a scientific discovery. I also have realized I’ve been laughing a lot more and it doesn’t send me into a depressing spiral when my friends make fun of my ants on a log because them making fun of me is just funny, it used to feel like a threat or like they were secretly thinking about how much I suck, but these friends are different. These friends care for me and think I’m cool and funny and smart and inspiring. I think the same of them, I’m obsessed with my friends. Knowing that my friends love me and feeling confident in that is just a very lucky and well-timed side effect. 

Start this process however feels good to you. Maybe it’s just eating a healthy breakfast every morning. That’s only one thing to do and it’s pretty easy because smoothies / fruits / nuts / granola's etc. are delicious. Wherever you start, it’s a great place. Before you know it you will feel better than you’ve ever felt in your life and it’s not because of a crash diet with a bunch of rules. It’s because you genuinely love eating healthy. AND everything in moderation means you get to have everything. If most of what you eat is comprised of vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, fruits, spices, etc., you’re going to feel really really good. And when you feel really really good, eating a whole pizza in one sitting won’t make you feel terrible because your body will be much better prepared for digesting it. 

To answer your question, "Why tho?" -- only because you want to. It's hard. Most junk foods are loaded with preservatives, artificial ingredients, synthetic sugars, etc., all of which are addictive. You're starting this journey actually addicted to the food that you're saying you don't even WANT to be eating. It's so difficult. It's also much, much harder to find good foods. Addictive junk foods are cheap as hell and they're EVERYWHERE. Don't let anyone make you feel like eating well everyday is an easy thing. It's hard (which is why you should congratulate yourself for every single baby step). The only reason I was able to change the way I eat on a daily basis is because I desperately wanted to feel better. Not because of how I looked, how much I weighed, what fad was cool, what people thought of me, etc. etc. etc, but because I wanted to feel good. I wanted clear skin, less anxiety, more confidence. I wanted to stop getting sick every three weeks, I didn't want heartburn after every meal, I wanted a handle on my own depression, and a better lease on life. I wanted to live the entire rest of my life feeling fucking incredible. So, I tried a bunch of shit and eating well worked.

I’ve learned a lot over the past two years, through reading, researching, asking questions, and experimenting . If I eat a bowl of cereal I feel great about eating a treat. If I eat 2 - 3 bowls of cereal every night for a week (real life) I start to feel drained, unmotivated, and a little bit worthless. My weight, your weight, no one’s weight matters. It matters how you feel in your own body. Nothing has to be permanent. Try something for a few weeks and see how it feels. I don't drink because I'm prone to anxiety / depression and alcohol is a depressant, it would make me spin out like 8000x more. The thing that has effected me the best / most is eating what I know. So, I look at the ingredients and if it’s made of all things I know & understand, (if it’s made of real foods) I’m into it…I do this because that means I can eat treats whenever I want as long as they’re made of real treats and not processed things. If I don't know, I skip it and move on to something I do know. I've been high and killed a full carton of grapes before - and I guarantee I'll do it again.

Do the things that will make you feel good, strong, and confident in the long run. 

and stop reading beauty magazines.

If you have a question for Dannielle or another member of the collective