Let’s face it. We’ve all said it. Maybe it was after a weekend of drinking. Maybe it was after traveling. Maybe it was after a night out with ice cream, pizza, and onion rings(in that order). We start to experience guilt, shame, remorse, discomfort and think,”I was so ‘bad‘”. This often stems from our social constructs of food. It roots from the idea that there is only one way to eat and one way only, that certain foods are “good” and everything else is “bad”.

This is the same mindset that might creep its way into gym culture. That you have to “earn” your right to ice cream by working out. Or that you’re not “good enough” if you don’t workout hard enough, eat the cleanest most organic foods, or take all of your vitamins. That you can’t “out train a bad diet”.

In honor of National Nutrition Month, I’m here to ruffle some feathers and dismantle that diet culture mentality. I’m here to say that there is no such thing as “good” or “bad” foods. Instead, there are foods that may be more supportive of your goals. There are foods that may be more nourishing. There are foods that may help you perform better. There are also foods that are celebratory, nostalgic, cultural, meaningful, convenient, or just taste effing amazing. All food is food.

Rather than silo everything into good or bad, we should view food as a galaxy of choices. Some days we may be skyrocketing towards the moon, laser-focused on nutrient-dense foods. Some days, you may be passing through an asteroid belt. What matters is food. Food is matter. There are reasons that food matters beyond nutrition including: its representation of our history, the world that we live in, a bond, and a relationship with self. So go ahead, be ‘bad’, but don’t call it that. Be human. You matter.