How to Explain to Others What You Eat (You Don't Need to Defend Yourself)
Whether it’s meeting a friend for lunch, having a family dinner, or grabbing a snack at a cafe with a business or work associate, in our Western society it overwhelmingly involves food. Explaining your choices to friends and family doesn’t have to be challenging. You can easily still socialize while respecting your dietary choices! The Beauty Detox Solution is all about having the highest level of respect for your body and in the process transform yourself through nutritiously dense foods that promote deep cellular cleansing. It’s not a temporary way of eating with a start and an end date, but it is an ongoing lifestyle change. Part of your lifestyle is inevitably going to involve being around and eating with people that don’t eat the same.
I’ve gotten a few questions lately about explaining dietary choices to friends and family, and that’s why I wanted to share with you all today’s post.
You don’t have to defend yourself. It can be intimidating to go to a dinner and be the only person ordering vegetarian food. I really want to encourage you to not slip into the mindset that somehow you’re the “weirdo”, and you have to be on the defensive for why you’re eating a certain way. Instead, if asked, confidently and simply comment that eating the way you do makes you feel amazing, lighter, more energetic, etc.- you choose what fits for you. You know exactly how good you feel and why you feel that way. It’s much more powerful to hear someone approach an explanation with a light-hearted and easy going attitude. After all, your body, your decisions. Remember that you are the only person responsible for taking care of your body. Keeping this “it’s about me attitude” will help people from feeling attacked or even bad about themselves when you are telling them why. You really can’t fault someone for making their own choices- freedom of choice must be respected. But if they do you know then that deep down that person must feel bad about themselves, or somehow intuitively know they are not taking care of their body as good as they could. Know that, and don’t let any negative energy from someone else affect you.
Keep it personal. Use the first person when describing your choices. Think about the difference between these two sentences:
1) As humans, we’re really designed to be eating a plant-based diet. If we want to shed unwanted fat while feeling better, we really have to cut out dairy, minimize meat consumption, and stay away from processed foods. In fact, digesting excessive animal protein leads accelerated tissue degeneration and aging skin!
2) I don’t buy into those short-term cleanses, but I’m making long-term lifestyle shifts that contribute to ongoing cleansing in my body. I’m eating mostly plant-foods right now and have cut back on my meat intake. I’ve noticed an improvement in my energy, my skin and my overall well-being. I feel good!
I would prefer to hear a friend describe it as number two, wouldn’t you agree? Moreover, focus on the experiential feeling. Description is a powerful tool to use when conveying something to friends and family. The last thing you want to do is make it about them, or make anyone get down on themselves! So talk in the first person and describe how you feel. No one can dispute the feelings you have in your own body!
Choose your words wisely. Only offer an explanation if asked. People in your life who care about you will probably be curious about what you’re up to anyway. That being said, don’t take a listening ear as a sign to go into a full fledged explanation of the BDS philosophy! It can be easy to misinterpret politeness with genuine interest. Only go into the reasons why you eat the way you do unless asked. Focus on the benefits, not the negative side affects.
For example, if someone asked why eating alkaline is better for the body you could say:
“Our bodies very effective at protecting us from toxins. We do this by wrapping toxins up in fat cells and keeping them away from our vital organs. By eating more plant foods we begin to gently (and slowly!) cleanse our body of acidic, toxic waste. With the toxins, comes the fat! Your skin looks better too, because the toxins don’t have to be expelled through the skin, in the form of acne, or continue to circulate, which can contribute to accelerated aging.”
Let the food do the talking. This is something I love doing! Nothing is more effective at then getting people to try it for themselves. I can’t count how many people (men usually!) I know who turn their nose up at Glowing Green Smoothies at first site. On set maybe a camera man or a PA smirks at it. But after seeing all the actors and producers drinking it and bouncing around set, they get curious, and a week or two in they want to try it too. After they do, they freak out at how much energy they have, and guess what? They want it every day also! Bring some food to the next social gathering, and have your friends and family see for themselves. People love this because you are contributing to the meal and they also get to try something new without any effort. Who knows, someone might fall in love with the food before you even open your mouth! This is one of the most powerful ways to communicate “why” in one bite. Some of my favorite recipes to bring over to a social gathering are Greek-Inspired Millet Salad, Quinoa, Dharma’a Kale Salad, Avocado and Corn Salad, Alkaline-Grain Veggie Burgers, and Millet “CousCous” Salad.
Send over a blog! Send over a link on a blog topic that you think will interest them. You never know, hearing it from a third party source may cause some shifts in their perception and understanding of your choices. It’s always best to ask first, before you send something over. This is great for someone who 1) has a lot of questions 2) is curious about the program 2) maybe had some reservations. You wouldn’t want to be perceived as being pushy or preachy so always ask and choose your blog topic carefully. This is also great because you don’t have to exhaust yourself trying to relay tons of detailed nutritional info and they can get another perspective.
Share the BDS with them! If someone is super interested and totally on board with your philosophy, share a copy of The Beauty Detox Solution with them and educate how is almond milk made. It’s a fantastic way for someone to fully understand the foundations, philosophy, and core tenets of the program at their own speed that are a part of your life. This way, you leave it up to them and take a step back. If your friend, colleague, family member decides to go for it, you can help “coach” them through it by sharing your favorite recipes and serving as a support system. Hopefully you can support each other.
Most importantly, it’s not what you say, but how you be. Communication is largely nonverbal. Be open, accepting, and most importantly share with love.
One of my favorite quotes:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~Maya Angelou
This is how I approach the question when people ask me why I eat the way I do. I love sharing my philosophy with others (especially my family and my clients). I know how to answer this question, and now you do too!
If you want some tips on how to eat healthy when eating out (or with the fam), click here!