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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Food choice defensive

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    I was just wondering from you guys - have you ever had others questions your food choices and you felt kind of defensive about it? Certainly ever is entitled to eat whatever they want to eat, no matter how good/bad it may be for you/them, but when people say things about your personal diet does it upset you?

    I recently went Paleo (except definitely not low carb on cycling days) because I found out I have celiac disease (10+ years of digestive disturbances gone in about a month!) and have dairy intolerance as well (even goat's milk). I don't try and push this diet on anyone, it's how I choose to eat now. And even though I feel GREAT and I want to share with everyone, I try to talk about it very little, except when people offer me things I used to eat heartily and I now decline and they wonder why.

    But recently at a staff meeting, I made gluten/dairy free cupcakes - vanilla with vanilla frosting and little pockets of vanilla custard inside and topped with toasted almonds. I thought they were really good. But they all made faces and complained for the entire week about how gross my diet is and how can I eat that and what am I doing? And for some reason, I was actually wounded by this and it really put a damper on my whole week. And I used to go out with these people after work sometimes and I don't think they are inviting me on the next night out because it'll be too hard to find something I can eat (which isn't true, I can almost always find something at a restaurant - even italian!). I feel really bummed out by this.

    So I was just wondering, any of you been in the same situation? What did you do? I'm not going back (first time I haven't had heartburn daily in 10 years!) and I LOVE the way I eat now (bacon everyday, anyone?). But I really need something nice to say to them when they get all closed-minded on me and I just want them to go away.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    2,704
    All the time, but on the opposite end of the spectrum. I have Type 1 diabetes, and the whole world thinks that my food choices are their business. IME, there's no good way to handle it. I vascilate between, "thanks for your concern, but I'm doing great" and "Who says I can't eat this?", depending on my patience level and the individual involved. It's especially irksome when the comments are founded in misunderstanding (you can't have that cookie!") or someone else's circumstances ("My cousin with diabetes eats Chinese food all the time- why don't you?").

    In your situation, I think that all you can do is sow the idea that you do have lots of options for food choices, including eating out. Maybe say something like, "I know that it doesn't work for everyone, but I feel great!" with a big smile...?

    ((((westtexas))) I'm happy that you're feel so much better on your new diet, but I'm sorry that people are being mean about it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    YOU have to be tough. Of course it felt personal. IT WAS. but don't share your stuff with other people unless you know them to be open minded.
    Over the years I have done a few different dietary things, but I mostly keep it quiet. the only thing i'm not quiet about is that i don't eat donuts!
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    But recently at a staff meeting, I made gluten/dairy free cupcakes - vanilla with vanilla frosting and little pockets of vanilla custard inside and topped with toasted almonds. I thought they were really good. But they all made faces and complained for the entire week about how gross my diet is and how can I eat that and what am I doing? And for some reason, I was actually wounded by this and it really put a damper on my whole week. And I used to go out with these people after work sometimes and I don't think they are inviting me on the next night out because it'll be too hard to find something I can eat (which isn't true, I can almost always find something at a restaurant - even italian!). I feel really bummed out by this.
    I think that's really rude of them. And unbelievable that they are adults. Their behaviour is ...like children.

    Like Mimi said, I do agree you have be tough but not explain yourself constantly about the food you eat/serve.

    I've had people tell me that they don't like Chinese food, that it's slimy, fattening, blah, blah.

    This is what I say to them and then I switch the subject: "You have no idea. Home cooked Chinese cooking is healthy and there are dishes that never make to the restaurant menus. You just have to know what to order in a Chinese restaurant...not just the typical stuff."

    Of course, if I'm not a living example of healthy diet..then I dunno how else I can convince people.

    C'est la vie.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    I'm the only one allowed to whine
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    10,557
    Also a celiacker.

    Also lactose intolerant.

    Also mostly paleo.

    Let's go out for dinner!
    I don't make gf stuff for anyone unless it's something heavy duty like brownies (Cravings Place brownie mix is awesome) because otherwise gf tastes weird to other folks. I'll bring deviled eggs or salami roll-ups or something else that never had grain in it in the first place.

    If I have to explain my food choices, I say I've got celiac disease. If they don't know what celiac is, I explain it as "I get sick if I eat certain kinds of grain products." (It is not worth getting into a debate with well-meaning folks over spelt, triticale, einnkorn, etc etc etc...) Generally if I don't make a big deal out of it, neither do they. And, like you, going out to eat I can always find something, so eating out really isn't an issue.

    Here's the recipe for salami roll-ups. If you are still at the casein-sensitive phase in your celiac recovery, you may want to hold off on these for another year or so. But it you are just lactose intolerant now, these are right up your alley! (though not really paleo, and certainly not healthful!)

    Salami Roll-ups

    package of sliced salami
    cream cheese
    some stinky cheese (like blue)
    smoked almonds

    Mix the stinky cheese and the cream cheese. Spread a thin layer over a piece of salami, covering one surface. Place one line of almonds end-to-end down the center of the salami. Roll the salami slice like a tortilla. Skewer with a toothpick.

    Stuffed mushroom caps go over well at work, too. Easier to make than deviled eggs, and you can get really creative with the stuffing. Here's my basic super-fast three ingredient recipe.

    Stuffed Mushroom Caps

    fresh mushrooms
    cream cheese
    frozen cooked salad shrimp

    Wash and stem mushrooms. Fill each cap with a dab of cream cheese. Rinse the shrimp with cold water to thaw them. Top each dab of cream cheese with a couple shrimps.

    Any recipe you find for toppings for crackers or cute little finger foods can pretty much be made using mushrooms instead of crackers or bread rounds.
    Last edited by KnottedYet; 11-13-2011 at 08:01 AM.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
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    5,897
    Do the people at your staff meeting know why you've changed your diet? If they do, and they still carried on that way, then they're just a-holes. If they don't know, then it might help to explain it to one or two of them that you're closest to, and to include in your explanation that you're able to find something to eat in pretty much any restaurant you go to.

    There will always be people who are unable to empathize with your situation and think you're weird or annoying because of your diet. Some of them won't have the good sense or manners to keep their mouths shut. Avoid them if you can. If you can't, shut them down by changing the subject. If they're really rude, just say "wow" and leave the room.

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Montana
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    208
    I know exactly how you feel but from the most opposite food choices. I'm vegan and I never hear the end of it when I bring food. But it only becomes an issue if people know it's vegan/gf/whatever makes it 'different'. I just stopped mentioning it and people all the sudden thought everything was great. Everyone has preconceived notions about things, even food. I might mention something about it now after they've eaten it and passed their opinion based on flavor.

    In your case I wouldn't make anything for them ever again, they obviously can't appreciate trying delicious new things.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, OR
    Posts
    5,023
    Yep - I can totally relate for almost the exact same reason. I too am paleo (have been since August) and I'm loving it. LOVING it. I kind of have an additional challenge in that I'm not celiac. In fact, I had zero digestive issues (outside of heartburn) before switching, so people tend to question my motives a LOT.

    I find it extremely frustrating when people honestly ask me about what I eat and why, and then they feel the need to be extremely judgmental and sanctimonious about whole grains and beans! It blows my mind that I don't judge them for eating them, what gives them the right to judge me for NOT eating them? Oy.

    Luckily, my friends understand. It's the random coworker or stranger that upsets me. In those situations, I just do a lot of smiling and nodding. It's not a whole lot different from the situation where I'm on a diet and everyone else is eating birthday cake except that paleo is MUCH easier to stick to! I'm kind of used to being judged (or weird) for what I eat, so I've learned to let it roll off my shoulders pretty easily.

    I'm sorry to hear about your co-workers though. That's really, really tough. And honeslty, I'm amazed that they didn't like those cupcakes! Those are from the "Make it Paleo" cookbook, right? They look incredible! I haven't tried them, but we did make the lemon poppyseed ones and they were delicious!

    I'll be bringing one or two paleo pies for Thanksgiving at a friends house, so I will be curious to see what they think of them. WE love our paleo baking, but I don't know how others will feel about it. We both tried a bite of a regular brownie at Panera yesterday and we could barely tolerate it (my husband is paleo too). It was incredibly sweet!! I used to LOVE indulging in those brownies, but now I don't think I'd eat one if you paid me. I guess my tastebuds have REALLY changed.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
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    5,295
    I don't try to judge others food choices. We have a co-worker with a gluten allergy, she will make gf cookies and bring them to work. I always try one. They taste different but not bad. The only time I talk to her about her food choice is if I notice something she is missing has added gf options. I went to a burger place (she said this is one that is hard because her 9 year old loves burgers) and I saw they do gf. Her son loved the place and she loved the burger. Otherwise I may just ask if I am going to lunch if they have something gf she would like.

    Everyone constantly asks my husband (Cat 1 racer and a crohn's patient) about his diet. "You can eat that?" When he slims down for race season they start asking if he is sick. It does wear on him.
    Amanda

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Tucson, AZ
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    I think you just get used to less sugar. I still cannot fathom how my mom drinks her tea with no sugar in it. (And she leaves the bag in the whole time!)

    I have the opposite problem. I have eczema (badly, sometimes), and people always tell me that I should cut out dairy, wheat, and so on. Except that it has nothing to do with diet--it's almost entirely stress-related. I can go on a bike ride and it's significantly better the next day. So no, I'm not cutting anything out of my diet--the only thing it would accomplish is making me very unhappy. (I love cheese.)

    Those cupcakes sound really good! (I have a friend from college who's celiac, and his mom used to supply our dorm-group with GF baked goods. You couldn't tell. I wonder what her secret was.)
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Big City
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    434
    Thanks all for the encouraging words. I feel a little better about it already. I love to eat and I love to share what I make (food is love in my household) and it's hard how they reacted. I am glad to see that I am not alone in this too. My mom has also started Paleo and she's been a huge support for me (she's not celiac though).

    GLC - yes, they are from the Make It Paleo book. I've made a ton of recipes from there and I am never disappointed. I made the Smoked Paprika Chicken Thighs last night and I thought I had died and gone to heaven. So good. I also have Paleo Comfort Foods which is great, especially their side dishes.

    And as far as the sugar thing - I think that was part of it too. I had a bit of dark chocolate last night and the 70% was too sweet. 80% is about right. I didn't think that your sensitivity to sugar would change, but things I used to find not sweet enough are overly sweet to me now. It's why I snack on cherry tomatoes and find them as sweet as some fruits.

    Thanks again everyone, I sincerely, truly, from the bottom of my heart appreciate your words.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by westtexas View Post
    I made the Smoked Paprika Chicken Thighs last night and I thought I had died and gone to heaven. So good. I also have Paleo Comfort Foods which is great, especially their side dishes.
    That sounds fantastic. Drools.
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by westtexas View Post
    I made the Smoked Paprika Chicken Thighs last night and I thought I had died and gone to heaven. So good.
    Oooh, so good to know! I just bought chicken thighs this weekend, so I'll try it this week. Thanks!

    I also have Paleo Comfort foods and I like it, but I hate how none of the recipes give you serving quantity. I mean, I don't care from a tracking perspective, but I do like to know how much of something I'm going to end up with so I can plan leftovers!

    Everyday Paleo also has some great recipes in it too, even though it's not purely a cookbook.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Central Indiana
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owlie View Post
    That sounds fantastic. Drools.
    +1. Would you mind sharing the recipe, Westtexas.

    I don't have much to add. It just seems like a lot of people are intolerant and insensitive. And everybody's an expert. I imagine that, in time, the novelty dill wear off and they'll stop bugging you. The important thing is that you 're feeling better.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    I've had people question my eating choices pretty much my whole adult life. It's not that I eat any special diet, it's just that I eat healthily! No junk food, no fast food, no donuts. In New England, if you don't eat donuts, it's like a sin. Really, I eat a balanced, healthy diet, including meat and wine. The only thing I've cut down on is carbs, as I get older.
    I even had people question my friends to see if I was anorexic when I was in my 30s and very thin just from exercising. One friend in AZ just about laughed the questioner off by saying I went out to Swensens to eat ice cream with her, at least once a week, which was true.
    People also question me about my exercise habits, too. They think I'm crazy and they keep complaining about their bodies.
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