Tuesday, May 15, 2012



A few weeks ago I was having a conversation with a friend about a party and we were talking about food when she said "Oh, I forgot....you eat all that weird stuff". I got instantly angry. Why the judgement? What business is it of anyone else what I eat, when I eat or why I eat what I eat? I have had comments like this ever since I started losing weight. When I became a vegan, however, people got very vocal about MY diet and by the time this friend made this comment I had had enough.

I understand that I write a blog about health and food and that I state my opinions pretty openly. I do not, however, ever place judgement on anybody else's choices. If you are overweight and want to eat french fries I think that is your choice. My choices are about wanting to enjoy the rest of my life as fully as I am able. If eating french fries is what does that for you then I say go for it. Believe me, I have been the fat guy that felt like every one was judging me for everything I put into my mouth and I don't place that on anyone else. You make the choices for your health and your life that allow you to enjoy it the most. I celebrate those decisions. All I ask is that you respect my choices without judgement.

I think the thing that upset me the most about my friend's comment was the word "weird". Just because my friend knows I'm a vegan she assumed that I was eating something that she didn't understand and so in her mind that was "weird". I eat fruit, vegetables, brown rice, whole grains, spices, beans, sugar, nuts.....and other "weird" things. That's about it. I am not particularly fond of eating a lot of processed vegan foods (fake cheese, fake meat, etc.) because they are usually packed with chemicals and/or high in sodium or other stuff I try to stay away from (once again, my choice). So I eat food. Weird, huh?

The topic of food tends to come up often when you are a vegan because it's a bit different than what people expect. When you go to a party people want you to try things and when you're a vegan you generally have to state at some point that you are a vegan just because people are curious why you aren't eating something. It's a great way to start a conversation about different diets and different ways of cooking and eating....but generally it usually ends up in the judgement pile. "Oh, you eat all that weird stuff".

I will admit that sometimes what I eat for dinner is not exactly "what Mom used to make." It's probably a lot more like "what Great Great Great Great Grandma used to make". That's just what I do. It's what I like to eat. It's what I eat that makes me feel good and I enjoy it. I am not trying to convince anyone that what I am doing is the best thing. I change the parameters of my own diet often based on what may or may not be agreeing with me at any particular point in time. I recently had to give up oats because my body was having an adverse reaction to them. Since I was conscious of the food I was feeding my body I was aware of what was causing the problem and was able to eliminate it. That is the great thing for me about eating the way I eat. It's simple and easy to figure out what feels like fuel and what feels like......junk.

Being a vegan has opened up my culinary world in ways that I could never have imagined. To be honest I wasn't a particular fan of vegetables before I became a vegan. Now that I know what to do with them I love them. Sometimes I miss meat....sometimes I eat it because I just want to. (now the vegans will think I'm weird). These are my choices. The less we judge everyone else and begin to focus on ourselves and making choices that make US happy the better off we will all be. Whether your the overweight woman getting shameful stares from her friends or the vegan being told your choices are "weird"......we all could do with a little less judgement and a little more love.

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