This is a Guest Post: We appreciate guest authors! However, the viewpoints expressed in this blog post may, or may not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of Living Natural Today.
Maybe a chronic health problem made you change your diet and now you’re a real food fanatic. Eating healthy food is such a life-changer that it can be incredibly tempting to take out a banner ad, shout it from the roof tops, and write a tell-all book about it.
Unfortunately, just because your eyes have been opened to the health benefits of a real food diet doesn’t mean the world has changed along with you. McDonald’s didn’t just vanish off of the corner and most people still have lawns, not gardens.
So what do you do when you’re filled to the brim with all this healing information and nobody wants to hear about it? Do you give into peer pressure and start eating the way everyone else does? Of course not. Do you eat your gluten-free, GMO-free meal in the corner and silently cringe when you hear the tell-tale pop of an aspartame-laden soda can? Nah.
If you want people to really hear you when you talk about real food, you have to find a balance. Preach too much and you’ve lost your audience. Cave in and slink away and no one will ever take you seriously again.
Real Food Eaters Can Sometimes Feel Alone
Even though in the past ten years, there’s been a growing awareness of real food health benefits, the majority of the population is still not on board. Anyone who follows a special diet out of medical necessity or choice is bound to feel a bit on display in social settings.
Here are just some of the questions you’re likely to hear:
- “What does gluten do to you?”
- “How can you be allergic to food?”
- “Why does it have to be organic?”
- “What’s the difference?”
- “Can’t you just try a little bit?”
If you’ve battled chronic health problems to get to the place you are now, it’s easy to feel defensive about these questions. After all, they have no idea what you’ve been through and their curiosity comes off more than a bit condescending.
Why People are Reluctant to Learn About Healthy Food
Even though they won’t admit it, the large majority of the population knows, deep down, a fast food meal filled with chemicals and trans fat isn’t good for their health. However, it’s quick, convenient, and it tastes good. It’s also relatively cheap and satisfies a need.
Since we live in a society of instant gratification, we don’t think the same way about food anymore. We’ve gotten away from the connection between food and health and when someone comes along and reminds us; it can come across as a threat.
Also, when you’re on a special diet due to chronic health problems, you remind people just how vulnerable they are. You make them look at their own mortality and they don’t like it.
How to Teach Others About Real Food
Here’s what I’ve learned over the years about talking to people about real food:
1. Resist the Urge to Preach
When you’re at a cook-out and the host pulls some conventionally-grown corn off the grill, do your best to not stand on the picnic table and inform everyone they’re about to eat a nice helping of gut-destroying BT toxins. It doesn’t go over well socially, trust me.
Just politely decline the grilled corn and, if anyone asks, tell them that you have a reaction to the pesticides in the corn. When they give you a confused look and proclaim that they washed the corn thoroughly, explain that genetically modified corn has pesticides built right in. Then, stop. Don’t say anything more. Wait for more questions or for the topic to change.
If anyone really wants to know more, they’ll pull you aside and ask for more information.
2. Respect the Deaf Ear
If a friend or a family member suffers from chronic digestive problems, you may suggest their diet has something to do with it. If you get a negative response, you can continue to try talking about how the dietary changes you made helped you but if they still don’t want to talk about it, drop the subject. You can talk and talk about how amazing you feel now that you’ve changed your diet but if the person on the other end of your speech isn’t interested, you might as well be talking to a wall.
3. Lead by Example
Many people who do not follow a real food diet may feel as though you’re criticizing their cooking. Especially if you bring your own food to their events. The next time you’re invited to a social event that involves food (and most do); prepare enough real food so others can try it too. Having a special plate just for yourself sets you apart and makes your difference stand out. Preparing healthy food for others makes them feel included and may make them more open-minded to listening to what you have to say.
There are always going to be a few people who flat-out don’t believe you and won’t want to listen to your advice. They may even accuse you of having an eating disorder or mental health problem because of your diet.There’s nothing you can do about these people except avoid them. Just keep shining your light and speaking your truth. You’re changing lives for the better, even if it’s not always obvious.
Jaime A. Heidel is a professional freelance writer with a passion for natural health. Her work has been seen on dozens of wellness websites. Her own website, I Told You I Was Sick, is dedicated to helping those living with mystery symptoms find natural ways to heal.