By Molly Patrick
Oct 27, 2018,
Here’s what I’ve noticed.
The people who overcomplicate eating a plant based diet are the people who aren’t yet ready to eat a plant based diet.
They give reasons for why it won’t work for them and then they might rattle something off about lectins and protein before they go about their way, having bacon and eggs for breakfast, turkey sausage for lunch, and pizza for dinner. The reasons they give for why they can’t or won’t eat a healthy plant based diet will fully support their decision to continue eating the way they do.
We all know people like this, most of us have people like this in our immediate family.
I understand how frustrating this can be, but here’s the thing: it’s kind of like that one time in high school when I was invited to go on a backpacking adventure over a long weekend and I said I couldn’t go because I had really bad cramps.
I didn’t have really bad cramps. I didn’t even have my period yet.
In reality, I was scared. I was scared we would get lost. I was scared there wouldn’t be enough food. I was scared I wouldn’t be able to keep up. I was scared that someone would see me taking a shit in the forest. I was worried that I would look ugly after three days without a shower. I was scared that a bear or a mountain lion would eat me. I was scared that everyone would ditch me and I would be left alone to find my way out of the wilderness.
I was scared. And the more I thought about it, the more my mind ran away with me and painted pictures of terrible things that would happen to me if I went on the trip.
There was no way in hell I was going to tell everyone that I was too scared to go. So I made up a story and I delivered the news. I spent that entire weekend wishing I had gone backpacking.
I was bored because most of my friends had gone and I just knew they were having an experience that they would never forget. I also felt like a total wimp for not going, so I made myself feel better by reminding myself of all the bad things that would have gone wrong had I decided to go. These bad things supported my choice to stay home. In the end, my friends had an amazing time and they had stories for the rest of the year about how awesome it was.
Getting out of our zone of comfort is uncomfortable.
Getting out of our zone of comfort is uncomfortable. And we all have different comfort zones at different times in our life. If a bunch of friends asked me to go backpacking with them right now I would say hell yes! I might be nervous about getting blisters and bug bites but I would join them with gusto.
When people are encouraged to change the way they eat it can be really scary.
Maybe people are scared of getting their kitchen dirty.
Maybe they’re scared that it will be too much work.
Maybe they’re scared it won’t help them.
Maybe they’re overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.
Maybe they’re worried that their family and friends will make fun of them.
Maybe they’re terrified of living life without junk food.
Maybe they’re scared it will really help them and they will love it and then they will have to keep up with it.
Maybe they’re afraid they won’t like the food or they will miss their old favorites.
You might relate to some of their fears and you might not. It doesn’t really matter because we own our fears and only we can make the choice to set those fears down and walk away from them. And besides that, most people don’t come clean with their fears so we have no way of knowing the real reason why they are hesitant to try something new.
Eating beans instead of chicken, or tofu instead of eggs, might seem like an easy enough switch to you, but maybe for someone else it’s enough to put them into a panic and start over complicating the hell out of eating this way to make sure they never have to try.
Just like I used my period as an excuse to dodge and hush my fears about that backpacking trip, maybe other people use sensationalized headlines about lectins to dodge and hush their fears about eating a really healthy plant based diet.
So, what should you do when someone doesn’t eat like you?
If there’s someone in your life who overcomplicates eating plants and they constantly bring up unfounded headlines that support their choice to keep eating the way they’re eating, let them! Maybe they will be open to it one day. Maybe they won’t. Know that staying in their comfort zone stems from fear, that’s it. It’s nothing personal.
We’ve ALL been scared to try new things. Try to be compassionate and loving toward them as you fully accept them as they are in this moment. Don’t argue with them and don’t try to change their mind. Let them know that you’re an open book if they ever have questions. And then, when and if they are ready, they will know exactly who to come to.
Everyone is on their own path and as hard as it is at times, we have to let go and mind our own business because if we don’t allow people to go through their process, in their own time, we deprive them of their lessons.
And after all, life is the only thing that can teach us its lessons.
Do you have someone in your life who has no wish to board the plant train? Have you struggled with their unwillingness to try it out? Talk to us in the comments below and let’s keep the conversation going.
- 3 medjool dates pitted and soaked in hot water for 10 minutes
- 2 cups cold unsweetened non-dairy milk 475ml
- 1 cup ice 150g
- 3/4 cup cold 100% pure unsweetened pumpkin puree 180g
- 1/3 cup cold fresh squeezed orange juice 80ml
- 1 medium-sized frozen banana cut into chunks
- 2 tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- Pinch of ground ginger powder
- Pinch of ground clove powder
- Pinch of salt
- Drain the dates and discard the soaking water. Place the dates in your blender, along with the rest of the ingredients and blend until super creamy and smooth. Enjoy!
- Store any leftover Shake in a sealed jar or container in your fridge for up to 3 days.
Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with accepting people for who they are in this very moment.
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I love you guys! I’ve been racking my brain and thinking about something I could indulge in that was pumpkin flavored that didn’t come from Starbucks or the bakery at the grocery store! I’ll be heading to the store shortly to get the dates and I have everything else…… I’m thinking tonight’s goodie is going to be that pumpkin shake, if I can wait that long!
I hope you love it, Susan! I thought it was fantastic!!!! ❤️
Thanks for this recipe! This is the year I’ve backed waaaay off Starbucks…I’ve had free drinks I’ve let expire… my thoughts were, eww, too sweet (even when I ask them to cut back on how many pumps of flavoring). But there’s a nip in the air, the leaves are changing & falling in Tennessee, and it’s just time for Pumpkin Madness! LOL! Your blog topic was timely for me, too; it reinforced what I’m trying to do…offer info, and step back. The seed will sprout when it’s time. Some seeds sprout right away. Some need a stratification process. A little hibernation, a little chilling, then will sprout when the optimal growing season has arrived. (Blessings and ?? to your sweet sister).
I cannot WAIT to try this recipe as I have a can of pumpkin in my pantry just begging to be used!! ?
Also, for me, watching my husband choose to eat poorly, not out of fear, but his maddening stubbornness is the most damning thing for me. I guess I have to stop even noticing or acknowledging his decisions with food and let it go (which I hate doing with every fiber of my being, for the record). Thanks for always redirecting me to center myself and let others take care of themselves. Much love! ?
I struggle with this all the time. I have people all around me with health issues that are diet related. When I suggest changing to beans from meat they look at me like I’m from another planet and keep on eating their eggs. They’d rather pop a pill. Thanks for this article and recipe. I print them out every week and put them in a special binder!
So beautifully written. Thank you, Molly for your kind and loving ways!
Quoting my husband “I’ve had a lot of smoothies in my life. This one is the best.” And he laughed and said “What leftovers?” when I mentioned that leftovers would keep up to three days. Thanks for yet another great recipe, Team Dirty!
Thank you! Thank you! This drink was so amazing. My young niece stays with us a lot and she is on a very restricted diet for her health so when she’s with me I try to introduce her to as many yummy vegan things as possible. (She doesn’t eat that way at home) She loves Pumpkin so I hoped she would love this drink and she did. She was so thrilled about it, she asked to add it to our list of recipes that her and I make together. Dirties for the WIN!!
I am 61. I find that amongst my peers, I am pretty outnumbered when it comes to eating a plant-based diet. The majority of my peers are meat eaters with the exception of my brother and his wife and his kids so going to social functions always poses a challenge. I am like that weird friend who they have to worry about what they will serve me despite the fact that I beg them not to worry about me and just go about their menu planning as they see fit. I usually bring a dish that can be shared and if it turns out to be the only dish I can eat, so be it. I see many of my friends and family members struggling with heatlh issues but unwilling to change their eating habits in the belief that what they are eating is not part of the problem. I learned long ago that I can do nothing to change their minds and I don’t try. However is someone comes to me and wants to ask questions about my diet, I am happy to answer them. I serve plant-based food to them when they come to my house and despite the fact that they all think it is delicious, they always have a million and one excuses as to why they could never give up – ______ – fill in the blank. Mostly it is cheese. And yet, they gobble up my wonderful cashew cheeses and warm almond feta like they haven’t eaten for a week. Strange that. The unwillingness to consider an alternative path is just too much for most people. So to them, I say “to each his own” and let them live their lives as they see fit. What seems an easy solution to me is perceived as impossible to them. I wish I could say that I had an answer or advice to share that would help you all here, but unless a person is open to change, nothing I or you can do will help them. I close off with one of my favourite plant-based humans (Rich Roll) trademark sign off. “Peace and Plants”
I try to keep my mouth shut, but when friends tell me how heathy eggs, chicken, dairy, and fish are, I just can’t. I’m THAT vegan. ? Any advice on what I can say or how I can JUST SHUT UP!?
I have so much advice about this!
Start here and let’s take it from there 🙂
My husband is mostly on board with me and my Mom mostly prefers vegetarian. She was also willing to go vegan for a while, but then she started making excuses. The biggest one being that my Dad didn’t want to eat that way and she didn’t want to make two meals. Silly excuse if you ask me, but there it is! It took me a while to commit to this way of eating so I get it and for me it was a slap in the face with cancer kind of thing!