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. 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.
Pumpkin-Spice Shake (plant based)
- 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.