Family Matters
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Food For Thought...

I was out grocery shopping today and endured some pretty harsh comments from the close family friend I was with. About 2 years ago I revamped my husbands and mine eating lifestyle. we try to buy as much real food as our budget will allow. I cook mostly everything from scratch adnwe avoid fast foods. We got rid of foods with high fructose corn syrup and try to do the best we can. I also switched to organic dairy for milk, cream, eggs and yogurts. still working on cheeses.

But we do go with the flow and if we're at a party or out at a restaraunt a family member or friend oicked we pick something and go with it.

our friend was gracious and kind to drive me to the local walmart superstore since i recently had surgery and can't drive for a few weeks. While there she commented on every single item i placed in my cart and chastising me when i read ingredients and opted for certain items over others.

we decided to make a day of it and popped into a local nail salon for pedicures with her 2 teen daughters. after pedicures we grabbed a quick sandwich at the pizza shop. The younger daughter began asking me to help her learn more about food and her mom shut her down. Both are overweight and the teen is in danger of diabetes.

The ideas of healthy foods are skewed in this house. They think sugar free chemical jelly and powerade are healthy and i am always hearing small commnets about my fancy foods. i've also heard i prefer the better things and it's a phase. someday i'll come back to the regular food americans eat.

thoughts?

Re: Food For Thought...

  • I think I don't know why you're friends with someone who insults you all day long.
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  • image Kimbus22:
    I think I don't know why you're friends with someone who insults you all day long.
    This.  She may have been "gracious and kind" to take you to the store, but she sure as heck isn't a "gracious and kind" person.

    I'd ask her "why does what I eat bother you so much?  How does it affect you, at all?".

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

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  • image EastCoastBride:

    image Kimbus22:
    I think I don't know why you're friends with someone who insults you all day long.
    This.  She may have been "gracious and kind" to take you to the store, but she sure as heck isn't a "gracious and kind" person.

    I'd ask her "why does what I eat bother you so much?  How does it affect you, at all?".

    I would do what ECB suggests.  

    However, the reasons for her intrusiveness may just be a defense mechanism.  She knows, deep down, that what you are doing is the right thing to do, but she cannot (for whatever reason) make those lifestyle changes herself.  

    So she feels defensive over her lack of committment and lashes out at you FIRST, so you won't judge her.

     

    [IMG]http://i633.photobucket.com/albums/uu52/Iluminespics/IMG_4759.jpg[/IMG]
  • I feel for her daughter, poor kid. 

    I agree with PP but I will add this. Do they have the funds to shop and eat like this? It is expensive and becoming more so to buy fresh foods. It maybe a money issue or should could just be ignorant.  

  • funds for healthy food i feel are there but spent other places. outfits for pets, multiple dunkin donut coffee drink runs daily and weekly pedicures.

    the girls love coming to our house for vegetables as they put it. we usually see them 2 or 3x per week. i've even taught the younger one how to cook a few simple meals and will give her the groceries from time to time.

    we're wokring on a simple garden of tomatoes and zuchinni that we do together:)

  • I've gotta ask-are you preachy about eating habits? Do you lecture her about healthy eating in front of her kids? Because that gets old real fast. I have a friend (who isn't really a friend anymore, but not just for this reason) who turned vegan. And she is insufferable about it. If I ate anything non-vegan in front of her, she would go on and on. Look, be vegan all you want, I don't care. But I'm eating cheese. And steak. And chicken wings. You get the picture. And I won't lie, I started making snarky comments back.
  • Well, that can actually work both ways - it's equally annoying when someone tells you that what you are choosing is 'just a phase' and constantly belittled or made fun of because of that.

    My H & I stopped eating meat about 2 years ago - it was a personal choice, but we never heard the end of it from people and they too would tell us it was just a phase. Then try to convince us that it was beneficial healthwise to eat meat yada yada. Meanwhile, for me, personally, I saw a significant drop on my cholesterol and I attribute it to cutting meat from my diet - which is something I point out to people when they try to convince me that I should eat meat. Mind you, we are not full on vegan, the smell of meat doesn't even gross me out or anything like that and we do pay close attention to labels and such too. I think people should be more aware of what they are putting in their body. People in this country eat way too many processed foods - in EU, half the garbage that is in the food here would never make it into food supply there. GMO's are banned in most countries except US. It's a real serious problem here. That said, if someone were to ask me a question out of curiousity, then I would educate them with how we do it and what we do, etc. Other than that though, I don't really offer unsolicited opinions on the matter. To each their own...

    OP, good for you for making better choices....if I can make a recommendation, you should try almond milk instead of organic dairy...it actually has more calcium in it, tastes pretty good, and you can use it as a substitute in cooking over milk. It's a little more expensive, but you can get it at Target for a reasonable price, and Trader Joe's also has it for decent prices.  

  • image R.Wilsonny:

    Well, that can actually work both ways - it's equally annoying when someone tells you that what you are choosing is 'just a phase' and constantly belittled or made fun of because of that.

    My H & I stopped eating meat about 2 years ago - it was a personal choice, but we never heard the end of it from people and they too would tell us it was just a phase. Then try to convince us that it was beneficial healthwise to eat meat yada yada. Meanwhile, for me, personally, I saw a significant drop on my cholesterol and I attribute it to cutting meat from my diet - which is something I point out to people when they try to convince me that I should eat meat. Mind you, we are not full on vegan, the smell of meat doesn't even gross me out or anything like that and we do pay close attention to labels and such too. I think people should be more aware of what they are putting in their body. People in this country eat way too many processed foods - in EU, half the garbage that is in the food here would never make it into food supply there. GMO's are banned in most countries except US. It's a real serious problem here. That said, if someone were to ask me a question out of curiousity, then I would educate them with how we do it and what we do, etc. Other than that though, I don't really offer unsolicited opinions on the matter. To each their own...

    OP, good for you for making better choices....if I can make a recommendation, you should try almond milk instead of organic dairy...it actually has more calcium in it, tastes pretty good, and you can use it as a substitute in cooking over milk. It's a little more expensive, but you can get it at Target for a reasonable price, and Trader Joe's also has it for decent prices.  

    Oh it absolutely can, I won't deny that. I tried to be accommodating with her-I would ask where she wanted to go to eat, since I know not everywhere would have options. I would ask her what food I could make for her if she were coming over. But she was one of those people who couldn't be around any food that isn't vegan without telling you about how the cow died, how it was clogging your arteries, etc.

  • image Golden42:
    I've gotta ask-are you preachy about eating habits? Do you lecture her about healthy eating in front of her kids? Because that gets old real fast. I have a friend (who isn't really a friend anymore, but not just for this reason) who turned vegan. And she is insufferable about it. If I ate anything non-vegan in front of her, she would go on and on. Look, be vegan all you want, I don't care. But I'm eating cheese. And steak. And chicken wings. You get the picture. And I won't lie, I started making snarky comments back.

    I was wondering this, too. Look, I think it's great that you and your H are making better food choices. Personally, I'm in the process of cutting as many processed foods out of my family's diet as possible. But it's hard, and it's expensive, and  sometimes it's just plain impossible. And sometimes, I just prefer the processed food because I like the taste. My philosophy is, basically, all things in moderation.

    One of my close friends, who has struggled with weight/health issues her whole life, is currently really into eating real foods, gardening, drinking raw milk, etc. She's even started making her own cheese and yogurt from scratch. The thing is, though, she's crossed the line into preachy from time to time. SHe reads me chapters from whatever book she's currently studying, and gives unsolicited advice on what I should eat. (When I was pregnant, she advised me to drink raw, unpastuerized milk, which I flatly refused to do). So while I know perfectly well that eating fresh, real food is good for a person, sometimes I just get tired of hearing about it.

    So yeah, no question your friend behaved poorly. But I'm guessing she probably feels judged (even if you are not intentionally judging her) and that's probably part of why she says what she says.  

     

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  • Golden42- no. i am not preachy at all. I just opt not to eat certain things but never say anything about my choices in a preachy way. If i don't want to eat something I say no thank you. Most of the time i do hear- o she doesn't eat regular food. I may respond with no I just eat different things. if asked why i will mention that i am trying to eat healthier and more real foods. I always try to be sensitive to others who don't feel my way- but in another aspect- don't complain that you're overweight and have health issues as you scarf cheetos and gatorade.
  • image Golden42:

    Oh it absolutely can, I won't deny that. I tried to be accommodating with her-I would ask where she wanted to go to eat, since I know not everywhere would have options. I would ask her what food I could make for her if she were coming over. But she was one of those people who couldn't be around any food that isn't vegan without telling you about how the cow died, how it was clogging your arteries, etc.

    Yea, that's a bit much. We have another couple we are friends with who are hardcoreeeeee vegan - but surprisingly they are not like this. I mean, ok, I've had conversations with them about this stuff, and some of the stuff they post on fb is a bit extreme, but they never get in your face about it - it's more of an open dialog when they are asked or if it just comes up casually. I ask them questions about stuff just to see if there's anything I could be doing better with regards to substitutions for stuff. Almond milk vs cows milk is one of them. I think if people are more polite like this, then maybe others would not be so resistant to making changes themselves or would be more open to listening and having a discussion about it.

  • guzquiguzqui member
    Seventh Anniversary 10 Comments Name Dropper

    Congrats on the lifestyle change! We did the same thing in our house. My family has always prefered healthy veggies and cooked from scratch, avoiding harmful things.

    It's very hard but I think we've all been there. People just think their way is better or they don't want to change. I noticed at least in where I live ( Costa Rica) people are lazy  and simply don't want to cook. I mean we have fresh produce all year long and I still see families eating fast food everyday! It's crazy!!

    But if her daughters want you to teach them, do it. She will thank you later when they are healthy. 

    Anniversary
  • "She knows, deep down, that what you are doing is the right thing to do, but she cannot (for whatever reason) make those lifestyle changes herself.  

    So she feels defensive over her lack of committment and lashes out at you FIRST, so you won't judge her."

    I agree with this.

    If you value her friendship otherwise then just don't do anything related to food with her. 

     

    I started a vegan diet several years ago. People's comments were so horrible I decided to keep it a secret and avoid being in food related activities with people I didn't know well. It was a bit stressful though as my social life was not so free anymore. Luckily I have since moved to a foreign country where people are very concerned about eating healthily. 

     

  • You know you are doing the right thing here.

    Your friend is criticizing you because she knows it too.  She is judging herself in comparison to you and finding that she is coming up short.  However, food habits are really hard to break.  She is unwilling to do anything to change her own way of life which creates a conflict within herself.  

    Criticizing your dietary choices is her way of resolving this conflict.

    If you want to stay friends with this person, you will need to be very sure that you're not contributing to her feeling of being judged by dropping preachy or self-righteous comments about your own dietary choices.  Just avoid talking about food when you can.  If something like this happens again, just say, "Friend, everyone has a right to eat whatever foods they want.  It's a personal choice.  Just because I'm eating organic yogurt instead of another snack doesn't mean I think you have to follow suit.  There are advantages and disadvantages to every type of diet.  To each his own."  Then change the subject.

  • image cnderella83:

    funds for healthy food i feel are there but spent other places. outfits for pets, multiple dunkin donut coffee drink runs daily and weekly pedicures.

    the girls love coming to our house for vegetables as they put it. we usually see them 2 or 3x per week. i've even taught the younger one how to cook a few simple meals and will give her the groceries from time to time.

    we're wokring on a simple garden of tomatoes and zuchinni that we do together:)

    Okay, so you actually ARE judging her, and you're trying to influence her kids.  Stop it. 

  • image neverblushed:
    image cnderella83:

    funds for healthy food i feel are there but spent other places. outfits for pets, multiple dunkin donut coffee drink runs daily and weekly pedicures.

    the girls love coming to our house for vegetables as they put it. we usually see them 2 or 3x per week. i've even taught the younger one how to cook a few simple meals and will give her the groceries from time to time.

    we're wokring on a simple garden of tomatoes and zuchinni that we do together:)

    Okay, so you actually ARE judging her, and you're trying to influence her kids.  Stop it. 

     

    I honestly don't see how she's judging her by feeding the kids vegetables when they're at her house, and providing them with them. The OP even said that her friend's daughter was interested in eating healthier (but her mother intrudes), so it sounds like OP is trying to help her.  I honestly don't think OP is out of line at all.  I have personally been in situations similar to hers, like when I was grocery shopping with my sister the other day.  I put a few packages of tofu in the basket and the said, "Ew, why would you want to eat that?"  Um, because I want to?  I get more unsolicited advice about healthy foods I buy than I would ever offer to someone, and I haven't even converted completely to whole foods yet.

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    **6.30.12** I have found the one whom my soul loves.

    Anniversary
  • In response to the comment that I am judging her- someone asked if the funding was the cause. i was just listing where the funds go. i don't know everything that goes on in these people's lives. I deeply care for these friends and have known the children since they were infants.I'm a big sister to them in more ways than one.

     

    people feel compelled to judge me and think i'm "snotty" because i eat organic yogurts and won't chow down on sodas and potato chips.

    i do like the role play suggested and that is a helpful tool to have:)

    thank you for all your feed back. sometimes it helps to hear others opinions and thoughts!

  • I'm a healthy eater, do not eat meat, and work out for over an hour a day.  I get used to get lots of mean, destructive comments as well.  Still do from my MIL, b//c in her world, if you don't eat meat, "You don't eat anything." 

    Keep doing what you're doing.  What you eat is none of anyone's business. 

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