Yo. Guys. Nobody Wants to Be A Health Freak.
Look, I have to say this—nobody wakes up in the morning and thinks, “You know what, I would like to become completely obsessive about the food that I eat, the drinks I consume, the supplements I take.” No one has ever spontaneously stepped out their door on a sunny Tuesday morning and thought, “Yes, I’d like to become the high maintenance relative at all our gatherings for every holiday for the rest of my life. That sounds real fun.” Nobody has ever thought that. Ever.
And no one has ever said to themselves, “Life without bacon sounds amazing, in fact, it sounds so amazing that I would like to give up a whole bunch of foods that I love, have memories of, enjoy, and crave. I’m just not going to eat those anymore because WHAT A FRIGGIN FANTASTIC TIME that would be.”
That doesn’t happen.
You know what happens? You develop raging eczema all over your body. Or your period gets so bad you’re taking a week off of work every month. Maybe you get migraines and lay in bed countless days instead of being able to play with your children. Or you get real fucking depressed. Maybe you get cancer. Maybe you get diabetes. Maybe you get fat. And then someway, somehow this little precious gem of information falls in your lap—your body can heal. You can heal. The foods you eat can effect your ability to live well every single day of your life.
And you feel empowered. You feel like, how come no doctor ever told me this before? How come I suffered for so long, got lost for so long, missed out on so many precious moments of my fleeting life for so long without realizing that my life was plummeting out of control because of the horrible, shitty, disastrous foods I was putting into my body?
So you stop. You stop eating the shitty food. Because as Will Ferrell said in the film Stranger than Fiction, “Who, in a choice between life and pancakes, would choose pancakes?” But then you begin to see that many people would. Lots of people would choose pancakes. Or maybe not pancakes. Maybe a Big Mac. Maybe hot Cheetos. Maybe Grandma’s coconut cream pie. So many people are choosing so many things that never even would have been considered food 500 years ago. Can you imagine? Gummy worms? Seriously? But people are still choosing them because SOMETIMES PEOPLE CHOOSE PANCAKES. But you can’t do that any more because your body is on strike. So tough luck.
Then you start trying to eat well. Or at least better. More whole things. Less fake things. Less things with parents. More things with leaves. And an amazing thing will happen to you on this journey into food as it was and always has been, you will begin to feel really. friggin. good. It’s crazy. I mean, having been there, I can tell you it is crazy to me that I now have energy to get out of bed every single morning. It’s crazy to me that I no longer battle constant sickness, raging PMS and depression. It is an unbelievable thing to feel like your body is your friend and it’s helping you to live a life that you love.
Then come the holiday dinners, the birthday parties, the celebratory drinks, the barbeques, the brunches, the lunches, the everything in betweens. Where people say things like–
“What does paleo mean?”
“Oh… you’re vegan?”
“What do we make when he comes for dinner?”
“I know you don’t eat this, but don’t judge me!”
“Don’t judge me!”
“Omg. You’re going judge me for this aren’t you?
I just can’t even do it anymore. I’m tired for myself and most of all for my friends. For the people I know who are battling huge health crisis in their own lives. For people who should be saving every spare ounce of energy that they have and using to fill their own lives with as much joy as possible but who are spending an inordinate amount of their precious time DEFENDING THEMSELVES to people who claim to LOVE THEM.
And I know, I know, that it’s not cool to be the person with the food concerns. I get that. Trust me, everyone gets that. And nobody EVER woke up asking to be that person. And nobody is doing it in order to make your life less comfortable for you.
So make polite conversation, while we try to communicate with the waiter.
Ask us to bring something to the dinner that you’re hosting.
Talk to us about how we can make it easier for you to let us be a part of your life.
It’s not hard. People with food ish are usually really good at fending for themselves, at lending hand, at eating simply. We will make it work if you just give us space to do that. But don’t give us shit about it.
Then one day, when your kid has celiac. Or your mom has chron’s. Or your husband has chronic migraines. One day when you too have to take the journey down the path of realizing just how sick and twisted and wrong our culture of food has become, we will be there. Waiting. To take you out for green juice and tell you about cauliflower pizza.