Why I Stopped Telling People I Eat Clean

5I’ve been eating differently from the mainstream for about 7 years now. I’ve gone through several iterations of “diets.”

Mainly my way of eating changed as different doctors gave me different advice, as I read more books on nutrition, and as I just figured out what worked for me.

I voyaged through gluten- free, then gluten-free and dairy-free, then SCD, then the anti-candida diet and then paleo. Finally I arrived at my current, more moderate way of eating, which I refer to as clean eating. 


And somewhere along the way, I stopped explaining. I no longer engage in lengthy conversations about why I choose to eat what I eat. I don’t even really discuss exactly what’s on my “diet” and what’s not.

You know what? This works so much better for me. I am waaay happier to not discuss all the nitty gritty of my eating habits outside of my happy little world here on the blog.

The main reason is that it’s boring. It may not be boring to you, dear reader- you are on my clean eating site after all!- but it is quite boring to others in my life who may not be as passionate about food, cooking, and clean eating. If someone was passionate about restoring vintage cars and that’s all they would talk about, I would find it dreadfully boring. So I figure the reverse it true too. In all likelihood, not many people really care whether I’m eating kombucha or not. They just don’t.

The second reason is that it creates a barrier between me and the other person. I’m really happy with my food decisions, but I’ve come to realize that food can be a super touchy subject and it can come across as judgemental to spout off all my opinions. I never want someone to feel awkward about eating in front of me or intimidated by extending a dinner invitation. So I keep my explanations way more low-key now unless asked.

Thirdly, my eating habits flex. Lentils might be out one week and in the next. As I learn and explore, my food choices change. That’s okay with me. But it gets really weird if I just finished explaining to my coworker why I don’t eat lentils and then I show up with lentil salad 2 weeks later.

The last reason is the eye rolls. I get tired of them. I clearly remember wincing as an acquaintance reported that “normal food wasn’t good enough” for a particular group, as they “were all into clean eating now.” I realized that the term clean eating hits a real nerve with some people and I’d rather not deal with their feelings about it.

You might find it ironic that I have an entire blog dedicated to clean eating and yet I prefer not to talk about it in real life. Don’t get me wrong- I am SUPER passionate about it and I can talk for hours about it. But I’ve learned to save my exuberance and lengthy explanations for  people  who are equally psyched about it- like you!

Do you explain your eating habits to others? What do those conversations look like? I’d love to know!

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11 thoughts on “Why I Stopped Telling People I Eat Clean

  1. Candice says:

    Hee hee. Enjoyed your discussion on this topic. It’s so true that discussing food choices can be so isolating. Enjoy reading about it here and you can chat me up about your diet any day ;).

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    • Chris says:

      Uh huh. I agree with the whole “don’t intentionally bring up your diet” sentiment. It’s never great to be referred to as the person who can’t digest ‘x’ so they don’t eat ‘y’! It almost makes you seem like ‘one of those people’ if you feel the need to shed more light on your diet each time the topic of food is discussed.

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      • Lauren says:

        I’m glad to hear I’m not alone on this! It’s SO true that somehow your diet can somehow become your identity…maybe not in the best way!

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  2. Cristina says:

    I completely agree! A lot of people get very touchy about food, which is a little funny! When did we all start feeling so personal about hot pockets? Although for us the issue is allergies, and sometimes that can spark an interesting conversation because usually people haven’t heard of nightshade allergies before, but most of the time they just don’t want to hear about it. I guess I can understand that, so thank goodness for the online food community!

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  3. Feast Wisely says:

    Yes Lauren I very much relate – I too don’t go into detail but rather tell people I simply avoid processed food and live by the 80/20 rule – usually I can tell they don’t want to know more because it only serve to make them question their lazy diet choices…..

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