mmc-5311  asked:

I've noticed a trend among restrictive eaters (Paleos, vegans, locavores) in the fitness community where they act so nasty and aggressive toward people who either didn't do well with said diet, or just aren't interested. Do you have any thoughts on this, or sources that cover it in more depth? It feels to me like some develop a real superiority complex over their eating choices, and become enraged when others don't want to aspire to be like them, or do what they did.

This is a great question and I’m genuinely so glad that you asked me.

I think that there are quite a few reasons why this problem exists and where it stems from. Food is a complicated issue, and it’s one that’s highly emotional for many people, so it understandable that this sort of stereotype will go hand-in-hand with restrictive diets. (For the sake of this post, I’ll be using the term “restrictive diet” to refer to veganism, paleo eating, etc.) If we’re going to break down it’s origins, I’d blame the problem on these issues:

–> Food is something that people can control when everything else is chaos, so they feel very strongly about any criticisms aimed towards their diet. This especially pops up when anorexia is discussed, but the same general concept can be applied to nearly all diets: When you can’t control your body, or your job, or your relationships, you can still control what goes into your mouth. It’s a way to regulate the world around you and feel a (necessary) sense of power over your life. That feeling of control is incredibly important. So when these folks feel that their diet is being attacked (and, therefore, they feel as though the one thing within their control is being threatened and taken away), they’ll naturally lash out.

–> Morality is attached to many forms of restrictive dieting. Especially common in vegetarianism and veganism, lots of people adjust their eating habits in order to better suit their personal beliefs. Food is already emotional, so attaching integrity and virtue to a diet will only strengthen those feelings. It can be difficult to handle when you believe that the people around you are engaging in offensive and malicious behavior on a daily basis. This is a very important issue to many people, and it’s one that can be justifiably passionate.

–> Many restrictive diets stem from a place of privilege, and people have difficulty acknowledging and accepting that privilege. You’re not going to see a lot of people eating paleo and vegan diets within food deserts; The majority of restrictive diets are going to be supported in areas where a wide variety of food is available at relatively low prices, and can be purchased by folks who have enough money to support such a dietary shift. All of these things are a privilege. Not everyone has access to those kinds of resources (or a medical history that allows this dietary shift, or a community that supports it, etc.). And if you’ve invested so much time and energy into a diet that you personally feel is important and beneficial, sometimes it’s very difficult to acknowledge the difficulty that other people may be having. It’s that idea of “If I can do it, you should be able to.” And this ties together very closely with the next point:

–> A difficult diet is seen as a sign of strength and willpower. Lots of people pride themselves on tackling challenges and coming out a winner: Dieting is one part of that. It’s a tough choice that you have to maintain every single day. When people manage to do that, it makes them feel good. And in some unfortunate cases, it makes them feel superior. Some folks get off on the idea that they can do something you can’t. They see it as proof of their own hard work and your laziness. But when you disrespect their achievements by refusing to even try or participate in the game, that makes them angry, because it invalidates the entire social hierarchy that they’ve been standing on top of.

And, perhaps most importantly, let’s not forget about this last point:

–> This is still a stereotype. The idea of the “militant vegan” certainly isn’t going to be true in all cases, or even in most. But because this is the cultural idea that we’ve set up for restrictive dieters, this is how they’re often seen: Saying “no” to a meal can easily be interpreted as anger, while providing their own food can be seen as arrogance. It’s a tough stereotype to get away from.

So if you happen to encounter people who pressure you to change your diet or insult the food choices you make: I’m sorry. Do your best to brush it off and keep reminding yourself that a diet is a personal choice, both for you and for this other person. Let everyone be happy with their own choices and we’ll all get along just fine.

anonymous asked:

how do you go about getting enough iron in your diet?

Funny you ask, I actually just got my blood test results back today!! And my iron levels are perfectly fine, as well as everything else wooh!
I don’t actually pay particular attention to eating certain foods to get certain nutrients as I don’t believe that is necessary. Food is so much more than just one of the nutrients it contains. All plant foods contain small amounts of many different micronutrients so if you eat a mainly whole foods vegan diet and you eat enough, then you will be fine (unless you have problems absorbing certain nutrients, but in that case you would have had the same problem as an omnivore).

Having said that, plant foods that are great sources of iron include:
- black strap molasses (1Tbsp contains 20% of your daily needs)
- dark leafy greens (eat as many of these as you can!!)
- broccoli, Brussel sprouts
- tofu/tempeh
- nuts and seeds
- legumes (chickpeas, beans, peas, lentils)
- whole grains (quinoa, oats, buckwheat etc)
- dried fruit
- spirulina
- potatoes
- tomatoes/tomato paste

Also, by eating non-heme iron (the type found in plants!) rich foods together with a source of vitamin C, such as an orange, you can increase the absorption of iron!

Xxx

I don’t want to eat anymore.
I don’t want to feel hungry anymore.
I don’t want to binge anymore.
I just want to be happy.
—  the-mxdel