As we were getting ready to leave for London (I’m here now safe and sound, thank you for all the well wishes!), Lesley sent me a bunch of links to menus of the restaurants she wanted to go to:
“To prepare yourself, let me know if any don’t work for you.”
My family is seriously amazing. They respect my choices and always look out for me. I told Les that I will be “good anywhere we go.” And it’s true. But I couldn’t have said that 6 months ago.
It’s no secret that I obviously eat a certain way. I choose not to eat a lot of things. I make food choices that work for me and my body. I choose to eat real food. I don’t think I am a food snob but I used to be a food snob. I know I was. I know I was a pain to go out to eat with because I made it into an “issue.” I was not subtle or accommodating. I was annoying. I brought attention to myself. Friends and family, I’m sorry.
Over time and through lots of learning about nutrition and my own body, I have figured out how to maintain my food philosophy yet not drive myself or anyone around me crazy because (shocker) it’s possible.
I made this a priority: I began making a conscious effort to stop being a food snob. I still maintain my real food philosophy but I handle it in an appropriate way. It hasn’t been simple but I don’t wanna be a food snob. I want to make my choices but make it work. So I do the best I can.
More often than not, I cook for myself – like 90% of the time. I carry Tupperware in my purse and I don’t eat out all that much (more so to save money). But I know I can’t live in the bubble of my kitchen – that’s just not realistic.
So for that 10%: I don’t freak out if the chicken at the restaurant isn’t organic – because it rarely will be. I don’t freak out if my meal doesn’t come with veggies. I don’t ask for a billion-and-one substitutions (two is my magic number). If it comes with bread, I don’t eat it. If it’s cooked in canola oil, I don’t have a kinipshin. I ask questions and make the best choices possible. I try not to draw attention to myself.
At our Passover seders, I wasn’t “in charge” of most of the cooking (other than dessert). My mom kindly made meatballs with grass-fed beef and had lots of roasted veggies. But I politely passed on the potato noodle pudding. I served the matzah ball soup rather than sitting down to eat it. I had a small piece of Grandma’s (non-grass-fed) brisket to tell her how amazing it was because that’s more important than how the animal was raised. I wasn’t cooking for myself and I was eating with other people who made their own food choices but I was determined not to be a food snob. And I think I succeeded. Afterwards, my dad (unsolicitedly) told me just this. He said that “no-one knew I had my shtick.” Which is a Yiddish word for something a person does, like a habit or something.
I never want to impose my views on others. Sure I want to teach people about nutrition and spread the real food word, but ultimately the food that goes into your body is your choice. I never want to make people feel uncomfortable around me or that they have to make special accommodations.
I don’t think I am a food snob anymore. You may disagree and that’s totally fine but this is what I do in order to maintain my lifestyle, yet still live my life:
1. Make a game plan – If I’m going out to eat, I do look at menu beforehand and I pick a few options or figure out what I will order. For me this often means, a piece of protein and vegetables. I’ll ask for a side of olive oil if I order lean meat to get some healthy fats. If other people are cooking, I pick and choose. Like at Passover, I made sure to try the brisket but had more of the organic chicken.
2. Ask questions (politely) – If I’m out to eat, I try to ask how a food is prepared rather than, “is there gluten in that?” If I am going to a friend’s house or gathering, I ask if I can bring anything or help with the menu rather than, “what are you serving, I don’t eat x, y and z.”
3. Make reasonable substitutions – I try to limit my requests to two. Gosh, I used to basically re-create a dish. There are a few restaurant “biggies” for me: canola oil, dairy and grains. I try to request my meat to be cooked in olive oil and ask for things on the side or omit them entirely.
4. Do all of this quietly and discreetly – I have learned to zip-it until absolutely necessary. I don’t need to announce anything or exclaim anything (I am not deathly allergic) so I bring things up when necessary and I do so quietly and discreetly.
5. Sometimes you have to eat shit you don’t want to eat and you just gotta suck it up. No I don’t like it but it’s no use to cry over GMO chicken.
It’s a continual balancing act. From balancing vodka and veggies; to rest and running; to yoga and CrossFit; to blogging and life; to grass-fed beef and not. Balance. I do my very best to balance my food choices and fitness in order to be the happiest and healthiest version of me.
I’m in London now and I’m not cooking for myself. Of course I packed snacks but I am realistic. I don’t throw my lifestyle out the window when I travel but I aim for an attainable balance.
So excuse me as I enjoy some conventionally raised meat and a sugar-filled scone. After a banana and run through Hyde Park of course.
Check out the posts below for more on healthy and balanced travel:
Healthy & Happy Travel: my travel philosophy
Balanced Travel Eats: fruit, cookies, salad, pizza
What I Ate In Peru: a lot of deliciousness
Questions of the day…
How do you deal with your food choices in social situations?
What do you find most challenging about balancing your healthy lifestyle?
Keep in touch:
Twitter –> @thelilhoneybee
Instagram –> thelittlehoneybee
Facebook –> The Little Honey Bee
Pinterest –> thelilhoneybee
Bloglovin –> The Little Honey Bee