Food Evangelism


Dear (YOU!),

Lately it was pointed out to me by a reader that I am not a good food evangelist.  Well, they didn’t say that, but that was the conclusion that I arrived at about myself based on reflection.  Really, I actually already knew that.  My food evangelism is a lot like my religious evangelism.  I wonder if that’s okay.  I’ve always been content with it.  You won’t hear me talking the talk (much) (unless you ask), but I hope you see me walking the walk.  Although I stumble sometimes.  But I get back up.

Recently a few of us homeschool moms got together at the request of a family considering homeschooling for their ADHD and oppositional defiant (possibly) son.  School just wasn’t going well.  I talked up the insight you gain on your child, and the ability to help the child academically and socially succeed.  They seemed excited.  I was excited for them!  Then, one of my fellow moms said:  “And you also get control over what they eat.  What people eat is so important to how they feel and act, and that is not well-known.”

Hey!  That was my line!  But I didn’t say it!  And I wasn’t going to say it.  But I should have said it.  (I did back her up for sure!)  What keeps ME from saying these things?

I am still thinking about the answer to this.  My husband says I should just be happy that I figured it out for our own family.  That I’ve made a difference in our own family.  He also says that the changes that are required, that I would ask people to do, that those changes are too hard.  Are they too hard?  We aren’t perfect–and for that matter, since we humans don’t know “The Best Human Diet,” nobody is–but we try hard to keep food real and watch out for food intolerances.

I will keep thinking about the answer to this question. I’m wondering if the answer doesn’t lie in self-doubt and insecurity. “Well, sure it helped us. But maybe it won’t help everyone.” Or, “Maybe I’m just a crazy control-freak mother and wife and this is just one more way I can obtain that.” Also how about, “People don’t really want to hear it.” And, “But I don’t have a journal article to support me.”

So I will say it today. Here. What you EAT and what you DON’T EAT make a huge difference in your health. Despite what your conventional medical doctor tells you, diet and nutrition MAY treat (Oh. May. There’s a wishy-washy word, which is definitely not evangelist material. And an evangelist would choose “cure,” but a cure implies gone forever to me.) your seizures, your depression, your skin rashes, your migraines, your constipation, your GERD, your asthma-like condition, your IBS, and your hormonal flare-ups.

I don’t know the specific right diet. Nobody does. I like to help close friends and family choose a diet platform that seems right for them based on their health conditions, and then tailor it to make it better suited for them. A smoother, tighter fit. A forever diet that they can feel good about and with good observation, change up here and there to better suit them or reach their health goals. I’ve got about four different diet books on my living room side table right now and nimble Google fingers. I’m not set on one plan. I’m set on a good, whole food diet with close observation for the side effects of food.

Deep nutritional changes matter. Would it be too hard for you? Does it make a difference to hear someone evangelize about their diet? Or does it turn you off? What words would be needed to draw you in? What doubts do you have? Do you share if you have success?

The New Year is approaching. I try to make resolutions and changes all year long, so I don’t have anything in particular to change for this week entering 2015. But maybe you do. Maybe you’ve got a diet book on your bedside table. What is it? Maybe you’ve decided to “eat better.” What in the heck does that mean to you?

I must close now to start breakfast and then school. Kids don’t stay on track too well without me. Plus my hands are cold and not typing so well. I hope you have a good week. One of my favorite things to do is write letters. So I thought I’d give this technique a try on my blog. See if it got me evangelizing a bit better. We’ll see.


10 thoughts on “Food Evangelism

  1. Jhanis

    I love learning from you! I am determined to feed my family better food this 2015, less sugar and preserved food. Looking forward to whatever you have in store for us!

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      A determined Jhanis is unstoppable. I think you will notice a difference! Looking forward to more poignant humor from The Vanilla Housewife and lovely adaptable recipes. Happy 2015 to us all. Happy new day, which comes each day, to us all! Yours truly, Terri

  2. Zeri

    Your level of food evangelism is just right, I think. Your blog is the reason that I finally changed my diet (and my 3-year-old daughter’s as well). My husband has been basically paleo for a couple of years because of his gastro-intestinal problems but he was doing it alone and it was really hard. Eventually I decided my daughter and I should join him, just temporarily, in order to support him. Around that same time I started reading your blog, with all of your passion for finding and practicing a wholesome diet for yourself and your family, backed up with tons of medical facts and information, and tempered with some very reasonable doubts here and there on the precise implementation of such a thing. It’s convinced me that this really is the right way to live.

    But I think if you had been too evangelical about it, it would have scared me off, as I have been by many other people fanatically expounding on the virtues of these sorts of diets. It took someone reasonable like you to show me that it was a real thing, and not just a cult. (Although, now that I’m living this lifestyle, I sometimes feel a little fanatical about it myself — hah!).

    So thanks for bringing me around in your gentle way.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Dear Zeri, This comment is the best way to end my 2014 blogging year. Thank you. Thank you. (I think I might print it and pin it on my laptop. My refrigerator door. My bathroom mirror. The baby’s forehead. 🙂 ) Oh, I do hope you, your husband, and your daughter feel great inside and out and that life is good. Warmest wishes, Terri

  3. Lindsay

    Amen, sister! Preach it!

    Finding that line between making sure people know enough to make their own informed decisions and pushing too hard and turning them off is super hard to do.

    I also find myself struggling, in both religious and food evangelism, to not use certain terms that are now a big part of my vocabulary but that wouldn’t make sense to someone outside our paleo-ish GAPS-esque realm. Just like Christianese.

    I did have a moment with a relative over the holidays when he said, “You know, maybe it’s about time to start thinking about changing my diet. It’s worth a try.” I had to contain my excitement so I wouldn’t scare him off, LOL.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      It is hard to make “sure people know enough to make their own informed decisions and pushing too hard.” But you know that one change in their eating wouldn’t be enough. You know it takes a complete overhaul! And so then you’re afraid to say anything at all; because once you start, to lay it all out seems so intimidating! And it is—but it isn’t! Did your poor relative end up in the corner cowering or get a book recommendation or what? 🙂

  4. rantsrulesandrecipes

    Preach it girl!
    JK but keep reaching people and connecting with them and then preaching when they are ready (i.e. they ask). Keep Planting healthy seeds!
    I love that you are blazing a healthy trail. Anyone who makes even the smallest healthy change for themselves or their families, to me is a huge success!!


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