Get off the High Horse

The Hubs shared a link with me today titled “Does Eating Organic Food Make You a Judgmental Jerk?”. He sent it to me because he knows full well this is one of my pet peeves. I hate the air of superiority clean eaters have about life. I’ve been burned by some of those very people, even when I actually have healthy and real food in my house. Somehow it did not measure up.

In our last small group, we had some amazingly clean eaters. Paleo to the extreme, with next to no cheats or falters. I laugh though, for one of the cleanest eaters I know, someone who literally said no to nearly every single meal made by the small group hostesses, has a nice, plump boob job. That’s right, a boob job. The whole “I’ll say no to some sugar and yes to some saline” mentality drives me nuts. As I’ve said before, I totally get that we all measure our risks. Some we are willing to take, while others we choose not to indulge. No large qualms here, I just think the plank and splinter talk needs to happen at some point.

These small group members that ate so clean and did not partake in 98% of the foods prepared for them by hosts also took turns being the host for our meals. What did they fix you ask? Kale salads with chopped apples and sliced pecans for starters, baked farm fresh chicken seasoned with paprika and rosemary, roasted garlic carrot slices, water, and black bean brownies for dessert. Yum! Oh wait…..nope that’s not it at all. Let’s see, what did they prepare? Oh yeah, that’s right: pizza from a local pizza joint and some breadsticks, along with cokes to drink. Now, if you care so much about health to abstain yourself from meals others prepare for you, why would you care so little about us and serve guests pure crap with a smile? Why not cook something clean and show us how great it can taste? There is such a teachable moment here that was completely missed.

When I started my new workout regime, some of the ladies there cheerfully said to me, “We’ll have you eating like us in no time!” To this I responded, “Ummmm, I already do. I just choose not to ignore the hospitality of the small group hostess on Wednesday nights,” for I feel yes to some noodles one day a week is better for my life and relationships than a snubbed nose to the food someone worked hard on to make for me. Unless I am going to go into anaphylactic shock from the consumption, I figure it best that I partake of what I can and still respond gratefully to what I can’t. I may say yes to the bread but no to the dessert, but to say no to it all, for basis of being “clean,” is missing the mark. Jesus would rather have a hotdog with a sinner than a grass fed filet mignon with a saint. Trust me on that one.

All this being said, don’t judge me based off the orange juice in my fridge, for it is surrounded by broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, carrots, apples, grapes, raspberries, green peppers. Don’t pass judgment on the goldfish. They totally have saved my tail one too many times to disown them completely. Plus, to go the rest of my entire life without any further taste of an Oreo might lead me into a life not worth living.

I really honestly wish I didn’t serve my kids the occasional gold fish. I honestly wish those around them did not have pantries stocked with processed junk laden with sugar. I really, really do. The thing I refuse to do, even when I feel this way, is pass condemnation on those that don’t know better or have yet to change their habits for the good. One thing I do take solace in, however, is that if I, as mommy to my boys, refuse to bring pop tarts, Cheetos, cereal, kool aid, and what not into the house, I can not have a conniption fit when I break down and serve a few goldfish with some gluten to get me through the 20 minute commute from the grocery store to home before lunch. I can just say ok to my kids when the birthday party host has a big bowl of chips, for the last time they had some was the last birthday two months ago.

And yes, the SAD (Standard American Diet) does make me pissed off, just like this blogger, but to put on my organic skinny jeans and not come over to your house for dinner misses the point. Instead of judging someone based off their Mtn. Dew consumption (and may it be noted here, they are good, although not good for you) while we munch on almonds (and may it be noted I said almonds, not those trashy peanuts–gasp!) let’s take that person by the hand and help them learn about heath and how to best treat our temples.

These people that I gripe about (and I specifically said small group, although there are more that I can pinpoint in my life circles) really are good people. They love the Lord and strive to do what is best and right, and I feel that their choices are good ones. In fact, I adhere to many of the exact same practices and applications. I admire their perseverance and determination towards health, yet I can’t help but say they miss the mark in the execution some days. And in that missed mark, they hurt the cause, damage the audience, and stress some folks out enough to drive them towards a few Oreos.

In short, I say it it past time to get off your high fructose corn syrup high horse and show a little love. That does more good for your body than refusing to accept the person–or the food–before you.


11 thoughts on “Get off the High Horse

  1. Amen! A lot of things contribute to good health – not just food. Relationships, fellowship, spiritual growth etc are all just as important to our health and well being. What works for our family is eating as healthy as possible in our home so that we can enjoy a date at a restaurant or a potluck at church without stressing over how “bad” all the food is. The point of those things is the fellowship and the building of relationships, not the food.

    • I wish you would have acknowledged yourself, for if I knew you in person, I would high-five you at out next meeting :O). If not, I’d have to send you a virtual one. The point is exactly as you say. Granted, the food is totally a different composition now than it was in Jesus’ day, but he said it is not the food that makes us unclean. A rare Oreo at a church potluck will not be the death of me but rather the weekly grocery store trips that include them on the shopping list that will.

  2. I’m laughing here because I remember you telling me about this situation last October. You would think that these same people may have seen how they are being rude to their hosts by now. I eat as well as I can and so far, I don’t think I have major health affects from not eating everything organic, eating meat, dairy, butter, etc. We have dessert frequently. I’ve loosened up on the HFCS. If I can help it, it doesn’t come into the house. But if I feel like having a snickers or letting my kids taste a bit of root beer, then I will. Love this post.

    • Yeah, I did give you an ear full that weekend, didn’t I? :O)

      I am pretty strict on HFCS actually. I don’t buy anything with it in there, unless someone I miss that ingredient by some chance. I will, however, let them have something if I someone else offers it (like my mom for instance–happens all the time). The only processed snack the kids get are Goldfish and Rice Cakes. They love lots of other things that are clean and healthy, so I generally give them all that and they are fine.

      I will say though, I have a BIG fear of when my boys grow up and begin to have friends over to hang out. They are boys and will have guy friends that have big teenage appetites. I desire to be the hang out house, and right now, if some teens came over to my home, unless they are some rare exception, they would call my pantry completely lame. There are 2 bags of gold fish, 1 of rice cakes, 1 can of pumpkin, 1 can of green beans, Cashews, Almonds, Raisins, and Flax Seed. That’s it. Totally not going to be the hang out house that way, yet I really don’t want to perpetuate the consumption of food like products over real food. I guess if I knew kids were coming over, I could grab a few non-Paleo grub, like those blessed Oreos, but if it was just a drop-in gig, they’d be out of luck…….and I really want to be the hang out house! I’d certainly offer them great, yummy, clean food, but yeah, not sure how well teen boys will feel about that.

      If Daniel and Wesley were to go to someone’s home that had SAD foods, I would prefer for them not to eat TONS of it, but I also think for them to blow of everything from that home would be very judgmental. A few Doritos are not going to kill them but a lifestyle will. I guess that is the whole premise of this post—to balance your convictions against the lack of knowledge or convictions of someone else. Shutting them out through judgment will get you no where in the end, for their habits will not change and you have harmed the relationship.

  3. I love this! Thank you for sharing your heart openly like this. I totally agree. I’ve been having a hard time lately being addicted to sugar and feel so guilty for the way I treat my body. I’ve gained weight and stopped running and have been feeling very bad about myself lately. This does help me keep things in perspective. I don’t have to eat perfect. Also, if your friends are like my friends who are health nuts, they are also the ones who accidentally dring way too much wine…every night! HA!

  4. Hey summer, the anonymous comment was me, Jennifer T. Usually your blog recognizes me but I guess it didn’t this time. Or maybe it was bc I was on my iPad. Sorry it went through as anonymous. I really loved this post.

    Also wanted to add that even if you truly have to avoid certain foods, you can do so graciously. We had someone in our small group with severe food allergies including gluten which means sometimes she couldn’t eat anything. But she was always very gracious about it, told the host how delicious everything looked, and apologized for being a “difficult guest” . The result was that the next time, the host bought a gluten free option for her at a local bakery and served it along with everything else. We all win when we show a little grace.

    • Thanks Jennifer for filling me in on anonymous! :O)

      I completely agree about being gracious. I also think that allergens make for a slightly different issue. I would never want someone to consume foods that can would put them hours later in a hospital or in intense pain just because it was served. With Wesley and his egg allergy (and it is really a small issue compared to some folks that I know with allergies–read he will not land in the hospital for consumption) we do have to decline a few things for him or really only allow it in a very small amount or extreme moderation (like a few licks of a brownie—and that works for a 2 year old, believe it or not). And it’s really thrown a cramp in our breakfast menu, but that is a totally different complaint. Ha!

      Our group would even have salad and they would pass that up more times than not, and there was not an allergen issue, just a “not fit for consumption” issue on their end.

      Here is the kicker that you said, Jenn: “We all win when we show a little grace.” That covers it. Well said.

  5. Sis, have you been having small group meetings in LA, right under my nose? This must be the case because you apparently have small group members who are extremely diet-conscious and who have boob jobs. Sounds like LA to me!

    BTW, is the diet-conscious chick with a boob job who serves pizza for small group meetings single? You almost described my perfect woman…minus the obsession with Star Trek. :)

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