A Word On Food Tolerances

October 5, 2016

These days everywhere you go there is someone with a food intolerance. Restaurants have become increasingly more accommodating and grocery stores offer lines of gluten-free, vegan, paleo, nut-free options that we couldn’t have imagined 10 years ago.

It’s pretty incredible to see how in tune people are becoming with their bodies, its needs and the foods they choose to nourish or not nourish themselves with.

A Word on Food Tolerances and being more respectful of other people's diet choices- remember, eyes on your own plate!But increasingly so I have noticed that these needs have created polarities between people who are intolerant to certain foods from those who aren’t. That suddenly the diet choices we make give us permission to judge those who choose to eat differently.

As food intolerances have increased, our food tolerance has decreased.

I certainly have a way I choose to eat. I’m an advocate for #allfoodsfit. I prefer to eat less meat, low-gluten and limited refined sugar, but when I decide I want a waffle or a donut or a bacon cheeseburger, I’m not going to deny myself it.

Likewise, I have friends with all kinds of food intolerances or preferences and even if I might not choose to eat that way, it doesn’t give me permission to pass judgment or criticism on the choices they make.

I have friends who are vegan, paleo, gluten-free, calorie counters and fast-food eaters alike. They have chosen to follow a certain lifestyle and I am in no position to tell them them otherwise.

It pains me when I see YouTubers attacking other content creators on the diet choices they make, or when I get called out for eating chicken. Or when Jordan gets hate mail for choosing to no longer be vegan or I get told that I’ve disappointed my readers because of a picture I posted on Instagram.

The other day someone was asking me what kind of expertise I have. “Are you an RD? A nutritionist? A trainer”. No, I’m none of the above, and at this time I don’t plan to get any of these certifications. What I love about THM is that I’m NOT an expert. I will never tell you how to eat, what diet will change your life or that I have the answers to ultimate health. I make choices for me and try my best to lead by example. If what works for me, works for you, awesome. If not, onto the next!

I’ll be honest, I rarely, if ever find myself craving super indulgent foods, but when picking up my @bootstrapcoffee at the farmer’s market this morning, the @tbspwaffles booth next door legit was calling my name. ✨ I follow an “anything goes” attitude when it comes to food. I generally eat very healthy because it makes me feel awesome and as a result just don’t eat a lot of indulgent foods, but it is never ever off limits. This means if I’m craving a Maple Pecan Cinnamon Roll waffle, ain’t nothing gonna stop me! And quite frankly, I was full after eating half and happily gave the other half away without feeling like I needed more. ✨ I’m someone who can’t have strict rules when it comes to food. Too many rules = crazy Davs who starts craving ALL THE SWEETS, as soon as you tell me I can’t have them. Moderation is not something I have to work at, it’s just something that is because I put my physical and mental health first✌️️ ✨ I know this philosophy doesn’t work for everything; that some people are abstainers and need to eliminate things to avoid going HAM at the buffet that we call life, but I’m not one of those people. So if you find all you can think about is the purple elephant when you’re told not to think about the purple elephant, try a more moderate approach to health. Eat the waffle! Who knows what will happen…#mavenrealtalk #realtalk #moderation #yolo #omnom #minnesota #minneapolis

A photo posted by Davida | ?: TheHealthyMaven (@thehealthymaven) on

I ask you to do the same. To keep whatever judgments you have about other people’s diets to yourself and keep your eyes on your own plate. If you lead a life that makes you feel happy and fulfilled, people will notice. And when they feel up to it, they will ask you how you do it.

And if they don’t, unfollow. Don’t invest your time and your energy on trying to change people’s minds. And similarly, please don’t waste your time and energy on trying to change mine. This is my home and I won’t tolerate you passing judgment on the choices I make.

The takeaway here is simple, let’s be more respectful of each other. You are not a god for drinking green juice everyday and you are not a sinner for eating McDonalds. Everyone is on their own path and their own journey to health.

Be respectful, be encouraging, be tolerant.

That is all. Would love to hear your thoughts.


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  • Reply
    Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie
    October 5, 2016 at 6:17 am

    YES to all of this. Oh my gosh I can relate to this on so many levels. Ever since I started a food and fitness blog, when I am out with friends they will make comments like I am judging them for ordering fries (which I am totally not judging at all) or that they are surprised I will order a burger. I wish I could just show them this post every time. I’ll take care of myself, and you take care of yourself, isn’t that what’s it’s all about at the end of the day?!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      October 5, 2016 at 12:24 pm

      I HATE that. When people think I’m judging them for making their food choices OR when people judge me for ordering wine and dessert. Like I’m human. We all are! So let’s just be supportive no matter what!

  • Reply
    Emily @ My Healthyish Life
    October 5, 2016 at 8:57 am

    100% agree. Truthfully, as someone who has a limited diet at the moment for some health reasons, I often feel judged for my choices. It can make posting food on Instagram so (unintentionally) controversial. I don’t post everything I eat, and the way I do eat is right for me. I’ve actually struggled with the “expert” label on my blog too (aka I’m not one in any form) but that’s not the focus. My intention is to share my journey (not just food related) and what I learn along the way.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      October 5, 2016 at 12:26 pm

      I actually think it’s a huge asset to not be an expert. I mean at the end of the day were experts in ourselves so own that and share your journey shamelessly!

  • Reply
    October 5, 2016 at 9:21 am


  • Reply
    Les @ The Balanced Berry
    October 5, 2016 at 9:35 am

    I wish I could like this a thousand times. I for the life of me don’t understand why people feel the need to be so judgemental of what others eat and do. Since starting a “healthy living blog” I have definitely felt pressured to be healthier or eat a certain way when I’m around others to avoid off putting comments. It’s so silly!

    Thank you for posting this. This message definitely needs to be shared.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      October 5, 2016 at 12:22 pm

      It’s so crazy! I’m literally astounded what people think it’s appropriate to say both in person and on the internet. Eat for your soul and let everyone else thrive in a way that works for theirs! If only it were that simple arghhhhh I digress.

  • Reply
    October 5, 2016 at 9:46 am

    YES. THIS. Well said! Nothing fires me up more than food shaming. It’s got to stop.


  • Reply
    Ashley @ The Small Town Foodie
    October 5, 2016 at 10:20 am

    You said this perfectly, Davida. I experience both sides to this. As a healthy food blogger, I often catch myself trying to tell people how to eat. While it’s good to help people out, I need to learn how to do this in a better way, and only if they are interested. And as someone who is just trying to figure out what works for me, I often feel judged for eating/not eating certain foods. The worst is when I can tell people are criticizing me just because they’re insecure about their choices!
    I definitely needed this message 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      October 5, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      I’m so glad you can understand it from both sides. I’m sure I’ve been guilty of passing judgment at times (I’m certainly no saint!), but also of being judged for my choices. I mean girlfriend NEEDS some deep fried tacos every now and then haha

  • Reply
    Emilie @ Emilie Eats
    October 5, 2016 at 10:44 am

    Preachhhhh, lady! I always love your down-to-earth (or, as we Cajuns say, “laissez-faire”) attitude when it comes to food and life. I know I’m vegan, but I try my absolute hardest to not fit into that judgmental category you mention. If someone tells me they just can’t give up meat, I say, “that’s fine, just eat it with some vegetables.” I try to be very open-minded and accepting – that’s how my momma raised me! You catch more bees with honey than with vinegar. <3

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      October 5, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      It’s funny cause something that I have always loved about your blog is that you’ve never been pushy or preachy about veganism. You’ve made choices that are in line with your values and this totally shines. I am certain that you’ve inspired many to try out veganism to achieve this same feeling and THAT is what being an influencer is all about. It’s not about pushing your beliefs but owning your truth and letting people feel empowered to own theirs. Keep being amazing!!!

      • Reply
        Emilie @ Emilie Eats
        October 11, 2016 at 2:21 pm

        You don’t know how much that means to me, Davida! Keep on doing your thing – it shines through also. <3

  • Reply
    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious
    October 5, 2016 at 10:57 am

    I couldn’t agree more. I always share on my site what works with me, but I follow that with a disclaimer that everyone needs to find what works best for them. Still I get haters who want to attack what I’ve found works for me and it saddens me. The truth is I think people are always looking for ways to be negative towards other people. It’s become an epidemic. How many times do you get a negative comment before you get a positive one? We need a more positive world where people embrace each other’s differences and not attack each other over it.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      October 5, 2016 at 12:23 pm

      So crazy, right?! Thanks for sticking to your guns and not letting the hate take over. We got this, lady!

  • Reply
    October 5, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Such a great post, and reminder to us all! Thank you.

  • Reply
    Ashley @ Fit Mitten Kitchen
    October 5, 2016 at 11:20 am

    SO MUCH THIS. I think you’ve found a sweet spot with all of us “healthy living” bloggers. I just really wish people would stop the judgement. It’s so frustrating. THANK YOU for sharing this.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      October 5, 2016 at 11:59 am

      Of course babes. Thank you for always being so supportive and helping to spread this ALL FOODS FIT message!

  • Reply
    October 5, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    ALL OF THIS. I literally don’t know what else to say about it, but this is why I love you.

  • Reply
    Tara | Treble in the Kitchen
    October 5, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Gosh! So well put 🙂 I totally feel like it all boils down to respect and understanding that we are all different. Thanks for posting 🙂

  • Reply
    Stacie | The Real Food Dietitians
    October 5, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    I’m totally with you girl! I always get asked if i’m “Paleo”……and my response is always no, that I choose not to label myself because I believe that what’s most important is that I’m nourishing my body with the foods that make me feel my best and sometimes thats a piece of cheesecake or slice of the best pizza in town. So whatever diet it falls under- that’s not the point. Great post!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      October 5, 2016 at 1:53 pm

      Exactly the way I live! But apparently this idea, that our diet isn’t a religion to preach is uncomfortable for so many people. Ah well thank you for helping to spread a food tolerance movement!

  • Reply
    October 5, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    YES friend! Thank you so much for this; for a long time I was not very tolerant of people who were gluten free because I lumped all of it into a fad. It was so unkind of me, and I’m so thankful for all my blogger friends that have explained why and how they really do need to avoid gluten. It’s really helped me to be more understanding and compassionate.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      October 5, 2016 at 1:55 pm

      that is so wonderful to hear! Thank you for spreading tolerance and love. That’s what this is all about!

  • Reply
    Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday
    October 5, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    Yes to everything you said. I limited my diet to Paleo for most of the summer and it made me feel great, but I felt weird/judged a lot. Still, I love healthy food, and there are obviously a lot of healthy foods (fruits, veggies, meat, nuts, blah blah blah) that are healthy and made me super happy. But when I started wanting to eat other things and decided to ease up, I “eased up” full force… to the point of honestly not feeling so great. But it doesn’t feel like people judge what I eat as much. I’m currently trying to get back to a place where what I eat makes me feel nothing but awesome – physically and mentally – because that’s what matters.

    And to your point about not being an expert, you’re an expert on YOU, encouraging others to become experts on themselves. That’s how I try to view it for my own blog, because while I want to know it all and deal in absolutes, I just don’t. But I like to think people appreciate honesty and others’ experiences. I sure do!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      October 5, 2016 at 1:57 pm

      yes! I always tell people that! No one is an expert on you but you, so I could never tell anybody without reasonable doubt how to live their lives!

      I hope you are able to find a place where you can be both comfortable with how you nourish yourself and free of judgement from others. Hang in there!

  • Reply
    Dana Z
    October 5, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    So much yes to all of this. For the longest time I have gotten flack from people for being a vegetarian and trying to avoid dairy due to my lactose intolerance. On my blog I try to develop vegan recipes even though I eat eggs and have gotten personal messages on several accounts being called a hypocrite or that I promote a false sense of my true self (!). Seriously? Less criticism, more balance.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      October 6, 2016 at 9:53 am

      Right?! It’s crazy how entitled people feel to comment on people they don’t know and whose values they don’t understand! Glad you’re sticking to your guns!

  • Reply
    Alicia @Bridges Through Life
    October 5, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    Love this. So well said. I totally respect others diet choices and since I love experimenting, I happily make something gluten free or nut free to share with friends. I like to teach them about other options available and enjoy the treat with them. For me, I have really enjoyed eating more whole foods and less processed foods. It has made a difference in my energy levels, digestion and how I feel overall. I eat what makes me feel good and I do have a sweet tooth. Sometimes I just need a donut so I get one. I often feel so judged at work, because I bring salads or make healthier treats thanks to you ad other bloggers recipes and bring them in. But I do enjoy sugar filled treats too. It is all about the balance that works for me which doesnt necessarily work for someone else. You do you.

  • Reply
    October 5, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    I just love this Davida and I am also for all foods fit after much of a journey my self. We need more and more posts like these in the “health” world!!

  • Reply
    Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen
    October 5, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    Amen! The more I practice as an RD, the more I realize that different people thrive on different diets. It’s all about following what works for you! That being said I do get concerned when a client is following a super restrictive diet (usually from hearing about it on tv, magazines, etc) without being truly informed about WHY or IF they need this diet, especially if they’re not happy following it.

    Still though – all this diet judgement needs to stop! Well said girl. 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      October 6, 2016 at 10:01 am

      It’s so true. There are definitely moments when I have to bite my tongue because someone has become vegan to lose weight or raw because they think it’s more “pure” (whatever the eff that means?!) but in the end, it’s not my battle to fight. Though I suppose it’s quite different when you truly are the expert, right?! Hope all is well, my dear!

  • Reply
    lindsay Cotter
    October 5, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    I feel like food has become like politics. And we definitely don’t need more discussion on that. PREACH it sista!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      October 6, 2016 at 9:55 am

      I’m sure a certain politician would probably be the first to comment on other people’s diets….ahem. haha but seriously, when did food become polarizing instead of something that brings us together?

  • Reply
    October 6, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Good post. I was once at a BBQ and a woman I didn’t even know got mad at me for eating something with gluten in it. She ranted and raved about how it was going to rot my insides. I walked away because I didn’t want to argue with a stranger, but it was really annoying that she felt the need to force her beliefs about food on me.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      October 6, 2016 at 1:31 pm

      right?! What I deal with is that people can’t handle that I may choose to not eat something with gluten most of the time but occasionally will! It’s like I’m not allowed to be inconsistent!

  • Reply
    Amylou @ The No Grainer
    October 8, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    LOVE this message!!! Friends would sometime be like “you’re eating a cookie?” as if just because I am usually very healthy means I won’t let myself indulge. Recently I’ve found a really supportive group of friends that admire the way I eat rather than judge which I think generates such positivity! Lets boost each other up rather than bring each other down!
    And there seems to be so many debates these days about what the best way to eat is. Why can’t people just do them and I’ll do me? Def writing a post on that soon and how important it is to just ‘do you’ and be ok with it no matter how other people react.

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