How to Explain to Others What You Eat (You Don't Need to Defend Yourself)

Whether it’s meeting a friend for lunch, having a family dinner, or grabbing a snack at a cafe with a business or work associate, in our Western society it overwhelmingly involves food.  Explaining your choices to friends and family doesn’t have to be challenging. You can easily still socialize while respecting your dietary choices! The Beauty Detox Solution is all about having the highest level of respect for your body and in the process transform yourself through nutritiously dense foods that promote deep cellular cleansing. It’s not a temporary way of eating with a start and an end date, but it is an ongoing lifestyle change. Part of your lifestyle is inevitably going to involve being around and eating with people that don’t eat the same.

I’ve gotten a few questions lately about explaining dietary choices to friends and family, and that’s why I wanted to share with you all today’s post.

You don’t have to defend yourself. It can be intimidating to go to a dinner and be the only person ordering vegetarian food. I really want to encourage you to not slip into the mindset that somehow you’re the “weirdo”, and you have to be on the defensive for why you’re eating a certain way. Instead, if asked, confidently and simply comment that eating the way you do makes you feel amazing, lighter, more energetic, etc.- you choose what fits for you. You know exactly how good you feel and why you feel that way. It’s much more powerful to hear someone approach an explanation with a light-hearted and easy going attitude. After all, your body, your decisions. Remember that you are the only person responsible for taking care of your body. Keeping this “it’s about me attitude” will help people from feeling attacked or even bad about themselves when you are telling them why. You really can’t fault someone for making their own choices- freedom of choice must be respected. But if they do you know then that deep down that person must feel bad about themselves, or somehow intuitively know they are not taking care of their body as good as they could. Know that, and don’t let any negative energy from someone else affect you.


Keep it personal. Use the first person when describing your choices. Think about the difference between these two sentences:

1) As humans, we’re really designed to be eating a plant-based diet. If we want to shed unwanted fat while feeling better, we really have to cut out dairy, minimize meat consumption, and stay away from processed foods. In fact, digesting excessive animal protein leads accelerated tissue degeneration and aging skin!

2) I don’t buy into those short-term cleanses, but I’m making long-term lifestyle shifts that contribute to ongoing cleansing in my body. I’m eating mostly plant-foods right now and have cut back on my meat intake. I’ve noticed an improvement in my energy, my skin and my overall well-being. I feel good!

I would prefer to hear a friend describe it as number two, wouldn’t you agree? Moreover, focus on the experiential feeling. Description is a powerful tool to use when conveying something to friends and family. The last thing you want to do is make it about them, or make anyone get down on themselves! So talk in the first person and describe how you feel. No one can dispute the feelings you have in your own body!

Choose your words wisely. Only offer an explanation if asked. People in your life who care about you will probably be curious about what you’re up to anyway. That being said, don’t take a listening ear as a sign to go into a full fledged explanation of the BDS philosophy! It can be easy to misinterpret politeness with genuine interest. Only go into the reasons why you eat the way you do unless asked. Focus on the benefits, not the negative side affects.

For example, if someone asked why eating alkaline is better for the body you could say:

“Our bodies very effective at protecting us from toxins. We do this by wrapping toxins up in fat cells and keeping them away from our vital organs. By eating more plant foods we begin to gently (and slowly!) cleanse our body of acidic, toxic waste. With the toxins, comes the fat! Your skin looks better too, because the toxins don’t have to be expelled through the skin, in the form of acne, or continue to circulate, which can contribute to accelerated aging.”

Let the food do the talking. This is something I love doing! Nothing is more effective at then getting people to try it for themselves. I can’t count how many people (men usually!) I know who turn their nose up at Glowing Green Smoothies at first site. On set maybe a camera man or a PA smirks at it. But after seeing all the actors and producers drinking it and bouncing around set, they get curious, and a week or two in they want to try it too. After they do, they freak out at how much energy they have, and guess what? They want it every day also! Bring some food to the next social gathering, and have your friends and family see for themselves. People love this because you are contributing to the meal and they also get to try something new without any effort. Who knows, someone might fall in love with the food before you even open your mouth! This is one of the most powerful ways to communicate “why” in one bite. Some of my favorite recipes to bring over to a social gathering are Greek-Inspired Millet Salad, Quinoa, Dharma’a Kale Salad, Avocado and Corn Salad, Alkaline-Grain Veggie Burgers, and Millet “CousCous” Salad.

Send over a blog! Send over a link on a blog topic that you think will interest them. You never know, hearing it from a third party source may cause some shifts in their perception and understanding of your choices. It’s always best to ask first, before you send something over. This is great for someone who 1) has a lot of questions 2) is curious about the program 2) maybe had some reservations. You wouldn’t want to be perceived as being pushy or preachy so always ask and choose your blog topic carefully. This is also great because you don’t have to exhaust yourself trying to relay tons of detailed nutritional info and they can get another perspective.

Share the BDS with them! If someone is super interested and totally on board with your philosophy, share a copy of The Beauty Detox Solution with them and educate how is almond milk made. It’s a fantastic way for someone to fully understand the foundations, philosophy, and core tenets of the program at their own speed that are a part of your life. This way, you leave it up to them and take a step back. If your friend, colleague, family member decides to go for it, you can help “coach” them through it by sharing your favorite recipes and serving as a support system. Hopefully you can support each other.

Most importantly, it’s not what you say, but how you be. Communication is largely nonverbal. Be open, accepting, and most importantly share with love.

One of my favorite quotes:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~Maya Angelou

This is how I approach the question when people ask me why I eat the way I do. I love sharing my philosophy with others (especially my family and my clients). I know how to answer this question, and now you do too!

If you want some tips on how to eat healthy when eating out (or with the fam), click here!




Last updated: Friday, June 19, 2015
  • Erin

    These are wonderful tips! I used to hate defending my lifestyle, but since I’ve made it “all about me” it has gotten much easier. I just tell people how amazing I feel and how this way of living just works for me.

    • kimberlysnyder

      I couldn’t agree more! xx

  • Alana

    Speaking from someone coming from a Puerto Rican, fried-food and meat loving family…this was VERY HELPFUL! THANK YOU!

    I left my chia seeds in a water-bottle overnight (not on purpose…just got lazy lol) and they sprouted! Anything I can do with those?

    Also, this might be a stupid question but in addition to the sprouting in the bottle, the seeds stick to the sides of it. Will it do the same thing in my stomach? (sprouting and sticking) Should I be watching how many chia seeds I eat?

    Thanks for everything!

    • kimberlysnyder

      Great! I love PR :) Yes, You can add sprouted chia seeds to your salads. They are great! They’ll actually help un-stick some other stuff from your digestive track, with their high content of insoluble and soluble fiber. xx

  • Brooke

    Hi Kimberly, first off you are absolutely gorgeous! I have been a raw vegan for about eight months now and I definitely have a lot of questions that come up when going out to dinner. This post was so helpful because I always feel like I’m trying to defend myself!

    I actually have a question about traveling. My fiance and I are going on our honeymoon next year to Hawaii and I was wondering if you knew of any great places to stay where I have access to organic fruit and vegetables/fruit and vegetable juices?

    • Kris

      Hi Brooke,

      I love Hawaii and was there in Mars-April. You can have organic food etc at Down to Earth. Both in Honolulu, Maui (the “airporttown”, the big road from the airport to Lahaina) and in Hilo. It’s good, I have been there.

      I have read about another place at Maui, Raw Experience, in Paia. But I don’t know anything about it.


      All my love for Hawaii! Have a wonderful time there!


      • Brooke

        Thank you so much, I appreciate your comment so much. :) It’s so nice to be on vacation and have healthy choices!

    • kimberlysnyder

      Hi Brooke! Thank you! And yes, I can totally identify with that as well. Remember, it’s all about you! Enjoy your honeymoon! If you are in Maui, where I was last October, there is a great grocery store in Paia (spelling?) called Mana Foods! Xx Kimberly

  • Andrea

    This blog came to me like a gift, on my birthday it the first time I am picking an organic place and I know it will be bought up in table. Thank plus I need to tell them about my GERD issue.Thank you Kim!

    • kimberlysnyder

      Of course! Happy Birthday Andrea!! :)

  • Sophie

    This is great! You’re right, trying to convince others who are not ready is not the way to go. Neither is talking about how everyone “should” eat and live their life – everyone is different! I’m not on the BDS diet for a 100% but after reading your book I cut out dairy, I now limit my meat intake and stopped drinking soda. Oh and I buy natural cosmetics now and for the first time in years my healthy and soft hair and skin is back. Who knew all the 100s of products that I used to use on my body were actually making it worse.. together with eating healthier I now look so much better.

    So just wanted to say thank you, even though I’m not fully committed to your lifestyle I do what I can and I’m very grateful for your book and blog!

    Hugs from Holland, Sophie

    • kimberlysnyder

      Hi Sophie, That’s fabulous! Keep in touch! xx

  • Nicole

    Hi Kim!

    Hope you’ve been doing great! I have a couple of more questions for you 😉

    The first is regarding women’s daily calcium requirement which is about 1,000 mg/ day. I know you mentioned in The Beauty Detox Solution that romaine lettuce and spinach are great plant sources of calcium. So I was wondering if you knew about how much is in the GGS? Since giving up dairy, I just want to make sure that I’m getting enough calcium :-)

    Also, I was wondering what are your favorite Yogi brand teas?

    Thanks <3

  • Tricia

    Hi Kim!

    Thanks for blogging on this subject- as I have been vegan for two years now, and explaining my lifestyle still feels uncomfortable at times. My family has been especially skeptical of my transition. It may be a coincidence, but since I have changed my diet to vegan/highly raw, I have had outbreaks of eczema. My mother is convinced it is something to do with the foods I eat, or don’t eat, and I feel like it might be true that there is something I’m not quite doing right. Any suggestions??

    Thank you, thank you!

    • kimberlysnyder

      Hi Tricia, a highly raw diet is pretty much the most cleansing diet you can be on. Skin conditions can arise when the body has to expel more waste than it can handle. Have you gotten colonics and followed the other cleansing mechanisms? Consuming and topically using coconut oil may be helpful as well. Keep in touch xx

  • sandra

    Kimberly, Is it possible to have a consult with you? Phone or otherwise? How do we go about this?

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Hey Sandra, I’m not offering consultations at the moment. But I devote lots of time to answering questions here, Twitter, and FB, and doing live FB chats. Stay connected to the community that way. Xx

  • Jacqueline

    Hi Kim, Do you practice putting hydrogen peroxide or chlorine dioxide in your water to alkalize? Read about this in pH Miracle.

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Hey Jaqueline, I don’t personally practice that, but I do use hydrogen peroxide sometimes in my colonics. Xx

  • Veronica


    Absolutely love your book and your blog! However I have a question. Even before I read your book I would drink a Green Smoothie every morning made out of various greens and some sort of fruit, so I was thrilled when I saw the GGS was a staple in your diet. However now that classes have started back up, I don’t really have time to go to the grocery store as often as I used to in the summer, nor spend the morning/night whipping up a GGS. I bought Amazing Grass Superfoods powder, and have been drinking it after a glass of hot lemon water in the morning. What do you think of the powdered green smoothies, and in particular, this brand?

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Veronica, I totally identify with that sense of being busy and making your health a priority. To be honest, nothing beats fresh fruits and vegetables (Even powdered substitutes!). You can try making big batches once a week and freezing portions, thawing out the night before. However, if that still doesn’t work, the green powders are better than nothing. I like how the Green Vibrance brand has some probiotics. Xx

  • Jere


    I’m want to start your GGS but don’t have a blender as of yet. I was wondering what kind of blenders are good for smoothie making. I looked at the Vita ones but they are rather pricey. My husband won’t go for it, plus I have a juicer. Is juicing it instead of blending ok? Thank you for your time.


  • Maggie

    Great advice! I’ve been trying not to bombard people with health/food information, even when they ask (I always have to stop myself from saying too much!), and I especially watch what I say as to try not to offend anyone when they ask me questions about their own diets. It gets hard sometimes though, so this is so helpful, thank you!

  • Janice

    Dear Kimberly,
    Great subject. I have lost 14 pounds and feel great. One friend questioned me over and over. Finally told her about the book. Now she tells everyone she doesn’t understand why I am doing this. I watch friends eat fried food and goodies all day but dare not say a thing. I am living my own private pleasure but I enjoy all your website has to offer.
    Thanks for all the info.

  • Sarah


    I wanted to let you know how helpful this post was for me. It really speaks to the issues I have been dealing with lately. I became a vegan about 6 months ago and I feel amazing. My friends have been super supportive, but I have had trouble with my family. They are your typical meat-an-potatoes American family that does not serve a vegetable unless it is covered in butter. They know that I don not eat any animal products, but they continue to cook the way that they always have. I realize that not everyone is willing to make the same changes, and I don’t want to force them to do anything they aren’t comfortable doing. However, I now dread holidays, because I know there will be nothing for me to eat. What advice do you have for this situation?


  • Cathy

    Hi Kim!
    Am hoping you can help me with some adaptive changes in the Beauty Detox recipes. I lead a healthy lifestyle in general and enjoy all of the foods you promote. Over the last few years I have experienced increasing frequency of migraines and what is called BPV (benign postural vertigo) that appears to be connected/or part of the migraine. What I am learning is certain foods are “triggers” for these symptoms along with life stressors, etc. Unfortunately Citrus fruit, avocados, yogurt are among this list and my experience validates this. Which leads to my question – What can be substituted for the caloric, taste, health benefits in your recipes. Lemon Juice is in so many natural recipes, as are avocados. Fermented foods are also highly implicated as migraine triggers. Distilled white vinegar is ok. I do religiously supplement with Vit C and eat tons of greens. Any help with substitutions is greatly appreciated!!
    On My Path to Health

  • Lindsay Montgomery

    Hi Kimberly,

    I have a couple of questions. I saw a youtube video of you on the News in LA doing a papaya and enzyme salad using raw agave syrup, but in your book you say not to use it. Is there any other recipe like this salad(it looked so easy and good) that we could do instead without using the agave syrup?

    Also I am having a hard time losing fat around my stomach and have a larger lower half, ( I had a baby 2 years ago and cant seem to get rid of it). I have started with the glowing green smoothie in the mornings. Is there anything that will really help lose this fat.

    Last question, do you know of anything that will really help with Lupus?

    Thanks so much, the Beauty Detox is amazing!!!

    Lindsay Montgomery

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Hi Lindsay! Yes back in the day I admit I used the evil agave before I learned more about it. Use stevia, or for a liquid choice, check out coconut nectar.
      For belly fat and bloating, be sure to read the cleansing chapter, start eating more P & E Salad, taking probiotics, etc. Better digestion and cleansing on an ongoing basis will really help. xx

  • Aromatherapy Oil Massage

    Hello there, I discovered your website by means of Google whilst looking for a related topic, your website got here up, it seems great. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

    • Kimberly Snyder


  • Kelly

    Thank you so much for this post. It’s exactly what I need to handle my specific diet with family and friends. Thanks!!

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Great, hope it helps!

  • Liliana

    Hello Kim! First, let me thank you for all I’ve learned with you! I’m felling so much better now that I drink my GGS in the mornings, my fruit snacks and my salad for dinner (lunch it’s still cooked, but I eat more salad!). And your book is now travelling to my house! I’m so anxious to read it!!
    I want to share with you one of the worst days of my life, back 5 years. It was a work lunch with meat producers!! I was already vegetarian and my colleague was vegan. Our boss thought that will be good put me in one table with 9 clients (all men), and my colleague in another table with 8 (men and woman). Well, they started to ask me why I was eating cooked vegetables, why I wouldn’t eat meet, and I explained the best I could. They mock me so much! They even described how to roast a pig with details, just to see my reaction! My colleague was more lucky because the lady’s where very interested in her diet and the men where talking to each other… But that day… I still remember it as the worst!!

    PS: excuse my writing, I’m Portuguese and not used to write in English!

  • Allie d

    hi kim,
    i am only 12 years old and i have not had meat for about a year. i have always had trouble explaning my choice to my family and friends. this post helped a lot. Thanks!


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