Today, I’m going to address a topic that can be a big source of fear and barrier to progress for many of you. It’s happened to me, and if you’ve ever made dramatic changes to your diet (and consequently, to your appearance) — chances are you’ve experienced this, too.
So what is it? Simple: negative opinions, criticism and doubts from others- especially those you care about.
You would think your friends and family would be wholeheartedly supportive of a healthy lifestyle change, but sometimes that isn’t the case. To be honest, they often mean well — and it’s certainly not that they want you to be sick or overweight. The problem is more that their definition of healthy may be a little different from yours, or they may think you don’t “cheat” enough to have a healthy mindset about food anymore.
The other factor is people are afraid of what which they do not understand. While Beauty Detox may make sense to you, it can seem radical and potentially scary to someone who is accustomed to a much different way of eating/living.
Thus, you may find yourself at the receiving end of some misguided, fear-based comments or skepticism, and again, it’s something we’ve all been through. This is one reason why we have focused on building such a lovely, supportive community full of like-minded people to bounce ideas off of and vent in private.
While it’s usually best to smile and stay quiet when your loved ones pick apart your new habits, I understand that sometimes, you just have to say something. So what I’m going to do in this post is cover some common objections/criticisms that often surface when you embark on Beauty Detox, and overview some of the ways you might answer.
Remember always, that those who criticize you often don’t know any better and really do come from a place of love — so having compassion and understanding while you communicate will really help smooth things out and soften their attack. It may even help inspire them to join you!
Here are some of the most common questions/critiques:
“Where Do You Get Your Protein?” (aka “It doesn’t seem like you get enough protein”)
Ah, the question (usually loaded with a healthy dose of skepticism) all vegetarians and vegans are loathe to hear! If you’ve given up meat, you’ve probably been subject to this question more than once. Calorie for calorie, broccoli has more protein than steak does, and it’s more easily assimilated by the body. Just for fun, here are some excellent protein sources to throw their way:
- Vegan protein powders (in a pinch or post-workout)
- Greens (Kale, for instance, has 2.9 grams of protein per cup)
- Sea vegetables (chlorella and spirulina are excellent!)
- Beans (always soaked first)
You can also note that high protein diets, which many Americans consume, is considered nearly as bad as smoking and reduces lifespan — according to Dr. Valter Longo, Professor of Gerontology/Alzheimer’s Research/Cancer Research, Biological Sciences at the University of Southern California. 
Some other notable research? Researchers tested athletes consuming various amounts of protein following workouts and found that 20 grams produced optimal muscle synthesis.  So what, you ask? Well, steaks often contain 70-80 grams of protein, whereas it’s easy to consume 20 grams of easy-to-digest plant protein in a meal.
Chances are, if your friends and family are asking you this, they believe the hype around high protein diets. In reality, you need much less than those types of diets prescribe, and those diets can actually be harmful to your kidneys and your whole body..not to mention acid-forming and aging to your organs, as well as your skin and overall appearance (we want to avoid the “Old Skinny” look!).
“Are You Sure You Don’t Have An Eating Disorder?”
Not eating junk food anymore? Something must be wrong, right? This is one where it may be best to just assure them that you get plenty to eat and say no thank you without any further explanation if they offer you foods you prefer not to eat. Invite them over sometime and let them enjoy a nutrient-rich meal with you.
Once they have that experience, they’ll see that Beauty Detox is not about starving yourself. Quite the opposite! It’s about nourishing yourself (something junk foods won’t allow you to do).
“Eww. You Eat Really Weird Stuff!”
Personally, this is where I think you should laugh and offer them a bite of what you’re having or invite them to dinner. If you’re at work when you hear this line, take in a healthy dessert to enjoy at the end of the day so everyone can try a sample of your “weird” food.
It’s a dessert you are offering, not a meal, so it’ll be harder for them to resist a bite whether they’re headed out the door or back to their desk for a late night. If a family member tells you this, be sure to take your favorite dish to your next holiday gathering and let everyone have a taste. They’re adventurous people, right?
And I can’t tell you how many people have eventually come around to the Glowing Green Smoothie, after making fun of it at first…deep down they may know how good it truly is for them, and in their own time, they will come over, and eventually ask you if they can try some!
“Come On, One Meal Out Isn’t Going to Hurt You. Splurge a Little! Everything in Moderation!”
In this case, your loved one may have a point. Sort of. True, one meal may not derail your efforts or do you any real harm, but once you’ve gotten yourself into a groove of healthy eating, you’re probably not going to want to splurge and deal with the aftermath—the bloating, the fatigue, the puffiness, the tummy discomfort, the low energy.
Plus, there are only so many times this line can possibly work before it’s not just “one meal” anymore. Keep in mind that it’s best if you can set the tone for your new lifestyle by following the program for a while. Once you see how much better you look and feel, you’ll want to get back to it and one meal will be much less likely to be a day, a week, or a month of old habits returning.
You don’t have to be perfect, but everyone’s definition of moderation is different. It could be anywhere from once every few months to once a day. If you do want to enjoy certain things “in moderation” (as in once every few weeks or months) but not the day this conversation takes place, agree with the person and say you believe in moderation, too, but you just enjoyed something decadent and prefer to pass this time. Stay strong here. Your friend is possibly trying to validate some of their poor food choices and drag you down with them so they won’t feel so bad about indulging. Stick to your guns and you’ll set a positive example without getting preachy. Try to come up with a different activity to do that doesn’t involve a meal if the objective is simply to spend time together if you can’t agree on a restaurant.
“You Looked Fine Before. You Don’t Need This.”
Ah, this line. The speaker means well, of course, and they’re trying to give you a compliment, but it’s just awkward. Thank them and tell them you’re not just following the Beauty Detox lifestyle just for your outside appearance (though looking extra gorgeous is a side effect!), but so that your inside looks—and feels—great, too. You want to have great energy. Plus, who doesn’t want to look as good as they possibly can?
“Gluten’s Not a Bad Thing Unless You Have Celiac Disease.” (Or Just, “Have Some Bread!”)
Gluten’s not great for anyone, celiac disease or not. This one gets so tricky sometimes when you sit down to dinner at a nice restaurant and the server plops down a big basket of warm, steaming bread and a dollop of butter. You could just say you’re so excited about the main course, you don’t want to waste any room in your stomach on bread.
If your friends do bring up the gluten content of bread not being harmful to your body for whatever reason, you can point them to studies that implicate gluten in disorders ranging from allergies to digestive distress to diabetes and even autism. [3-6] You can also point out that many of us do have an intolerance that lead to inflammation and other health issues even without full-blown celiac disease.
Wheat products are also highly contaminated and come with a nice side of invisible, mixed chemical poisons (fungicides, insecticides, etc), plus they’ve been shown to be addictive.
“Cutting Out Major Food Groups Is Never a Good Idea!”
It is if they never should have been considered food in the first place! Milk, for example, is meant for baby cows, not humans. Humans also aren’t really designed for meat consumption. Our digestive systems are much longer and our canine teeth much shorter than those belonging to carnivores. There is no macronutrient or micronutrient you can’t get from a vegetarian or vegan diet. Some of the major concerns are protein (see above), iron, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, calcium, and vitamins D and B12.
You can get iron from leafy greens and sea vegetables; omega-3s from avocado, nuts, and seeds; zinc from almonds and beans; vitamin D from mushrooms or a little sunlight exposure each morning; and B12 from nutritional yeast (this is one vitamin you may prefer to have a supplement for since sources for vegans are limited).
Assure your friends and family that you’re sure you’re getting all the vitamins and minerals you need. If they really want to debate, point out the shorter canines, longer digestive tracts, and that gorillas are incredibly strong and healthy–without eating meat or dairy!
“Dairy Is Good for You! It’s a Source of Calcium and Necessary for Strong Bones.”
Dairy has a reputation for being a fantastic source of calcium, a necessity in a healthy diet. The truth, though, is that dairy is acidic, so when it goes into your body, it actually draws calcium out of your bones in order to neutralize that effect. You don’t have to launch into this explanation with the person, but you can say that there are actually other (better!) sources of calcium out there:
- Bok choy
- Romaine lettuce
- Sea vegetables
- Sesame seeds
Research shows that vegans/vegetarians are less likely to get kidney or gall stones, and also less likely to suffer the calcium losses that come from excess protein consumption. 
You probably get a lot more useable calcium in your morning Glowing Green Smoothie than they do from their bowl of cereal with milk or their latte! That doesn’t even count the additional veggies you have throughout the day. When people ask you about calcium, tell them you don’t really need dairy to be healthy and point out all the other sources you’re getting your calcium from every day.
“You’re Too Skinny!”
Again, this one may be meant almost as a compliment, depending on who’s saying it to you and their tone. Still, all you have to say here is, “I like the way I look and I feel better.” Who can argue with that? Even if you do feel that you’ve dropped a little too much weight, you don’t have to agree with them in that moment; just tweak your diet to focus on adding some fuel, and more pounds back to your frame. You’re beautiful no matter what!
And if you want to get scientific, you can add that before — when you had a higher BMI (body mass index) — you were at significantly greater risk for chronic disease. But now, according to measurements confirmed by Harvard researchers, your BMI is in a healthy range. 
Let Your Health and Life Do The Talking
Now, to this point, this post has been about responding to others criticisms and fears. But over the years, one of the things I’ve learned is that its best NOT to get into these back-and-forth debates. That’s because, even if you’re right, they often don’t end well. Both sides feel attacked, and there is no real winner in the end.
I’m reminded of this quote, from Bernard M. Baruch:
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
So while you can assure doubters that you are well and healthy, it’s best to just focus 100% on how you feel, your health, and using the increased energy you have to live a more empowered life.
As others see you living confidently and powerfully, and notice that your switch to a healthier, detoxifying lifestyle shows up in your glowing skin, the way you carry yourself, your endless energy, and your slimmer waistline — they will finally stop criticizing and let you be. They may even want to join you on your journey!
But that will only happen if you can push beyond the doubts and fears others project onto you, and focus on your own mind, body and spirit, allowing this amazing transformation to become your reality.
And the good news is, you have me and this amazingly community to support you every step of the way — so you’ll never be alone.
Have an amazing rest of your week!
With love and gratitude,