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The Stigma Around Different or Restricted Diets

Updated: Apr 11

Mention you are gluten free, vegetarian or vegan and you will get more crazy or negative facial expressions than Jack Nicholson playing one of his iconic roles. I know. It can be scary.

Some of it is due to ignorance - see my post Ignorance is Bliss. But, It Could Mean Life Or Death - or the fear of something new or different.

If you think any of this food looks like "slop" or is "disgusting" and you haven't even tasted it and/or are unwilling to taste it, then move along. We have a lot of good eating to do!

People hear gluten free and scowl. "I'm not eating that crap," is the most common phrase I hear. First off, it's food, not crap. It's very insulting to call someone's food something so derogatory. I'm sure people who need to be gluten free spent a lot of time cooking, even if they used slightly different ingredients than others would use. Secondly, I promise, it won't kill you. Last but not least, if you never tried it, how do you know it's "crap" since you have no idea what it tastes like.

Another favorite of mine is "you're a pain in the ass," If someone doesn't eat exactly what you want to cook, then they are somehow annoying. This is why I make all my own food and bring it with me. Not only do people make mistakes, but they get annoyed. See posts Bringing My Own Food Outside My Home and Packing My Own Food Even For...

My husband eats and enjoys my gluten free pancakes every time I make them.

I happen to make delicious gluten free dishes and desserts, just saying. There are thousands out there who also make very nutritious, tasty, scrumptious meals that are gluten free or also free from some or all of the listed ingredients - dairy, nuts, soy, corn, eggs, or anything else they cannot eat for whatever reason.

Several times at parties and just last night on Easter, people ate gluten free food and didn't even know it. Guess what. They LOVED it and went back for seconds.

Say the word vegan or vegetarian and people nearly have a coronary. Have these people never heard of or eaten vegetables, tofu, quinoa, pasta or rice, etc.? Why does hearing vegan or vegetarian create such a negative reaction?

All of these stunning recipes are vegan/vegetarian.

See my posts Gluten Free, Vegan Chickpea Tortillas, Gluten Free Vegetarian/Vegan Lentil Balls, and Gluten Free Vegetarian/Vegan Sweet Potato Soup - Halloween Soup just to name a few.

At my niece's engagement party, the cake was vegan. It was amazing. Everyone ate it and loved it. In fact, they raved about it. Of course, they had no idea it was vegan until after they ate it. Three years later people still talk about it and many say "I can't believe it was vegan." Why? That's the mystery question. Why do people associate gluten free or vegan/vegetarian with bad?

Definitely not slop or disgusting. Every dish was absolutely amazing!

Not only did I think so, but others did as well.

Then there's been those who have only looked at pictures of my food, never tasted it and told me "it looks like slop" or "it's disgusting". This not only made me laugh, but intrigued me. First off, neither is true. And if you want to have your own good laugh, get this, I would sometimes post pictures of food made by famous chefs and they would rip it apart simply because they thought I made it. That gave me the biggest chuckle. It's easy to make fools out of fools.

That silliness never bothered me. I don't give people that kind of power. Especially when I know it's absolutely, 100% not true. I've been getting raving compliments on my cooking since I'm a teen and I still am, as recently as on Easter yesterday. I have years worth of hundreds of people eating my dishes and liking them compared to a few haters who have a bug up their butt. More than likely, those being nasty can't cook.

To those with special diets. don't let this nonsense bother you. Offer someone a taste if you can. If you can't and they are saying mean things in an attempt to hurt or insult, let them know they wasted their time and it isn't working. If I listened to people like that, I would have stopped cooking years ago. Had I done that, both myself and a lot of others would have missed out on some incredible meals.

Yesterday, after Easter dinner, I put out my Gluten Free No Egg Homemade Banana Pudding with all the other desserts and walked away. They almost ate the entire tray! Many came back for seconds. That's what happens when people simply try something rather than get stuck on the recipe or ingredients you used or didn't use.

At my son's Rehearsal brunch, I put out a tray of my Gluten Free Christmas Butter Cookies and the guests couldn't eat them fast enough. My son-in-law loved them and asked me to make them for his and my daughter's engagement party. I did. Again, everyone ate them. Not one cookie left. I'm not sure why people are so surprised they were good once they find out they were gluten free. It's something I ponder.

For more amazing desserts, check out my category Gluten Free Baked Goods.

If you have an aversion to "different" food, such as gluten free or vegan, can you leave a comment explaining why? I'm just curious. Is it fear of the unknown, of change or new things?

To everyone with a different diet, ignore the negative, keep moving forward. Thank those who are positive and of course, take constructive criticism from those who are real, have good intentions and honestly care. You can learn a lot from those people. I learned from the best, my two grandmothers and my mom.

Don't be afraid to fail. I've had my failures, but who hasn't. Check out Gluten Free Ricotta Ball Soup - Epic Fail and The Great Muffin Debacle.

Try until you get it right. Never say can't. See my post UPDATED "I Can't Cook." Sure You Can!

Sometimes life throws you a curveball. Sometimes it's just not fair. You have enough to deal with, don't let people add to it. Stay strong. Let them be negative if that's their choice. In the end, it's not affecting you because you refuse to let it.

What will affect you is you being in control, staying focused and constantly learning. You will prevail. You will benefit. That's all that counts.

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