Pass the Pastured Turkey but Hold the GMO Gravy: How to Handle Non-Crunchy Family Members over the Holidays

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Recently, I got a letter from a long-time follower. Let’s call her Krista. She writes: 

“I adore my family and friends, and I love visiting them during the holidays. I’m in my mid-forties, and like me, all my relatives are getting older. I’m beginning to see signs of health issues creep up on them–some worse than others. Some of my family is open to homeopathy, and they often come to me for advice and help. But they aren’t really willing to get the help they need, so it’s frustrating. I want to help them but I feel like I really can’t. It hurts my heart to walk into their pantry and see a tower of soda cans or other toxic foods lining their shelves. Is there some way of helping them?

Then there is the other family members–the ones that are outright rude or dismissive of my healthy lifestyle choices. 

Do you have any advice on how to handle the drama?

I understand where Krista is coming from. I’m always a little sad when someone asks me for some ‘quick homeopathy help’ for something deeply chronic…(“Hey! What can I take for my acid reflux?”). It makes me sad because, often, what they really mean is, “Hey! Can you get me a little white pill thingy that is safer than the standard conventional proton pump inhibitor drugs but will still allow me to continue my standard American diet and lifestyle as is?”

They want the big-pharma quick fix without the patience and commitment that true healing requires.

Sadly, I don’t think Krista or I can help anyone with that kind of request. 

Even Homeopathy has its Limits!

Homeopathy is amazing, and I’ve seen it make some massive improvements in people’s lives–even IF they don’t change their diet and lifestyles. But there is only so much abuse our bodies can take. 

If I know they really aren’t interested in making the profound lifestyle changes that most all of us had to go through in order to bring ourselves back into health, then I just give them a short answer like: 

“There are a lot of remedies that can help with that. I can help you find a homeopath who can help. Let me know if you want their information.” 

This is a helpful answer. It’s honest, it’s real, and if you misread them and they are willing to make some real-life changes, then the homeopath will help them with that. Of course, if there actually is an easy remedy for me to recommend, I do, but it’s hard to pour my heart and soul into helping someone who doesn’t want help, not really. Healing one’s body takes effort, and a bit of determination, and honestly it can sometimes take grit. I can’t get them to have that; that’s on them. 

Pantry Wisdom

As far as Krista’s concern about noticing the fairly concerning pantries of your loved ones, my suggestion is this: unless they ask you directly, zip it. Keep your thoughts to yourself. People don’t feel appreciated or loved when they feel like we are judging their pantries or medicine cabinets. Life is hard as an adult, and everyone is fighting their own battles. People need a lot of compassion and generosity, especially nowadays. Keep an open heart, and maybe they will feel your unconditional love and someday approach you with a sincere request to have you help them overhaul their pantry or medicine cabinet. 

Curbing Rude Behavior

Finally, the last scenario is the worst one. This is when someone is passive-aggressive or perhaps fully rude towards you and your health choices. Maybe you don’t eat the same foods they do. Or maybe–no matter how discrete you’re being–they notice that you don’t let your kids eat the same stuff they offer their own children. 

I personally exercise caution here. I try to be modest so as not to draw attention to myself–I never want anyone to feel like I’m lording over their poor health choices or setting myself like I’m “doing it better.” Heaven knows that I make plenty of mistakes and I certainly am not perfect, but I don’t necessarily eat what everyone else is eating, just to ‘get along.’

Recently, at a fall party for my church, they had a lot of really carnival food that I just couldn’t bring myself to eat. If you saw me there, you would have seen me steal a pinch of my friend’s son’s cotton candy (no I didn’t ask for permission 😆), my water bottle, and a handful of popcorn. I didn’t have the chips, the nacho cheese, the hot dogs, the burgers, the candied apples or the vast amounts of candy. I probably shouldn’t have had the cotton candy or popcorn, but I also didn’t make a single comment about the quality of the food, not a peep. I let people eat and if I was questioned why I wasn’t eating, I’d say, “Oh, I already ate.” or “Oh, I’m not hungry.” Both were true.

At Thanksgiving, when family gatherings are less populated, it’s probably a bit easier to get noticed and become a target of speculation, no matter how discrete you’re being. So, what do you do when someone questions some of your choices (‘Let the kid have some soda pop!’ or ‘I had candy and I turned out just fine!’)

Keep it Short and Sweet & Don’t Take the Bait

Keep your answer short and sweet. Less is more. “Maybe later,” or “No thanks! Excuse me, I need to wash my hands.” There’s no need to launch into a diatribe of the evils of our conventional food systems. Chances are, they’ve heard about these poisons but they’re not interested in worrying about it. If they really won’t let up their ‘teasing’ or criticism of you or–worse–if they get aggressive, then try, “You’re making me uncomfortable. Can we change the subject?” I find that actually going to the heart of their behavior curbs the rudeness.  

And above all, don’t take the bait. Learn the power of walking away. There is strength in not responding. Have class, keep your shoulders back, and rest easy in the knowledge that you’re doing the right thing. Stay centered on your choices. Participating in the combative and rude dialogue is a fruitless endeavor that results only in hurt feelings, stress, and an unpleasant experience. 

Rise above it, say a little prayer, and find a gentle way of stepping away. 

You can do this! I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Hugs and homeopathy,


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