How to explain to others...

The thing I find most difficult about the diet in many ways is saying "no" at social gatherings and having to explain to others why I'm not eating anything. I find there's definitely social pressure to eat as others eat. And with good friends it's not a problem of course but...
As you might have imagined by now, I went on an unfortunate eating bindge at my friend's baby shower the other day. Of course it was my choice and now I'm suffering the consequences and I'm learning... but I had a thought... I was wondering if people could post their strategies for saying "no thanks" or how they explain their food restrictions to others... I know it would help me and perhaps it would help others?
Original Post

I know what you're saying. I think we've all been there and had a hard time explaining why we can't eat what everyone else is eating, or if there's nothing we can eat, why we can't eat at all. I also lost a bunch of weight on this diet, so when I'm in that situation around people who don't know me or understand my illness/diet restrictions, they get this look on their face that I know means they think that I have an eating makes me pretty mad. Anyway, here's a reply I gave to Maggie a while back on this topic:

Going out to eat is one of the hardest things to face in the beginning (or anytime really). One of the biggest things that helps me get through social events where you have to eat, is simply the way you present it. To avoid getting into too personal information or having to talk about anything that you don't want to, I find it helps just to nonchelantly mention that I have a lot of food allergies (if an explanation seems needed). Since digestive problems & food allergies seem to be linked our candida problem, it's an easy way to minimally explain, yet still get around the uncomfortable specifics. And if you just mention general food allergies, rather than listing all the avoid foods, then it will seem less awkward. If they ask specifics, I wave it off by saying there are too many to list. Hopefully that will be enough of a hint to prevent any other questions.

To add to that: even if you don't have specific food allergies...well, it's much easier to explain it this way than getting into the whole yeast explanation. Or else you could say that you have some digestive problems right now, so it's best for you to avoid certain foods. And that's got to be true of anyone with this illness. You can even tell them that your nutritionist told you to eat this way - right Tarilee?

Another thing I like to do is keep a snack on hand at all times. This is mostly because my stomach seems to control my life & I am ALWAYS hungry and need to eat (hypoglycemic), but it also makes those awkward social times a little easier when you at least have something to eat. Then you won't feel so out of place & others won't notice the difference as much because you aren't sitting there empty-handed while they stuff their faces. It's good all around, you see. Wink

Easy foods to keep in your purse, car, or bag: nuts (almonds, sunflower seeds, cashews, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, etc) & rice cakes are the easiest. You can also bring a tupperware container of veggies - carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, celery. You can even bring a nutbutter or homemade dip (guac or veggie dip). I also keep a few tea bags or small seltzer waters on hand so that I can also have something fun to drink. I'll even bring a baggie of homemade cookies or muffins when I know other people will be eating sweets - then there is almost no temptation to eat "real" sweets.

Well, I hope these ideas help! There are probably ideas listed in the diet FAQs or the Getting Started section of the forum too.

Take care,
Just wanted to chime in here and say this is definitely the worst part for me. Especially because I feel that my husbands family thinks it's all hogwash anyway. They never really say much and they know how sick I was and that now I am much better, but I still get that feeling around them. We are going on a picnic with them next week and the main dishes are barbecued meats and ham : ( I am trying to decide if I should just eat a little ham or what I should do. I just hate feeling like everyone thinks I am weird. I also hate when everyones attention is on me at a table because of what I am or am not eating. I usually just eat before I go so that things don't look so tempting.

Tia- I also take things with me when I am with people that are very nice and understanding about it. Everyone at our chuch has been so supportive. We do a lot of social things because we are a small church and so of course there is always food. I just feel so bad when people try and plan there menu around me. I feel like they probably would rather just not invite me over than to have to worry about what I will eat. The absolute worst though is when someone makes something that they think I can have and it is just special for me and I really shouldn't eat it.

Oh well, thanks for listening. This post just came at a time when I needed to vent. I was just trying to decide today what to do about two different social (eating) situations this next week. I am trying to decide which is worse eating the least of the evils available or facing the stress of doing something else.


For the picnic, maybe you could bring some turkey meat - it's rare, but there are some acceptable kinds available at natural food stores like Whole Foods. And even if it contains dextrose, it's going to be better than ham, which always has either sugar or honey in it. Or else you can BBQ up some chicken breast & make a homemade sauce for it. I've done olive oil, minced garlic, and lime juice as a marinade for grilled chicken & it was pretty tasty.

I know how hard it can be in those situations. In the beginning, before my family really understood that this diet was what I truly needed, they would always be like "Oh, just a little bit isn't going to hurt you" or "what? you can't eat that? why?!"...and it was tough at first, but then they understood, adjusted, and fully supported me with it. Now, even if they don't fully get it, they are great about supporting me regardless.

As tough as it is for you to feel awkward in those social settings, I wouldn't let that pressure me into eating things if I don't want to. Easier said than done, I know. But they will eventually have to accept that this is your decision & it's what's best for you...or else they should learn to keep their opinions to themselves. Sorry if I sound rude about it, I don't mean to. It's just that it's your life and you shouldn't be made to feel weird about your diet, especially from those who know the explanation behind it.

If I were you, I would bring a dish that I could eat (like the BBQ chicken I mentioned above, along with a yummy side dish) and then rave about how good it is. HA! They can't think you're that weird if you're eating awesome food! But seriously, make something that you know is great & share it with them. If things are too awkward for them to make a dish that's acceptable for you to eat, then just always bring one that you can have, and bring enough to share a little. That way, you won't stand out nearly as much - you can eat, and you won't be alone eating it if you share it too. And if they know how good the food is that you can eat, then they won't have much to say after that.

Again, I know it's much easier for me to say it than for you, who is actually in the situation. But I hope it works out. Good luck with the picnic - I hope you enjoy it. Just try to be confident, because YOU know what is good for you, and what will help you get well.

Hi girls, this is exactly what I went through at my aunt's in April when my father died, and it is tough...and my resolve wasn't as good as normal either. But as we go along, it will get easier and it will become second nature to us.

But next month I am going to a wedding and I will be staying with a cousin that is just absolutely famous for her "down home" cooking...and she is a real skeptic when it comes to my "way of eating." Almost everything she cooks is either loaded with mayo, sugar, cheese or cream. And her desserts, ohmygawd, a nightmare for candida fighters. I am not really looking forward to this trip just because food is such a huge part of their everyday life, and at a wedding, well, I can only imagine. I hope I don't come back looking like little Lotta...remember the comic book?

What really drives me nuts is when they make a dessert with light jello or aspartame and that should work for our "diet" and then you have to tell them that you can't eat artificial sweeteners either Eek...and then they look at you totally flabbergasted and think that you have really flipped your wig. Winky

Wish me luck, I will surely need it. Yes

I think we've all had to contend with this subject, haven't we? I used to just tell folks I was on a "diet." Since I'm still about 20-25 lbs overweight that usually shuts them up. Then there are always the people who want to know .... "Oh, are you doing weight watchers or low carb?" To which they want to know all the details. sigh...

If I'm feeling especially peckish and prickly, I'll say that I'm on a natural foods diet that contains nothing artificial and no preservatives. This usually brings facial expressions similar to aghast or consternation. I take the lead from that and sometimes say, "Yes, and next month I'll be joining a commune in San Francisco where I"ll be able to grow my own organic vegetables and wear skirts made from hemp. I'll even be able to dye my own skirts with all the leftover veggie juice." Sometimes I get really carried away .... "Did you know that if you juice an organic carrot during a full moon that it will turn the loveliest shade of chartreuse? You have to remember to sacrifice a tadpole though during the first of the month or it won't work. And if you don't yodel during the sacrifice all will be lost."

I know that's bad of me but I can't help it. I don't expect others to understand CRC or even have minimal knowledge of nutrition (they should have, but most people don't). I would expect, though, that folks would just accept when someone would like to eat healthier and pass no judgements. As you can see, I can get rather aggravated with "well meaning" folks at times. I mean, would they try to force alcohol upon a recovering alcoholic? If I say that I can't and don't eat sugar in any form -- I mean what I say. And please don't try to force any on me.

Boy it sure felt good to complain. Thanks for the opportunity to vent! lol! Sorry to sound like such a grump.


I really like what you say, Sharon, about the recovering alcoholic. Not to minimise how difficult it must be to be an alcoholic, but I can appreciate the analogy. There definitely is a lack of understanding of the seriousness of food/allergy issues. I was so frustrated the other day when my father and mother (who has food allergies of her own) offered me "just a small bite" of strawberry rhubarb pie. I said 'no' but was frustrated that they didn't understand how addictive sugar is for me and how even a small bite will throw me off. I guess it's hard to understand if you haven't been there.

You know, I think part of it is that people feel guilty about the food they're eating. Like, they won't feel as guilty if others are doing as they are (ie eating poorly)... and I guess it's awkward for them being around someone who seems to have more control over his/her food choices (or the illusion of control!).

Tia, those were some great suggestions. I think I find it particularly difficult at the moment because I was overseas for a while and through this program I lost a fair bit of weight. So, when I see people for the first time in 6 months, I do look quite different and so there are so many judgements and questions... and I usually don't want to go into the whole story. But, it also feels as though I'm constantly having to explain myself. I don't think I realised how much emphasis people place on appearances and weight until now. But, I imagine over time this will all get easier! But, you're right Tia: "they will eventually have to accept that this is your decision & it's what's best for you."


I guess the good thing is that the slip-ups make me realise how important the diet is for me. While it's not good for candida in the short term, I think the rare but occasional slip-up helps us get back on track and therefore is good for candida in the long term!
All the best Wendy, Tia, Sandi and Sharon... it is difficult but worth it, no?!

Take care,

Boy oh boy, you women are just awesome! I love the ideas presented here and the way you have all stepped in to offer your ingenious coping strategies to each other. This kind of sharing is SO important.

I fully agree with Tia that just stating matter of factly, something along the lines of, "I have digestion problems and they result in multiple food intolerances.", is the most detail you need to get into. If you take firm responsibility for what you can and can't eat and do not act apologetically or embarassed, they will more quickly develop respect and acceptance around your decisions about what is right for your health. If they press you can clearly state that you will feel ill if you eat foods other than the ones you tolerate well and leave it at that. If necessary, again, you can affirm that you choose only to eat foods that make you feel good. Getting into the details with anyone other than close friends just exposes you to uninformed judgements from the folks who don't understand.

Then all you have to do is resist the temptation to eat foods that will make you feel ill! Lao Tzu, a famous Taoist teacher says, "I can resist anything except temptation." Big Grin

Take good care guys and keep up the great work!

love2 Tari-Lee

Eeeeeck!!! Now you've really gone off the deep end girl! Geesh, we've created a monster! Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin BLESS YOU!!!! I didn't see your post until Annie mentioned it and I looked up and realized I missed it. You are SO funny! Have you ever had a career in comedy? You would be an incredible script writer for sit coms or comedy plays! I LOVE your post. We are SO blessed to have you in our midst, making sure we all remember to find things to laugh about. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Smile

With love,

Well, yes, I have gone over the deep end. lol! I'm glad some of you were able to laugh. Humor is easy when you're sitting at the computer and typing -- it's far harder to be gracious and humorous when you're being pressured to eat things that are not good for you. Especially when that pressure is cloaked by "well intentioned" gestures.

I don't tell people about my CRC. But it inevitably comes up in situations where eating is involved. Even visiting with neighbors for "coffee." I answer their questions with simple answers but everyone usually ends up wanting to know more ... or so they think .... once I supply a bit more information they start to think the diet sounds weird.

So, sometimes I just give up (especially if I'm feeling irritable) and I just say I'm on the Eye of Newt diet recommended by the American Association For The Beautification And Improvement Of The Bodily Organs And Tissues -- or whatever comes to mind. Sometimes I'll also say that I"m like the Wicked Witch from Oz -- sugar makes me melt and that's why I can't have any. But I have to be careful not to say that around small kids -- I don't want them to think I'm really a witch. Razz

Sharon hearthrob
Sharon, you crack me up...I just love your humour... I can almost see the looks on their faces...I wish I could remember some of these remarks when people comment on my diet. And I also agree with Meg; our eating makes others feel a little self conscious of what they are putting in their is too bad some people have to get really sick before they make lifestyle changes.

Hi Everyone,

What a great thread this one is and so relevant to all of us. A couple of the tricks that I use. My wife works at a very high society place that we get invited to dinner and drinks all the time. What we do is have her explain to them before we go that I have an illness and very limited foods that I am allowed and perhaps it would be easier for them if we all just went out to eat. Works every time for us. Seems better if she explains it and not me. And no one ever seems to ask about it either because I really don't think they want to know what the "illness" is. LOL - I wonder if the think I have AIDS sometimes.

The other thing we do when invited over to someones house is say that I love to cook (some know that I was a chef) and I say that I will bring a tasty dish along for everyone. That way I am assured thier is one thing I can eat.

Ok, now I am hungry - geeez - why do we always have to talk aout food! Smile

Chef Glenn
This was the best thread I've ever read far. I laughed at all the posts b/c I can relate to every one of them...I could actually hear myself giving all the same speeches, and see all the strange looks in my head. Then yours Sharon...LOL. I was reading the forums very often when I first became aware of my "illness" but since have fallen off my wagon, for a long time now, and decided to try to start over today and I am so glad this was the first thing I read. It's nice to know that I'm not the only weirdo Wink
Hi, I'm brand new, just stumbled onto this site in fact. I read Sharon's post just when I was feeling down and overwhelmed; just found out what all I had to do to change my diet today!lol So THANKS Sharon for making me laugh, I really didn't think I COULD laugh today. You brought some sunshine to me and my heart feels much lighter!!
Hi Julie B and welcome back!! You're not a weirdo and neither are the rest of us. We're trailblazers! Big Grin

Hi Chloe and Welcome to the WA Forum! wavey2 YOu'll find tons of helpful information here and this program is extremely effective, I have found. It can be really overwhelming to begin a new way of eating, because when it's done properly it really entails beginning a new way of thinking and living. Most of us aren't inclined to give up our beloved fast foods, culinary shortcuts and easy life in the kitchen for a program that involves a bit more work and thought. I'll admit that there were times in the beginning for me that my protocol felt downright isolating. I don't know that I could have done this without the Forum for support.

I guess what we're trying to do in getting our health back here is quite against the "mainstream." And because of that we can be labeled "difficult" or "weird" -- especially when it comes to get-togethers involving food with friends and family. Since the majority of the population is eating junk, or unhealthy food, and food that is filled to the brim with harmful substances -- well, then, I guess we are different. It might not come in our lifetime, but eventually the majority of the population will see that eating a healthy diet and using a natural therapeutic approach as needed is about the smartest darn thing a person can do.

Heck, we might even be Einsteins. Though I wouldn't hold my breath for a Nobel Peace Prize or anything.

Sharon hearthrob
Thanks for the support Tarilee and Sharon. Just feeling a tad overwhelmed, starting the program again, and also quitting smoking at the same time...just feeling a tad sorry for myself at the moment Frown Thanks again, b/c having the forum really makes things easier and helps me put things into perspective.
Julie wave3
Ditto to that Julie! Having a place to go for accoutability and mutual support is THE key to success in my mind. A couple of years ago I did a fitness program called "Body for Life". I could not have survived the diet and 4:00am workouts if it hadn't been for the support boards and other friends that were into the program about the same time as me. I've been on this diet for 3 weeks now reading all of your comments from the sidelines. I have embarrassed my husband when trying to explain my yeast problem to our friends so I've toned it down to food allergies and such. I've been labeled a "hippie" by one and my mother-in-law who lives with me turns her nose up or says yuck to everything I cook! Yet, I have learned so much already and each day is getting better and better! I'm actually having fun trying all these new recipes and foods! I could care less what everyone else thinks - I just have to be the best I can be - for me! Thanks everyone!
P.S. - Julie, have you tried accupuncture for your smoking and the diet / Candida issues like the book they sell with the initial program suggests? I have found a good one that after a few treatments has really helped me (with diet and yeast symptoms - not smoking) May be worth a try! Good luck! Yes
Very true Kathy...and welcome! I do get so much negative feedback from people, not my family, but co-workers usually. Sometimes I just can't get over how rude and unsupportive people can be and of course not smoking makes it annoy me a whole lot more than it should right now Mad No, I haven't tried the accupuncture, but it is a good idea and something I should consider. I have been using the patch, which I'm sure is just as bad for you as smoking, but it was a quick solution. Thanks for all the feedback and advice, I really do appreciate it!!
wavey2 Julie
Sharon you're SO right and your post is extremely well written. I've saved a copy of it in my "tips to other members file".

When I opened that file to save it, I saw an old post from Ashley in there. She coined a lovely quote, in reference to the benfits of this type of lifestyle change, "It's life improvement not a life sentence!"

I'm really happy to see how many of you are reading this thread and benefitting from it. It really is such an important topic. And, sadly, it will take some more work from us "trailblazers" before eating healthy and taking good care is the norm and not the exception!

Take good care,

Hi there Cali Mom,

I haven't "met" you before. Welcome to Whole Approach. It looks like you've been on for a while but haven't posted in the Q and A sections. I only read and post in these sections so I didn't know you'd joined us.

Since you’re new here, you could likely use a little help getting to know the forum and everything that it and this website have to offer you.

In addition to inclusion in an amazing community of candida forum friends (a little bit of which you have already experienced), the Whole Approach program involves a recovery diet integrated with anti-fungal colon cleansing and systemic yeast treatment. If you follow the links in the welcome link I’m going to include below, you’ll get a feel for the extent of the program benefits that we offer here. The products are available through the online store. Our forum is intended to help counsel folks who have chosen the Whole Approach product line for their anti-fungal program. Proceeds from the sale of these products pay for the maintenance of this forum.

Whole Approach has been supporting customers using the Attogram purge drink and complementary products since 1991. We’ve searched, (and continue to search), the natural products industry for the very best products to help us help you and we have coached thousands of members as they work through the challenges of the whole body, whole self, detoxifying, candida cleanse that is essential for a full recovery from Candida Related Complex (CRC). As you read about the Whole Approach products and diet, if you decide that this approach feels right for you and you choose to embark upon the Whole Approach healing path, I will be pleased to be your guide. I come on the forums Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings for ninety minutes or so to answer questions about the program.

Please check out the welcome post that I’m going to post for you and go to the Getting Started section from the link on it. From there you’ll find a whole list of Getting Started related links that will essentially guide you through the exploration of the important parts of our site. It’s a pretty low-tech tour but it does the job and will help you learn about the many ways that the Whole Approach forum, site and products can help you.

Because most folks who come to us are coping with some similar issues we have provided a lot of information in the FAQ sections, the article sections, the Diet sections and the other areas of the site that would otherwise require repetition frequently. Please do take the time to get to know the layout of our forums and our information sections. There is a great deal of helpful information available here. We also have an excellent search engine with advanced search options that make it possible to be quite specific in your search. If you have trouble finding something in the layout of the forums and you can’t find it in the search engines, by all means, just ask me and I’ll be happy to help.

We have some incredible and supportive forum members here. Mutual support and sharing are what makes this forum such a special and helpful place to visit and our members cultivate the family feeling and usefulness of this forum more creatively and lovingly than we could ever have hoped for when this forum began. As a result, in addition to the help that I can offer you, you may also enjoy help from your fellow members as you find your way (a little bit of which you've already experienced.) Once you become a Whole Approach veteran, we hope that you too will take pleasure in offering support and guidance to others as they begin their healing journey. Thank you for joining our healing community. We’re pleased to have you aboard.

Tari-Lee (or…“TLC”- my initials)

P.S. Here's the "welcome link" I promised:

Welcome to the Whole Approach forum
Anyone have any good advice on how to explain to my serious boyfriend what's wrong with me and why I'm changing my eating habits? I need something short, and attention grabbing but not all icky and female, and I just don't want to sound like a whiner or a hypochondriac. I was debating telling him at all. But then he may just think I'm becoming a really picky eater. I'd like to share with him, I guess, is what I'm really saying, but I don't know how. I don't know if he'll understand, and I don't think he'll want to hear a long involved explanation or a list of "female" symptoms. Anyway, any suggestions?? Thanks a lot. You all are wonderful.

Julie, I have to quit smoking, too. I'm very very bummed about that. But then I think of how good it will be for me in the long run. So that's actually going to be a plus. Good luck to you with yours!! elephant
Hi Chloe,

I'm glad you've decided that you want to "let your boyfriend in on this." Hopefully it will bring you closer rather than what you most likely fear will happen. I'm so glad to hear you're going to quit smoking too! That's wonderful! elephant banana elephant elephant elephant

I don't remember if you said you had any "female" symptoms of the CRC but if you don't, there's no reason that he should see this issue as a "female issue."

If you don't have vaginal yeast then you don't have to tell him all about and you certainly don't have to use the word "yeast". However you may well want him to understand the issues completely. Depending on his level of biology knowledge, he may not want an in depth explanation of yeast verses fungus or anything like that. However he may want to know exactly what is going on. A lot of this is really a question you'll need to ask your heart.

I could come up with some explanations that are partial but only if you are really sure that's what you want to do in this situation. And what you would tell him if you were going to leave some of the details out, would depend upon what is the most truthful, most relevant explanation as far as your indivivual health concerns go. You could explain Leaky Gut Syndrome. You could explain immune weakness, digestive issues and the subsequent temporary food intolerances. You could explain blood sugar sensitivity...etc. I admit that explaining how ALL of these are related to CRC can be pretty overwhelming for someone to hear. In my opinion the most important thing you can communicate to him is that you are not well, that you will need to give some extra nurturing to yourself and that you are taking responsibility for your health and are trying hard to recover.

Good luck Chloe, and do feel free to come back on to let us know how you've decided to handle this sensitive issue. Take good care,


Perhaps you could mention Irritable Bowel Syndrome. For some reason, people can understand that a little easier. And it is a part of all of this in my opinion. That's what the docs first diagnosed me with, till I got lucky and found WA! Winky

jan Cool
Ok, Thanks to you all for your input. It is hard to pick out which things to include him in, and I didn't want to scare or overwhelm him; but I do want him to know I'm serious about this, and that I'd like his support.
We are not sexually active so I think I'll skip explaining the vaginal yeast. He might not want to know about that anyway! But yes the leaky gut, and food intolerances, and blood sugar sensitivity, and immune system sensitivity. Those I think are all pretty straightforward issues I can share with him without getting too in depth. Thanks for your suggestions. I think it just helps to have people who understand (because they've been there) that you can bounce ideas off and share with!
And thanks Tarilee for all your encouragement. I really need it right now for some reason. This shouldn't be so hard. I think it goes back to what Sharon said maybe, in that it's a whole life change, and very non-mainstream. Nice to see so many examples here of people who've managed to do it! bounceflames
Hi Chloe,

Please be sure that you don't underestimate the challenge that you are taking on. You've accomplished a lot already. Yes There are few changes more challenging than lifestyle and diet change. Sharon's right, "swimming against the tide" takes a lot of extra courage, innovation and resiliance. You're doing great! Keep up the awesome efforts and you will reap the benefits.


Hi everyone,


This thread was closed for a while but I went looking for some discussions that may prove useful to those spending time with family and friends over the festive season.


I hope you'll find this thread and a couple of others that I will pull up, inspiring!


All the best,



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