Are you Fed Up explaining and defending? Here's what I do.

Posted by:Lindsay S. Nixon

Are you FED UP with other people commenting on your diet?

I bet these sound familiar:

“Plants feel pain too, ya know…”

“Oh, I could NEVER stop eating meat [cheese, eggs, oil, etc]!”

“You’re not fun to hang out with anymore since you stopped eating [insert non-plant based food].”

“Why aren’t you sharing this queso appetizer with us? C’mon just a bite won’t hurt you!”

or, everyone’s “favorite”:

“How do you know you’re getting enough PROTEIN?”


Whether the person asking is genuinely curious or they are purposely trying to ruffle your feathers, it can get old… REALLY fast.

Sometimes you just want to eat your Asian Tofu Salad Sandwich in peace, right?!

Whether it’s a friend, co-worker, or some random people you’ve encountered, it’s important to remember:

Negative comments are often a reflection of THEIR insecurities.

Your choices act as a mirror, and they didn’t like what they see…

So they tear down and attack your choices to feel better about their own.

If someone is COMPLETELY satisfied and secure with their choices and lifestyle…

...they wouldn’t need to attack you or criticize.

After all, you’re not asking them to explain or defend what they are eating!

There’s also a comfort in conformity… and you’ve rocked the boat!

They feel the need to pressure you to sit back down and confirm.

Don’t give in, but don’t argue your lifestyle, either.

For the last 18 months I have adhered to the J.A.D.E. principal… I do not justify, argue, defend, or explain myself especially preemptively.

This is the best self-help thing I have ever done for myself. It’s been far better for me than yoga and going vegan COMBINED in terms of personal progress and health.

When someone tries to get you to JADE…

Here are a few responses I use:

“I don’t need to justify that”

“I am not going to explain myself”

“I am not going to argue with you.”

“I do not need to defend my belief. We can disagree.”

For the first 6 months, I was surprised to see I did the JADE thing to MYSELF a lot. I was justifying cookies, or not going to yoga, or leaving work early.

Then I stopped doing it. I stopped justifying and arguing with myself.

Interestingly, I noticed when I stopped doing it to myself, other people stopped doing it to me so much too.

I read once that we allow people to treat us justly slightly better than how we treat ourselves.

Let that sink in. If it’s true (and it seems true in my experience) if I want people to treat me well, *I* need to treat me super well.

I also found when I stopped justifying and arguing with myself, I had a lot less shame and guilt and the need to “defend” myself TO MYSELF disappeared.

There is one caveat to the JADE thing, which is that sometimes, you still need to APOLOGIZE.

HOWEVER, your apology should be delivered without JADE.

Meaning, if I’m late. I say “I am sorry I am late” I don’t say “I’m sorry I’m late because I was stuck at this light, and then there was no parking, and my dog ate my keys…” JADE cheapens an apology.

Another Caveat: You may need to EDUCATE sometimes.

How do you know the difference between “educating” and “explaining” yourself?

With educating, I find I’m not trying to change the person’s mind or opinion. It’s more factual and a “clarification”. “Educating” almost always coming after the other person has asked me a question because they are genuinely curious or don’t understand. It wasn’t a loaded question.

If you’re not ready to be in a power position with language like “I’m not defending myself to you”

A great neutralizer is:

“I’m experimenting right now” Or “This seems to be working for me, so I’m going to keep with it for now.”


REASSURE an unsupportive friend that you are NOT trying to change them.

Reassure them that you are NOT going to force your choice on them either.

That’s usually what all that behavior is about, they’re scared and feeling threatened.

Your change is also unsettling for them.
They feel defensive…
They feel judged...

They think you’re trying to take their favorite steakhouse from them!


Don’t engage—you’re not going to change their mind right then so why waste the energy?

LIVE and LOVE your lifestyle! Don’t argue your lifestyle!

If you’re happy, loving what you’re eating and THRIVING, you won’t even have to open your mouth!

The changes in you will speak for themselves!

You know that what you are doing is right—and that’s all that matters!

Keep rocking!

Subscribe to the blog!

Or go grab our RSS feed!