eating

About the word "vegetarian"

“Vegetarian” is a word that means somewhat different things in different subcultures. If you’re feeding a vegetarian, it’s important to make sure that you know which definition of the word they mean.

In most English-speaking cultures, “vegetarian” means “someone who doesn’t eat animals.”. That includes red meat, poultry, fish, and anything else you’d have to kill an animal in order to eat. 

In some subcultures, “vegetarian” can mean “someone who doesn’t eat meat”, where meat is defined more narrowly than “all animals." 

For instance, in the observant Jewish community, most people don’t think of fish as meat (in part because it’s not defined as meat in the rules about keeping kosher). So, in many Jewish circles, a good percentage of people who describe themselves as vegetarians eat fish, but not other animals.

From both sides of this, it’s worth being aware that "vegetarian” is a word that’s used different ways in different communities. If you aren’t sure, it’s ok and good to ask what someone eats. Similarly, if you’re vegetarian and someone asks you whether you eat fish, it’s a legitimate question, not them being willfully ignorant about what the word means.

tl;dr “Vegetarian” is a word that’s used differently in different subcultures. If you’re a vegetarian eating with someone from a different community, it’s important to make sure that they understand what you don’t eat. If you’re feeding a vegetarian, it’s important to make sure you understand which definition of vegetarian applies to them.

dysfunctionalqueer:

realsocialskills:

slepaulica:

realsocialskills:

wikdsushi:

[GJ] Great Post About ASD Diagnostic Process!

girljanitor:

realsocialskills:

I don’t really know how to say this the best way, but apparently I “might” have Aspergers. I had been having some trouble at college, and the woman we spoke to at disabilities services said that…

wikdsushi said:

Hang on, forgetting to eat is an Aspie trait?

realsocialskills said:

It can be, yes.

For a couple of reasons:

  • Autistic people have trouble with sensory processing, and noticing hunger relies on accurately interpreting certain sensations
  • For some autistic people, this means that it’s actually hard to consistently notice hunger
  • Autistic people often have trouble with executive functioning that can make the process of getting food confusing enough that you end up not bothering often enough
  • Autistic people also often have trouble identifying things as edible and realizing that it’s possible to eat them and not be hungry anymore

I wrote a post a while back on how to cope when food is too hard.

slepaulica said:

I have a lot of trouble with the last one.  I will go into a store that only sells food and look at all the things and none of it will look like food for reasons I don’t fully understand and I will walk out of the store having only bought a chocolate milk.

it can help to have a plan for what i’m trying to make out of the food, sometimes. but not always.

it’s like:

me: are you food?

carrot: no, i’m not food. i’m an ingredient.

me: oh, oh well.

(completely forgetting that i like carrots and that they go well in many of the things i like to cook)

if I can hold it in memory that I’m looking for ingredients, and even better, that i’m looking for certain ingredients, my success rate improves.

realsocialskills said:

This. Or I’ll buy a random assortment of things, none of which seem edible when I get home.

dysfunctionalqueer said:

I tend to have really specific sensory desires for food, and if they can’t be met i’ll just not end up eating. Like if I’m hungry for salty chicken soup, and we don’t have chicken soup, i’ll just not eat, because even if we have something close it wont be the same. Plus terrible exec functioning skills means that even if we do have that food, i might not be able to make it. this is why i live almost entirely off of popcorn and diet coke, because those two are always sensory friendly.

realsocialskills said:

I do that too, so I try to always keep around the foods that are reliably edible for me.

slepaulica:

realsocialskills:

wikdsushi:

[GJ] Great Post About ASD Diagnostic Process!

girljanitor:

realsocialskills:

I don’t really know how to say this the best way, but apparently I “might” have Aspergers. I had been having some trouble at college, and the woman we spoke to at disabilities services said that…

wikdsushi said:

Hang on, forgetting to eat is an Aspie trait?

realsocialskills said:

It can be, yes.

For a couple of reasons:

  • Autistic people have trouble with sensory processing, and noticing hunger relies on accurately interpreting certain sensations
  • For some autistic people, this means that it’s actually hard to consistently notice hunger
  • Autistic people often have trouble with executive functioning that can make the process of getting food confusing enough that you end up not bothering often enough
  • Autistic people also often have trouble identifying things as edible and realizing that it’s possible to eat them and not be hungry anymore

I wrote a post a while back on how to cope when food is too hard.

slepaulica said:

I have a lot of trouble with the last one.  I will go into a store that only sells food and look at all the things and none of it will look like food for reasons I don’t fully understand and I will walk out of the store having only bought a chocolate milk.

it can help to have a plan for what i’m trying to make out of the food, sometimes. but not always.

it’s like:

me: are you food?

carrot: no, i’m not food. i’m an ingredient.

me: oh, oh well.

(completely forgetting that i like carrots and that they go well in many of the things i like to cook)

if I can hold it in memory that I’m looking for ingredients, and even better, that i’m looking for certain ingredients, my success rate improves.

realsocialskills said:

This. Or I’ll buy a random assortment of things, none of which seem edible when I get home.

more low spoons food suggestions

snowiedear:

For me it’s Clif bars, microwaveable Trader Joe’s bao, Annie Chun’s udon, and scrambled eggs. I agree with all of the above - eating anything is ALWAYS better than eating nothing at all. There’s a difference between eating chips when you’re bored and snacky and then feeling gross, and eating chips because it’s afternoon and you haven’t put any food in your body all day and if you eat you will have a little bit more energy and not feel like gross tired shit. Sometimes it’s that much of a difference. Sometimes I only feel up to eating the chocolate coconut bars because the peanut butter ones don’t feel worth the effort of chewing it.

Eating anything is better for your body and mind and routine and mental state. Full. Stop. You do what you have to do and sometimes that’s just ice cream.

More on how to eat when food is too hard

katalogofchaos:

When food is too hard

dyzzyah:

luxuryofconviction:

bramblepatch:

ktempest:

feministbatwoman:

realsocialskills:

Content warning: This post is my reply to someone who reblogged calling some of my low-spoons food strategies lazy and unhealthy. Some of y’all might be better off…

katalogofchaos said:

I’d like to add some tips which are helpful for my partner (and me) when he is struggling.  

In addition to getting the motivation to make food, he can get overwhelmed by the decision of what to make. There was a suggestion above to have a friend text you with a reminder to eat, but taking it a step further and having them tell you what to eat can be useful too.  I sometimes leave notes “chicken in tupperware” or he will text me “I’m hungry” and I reply with something like “there is peanut butter and honey on the counter and bread on the table, make a sandwich.” If I can take the burden of that choice away, that increases his chances of eating. 

Ordering pizza or take out is a great way to avoid the stress of preparing food, but it can sometimes mean even more choices than eating at home. One solution is to have a go-to order. At some point pick a pizza place, pick a pizza and toppings and save that as your default pizza.  If you pay with a card save your card information in the system.  In the future, ordering a pizza is reduced to one decision and one click. 

He also finds it helpful to have a generic/default order when we go out. He gets a bacon cheese burger with fries at any restaurant that has it, because then when he’s sitting at a table with 4 people and a waiter standing over him, he doesn’t need to make that choice.  

When he is feeling more stable, it also helps for him to cook for us instead of just him.  I still pick a meal, and make sure he has a recipe, but if he is cooking for me, he will follow through and cook the meal, and then there is something for him to eat as well. Strategies for living with a partner struggling with anxiety/depression is another post, but him cooking meals also helps to balance the support/supported roles in our relationship in a way that helps us both feel better. It helps him feel useful and that he is contributing, and it helps me feel cared for. 

I was just going through your blog and found the posts about making food when you’re low on spoons and I thought I’d add my two cents even though it’s kind of an old post. If I’m high enough on spoons to cook something small, I’ve found it helps to make something in a small pot and eat it out of the pot (like pasta, or soup). That way I only have the pot and the fork/spoon to wash - and if I’m too low on spoons to wash ANYTHING after, it’s fewer dishes in the sink.

nimbusdx:

Social skills for autonomous people: When food is too hard

realsocialskills:

Content warning: This post is my reply to someone who reblogged calling some of my low-spoons food strategies lazy and unhealthy. Some of y’all might be better off skipping this one.

watsonly:

realsocialskills:

Related to the…

nimbusdx said:

As someone who has been severely depressed, I can assure this person that using a blender (!?!?!) is WAY WAY WAY out of the question. When my depression was at it’s worst, I had to have a friend call me throughout the day and convince me to eat. At that time, even making a TV dinner was too many steps for me to handle.

I actually did eat a lot of yogurt with honey though. There isn’t any snack much easier to prepare than a cup of yogurt. You just peel the lid off and go. I ate a lot of applesauce cups too. You don’t even need use a spoon. You can literally just pour it into your mouth.

Also, if the honey is in a squeeze bottle like mine is, there is no complicated cleanup required. It’s actually a really convenient way to to plain foods like yogurt cups or applesauce cups a little more palatable without needing to use a spoon, knife, or fork.

The three second rule

In some very informal contexts, it’s considered acceptable to eat food that you dropped on the floor briefly. This is called the three second rule. Here’s some things I think I know about it:

Procedurally speaking:

  • You have to pick up the food right away. That is why it is called the three second rule.
  • (The reason this makes sense is that if you only dropped it briefly, you know what happened to it. So you know that nothing even grosser happened while you weren’t looking).
  • The three second rule only applies to your own food. You can’t pick up someone else’s dropped food and eat it. Eating other people’s food is generally considered gross, and combining that grossness with eating dropped food makes it extra gross.

The three second rule only applies when you can presume that the surface you dropped the food on didn’t contaminate it. For this reason:

  • The three second rule does not apply if there were obvious changes to the food (eg: lint stuck to it or it changed shape)
  • The three second rule only applies to food dropped on a dry and apparently-clean surface (eg: it would be considered gross to eat a piece of candy you dropped in a puddle or in the dirt)
  • The three-second rule only applies to dry food (eg: not a lollipop you’ve already started licking, and not an ice cream cone.)

Contexts:

  • The three second rule only applies in very informal contexts
  • It tends not to apply outdoors, although local customs vary
  • The three second rule is usually about snacking; at an actual meal it’s usually considered rude to pick up and eat dropped food
  • (This might not be the case at some summer camps)
  • It does not apply in restaurants or other public eating places, usually

A note about disability:

  • If people know that you are disabled, they might think it’s always unacceptable for you to rely on the three second rule
  • Even when you’re doing exactly the same thing as everyone else
  • Folks might see it as evidence that you’re gross and don’t understand anything about hygiene and manners
  • If people are reacting to you this way, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re doing anything different from what others are doing
  • Or that you are failing to understand the rule, or that your disability is making it hard for you to understand the rule
  • It might just mean that people are unwilling to let you use the three second rule

Why some of us need food strategies

I’m sorry, but I really don’t understand the post about reminders that food exist? Can you please explain it to me? I really can’t relate to this problem. Thanks
It’s a common problem for people with neurological disabilities, and it can have many different forms. 
Here are some examples of reasons people might need an explicit strategy for making sure they need:
  • Not having very good body awareness, and having trouble identifying the sensation of hunger. If you don’t recognize hunger readily, it can be hard to remember to eat
  • Having trouble remembering how to do things. This is hard to describe. It’s things like - having to think through every single step explicitly. Like - get up, walk across the room, open the fridge, find the food, put the food in the microwave, set the buttons, press start, remember you’ve done so, eat the food. If you have to think through all of that explicitly, it can be very difficult to do so.
  • Having trouble recognizing objects as edible. 
  • Being so distractible that it’s hard to focus long enough to notice hunger, figure out what to do about it, and then actually do that thing without getting distracted and forgetting that you were hungry in the first place
  • Being so exhausted and out of spoons that you start to lose track of really important basic things. Remembering that food exists and that eating it is necessary isn’t automatic; it takes some degree of mental energy. Most healthy, able-bodied people never get so run down that they even notice this energy being spent, but people with certain disabilities or chronic illness can and do often reach the point of exhaustion where it requires more energy than they have.

remembering that food exists

zazzerzuzz:

thingsthatverbme:

realsocialskills:

It can be hard to remember that food exists, or notice it while it’s there.

I know a few things that work for some people to mitigate this problem:

For some people, cooking for other people regularly makes it easier to notice that food exists:

  • Sometimes remembering to cook for other people works as a reminder that you need to cook and eat
  • Sometimes the motor/sensory/tactile experience can make it easier to remember that you have food
  • Because for some people, motor memory works better than visual memory

For some people, asking other people for direct help is useful:

  • If you feel like you need to eat, asking a friend to tell you to eat might help
  • Or asking them what you should eat
  • Or how to find the food
  • Some people who can’t figure out food for themselves, *can* tell other people how to find food
  • So if you and a friend both have this problem, you might still be able to help one another

Stashing food in places where you’ll see it can also help:

  • Keeping a box of cheerios or granola bars or something else that lasts a while by your computer might work as a reminder that food exists

These are strategies I know about. Do any of y’all know about others?

This is really helpful. I’m scared of reblogging because seconds before I saw a comment that made me feel like a freak for needing this advice, but I know that it’s good advice.

Also, “there’s an app for that.“ I was just scrolling the app store and saw one that was a meal reminder. Unfortunately, many of them seem to be themed as weight loss. There is one called Recovery Record Eating Disorder Management which has 5/5 stars, if that’s in line with someone’s needs.

Hunger can impair communication

Some people who can usually use language to communicate lose a lot of their words if they get too hungry.

When you’re hungry, you don’t have as many cognitive resources available, and some of what is available gets taken up by dealing with hunger. For some people, this can mean that the resources needed for language simply aren’t there.

If you’re finding that you often can’t speak well in the middle of the day, it’s possible that you are forgetting to eat. This might be the case even if you don’t feel hungry.

If you get used to not eating properly, it can be hard to notice hunger. If you’re too hungry for too long, sometimes you get used to automatically ignoring the sensations of hunger, which can make them hard to identify.

If you’re experiencing sudden cognitive or communication impairment, and you haven’t eaten recently, it might be a side effect of hunger. Sometimes, if you get too accustomed to the sensations of hunger, you don’t notice feeling hungry until it stops you from thinking well.

If you used to be able to use language reliably but are experiencing seriously diminished ability, it might mean that you haven’t been eating properly for a long time.

Hunger isn’t the only reason some people have intermittent language problems, and it’s not the only reason people lose language skills in a longer-term way. But it’s very common for people with communication disabilities to have dramatically worse communication problems when they are chronically hungry.

If you’re having communication problems that seem to be more severe than you expect, it’s worth checking to see if you’re also having trouble eating enough. And if you are, it’s worth making fixing that a priority.