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The first rule of Paleo is you DO NOT talk about Paleo

by (9402)
Updated September 16, 2014 at 7:44 PM
Created April 27, 2012 at 12:45 AM

Most or all of us have found ourselves in the unfortunate situation of trying to explain our eating habits to a SAD eater. It rarely ends well, so many of us have resigned ourselves to avoiding conversation regarding what we eat. This is difficult because:

  • Nutrition/diet/health are topics for which I have significant intellectual curiousity
  • If more people chose to eat this way, eventually it would become easier to find Paleo options in restaurants/etc.
  • I believe that if more people chose to eat this way, they would be healthier/happier/etc

So, I often find myself running scenarios in my head of explaining Paleo to someone (e.g., co-worker) / hoping someone will ask about it, but inevitability these imagined conversations end poorly, and I have to snap myself back to reality with renewed resolve not to mention to others how I eat.

Do others face this same inner turmoil? What are we to do? Will I be forced to find other interests and become less one-dimensional? Or, just spend even more time on PH? :)

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8057 · March 10, 2013 at 9:18 PM

I don't get "he eats a lot of meat" from others, I get "she doesn't eat gluten" (even though I'm careful to say that I've cut sugar and GRAINS out of my diet). And if people think I'm gluten free, they go out of their ways to proudly serve me gluten free processed sugary crap that they waste way too much money on. I went to a dinner when everyone else was served fresh fruit for dessert, but the hostess proudly handed me a grain free granola bar instead. Errrrgh!

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2030 · October 08, 2012 at 11:31 PM

Rule #6, there IS no rule #6!

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404 · August 02, 2012 at 12:23 PM

what's so bad with thinking you're "special and better than [other] people"??? ----- being paleo means you're lean, mean, have abs, eat in a glamorous and somewhat decadent (from CW viewpoint) way and thus are allowed to justifiably believe that you're the "better" one...

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8953 · August 02, 2012 at 11:19 AM

I gotta say, there's nothing on earth I like more than plain pasta noodles with no sauce or condiments hahaha. I used to eat bowls of that, huge bowls. I did add a bit of salt and olive oil when cooking though.

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2252 · August 02, 2012 at 11:08 AM

I tend to use tha passive agressive way of berating them by acting superior because I chose the better option, and then suggesting that you do something active after lunch, bike ride, play frisbee, ect. They will be so full and tired they will want to say no, that is when you can tell them they should not have eaten that , if they didnt they would have more energy! You must be a man, because it seems like learning how to subtly make people feel like shit is a skill known only to women

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156 · June 07, 2012 at 10:49 AM

@April, it won't become widespread if nobody ever admits to eating that way. If everyone who eats paleo rejects food with an "I'm allergic" excuse, then how will people know that paleo is the reason?

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18 · June 04, 2012 at 1:32 AM

looks delicious

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8004 · May 03, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Kelly - Right on! The cheapest meat, eggs, poultry, and conventional (non-organic) produce from the regular 'ol supermarket aren't ideal, but in the grand scheme of things, they're a WORLD BETTER than living on cereal & skim milk, Nutri-Grain bars and such.

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8004 · May 03, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Kelly - Right on! The cheapest meat, eggs, poultry, and conventional (non-organic) produce from the regular 'ol supermarket aren't ideal, but in the grand scheme of things, they're a WORLD BETTER than living on cereal & skim milk, Nutro-Grain bars and such.

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733 · May 03, 2012 at 1:38 PM

We are only preaching cause we want to help people not die.

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1294 · May 03, 2012 at 6:06 AM

And also, isn't it obvious that by using the word "Pasta" I am not referring to that food exclusively but the culture of grain based refined foods? Obviously noodles do not equal diabetes, but refined foods CAN equal diabetes, for some of us. Pasta is usually the one that people say, "Oh thats nice that you are eating paleo, but could never give up my _______"

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1294 · May 03, 2012 at 5:52 AM

And thanks for the support edrice, I would have a conversation with an up-front honest person over someone with "tact" any day!

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1294 · May 03, 2012 at 5:47 AM

Also, because I have a handful of autoimmune diseases that are being reversed with diet change, I think that does give me a little perspective on the power of food. If someone asks me what I'm doing (because I look/feel awesome after being sick for a long time) I am pretty up front about telling them about my choices. They can decide for themselves if it applies to them. Many choose the sugar and pasta over getting better. I know I did that for awhile...

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1294 · May 03, 2012 at 5:42 AM

It sounds like maybe some folks thought I was implying that I think that pasta is giving everyone diabetes. I can't speak to that, I only know it gave ME diabetes, along with other grain and sugar consumption. It is more a statement about MY personal choice and why it was so easy for me to stop eating it. Diabetes or sugar? NO CONTEST. I can't/don't tell anyone else how to eat, only trying to shed a little light, maybe make it easier to compare choices. It is said light heartedly. When you put it so simply, it makes people pause and say, Huh, I never thought about it like that.

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2407 · May 01, 2012 at 2:24 PM

So let me get this straight, you let the fact that someone was pushing you cause your own self to hold back from doing the right and most healthy thing for yourself? My grandmother would call that "cutting your own nose off to spite your face". I don't have to push. People ask, then resent the answer because they don't wanna be faced with the hard truth. Mostly, I just don't bother.

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2407 · May 01, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Methane from cow poo is a major addition to greenhouse gases and global warming. I'm surprised anyone thinks we could feed 6billion people on mostly meat. I agree wholeheartedly; I'm not telling the other tribe about my clan's abundant game source. Just saying.

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268 · April 29, 2012 at 4:04 PM

And from the book or not those bars and other fake foods have the Atkin name and logo on the package. So they are considered part of the diet.

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346 · April 29, 2012 at 3:51 PM

I don't think I've ever had a conversation about my diet that ended badly. What goes wrong?

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268 · April 29, 2012 at 3:32 PM

They honestly couldn't be more different because unlike you the majority of people I know on Atkins depend on the bars, false "no-carb or low-carb" foods. To me bread is bread, I don't care if it's made with rice or cardboard. Most people on Atkins seem to want to trick their bodies and have the same diet as before. Only with less carbohydrates and a lot more processing. Paleo is largely focused on organic foods that come from nature without a recipe list. Not from a processing plant with unpronounceable ingredients. That's what I meant based on my own observations and experience.

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604 · April 29, 2012 at 1:45 PM

"I get frustrated as all get out by fundamentalists of all stripes"- totally agree.

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604 · April 29, 2012 at 1:41 PM

So who made anyone the food police? I am passionate about my interest and views on nutrition too, but I could care less what other people do. Who are we to tell anyone else what to do? Paleo is not, as nothing is, a panacea.

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3014 · April 29, 2012 at 12:09 PM

I never actually say anything to them at the meal. They sometimes make jokes... (oh, I'm not going to order X, that would be too healthy)... But I'd like to understand the disconnect in their heads.

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1198 · April 28, 2012 at 7:14 PM

Take that, person dealing with illness just like we were! How dare you eat food that everyone your whole life has been telling you to eat!

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1198 · April 28, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Take that, person dealing with illness just like we were! How dare you eat what everyone your whole life has been telling you to eat!

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308 · April 28, 2012 at 3:33 AM

You need to blend it for it to really work, but buttered coffee is rad. I was turned on to it by Dave Asprey: http://www.bulletproofexec.com/how-to-make-your-coffee-bulletproof-and-your-morning-too/

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2640 · April 28, 2012 at 2:00 AM

Thank you for giving me something to try this weekend!

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2640 · April 28, 2012 at 1:58 AM

I don't get the Atkins hate in the Paleo community. I did Atkins and lost a ton of weight on it and without knowing it I was doing it pretty much primally (I consumed dairy and grass-fed, local meats and no grains with organic vegetables - same as I do now, only without the dairy) well before I had even heard of paleo. How are the two plans *that* different? If you choose to use artificial sweeteners and eat the bars and low carb junk that's your choice, not the fault of Atkins (the actual plan from the book). I wish I understood how "they honestly couldn't be more different", Paul.

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2640 · April 28, 2012 at 1:50 AM

You had me until the butter in the coffee thing. I keep that one to myself for fear of the reactions and judgments from ignorant coworkers who eat processed junk food all day long and proclaim how "healthy" they eat nearly daily (whilst suffering from countless maladies) would make me go insane.

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1804 · April 28, 2012 at 1:43 AM

Yeah, that looks pretty amazing.

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78417 · April 28, 2012 at 1:00 AM

Sunny Beaches, it just doesn't matter. If your life is so devoted to winning people over, it only means you you have to win people over in order to bolster faith in yourself, which means you see yourself through the eyes of others. This path will not give you happiness in the long run. We eat paleo because we understand the effects on our wellbeing. There is no end to hubris that must convince others that they must live as we do.

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3043 · April 28, 2012 at 12:42 AM

That is so not true. Approximitely there is 1 acre of land for every person on earth. There is more than enough room to have animals grazing everywhere. Especially in Canada, as we have so much space. The wheat board is finally waking up and has crashed. Those fields could be replanted and in turn also used for farms.It's completely sustainable. Fish, meat, eggs, fruit and veggies are plentiful and could increase.

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141 · April 27, 2012 at 8:21 PM

Yes. One thing I've noticed is how athletes tend to respond with positive enthusiasm and curiosity about paleo. Serious athletes are usually already hip to the problematic issues of carbohydrate consumption (versus proteins and fats) and its impact on optimal weight and performance. Not a day goes by that I don't run into athletes who want to talk about this and question me about results. I think the runners, weight-lifters, martial artists and others are in the vanguard of this movement, quite naturally and for obvious reasons.

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141 · April 27, 2012 at 8:14 PM

We're up against several thousand years of tradition, institutionalized culture, myth, the entire structure of political economy and even religion ("the bread of life", the Eucharist, etc.). We're unraveling basic assumptions about food and agriculture and sustainability. And we are "reverse-engineering" our way back to some approximation of who we were before the "agricultural revolution" of neolithic times. Consider the drastic emotional and intellectual implications carefully before undertaking serious discussion with others who may be woefully unprepared to deal with it.

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5509 · April 27, 2012 at 7:48 PM

Matthius, I agree with you. People will never win anyone over to paleo with "holier than thou" attitude.

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5509 · April 27, 2012 at 7:44 PM

"Let them draw their own conclusions"...Yes yes yes!!

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10653 · April 27, 2012 at 7:26 PM

@Dave, Yeah I know I do. And yes, please watch the movie. But before you do, I highly recommend reading the book first.

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752 · April 27, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Amen, Paul. I get sick of trying to explain the differences between Atkins (where all my hair fell out) and Paleo. It gets tiresome and bugs me that people just don't want to know the difference, really, so why bother?

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752 · April 27, 2012 at 7:17 PM

I agree with you, Trish (my allergies improved dramatically). I use the phrase that I choose to eat healthy as well, but then when my co-workers see my plate in the lunch room covered in an oil slick of saturated fat (ghee, lard, or duck fat), they immediately say that a diet that high in fat can't possibly be healthy. I just tell them that we should agree to disagree.

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752 · April 27, 2012 at 7:15 PM

I agree with you Stephanie. I was so pumped and excited from the improvements in my health and the rapid loss of the final 10 (+8 = 18) pounds that I was ecstatic and talked about it all the time... if people asked me what I was doing because they noticed the weight loss. I finally decided to take a lighter approach as well - if they ask me, I just tell them I have severe food allergies and sensitivities and leave it at that. I don't say gluten problems because that opens a whole other can of worms. :)

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752 · April 27, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Mason, I am going to copy and paste this URL in an email to a friend of mine with MS that refuses to believe that Paleo will help her. She's using a walker, is working part-time and is partially disabled according to the government, and she will soon lose her driver's license and, thus, her independence. She has seen how much Paleo has helped me with my inflammation issues (severe allergies/chemical sensitivities) yet won't try it for 30 days because she "can't give up bread!?!?" Really?? More like can't give up pastries... *sigh*

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78417 · April 27, 2012 at 7:07 PM

"Downstream effects are the result of upstream mechanisms" and gluten is an upstream mechanism even if it takes years of assault for it to surface.

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78417 · April 27, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Matthius, yes, tact has it's place, but make them defend their position rather than getting defensive about yours. The best defense is...

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20411 · April 27, 2012 at 6:53 PM

I don't know what the point was, but it made me laugh. And April, you so rock. Guess I better add it to my movie queue.

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78417 · April 27, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Just a further observation, we know quite a number of other people our age that also have various forms of autoimunity and all autoimmunity is treated the same in functional medicine whereby gluten is removed from the diet. Wheat is not the same animal it was in ancient times and comntains far more gluten proteins. If I knew then what I know now, I'd be far better off.

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78417 · April 27, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Matt, yes, many don't suffer consequences but that is more like a snapshot in time. Your statement above about the millions eating pasta reminds me of the metaphor of the guy who jumped off a hundred-story building and at the 40th floor said "I'm alright so far." I ate pasta for decades through my 20s, 30s, 40s 50s, into my 60s with no apparent repercussions and then guess what! I have autoimmunities. Ditto my wife. We are both now gluten sensitive but have been able to reverse the symptoms by avoiding it. But best of luck to you if you continue to eat it.

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6087 · April 27, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Christ .

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581 · April 27, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Butter in coffee? o.O I have not tried this yet. What does it taste like? Does it have a similar effect that heavy cream does in coffee? Intrigued. Will probably try.

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581 · April 27, 2012 at 5:19 PM

To be fair, they pretty much already DO eat this way... but with added grains and less vegetables. Plus, there isn't just grass-fed meat to get your protein from... there's wild fish, and as the saying goes, "There's plenty of fish in the sea." (not to mention oysters, lobsters, shrimp, etc...) And fowl are also plentiful.

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581 · April 27, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Why doesn't this have more up votes?? Awesome response, and from this I will definitely take away your last words -- "You will never hear me say, 'I'm sorry for eating this way.' But I will say, 'I'm sorry if you don't understand why I choose to eat this way.'" NICE!

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581 · April 27, 2012 at 5:11 PM

I find it hard not to preach about it sometimes when people approach me with their problems... they'll talk about their health problems, their weight problems, ask me how I've been losing my weight, and why I seem healthier, etc... but as soon as I tell them, they close off and bring up the bajillion excuses for why they can't change how they eat. I think the hard part is the whole... why ask me, if you're just going to throw up your barriers again? That, and I genuinely want people to just give it a week and see how they feel.

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581 · April 27, 2012 at 5:07 PM

I get that same response! My friend was talking about her mother in law's health issues and so I gave her some suggestions. "But she needs her fiber," she said. And I explained to her that vegetables provide plenty of fiber... to which she replied, "She doesn't really eat vegetables." Dear God. I had to fight myself to NOT respond to that and just let it go...

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581 · April 27, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Pasta is also a starchy carb which can increase blood sugar, which increases insulin in the body, which can lead to type 2 diabetes...

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10653 · April 27, 2012 at 4:40 PM

@Kasra And your point is.....?

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10653 · April 27, 2012 at 4:38 PM

@Alex, Paleo isn't as widespread as vegetarianism/veganism. So until Paleo is something everybody knows about, I'm just gonna keep my mouth shut because I don't want to explain what it is to people every single damn time. Even mentioning that I enjoy eating beef liver to my very close cousin resulted in her looking at me like I was a crazy person. Her jaw literally dropped and to be honest, I was kind of offended. So I just say "I'm allergic." No one's gonna refute that.

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1680 · April 27, 2012 at 4:32 PM

"I don't eat grains or sugar" is a great response. I'll use that one.

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41312 · April 27, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Ed, that occurs with folks with leaky gut and deranged immune systems. Many folks have no issue with gluten.

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2801 · April 27, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Jasmine, apologies for suggesting I was insulting you directly. I just think there are better ways to make your point than directly connecting pasta consumption to diabetes. As much as it makes sense not to sugar-coat the damage done by an SAD lifestyle, it's just as important not to immediately poop on the face of the people you're trying to convince. Tact has it's place.

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78417 · April 27, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Just to follow up on Kasra's inaccurate statement about pasta, pasta contains gluten. Gluten is known to trigger or enhance autoimmunity in the pancreas (and also other autoimunities) whereas anitbodies attack pancreatic beta cells destroying them and reducing the ability of the pancreas to produce insulin which can lead to type 1 diabetes.

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3850 · April 27, 2012 at 3:05 PM

It's the belief that not eating processed foods is too expensive that gets me. I spend a lot on food because I eat almost exclusively grass-fed meat and wild fish and organic veggies (plus haven't given up bars, alcohol, or dining out). However, I used to be a broke low-carber and cheap cuts of meat and supermarket veggies are way cheaper than buying processed crap and still orders of magnitude more healthy.

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3450 · April 27, 2012 at 2:37 PM

I don't discuss it either. If someone asks, I say I've stopped eating processed foods and instead eat primarily fresh meat, vegetables, and fruit. That satisfies most people. I have no desire to argue my point or convert others. I've lost a lot of weight, which has caused some people to ask for details. I'm happy to discuss things in detail with people IF they are open to listening. But, if they want to argue instead of discuss, then I just don't worry about it. Not worth my time.

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78417 · April 27, 2012 at 2:33 PM

^ So you say...

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6087 · April 27, 2012 at 1:50 PM

^ Jasmine's statement is in no way truth. Pasta does not cause diabetes. Chronic over-consumption of sugar might though.

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6087 · April 27, 2012 at 1:49 PM

HEY LOOK EVERYONE APRIL S. HAS SEEN FIGHT CLUB.

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158 · April 27, 2012 at 1:38 PM

I'd not say anything, however offering to lend them a book or send them a website you enjoy on the subject if they are interested and then change the subject to something else and enjoy your lunch.

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158 · April 27, 2012 at 1:34 PM

amen, stop BULLDOZING people. The harder you push the harder they will resist. I was no different. Give them the resources if they ask and let them draw their own conclusions. Get them involved in gardening by bringing a pepper plant to their house, split a side of grass fed beef with them. Now your not "Joe" the preachy diet asshole... your "Joe" that super fit guy who hooked me up with delicious meat... i want to listen to what that guy says!!

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158 · April 27, 2012 at 1:31 PM

BTW I've only been doing paleo for a few weeks... but been eating lots of meat for years.. I was resistant because I was being pushed too hard. If they let me discover it and draw my own conclusions by suggesting some good reads or otherwise making other improvements in my life I'm certain i would have been on board years ago

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2056 · April 27, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Nothing, unless you want to give them the right to critique your lunch order in return.

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158 · April 27, 2012 at 1:29 PM

I think you might be going about it the wrong way. Just my opinion. Focus on one aspect. I can't tell you how many people I have convinced to buy bulk meat from local farmers. This without changing one thing about their diet. Well weird thing happens... they start eating a shitload of meat because they have 200 pounds of it in their freezer..LOL.. then they come back asking more questions. Take a pepper plant over to their house, show them your garden... SOFT BALLS PEOPLE! Stop bulldozing

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158 · April 27, 2012 at 1:27 PM

I find people to be generally aware of low carb diets ... people assume atkins... maybe just tell them your doing atkins..LOL

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78417 · April 27, 2012 at 1:04 PM

Jasmine's statement is pure truth and she is to be applauded!

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78417 · April 27, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Matthius, if that strikes you as hostile, then you must be extremely sensitive and, of course, I'm an asshole for pointing that out. I frankly don't give a damn if anyone warms up to it but have probably made more converts by pissing off people with the truth. I tell them that I've heard all the same SAD crap that they have for the last 40 years and to please not bore me with any of it. If you dance around the truth, they control the discussion you'll be forgotten ...notes from an asshole.

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2056 · April 27, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Heh. Cool Hand Luke. The hard-boiled egg scene is, like, totally paleo in retrospect. ;-)

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1926 · April 27, 2012 at 12:37 PM

I just tell them, "If I tell you, I'll have to kill you".

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12174 · April 27, 2012 at 12:23 PM

More than the, "...could never give up pasta..." excuse, I get, (not even talking paleo per se, just mentioning giving up processed foods) "Well, that's admirable, and I'd do it too, if it weren't for the expense." If you have money for alcohol, soda, nights out at restaurants and bars or even a regular cinema habit, you have the money, just not the priorities.

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2178 · April 27, 2012 at 12:20 PM

same here. i got tired of people hassling me about it, so you do what you do and I'll do me!

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41312 · April 27, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Somebody better tell the millions of folks eating pasta and not getting diabetes that they're breaking the rules!

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2801 · April 27, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Still trying to kick the diet soda habit. Something tells me aspartame isn't paleo-approved.

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2801 · April 27, 2012 at 11:36 AM

This leaves a sour taste in my mouth. It strikes me as unnecessarily hostile. We want people to warm up to a paleo lifestyle, not resent the assholes who practice it.

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1118 · April 27, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Awesome question... it really got me thinking about how my approach to this subject has changed. Thanks :)

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1118 · April 27, 2012 at 11:08 AM

My mother is very interested, but her excuse is that my dad would never do it. I say, "So what. If he doesn't want to be healthy, too bad for him." They are in their fifties, and he is the cliche overbearing husband and she is the submissive wife. You are right, though. Until people are really ready to take the plunge, no amount of pushing or information is going to change their minds. They need to make the choice that their health is more important than that keiser roll they had at lunch.

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1118 · April 27, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Yes, I often wonder why it is acceptable for a certain group of people to turn down a perfectly good steak or rack or ribs, but god forbid someone turn down the bread basket! It's very puzzling to me on many levels. My father is a rancher in South Dakota (yes, a real one with acres of grassland and many, many cows), and the terror people have of red meat hits home for me...

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156 · April 27, 2012 at 10:49 AM

I think we've got to make our dietary choice more honest than "I'm allergic", or this will just keep going on. Just like you wouldn't feed a vegetarian or vegan a steak, people shouldn't feed a paleo/primal eater grains. Nobody would be upset if a vegetarian/vegan turned down a steak, and we deserve the same kind of respect when we turn down things we don't eat!

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17028 · April 27, 2012 at 9:59 AM

I'd love it if the whole world had local, sustainable, polyface-like farms, then crap in a box would be very expensive, and real food would be inexpensive.

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17028 · April 27, 2012 at 9:58 AM

@Kate, they're addicted to the exorphins in wheat (and to a lesser degree table sugar). So at a limbic system level, they realize this, but not at the prefrontal cortex, hence the _violent_ reaction to the idea of giving up the equivalent of low dose morphine.

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17028 · April 27, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Yeah, but if you did eat their spaghetti, you'd get some pretty nasty side effects for a few days -- I do. I do tell them, if I eat wheat, or other grains, I get pretty bad acid reflux, that, they understand.

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17028 · April 27, 2012 at 9:54 AM

I wish I could upvote this 1000x.

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17028 · April 27, 2012 at 9:53 AM

Just had that question yesterday about grains followed by "But how do you live?" -- obviously, I do and I thrive, this came from someone who drinks diet soda and thinks it's healthy. :)

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1198 · April 27, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Totally agree. How easily we forget that all of us stumbled upon this somehow too. Talking about paleo, not preaching just talking, has lead to elimination of a coworker's migraines. A lot of these people are just suffering, and this "every man for himself to find it on the internet" thing doesn't really jibe with types of food cultures I admire so much.

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5509 · April 27, 2012 at 6:08 AM

I just want to clarify that I personally do think that paleo is the healthiest way to eat, but am not shocked that people aren't receptive to it.

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5509 · April 27, 2012 at 6:04 AM

Like I said, I'm perfectly fine with talking about whole foods. But I'm not going to talk about how grains are evil and are the cause of all disease...and push it on anyone. I think some nice conversation can take place without being annoying. It just goes in one ear and out the other. Just like I wouldn't appreciate a vegan telling me meat is evil. That kind of thing makes it hard to accept anything new or be open to the idea. I'll be open for conversation if the opportunity arises.

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5509 · April 27, 2012 at 6:00 AM

There are also vegans out there who are very successful competitive athletes. I know a man who struggled with over-eating until he became vegan. He became a different person, very proud of who he was, dropped meds, etc. That's awesome for them, but I won't be vegan because of a few success stories. Good for them, but I won't become vegan. I see nothing wrong with talking about being paleo, but it is the APPROACH that is important.

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233 · April 27, 2012 at 5:02 AM

What you're saying would be fair in response to people who do Paleo and have nothing to show for it. However, the majority of us are visible walking success stories, thus the interest. It's not as though I walk about telling people what to eat. We usually are approached because people notice something different about us, even strangers puzzle over my grocery basket full of whole foods and NO CRAP. The resistance generally comes from those closest to us, like family. Their food addictions make them food zombies. Somehow, my choice not to eat crap makes them uncomfortable with their choices.

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233 · April 27, 2012 at 4:50 AM

AMEN, animal eater!

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434 · April 27, 2012 at 4:00 AM

My answer to the pasta question is to ask whether plain pasta noodles with no sauce or condiments are appealing.

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531 · April 27, 2012 at 3:35 AM

I tell my Japanese co-workers about Paleo, and they just look at me with bemusement. "Ah, the gaijin is being his weird gaijin self again." :)

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2056 · April 27, 2012 at 3:06 AM

And +1 for the additional Chuck Palahniuk reference.

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78417 · April 27, 2012 at 2:46 AM

I like to eat steak and then make myself choke on it so rich people will save me and give me money....

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105 · April 27, 2012 at 2:44 AM

Mark Sisson also just did a three-part series entitled "Can We Feed the World on the Primal Blueprint Diet?" which covers a lot of information on sustainability, etc. if you're interested in checking it out. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/can-we-feed-the-world-on-the-primal-blueprint-diet-part-1/#axzz1tCktZR2N

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646 · April 27, 2012 at 2:42 AM

My pleasure. I get frustrated as all get out by fundamentalists of all stripes.

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1804 · April 27, 2012 at 2:22 AM

You're singing my story, Cheryl. Man i'm tired of hearing, "Well, I could never give up my pasta."

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605 · April 27, 2012 at 2:22 AM

If you want to learn more about sustainable agriculture, read Melissa's answer here: http://paleohacks.com/questions/560/how-environmentally-responsible-green-and-sustainable-is-the-paleo-diet#axzz1t7w5khbS

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1804 · April 27, 2012 at 2:20 AM

Well said, April.

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1571 · April 27, 2012 at 1:43 AM

Thank you about the 'don't preach'. That shit drives me crazy and I'm an enthusiast.

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1571 · April 27, 2012 at 1:42 AM

I don't think this will ever be a real issue so I would consider this a point that is not made.

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10653 · April 27, 2012 at 1:34 AM

+1 for Fight Club reference.

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95 · April 27, 2012 at 1:29 AM

After a very strange reaction from a co-worker this week, I've learned this: stay out of the fray. Why people have such strong reactions I do not understand but it is true.

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5509 · April 27, 2012 at 4:42 AM

I think it's interesting that many here are quick to speak about how annoying militant vegans and vegetarians are for raving about their diets. Then some of us why it's so confusing when people aren't receptive to paleo. It's really no different. We all think we have the "best" route to health, which happens to be against CW. It's really not that shocking that people are hesitant about it. Preaching about paleo and acting as if it is The Answer to all illness only pushes people away if it is over zealous.

I haven't used the word paleo. If anyone asks about my diet, I will most likely talk about intestinal issues and how I've been eating a certain way that has helped me feel a lot better. I'll talk about whole foods and trying to eat less processed foods. If they want to know more and ask, I might offer more or invite them over for dinner to try something nice and simple.

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5509 · April 27, 2012 at 7:44 PM

"Let them draw their own conclusions"...Yes yes yes!!

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158 · April 27, 2012 at 1:34 PM

amen, stop BULLDOZING people. The harder you push the harder they will resist. I was no different. Give them the resources if they ask and let them draw their own conclusions. Get them involved in gardening by bringing a pepper plant to their house, split a side of grass fed beef with them. Now your not "Joe" the preachy diet asshole... your "Joe" that super fit guy who hooked me up with delicious meat... i want to listen to what that guy says!!

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5509 · April 27, 2012 at 6:08 AM

I just want to clarify that I personally do think that paleo is the healthiest way to eat, but am not shocked that people aren't receptive to it.

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5509 · April 27, 2012 at 6:04 AM

Like I said, I'm perfectly fine with talking about whole foods. But I'm not going to talk about how grains are evil and are the cause of all disease...and push it on anyone. I think some nice conversation can take place without being annoying. It just goes in one ear and out the other. Just like I wouldn't appreciate a vegan telling me meat is evil. That kind of thing makes it hard to accept anything new or be open to the idea. I'll be open for conversation if the opportunity arises.

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5509 · April 27, 2012 at 6:00 AM

There are also vegans out there who are very successful competitive athletes. I know a man who struggled with over-eating until he became vegan. He became a different person, very proud of who he was, dropped meds, etc. That's awesome for them, but I won't be vegan because of a few success stories. Good for them, but I won't become vegan. I see nothing wrong with talking about being paleo, but it is the APPROACH that is important.

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233 · April 27, 2012 at 5:02 AM

What you're saying would be fair in response to people who do Paleo and have nothing to show for it. However, the majority of us are visible walking success stories, thus the interest. It's not as though I walk about telling people what to eat. We usually are approached because people notice something different about us, even strangers puzzle over my grocery basket full of whole foods and NO CRAP. The resistance generally comes from those closest to us, like family. Their food addictions make them food zombies. Somehow, my choice not to eat crap makes them uncomfortable with their choices.

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1294 · April 27, 2012 at 3:32 AM

I say, "I like pasta too! You know what I like even better? Not having diabetes."

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1294 · May 03, 2012 at 6:06 AM

And also, isn't it obvious that by using the word "Pasta" I am not referring to that food exclusively but the culture of grain based refined foods? Obviously noodles do not equal diabetes, but refined foods CAN equal diabetes, for some of us. Pasta is usually the one that people say, "Oh thats nice that you are eating paleo, but could never give up my _______"

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1294 · May 03, 2012 at 5:52 AM

And thanks for the support edrice, I would have a conversation with an up-front honest person over someone with "tact" any day!

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1294 · May 03, 2012 at 5:47 AM

Also, because I have a handful of autoimmune diseases that are being reversed with diet change, I think that does give me a little perspective on the power of food. If someone asks me what I'm doing (because I look/feel awesome after being sick for a long time) I am pretty up front about telling them about my choices. They can decide for themselves if it applies to them. Many choose the sugar and pasta over getting better. I know I did that for awhile...

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1294 · May 03, 2012 at 5:42 AM

It sounds like maybe some folks thought I was implying that I think that pasta is giving everyone diabetes. I can't speak to that, I only know it gave ME diabetes, along with other grain and sugar consumption. It is more a statement about MY personal choice and why it was so easy for me to stop eating it. Diabetes or sugar? NO CONTEST. I can't/don't tell anyone else how to eat, only trying to shed a little light, maybe make it easier to compare choices. It is said light heartedly. When you put it so simply, it makes people pause and say, Huh, I never thought about it like that.

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604 · April 29, 2012 at 1:41 PM

So who made anyone the food police? I am passionate about my interest and views on nutrition too, but I could care less what other people do. Who are we to tell anyone else what to do? Paleo is not, as nothing is, a panacea.

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1198 · April 28, 2012 at 7:14 PM

Take that, person dealing with illness just like we were! How dare you eat food that everyone your whole life has been telling you to eat!

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1198 · April 28, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Take that, person dealing with illness just like we were! How dare you eat what everyone your whole life has been telling you to eat!

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78417 · April 28, 2012 at 1:00 AM

Sunny Beaches, it just doesn't matter. If your life is so devoted to winning people over, it only means you you have to win people over in order to bolster faith in yourself, which means you see yourself through the eyes of others. This path will not give you happiness in the long run. We eat paleo because we understand the effects on our wellbeing. There is no end to hubris that must convince others that they must live as we do.

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5509 · April 27, 2012 at 7:48 PM

Matthius, I agree with you. People will never win anyone over to paleo with "holier than thou" attitude.

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78417 · April 27, 2012 at 7:07 PM

"Downstream effects are the result of upstream mechanisms" and gluten is an upstream mechanism even if it takes years of assault for it to surface.

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78417 · April 27, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Matthius, yes, tact has it's place, but make them defend their position rather than getting defensive about yours. The best defense is...

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78417 · April 27, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Just a further observation, we know quite a number of other people our age that also have various forms of autoimunity and all autoimmunity is treated the same in functional medicine whereby gluten is removed from the diet. Wheat is not the same animal it was in ancient times and comntains far more gluten proteins. If I knew then what I know now, I'd be far better off.

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78417 · April 27, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Matt, yes, many don't suffer consequences but that is more like a snapshot in time. Your statement above about the millions eating pasta reminds me of the metaphor of the guy who jumped off a hundred-story building and at the 40th floor said "I'm alright so far." I ate pasta for decades through my 20s, 30s, 40s 50s, into my 60s with no apparent repercussions and then guess what! I have autoimmunities. Ditto my wife. We are both now gluten sensitive but have been able to reverse the symptoms by avoiding it. But best of luck to you if you continue to eat it.

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6087 · April 27, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Christ .

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581 · April 27, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Pasta is also a starchy carb which can increase blood sugar, which increases insulin in the body, which can lead to type 2 diabetes...

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41312 · April 27, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Ed, that occurs with folks with leaky gut and deranged immune systems. Many folks have no issue with gluten.

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2801 · April 27, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Jasmine, apologies for suggesting I was insulting you directly. I just think there are better ways to make your point than directly connecting pasta consumption to diabetes. As much as it makes sense not to sugar-coat the damage done by an SAD lifestyle, it's just as important not to immediately poop on the face of the people you're trying to convince. Tact has it's place.

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78417 · April 27, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Just to follow up on Kasra's inaccurate statement about pasta, pasta contains gluten. Gluten is known to trigger or enhance autoimmunity in the pancreas (and also other autoimunities) whereas anitbodies attack pancreatic beta cells destroying them and reducing the ability of the pancreas to produce insulin which can lead to type 1 diabetes.

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78417 · April 27, 2012 at 2:33 PM

^ So you say...

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6087 · April 27, 2012 at 1:50 PM

^ Jasmine's statement is in no way truth. Pasta does not cause diabetes. Chronic over-consumption of sugar might though.

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78417 · April 27, 2012 at 1:04 PM

Jasmine's statement is pure truth and she is to be applauded!

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78417 · April 27, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Matthius, if that strikes you as hostile, then you must be extremely sensitive and, of course, I'm an asshole for pointing that out. I frankly don't give a damn if anyone warms up to it but have probably made more converts by pissing off people with the truth. I tell them that I've heard all the same SAD crap that they have for the last 40 years and to please not bore me with any of it. If you dance around the truth, they control the discussion you'll be forgotten ...notes from an asshole.

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41312 · April 27, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Somebody better tell the millions of folks eating pasta and not getting diabetes that they're breaking the rules!

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2801 · April 27, 2012 at 11:36 AM

This leaves a sour taste in my mouth. It strikes me as unnecessarily hostile. We want people to warm up to a paleo lifestyle, not resent the assholes who practice it.

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17028 · April 27, 2012 at 9:54 AM

I wish I could upvote this 1000x.

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2407 · April 27, 2012 at 3:39 AM

"Seek and ye shall find; knock and the door shall be opened"

"Don't throw pearls before swine"

"You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink"

I'm not religious, but I am philosophical. ??

I find that those who want to be healthy find paleo themselves because they are a) looking and b) ready to receive.??

I say, ??help those who are ready to move forward, willing to listen, able to execute. ??

Both my sisters are fat. ??Sorry I'm not PC. ??They sit on the couch and drink coke from a kids sippy cup so they dont have to get up to drink it. I don't even bother. ??

If I had a penny for the number of times a person approached me and said," wow you eat healthy and are in great shape, show me how..." only to have them actually resent me for exposing the hard truth of what kind of sacrifices and discipline it takes to eat right on this minefield of bad choices we live in, I'd be rich. ?? People like to kill the messenger of the real truth. ??They resent it. ??They don't want to hear it.

How many times have you heard people say,"oh I'd love to do that BUT..."? ??People are full of excuses.

That is, until they are ready to start the journey towards finding and accepting truth. ??THOSE people I tell about paleo, and most I meet so inclined have already heard about it or are already pursuing it.

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2407 · May 01, 2012 at 2:24 PM

So let me get this straight, you let the fact that someone was pushing you cause your own self to hold back from doing the right and most healthy thing for yourself? My grandmother would call that "cutting your own nose off to spite your face". I don't have to push. People ask, then resent the answer because they don't wanna be faced with the hard truth. Mostly, I just don't bother.

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158 · April 27, 2012 at 1:31 PM

BTW I've only been doing paleo for a few weeks... but been eating lots of meat for years.. I was resistant because I was being pushed too hard. If they let me discover it and draw my own conclusions by suggesting some good reads or otherwise making other improvements in my life I'm certain i would have been on board years ago

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158 · April 27, 2012 at 1:29 PM

I think you might be going about it the wrong way. Just my opinion. Focus on one aspect. I can't tell you how many people I have convinced to buy bulk meat from local farmers. This without changing one thing about their diet. Well weird thing happens... they start eating a shitload of meat because they have 200 pounds of it in their freezer..LOL.. then they come back asking more questions. Take a pepper plant over to their house, show them your garden... SOFT BALLS PEOPLE! Stop bulldozing

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1118 · April 27, 2012 at 11:08 AM

My mother is very interested, but her excuse is that my dad would never do it. I say, "So what. If he doesn't want to be healthy, too bad for him." They are in their fifties, and he is the cliche overbearing husband and she is the submissive wife. You are right, though. Until people are really ready to take the plunge, no amount of pushing or information is going to change their minds. They need to make the choice that their health is more important than that keiser roll they had at lunch.

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233 · April 27, 2012 at 4:50 AM

AMEN, animal eater!

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752 · April 27, 2012 at 1:18 AM

I have to, unfortunately, agree with you 100%, Mike. I have been strict Paleo for a little over 6 months, dropped 8 pounds more than the "nagging 10" that I was carrying around, look and feel fantastic, and have gotten off ALL of my allergy medications which is what I'm most impressed with. Unfortunately, most people who ask me "Wow, you look great, how did you do it?" - when I tell them it was Paleo, they ask what it is, I give a brief run down of the fact that it's meat, fat, veggies and a little fruit and nuts, but no grains. I get the inevitable question of "But what do you eat if you don't eat grains?" Really?? Then it just devolves quickly from there into comments such as "Well, I could never give up my pasta." Luckily, you don't have to, you can keep working your way into metabolic derangement and not put forth any effort to be healthy. But back to my point, I have basically decided that talking about Paleo is akin to speaking about politics and religion - just don't.

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8953 · August 02, 2012 at 11:19 AM

I gotta say, there's nothing on earth I like more than plain pasta noodles with no sauce or condiments hahaha. I used to eat bowls of that, huge bowls. I did add a bit of salt and olive oil when cooking though.

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8004 · May 03, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Kelly - Right on! The cheapest meat, eggs, poultry, and conventional (non-organic) produce from the regular 'ol supermarket aren't ideal, but in the grand scheme of things, they're a WORLD BETTER than living on cereal & skim milk, Nutri-Grain bars and such.

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8004 · May 03, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Kelly - Right on! The cheapest meat, eggs, poultry, and conventional (non-organic) produce from the regular 'ol supermarket aren't ideal, but in the grand scheme of things, they're a WORLD BETTER than living on cereal & skim milk, Nutro-Grain bars and such.

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581 · April 27, 2012 at 5:07 PM

I get that same response! My friend was talking about her mother in law's health issues and so I gave her some suggestions. "But she needs her fiber," she said. And I explained to her that vegetables provide plenty of fiber... to which she replied, "She doesn't really eat vegetables." Dear God. I had to fight myself to NOT respond to that and just let it go...

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3850 · April 27, 2012 at 3:05 PM

It's the belief that not eating processed foods is too expensive that gets me. I spend a lot on food because I eat almost exclusively grass-fed meat and wild fish and organic veggies (plus haven't given up bars, alcohol, or dining out). However, I used to be a broke low-carber and cheap cuts of meat and supermarket veggies are way cheaper than buying processed crap and still orders of magnitude more healthy.

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1926 · April 27, 2012 at 12:37 PM

I just tell them, "If I tell you, I'll have to kill you".

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12174 · April 27, 2012 at 12:23 PM

More than the, "...could never give up pasta..." excuse, I get, (not even talking paleo per se, just mentioning giving up processed foods) "Well, that's admirable, and I'd do it too, if it weren't for the expense." If you have money for alcohol, soda, nights out at restaurants and bars or even a regular cinema habit, you have the money, just not the priorities.

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2801 · April 27, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Still trying to kick the diet soda habit. Something tells me aspartame isn't paleo-approved.

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17028 · April 27, 2012 at 9:53 AM

Just had that question yesterday about grains followed by "But how do you live?" -- obviously, I do and I thrive, this came from someone who drinks diet soda and thinks it's healthy. :)

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434 · April 27, 2012 at 4:00 AM

My answer to the pasta question is to ask whether plain pasta noodles with no sauce or condiments are appealing.

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1804 · April 27, 2012 at 2:22 AM

You're singing my story, Cheryl. Man i'm tired of hearing, "Well, I could never give up my pasta."

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646 · April 27, 2012 at 1:28 AM

I'm a public health student, and I am constantly surprised by how many of my classmates are receptive to the idea of paleo. I keep hearing, "Well, is it working?" or "How do you feel on it?" Later, they come and find me and ask me about it. I think that when people around you see the effects (weight loss, greater energy, clearer skin, etc), they're a lot more likely to want information about how got those effects.

Otherwise, no, I don't often volunteer to people how I eat. The first time I did a paleo challenge for my gym, my classmates were VERY interested in the things I was eating and had a lot of questions. I initially presented it as something I was trying out for athletic performance, but they kept following up and asking if I was still eating that way when I was done with the challenge. I've directed them to paleo recipe sites and to books like The Paleo Solution and The Primal Blueprint, and even though we're in fields where many people are trying to push the SAD to "fix" obesity, everyone as individuals is way more interested on a personal level in solutions that work for them. Just keep on doing what you're doing; don't preach, but be ready for questions.

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733 · May 03, 2012 at 1:38 PM

We are only preaching cause we want to help people not die.

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604 · April 29, 2012 at 1:45 PM

"I get frustrated as all get out by fundamentalists of all stripes"- totally agree.

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141 · April 27, 2012 at 8:21 PM

Yes. One thing I've noticed is how athletes tend to respond with positive enthusiasm and curiosity about paleo. Serious athletes are usually already hip to the problematic issues of carbohydrate consumption (versus proteins and fats) and its impact on optimal weight and performance. Not a day goes by that I don't run into athletes who want to talk about this and question me about results. I think the runners, weight-lifters, martial artists and others are in the vanguard of this movement, quite naturally and for obvious reasons.

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581 · April 27, 2012 at 5:11 PM

I find it hard not to preach about it sometimes when people approach me with their problems... they'll talk about their health problems, their weight problems, ask me how I've been losing my weight, and why I seem healthier, etc... but as soon as I tell them, they close off and bring up the bajillion excuses for why they can't change how they eat. I think the hard part is the whole... why ask me, if you're just going to throw up your barriers again? That, and I genuinely want people to just give it a week and see how they feel.

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646 · April 27, 2012 at 2:42 AM

My pleasure. I get frustrated as all get out by fundamentalists of all stripes.

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1571 · April 27, 2012 at 1:43 AM

Thank you about the 'don't preach'. That shit drives me crazy and I'm an enthusiast.

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10653 · April 27, 2012 at 1:29 AM

The only people I have personally and directly admitted to and discussed eating Paleo: my dietitian, my therapist, my physiology professor, and Craig Stanford (who tells me he's writing a book about the human diet).

My friends and family have never heard of Paleo. If someone were to ask them what my diet is like, they would probably say, "she eats a lot of meat."

With strangers, I have to tell them I'm allergic to X, Y and Z. Why do I have to? Because if I tell them "I just don't want to eat your spaghetti" I get weird looks.

The harsh truth is, Paleo isn't acceptable by societal standards--which can be completely f*cked up sometimes. But as for the reason why it isn't baffles me. You will never hear me say, "I'm sorry for eating this way." But I will say, "I'm sorry if you don't understand why I choose to eat this way."

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8057 · March 10, 2013 at 9:18 PM

I don't get "he eats a lot of meat" from others, I get "she doesn't eat gluten" (even though I'm careful to say that I've cut sugar and GRAINS out of my diet). And if people think I'm gluten free, they go out of their ways to proudly serve me gluten free processed sugary crap that they waste way too much money on. I went to a dinner when everyone else was served fresh fruit for dessert, but the hostess proudly handed me a grain free granola bar instead. Errrrgh!

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156 · June 07, 2012 at 10:49 AM

@April, it won't become widespread if nobody ever admits to eating that way. If everyone who eats paleo rejects food with an "I'm allergic" excuse, then how will people know that paleo is the reason?

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581 · April 27, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Why doesn't this have more up votes?? Awesome response, and from this I will definitely take away your last words -- "You will never hear me say, 'I'm sorry for eating this way.' But I will say, 'I'm sorry if you don't understand why I choose to eat this way.'" NICE!

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10653 · April 27, 2012 at 4:38 PM

@Alex, Paleo isn't as widespread as vegetarianism/veganism. So until Paleo is something everybody knows about, I'm just gonna keep my mouth shut because I don't want to explain what it is to people every single damn time. Even mentioning that I enjoy eating beef liver to my very close cousin resulted in her looking at me like I was a crazy person. Her jaw literally dropped and to be honest, I was kind of offended. So I just say "I'm allergic." No one's gonna refute that.

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3450 · April 27, 2012 at 2:37 PM

I don't discuss it either. If someone asks, I say I've stopped eating processed foods and instead eat primarily fresh meat, vegetables, and fruit. That satisfies most people. I have no desire to argue my point or convert others. I've lost a lot of weight, which has caused some people to ask for details. I'm happy to discuss things in detail with people IF they are open to listening. But, if they want to argue instead of discuss, then I just don't worry about it. Not worth my time.

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158 · April 27, 2012 at 1:27 PM

I find people to be generally aware of low carb diets ... people assume atkins... maybe just tell them your doing atkins..LOL

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1118 · April 27, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Yes, I often wonder why it is acceptable for a certain group of people to turn down a perfectly good steak or rack or ribs, but god forbid someone turn down the bread basket! It's very puzzling to me on many levels. My father is a rancher in South Dakota (yes, a real one with acres of grassland and many, many cows), and the terror people have of red meat hits home for me...

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156 · April 27, 2012 at 10:49 AM

I think we've got to make our dietary choice more honest than "I'm allergic", or this will just keep going on. Just like you wouldn't feed a vegetarian or vegan a steak, people shouldn't feed a paleo/primal eater grains. Nobody would be upset if a vegetarian/vegan turned down a steak, and we deserve the same kind of respect when we turn down things we don't eat!

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17028 · April 27, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Yeah, but if you did eat their spaghetti, you'd get some pretty nasty side effects for a few days -- I do. I do tell them, if I eat wheat, or other grains, I get pretty bad acid reflux, that, they understand.

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1804 · April 27, 2012 at 2:20 AM

Well said, April.

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5828 · April 27, 2012 at 3:33 PM

I'm going to risk being politically incorrect here.

I think the biggest problem with Paleo is when we identify with a group of people who think and eat the way we do and use that identification to make us feel special and better than people who don't think and eat the way we do.

What's wrong with describing your diet as "I eat whole foods and I don't do well with grains so I avoid those?" There's a huge amount of baggage and judgment in "I eat the way I believe humans evolved to eat" so I completely avoid that conversation.

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404 · August 02, 2012 at 12:23 PM

what's so bad with thinking you're "special and better than [other] people"??? ----- being paleo means you're lean, mean, have abs, eat in a glamorous and somewhat decadent (from CW viewpoint) way and thus are allowed to justifiably believe that you're the "better" one...

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308 · April 27, 2012 at 2:37 PM

I like the "highlight reel" approach, focusing on all the awesome things that paleo IS rather than what it excludes.

People like BACON , so I mention that. I mention I prefer local, seasonal, and organic foods. I talk about leaning out without paying attention to calories. I talk about using REAL BUTTER. I tell them about amazing energy levels and productivity. I tell them about better sleep and skin.

If you get any kind of interest you can start going as far down the rabbit hole as long as they stay interested. I also enjoy the shock factor of telling them I had 2/3 a stick of butter in my COFFEE that morning!

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308 · April 28, 2012 at 3:33 AM

You need to blend it for it to really work, but buttered coffee is rad. I was turned on to it by Dave Asprey: http://www.bulletproofexec.com/how-to-make-your-coffee-bulletproof-and-your-morning-too/

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2640 · April 28, 2012 at 1:50 AM

You had me until the butter in the coffee thing. I keep that one to myself for fear of the reactions and judgments from ignorant coworkers who eat processed junk food all day long and proclaim how "healthy" they eat nearly daily (whilst suffering from countless maladies) would make me go insane.

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581 · April 27, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Butter in coffee? o.O I have not tried this yet. What does it taste like? Does it have a similar effect that heavy cream does in coffee? Intrigued. Will probably try.

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169 · April 27, 2012 at 4:16 AM

I completely disagree with not talking about it. For me, it has cured my Multiple Sclerosis and many other health issues. How can anyone that we shouldn't talk about it because some people are frickin idiots?

Keep talking about it. The right people will hear it and the willfully ignorant will disease themselves through the SAD.

Don't buy into their attitude. Talk about it like Cool Hand Luke, not like a cultist.

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752 · April 27, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Mason, I am going to copy and paste this URL in an email to a friend of mine with MS that refuses to believe that Paleo will help her. She's using a walker, is working part-time and is partially disabled according to the government, and she will soon lose her driver's license and, thus, her independence. She has seen how much Paleo has helped me with my inflammation issues (severe allergies/chemical sensitivities) yet won't try it for 30 days because she "can't give up bread!?!?" Really?? More like can't give up pastries... *sigh*

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2056 · April 27, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Heh. Cool Hand Luke. The hard-boiled egg scene is, like, totally paleo in retrospect. ;-)

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1198 · April 27, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Totally agree. How easily we forget that all of us stumbled upon this somehow too. Talking about paleo, not preaching just talking, has lead to elimination of a coworker's migraines. A lot of these people are just suffering, and this "every man for himself to find it on the internet" thing doesn't really jibe with types of food cultures I admire so much.

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1118 · April 27, 2012 at 11:17 AM

I dont' know about everyone else, but when I first went Paleo, I was SO excited about the information I had, it was practically exploding out of me! It was kind of like when you go see that AMAZING new movie everyone is talking about and it's all you can do to keep yourself from imploding. I wanted to share this exciting (if horrifying) new information with everyone I knew. I wanted to help them feel as good as I did and live long and prosper.

I have since mellowed out, but I'm sure that some of my excitiment caused a good majority of the resistance I have felt from my friends and family. My husband used to accuse me of preaching Paleo all the time. I didn't feel like I was preaching it, I was just super pumped about it and wanted to share all the information I had. Maybe I was blinded by the light, so to speak, and was being a little preachy about it.

This could be where some of us are meeting resistance. Our excitement makes us push too hard, even if we are not aware that we are pushing. I like the idea of doing what we do and letting people ask us questions. That means that they are open to the idea of change.

Just my two cents...

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752 · April 27, 2012 at 7:15 PM

I agree with you Stephanie. I was so pumped and excited from the improvements in my health and the rapid loss of the final 10 (+8 = 18) pounds that I was ecstatic and talked about it all the time... if people asked me what I was doing because they noticed the weight loss. I finally decided to take a lighter approach as well - if they ask me, I just tell them I have severe food allergies and sensitivities and leave it at that. I don't say gluten problems because that opens a whole other can of worms. :)

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2178 · April 27, 2012 at 12:20 PM

same here. i got tired of people hassling me about it, so you do what you do and I'll do me!

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393 · April 27, 2012 at 1:22 AM

We find it best to keep as low-key as possible.

If someone suggests we try a food that we would not eat, we just say that we don't eat "X" or "X" food. It's kind of like the "just say no" thing.

If they want to know more, we might say that we're sensitive to milk or grains, but we try our best to stay away from an argument. i say it that way because some people we've encountered are stuck in their own food beliefs, and some of those people actually act like they want to pick a verbal food fight.

There have been rare occasions when a conversation with strangers has resulted in them asking about how we eat. We have two main answers:

  1. Look up Paleo on the internet
  2. Here's my blog - check it out (i occasionally post food we made, and I have lots of paleo blogs on my blog roll)

Like I said, we try to stay out of the fray.

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17028 · April 27, 2012 at 9:58 AM

@Kate, they're addicted to the exorphins in wheat (and to a lesser degree table sugar). So at a limbic system level, they realize this, but not at the prefrontal cortex, hence the _violent_ reaction to the idea of giving up the equivalent of low dose morphine.

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95 · April 27, 2012 at 1:29 AM

After a very strange reaction from a co-worker this week, I've learned this: stay out of the fray. Why people have such strong reactions I do not understand but it is true.

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1659 · April 27, 2012 at 11:47 PM

I tell most people, "I'm on a diet of avocado and bacon."

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In my best Homer voice, "Mmmmmmmm bacon..."

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18 · June 04, 2012 at 1:32 AM

looks delicious

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2640 · April 28, 2012 at 2:00 AM

Thank you for giving me something to try this weekend!

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1804 · April 28, 2012 at 1:43 AM

Yeah, that looks pretty amazing.

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90 · April 27, 2012 at 3:17 AM

I don't usually initiate the discussion, but there's plenty where I can express my frustration with foods that are available at a given situation, social events for example. I don't criticize others choices just state that "I don't eat those things, I want to stay healthy." - it's often enough to start a discussion.

As far as my arguments go I try to remember few simple facts:

  • Whole foods, eaten as close to their natural state as possible are the best (it's common sense, nobody would argue with that)
  • I eat The way our ancestors used to eat.
  • No clinical study has actually proven that all those carbs are that good for you.
  • No clinical study has proven that saturated fats are bad. If someone says to me that he couldn't give up pasta/bread/whatever - It's their life, I chose to value mine.

Also - there's no shame in forgetting something, just be polite about it. I find it's best to encourage research. Knowledge acquired this way tends to stick better. Fact's are almost always on the paleo side.

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40 · April 27, 2012 at 2:53 PM

I'm just glad I'm not the only one who has gone through this. I went strict paleo throughout the beginning of the crossfit games, was on my affiliates team, and had some amazing PR's and felt absolutely amazing. I'm a bit more flexible now, getting ready to go cut grains completely out again and dairy back to near zilch.

BUT what I found out too is that regardless of my approach to explaining paleo to non-crossfitters - there was not one approach I found that didn't result in the other person either blatantly rejecting it or or just saying how they could not do it. The entire time, I was not preaching or pressuring them to try it but it was as if they immediately took my lifestyle choice as a threat. I'll save you all from my psychological theories as to why people have so many issues accepting this lifestyle...

So, like many of you, I have resigned to either claiming allergies (paleo has actually improved my allergies significantly) or that I just don't eat grains and sugar. I've learned that if I say that I choose to eat healthy, this usually puts the other person on the defense so I avoid that phrase. Then I just answer any questions that may be asked of me.

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752 · April 27, 2012 at 7:17 PM

I agree with you, Trish (my allergies improved dramatically). I use the phrase that I choose to eat healthy as well, but then when my co-workers see my plate in the lunch room covered in an oil slick of saturated fat (ghee, lard, or duck fat), they immediately say that a diet that high in fat can't possibly be healthy. I just tell them that we should agree to disagree.

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11254 · April 27, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Yeah, I get tired of having a conversation about my diet the umpteenth time, but ultimately this is how stuff gets done. Somebody is the oddball, the jerk, whatever, and they are that way for a long damn time, until somebody else decides they have nothing to lose and follows. A leader with no followers looks like a jack ass, could actually be a jack ass- this is how the status game seems to work, anyway. Maybe you just imagine you should have followers, that there will eventually be followers at some point, even if it's three generations from now. I'm only talking about followers in a very loose, anarchic sense, and not in the sense of having a bunch of sheeple following you around.

It can be extremely uncomfortable being me, but I receive absolutely zero for conformity. Indeed, minus zero because conformity is what got me to go to college and get a mortgage. I don't think me conforming helps anyone else either. People are free to just consider me foolish or a jerk or whatever, but if they ever want to think, well here I am. For my part I just struggle to say a little bit more than 'that's crap.' I wish I could open my own library/cafe and be able to point folks to the right books, because although some of us actually mine the internet for new info, most seem to be making dumb comments on Facebook.

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531 · April 27, 2012 at 1:27 AM

If everyone ate this way, there wouldn't be enough to go around. Can you imagine everyone in India and China eating mostly meat, for example? Grass fed? Environmental catastrophe. So I am happy to keep it relatively quiet.

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2407 · May 01, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Methane from cow poo is a major addition to greenhouse gases and global warming. I'm surprised anyone thinks we could feed 6billion people on mostly meat. I agree wholeheartedly; I'm not telling the other tribe about my clan's abundant game source. Just saying.

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3043 · April 28, 2012 at 12:42 AM

That is so not true. Approximitely there is 1 acre of land for every person on earth. There is more than enough room to have animals grazing everywhere. Especially in Canada, as we have so much space. The wheat board is finally waking up and has crashed. Those fields could be replanted and in turn also used for farms.It's completely sustainable. Fish, meat, eggs, fruit and veggies are plentiful and could increase.

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581 · April 27, 2012 at 5:19 PM

To be fair, they pretty much already DO eat this way... but with added grains and less vegetables. Plus, there isn't just grass-fed meat to get your protein from... there's wild fish, and as the saying goes, "There's plenty of fish in the sea." (not to mention oysters, lobsters, shrimp, etc...) And fowl are also plentiful.

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17028 · April 27, 2012 at 9:59 AM

I'd love it if the whole world had local, sustainable, polyface-like farms, then crap in a box would be very expensive, and real food would be inexpensive.

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531 · April 27, 2012 at 3:35 AM

I tell my Japanese co-workers about Paleo, and they just look at me with bemusement. "Ah, the gaijin is being his weird gaijin self again." :)

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105 · April 27, 2012 at 2:44 AM

Mark Sisson also just did a three-part series entitled "Can We Feed the World on the Primal Blueprint Diet?" which covers a lot of information on sustainability, etc. if you're interested in checking it out. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/can-we-feed-the-world-on-the-primal-blueprint-diet-part-1/#axzz1tCktZR2N

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605 · April 27, 2012 at 2:22 AM

If you want to learn more about sustainable agriculture, read Melissa's answer here: http://paleohacks.com/questions/560/how-environmentally-responsible-green-and-sustainable-is-the-paleo-diet#axzz1t7w5khbS

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1571 · April 27, 2012 at 1:42 AM

I don't think this will ever be a real issue so I would consider this a point that is not made.

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559 · April 27, 2012 at 1:14 AM

I think you hit the nail on the head here. Most people don't want to hear about it. It's nice to find people who are open to listening, but that might not even be a majority of people. Just let your results speak for you. I find that whenever people ask me about my diet (and I can tell that they don't want to hear about the paleo/primal/ancestral philosophy) it's usually the most diplomatic to just say "I eat pretty healthy" and then let them ask questions if they want to know more.

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2252 · August 02, 2012 at 11:05 AM

I have had people take up interest in my diet, friends, neighbors and family members are all on the road to being converted. By that I mean most of them have cut out wheat, sugar and processed food and continue to ask me what they should be doing. This is kind of a pain becase I have given them resources to look it up for themselves, but now I have to answer stupid questionslike, "are banana chips bad for me? What if I just had once small scoop of sugar free slushie instead of ice cream?" and by them asking me I imply that they know that these things are bad. I digress, I have a dream of opening a paleo-friendly resturaunt, with booze though, sorry people, but i also have to cater to the masses. I love to cook and when my husband gets out of the Army he really wants to open a healthier version sports bar/resturaunt type of place, where you can get grilled chicken wings instead of deep fried in trans fats, and where all of the food will be real, and cooked fresh, not some culinary applebees abortion on a plate. Still have not decided on the cave decorations and mandatory loin cloth waiters uniforms though :)

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33 · April 28, 2012 at 11:00 AM

I'm sure someone has already mentioned this as you have many answers listed, but just in case they haven't...

Episode 26 - Robb Wolf - The Paleolithic Solution, they have Dallas and Melissa from Whole9 who cover this topic in a little detail. They speak about the Paleo 'elevator' pitch which is quite interesting.

Link here: http://robbwolf.com/2010/05/04/the-paleolithic-solution-episode-26/

Also, Whole9 themselves have a very interesting article called 'How to Win Friends and Influence Paleo'. It's well worth a read.

Link here: http://whole9life.com/2012/02/influence-paleo/

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158 · April 27, 2012 at 1:26 PM

I was resistant to trying paleo for awhile and from an outsiders prospective looking in it seemed like lots of people asking "is this paleo" about every type of food then trying to figure out if a caveman had the food... this seemed like a REALLY poor way to choose your foods. Seemed like just a bunch of people arguing Ad nauseam about some cave dwellers accoutrements. This is just a general impression I got from reading some various blogs I found online and reading the comments on those blogs to get a general sense of the people. It IS NOT a fair assessment by any stretch, however life is not fair.

Please don't hate me, I'm now fully on board. I'm just trying to possibly give some insight into what was turning me off about it. Once I had decided to try paleo and really started reading I found communities such as this, and robb wolf, marks daily apple etc. Lots of great stuff.

I watched a friend and some family members getting good results and my curiosity increased. This is when I picked up the "primal blueprint"

Once I had someone explain the diet to me from a practical standpoint and the science behind it then I got more curious. I'm really not very interested on what a cave man did or did not do. I don't think that braising a roast in a little red line is going to destroy the beneficial effects of my diet because some caveman didn't have wine.

At the end of the day it ended up being akin to the old saying "scoreboard bitch"

Once I saw people losing weight and looking great I wanted in and I used the science to convince myself of the inevitable. So just continue looking great and feeling great. That's the best way to go about it for everyone and stop preaching to people about cave men :D

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2056 · April 27, 2012 at 1:18 PM

I've been thinking about how to answer this question ever since I saw it yesterday. I suspect I will come back and edit this answer as I continue to ponder it.

(1) I'm kind of working my way down Kurt Harris's Archevore list, so when I think of my "paleo journey" (PIMMAL at that phrase, but I hope you know what I mean here), it isn't simply a way of eating but a combination of better sleep hygiene/different exercise program (more weight training and sprints, less cardio)/food choices/minimalist footwear most of the time, with food being only one component.

(2) I actually operate on the principle that other people's interest in what I do to maintain my health is really pretty superficial, and my particular food choices on any given day don't even make it on other people's radar. For example, who's gonna really notice that I order sashimi rather than sushi when we're out at dinner, or understand the significance?

(3) When you add 1 + 2 together, it means that any discussion of "paleo" that I would have would be MUCH longer than anyone would want to listen to, unless I was comparing notes with another paleo person.

The subject on which I am most likely to engage "civilians" in discussion is sleep, but this is much less emotionally loaded than the subject of food, and I feel confident about my knowledge and its limits in this area. I'll discuss exercise only when people will stop me and ask me what sports I do (I swear this happened yesterday, and I'm 53 years old!). I'm far less of an expert about exercise than about sleep, though. I am willing to talk about the process of making fermented foods because it is an interesting hobby to some. But if someone offers me a piece of birthday cake? I will refuse it without explanation.

What I'm groping to express here is my notion that mutuality, or perhaps it's reciprocity, should apply in matters of food. I don't want people pushing food, or diets, on me that I don't want. I therefore should apply the Golden Rule and not push food, or diets, on other people that I can't be certain that they want. I once had a client who gave me a copy of The Zone Diet as a gift, and I was mortally offended. I was somewhat overweight at the time. I would rather she have made a payment on her account, which was in arrears.

I've also seen the pendulum swing on various issues too often over the years to believe that I have the final answer on ANYTHING nutrition-related. I was a Dean Ornish gal in the early 2000's, and at the time I thought I was acting in my own best interest. I can only act on the best knowledge I have today.

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2028 · April 27, 2012 at 1:01 PM

I used to think to myself when watching friends snarf down copious amounts of processed grains and refined sugar while complaining about their weight, "maybe I should say something about Paleo...." Usually, I end up going no further than "I don't eat grains or sugar" when someone insists I take a hunk of birthday cake.

I wasn't sure if I was doing the right thing - until a few days ago, while I was reading an enormously popular personal finance blog. A Paleo adherent became, well, I hate to put it this way - enormously obnoxious about insisting that Paleo IS THE WAY TO LIVE and people who get sick should go Paleo before trying medicine, etc. He was so over the top that he sparked quite a bit of pushback. The comments, both from him and from irritated respondents, went on just too long.

That really made me cringe. I vowed right then to be very conscious of how I'm coming across and how I word my statements whenever discussing my eating habits.

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1680 · April 27, 2012 at 4:32 PM

"I don't eat grains or sugar" is a great response. I'll use that one.

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268 · April 27, 2012 at 12:40 PM

I just began this diet but the few people I've talked too have responded the same way.

"So you're on the Atkins diet?"

In the interest of remaining friends, I attempt to calmly explain to them they are mistaken. Unlike the Atkins diet I care where my meat comes from and I stay away have any crap that is overly processed to take the carbs out. In addition I do not substitute artificial sweeteners as fruit sugar is all the sweet I need and I stay far away from vegetable oils.

It bugs me when the two are correlated. They honestly couldn't be more different. As in, one is very healthy and one really is not.

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268 · April 29, 2012 at 4:04 PM

And from the book or not those bars and other fake foods have the Atkin name and logo on the package. So they are considered part of the diet.

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268 · April 29, 2012 at 3:32 PM

They honestly couldn't be more different because unlike you the majority of people I know on Atkins depend on the bars, false "no-carb or low-carb" foods. To me bread is bread, I don't care if it's made with rice or cardboard. Most people on Atkins seem to want to trick their bodies and have the same diet as before. Only with less carbohydrates and a lot more processing. Paleo is largely focused on organic foods that come from nature without a recipe list. Not from a processing plant with unpronounceable ingredients. That's what I meant based on my own observations and experience.

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2640 · April 28, 2012 at 1:58 AM

I don't get the Atkins hate in the Paleo community. I did Atkins and lost a ton of weight on it and without knowing it I was doing it pretty much primally (I consumed dairy and grass-fed, local meats and no grains with organic vegetables - same as I do now, only without the dairy) well before I had even heard of paleo. How are the two plans *that* different? If you choose to use artificial sweeteners and eat the bars and low carb junk that's your choice, not the fault of Atkins (the actual plan from the book). I wish I understood how "they honestly couldn't be more different", Paul.

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752 · April 27, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Amen, Paul. I get sick of trying to explain the differences between Atkins (where all my hair fell out) and Paleo. It gets tiresome and bugs me that people just don't want to know the difference, really, so why bother?

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60 · March 10, 2013 at 7:44 PM

Like Stephanie, I was very receptive to try paleo upon the suggestion of my kinisologist because he diagnosed me as having systemic inflammation. Health and not being overweight has always been my focus. I had been eating what was touted as being healthy (raw, vegan, vegetarian, whole grains, real sweeteners, etc.)

I was blown away at feeling 20 years younger only after a week of strict paleo. I'm a passionate personality and when I noticed my enthusiasm was not reciprocated I filtered my conversation when it came to health issues.

But when people complain CONSTANTLY to ME, I throw paleo in their face to spite them. I don't appreciate being the soundboard for their misery, especially if all they do is complain without any corrective attempt at what they are doing wrong.

I agree with many that I will just live by example. When I cook I serve or gift my food which they love and they becoming unknowing paleo guinea pigs.

I have not called in sick at work since starting paleo. The bad flu and cold that went around just brushed me. I'm the happiest amongst my family and coworkers.

There will always be a range of personality in anything and being a healthier paleo makes it just that much easier for me to tolerate people's choice of lifestyle (SAD, raw, vegans, vegetarians, etc.)

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3014 · April 27, 2012 at 1:28 PM

What do you do about people who ask about paleo, are reciptive, seem to agree with you that you're onto something, then go out with you to lunch and order the worst of the worst?

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2252 · August 02, 2012 at 11:08 AM

I tend to use tha passive agressive way of berating them by acting superior because I chose the better option, and then suggesting that you do something active after lunch, bike ride, play frisbee, ect. They will be so full and tired they will want to say no, that is when you can tell them they should not have eaten that , if they didnt they would have more energy! You must be a man, because it seems like learning how to subtly make people feel like shit is a skill known only to women

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3014 · April 29, 2012 at 12:09 PM

I never actually say anything to them at the meal. They sometimes make jokes... (oh, I'm not going to order X, that would be too healthy)... But I'd like to understand the disconnect in their heads.

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158 · April 27, 2012 at 1:38 PM

I'd not say anything, however offering to lend them a book or send them a website you enjoy on the subject if they are interested and then change the subject to something else and enjoy your lunch.

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2056 · April 27, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Nothing, unless you want to give them the right to critique your lunch order in return.

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542 · May 01, 2013 at 9:15 PM

This can be simple and effective. Don't say anything until someone says, "Hey man, you look great. You must be hitting the gym big time." Then I say, "Yeah, a couple times a week." Then they say,"Bullshit. It must be something else." Then I say, "Well, nutrition has a pretty big part too." The fat lazy bastards I know can't wait to find out how they can get into skinny jeans, eat steak every day and just lift twice a week for 45 minutes.

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1097 · May 01, 2013 at 7:29 PM

I tell people I eat like a caveperson. I usually get 'caveperson?' And then they leave me alone. They probably think I'm nuts, but who cares? I've never really had anyone argue with me about it, not anything more than some expressing concerns. And that's legit, isn't it? This goes beyond what most people consider normal.

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