Do you try to sneak it in on the first date? "Oh, you'd like to offer me a bite of your chicken alfredo pasta? Well, I'm not high maintenance or anything, but I happen to abstain from grains/gluten/legumes/dairy/all processed food/factory-farmed meat/nightshades, so, no, thank you?"
Or do you wait until a few dates in, once you can tell that they like you? "Oh, you want me to meet your friends for pizza and beer? Well, I'd love to meet your friends, but I don't eat grains/gluten/legumes/dairy/all processed food/factory-farmed meat/nightshades. Huh, I guess it just hadn't come up yet. How about a steak and tequila shooters instead?"
I tend to stick with the latter, if only because I go out on a lot of first dates and I don't want to get into the trouble of explaining Paleo to someone I won't see again. But sometimes waiting until things get a bit more intimate seems have this effect of freaking people out that I'm suddenly very different from what they'd imagined. How do you handle it?
I tell them right away that "I generally don't eat processed food." Simple, true, and everybody can agree on it, even nutritionists and doctors.
If you go into the intricacies of Paleo, the truth about cholesterol and saturated fat, and why whole grains are bad, your date WILL think you are crazy. It doesn't matter if you know Good Calories, Bad Calories by heart. It doesn't matter if you have an elevator pitch. Unless you are a Jedi or Seth Godin, your date will think you are crazy.
Cognitive dissonance is a bitch. When you've heard for 30 years that arterycloggingsaturatedfat will kill you and your date starts talking about how he eats coconut oil out of the jar, your date will sound crazy.
I'm not bitter.
ASAP. If you are eating Paleo you are a sexy healthy person, so why would you hide the reason you are a healthy sexy person? And why would you want to be with someone who doesn't get that?
I would share Gluten Intolerance and That you like to eat healthy up front. No real details, until they ask. Everyone knows I won't eat wheat in my office, I only share the why if people ask.
No gluten is difficult to spring on someone after the fact the same reason you detailed above, I just make sure I casually mention it as soon as something is around. If restaurant, ask for a gluten free menu. Then they're asking You why. If at a party, If alcohol, I request hard liquor and avoid the snacks, if offered, say: sorry, that's gluten, or if sugar, nah, I'm fasting. Which solicit questions.
I've found I come off as preachy if I bring it up, but I can manipulate the situation to be their query, then they actually are more likely to listen.
I don't see any reason to overthink this. Vegetarians surely don't fret about telling anyone how they eat, so why should we? Tell people you eat quality meat, fresh fruits, and vegetables. You don't even have to label that paleo. How can anyone but a vegetarian possibly think that sounds unhealthy?
What I'm saying is you don't OWE anyone any explanations. Simply state what you eat and leave it at that. You don't have to explain yourself if you don't want to. This question, to my mind, implies feelings of discomfort when telling people about your chosen diet. If people try to rebut your statement, as per some comments below, you don't have to engage if you don't want to. In telling people about my diet I have only heard one disparaging remark (meat causes cancer), and I started laughing. I fly my paleo freak flag proudly, and don't much care if anyone disagrees.
Tell'm "I eat paleo". And be proud of it! Don't make it sound like a weakness or "news to break". Most guys will think it's cool. We love women who eat healthy and stay fit!
I often wondered if saying you're "paleo" has the same reaction that I have in my mind when someone tells me they are vegan. Seems like "vegan" is like a religion. Are paleo's more tolerant & calm? I can very easily sit at a dinner or restaurant and I feel that I am flexible enough to NOT draw attention to myself about eating meat/fat and NOT eating bread/pasta.
I like the "I generally don't eat processed foods," answer. Generally speaking I think embracing Paleo on a first date could be a great idea and might open up new possibilities.
I use it as a strength. Last Friday I had a date at a Middle Eastern restaurant and she liked that I was picky about what I eat (the fact that I did not just scarf down everything that was in front of me). I used it as a transition to saying I was doing it for my soul and that I found deep down it satisfies my primal side. I have decided this is the only way I am going to sell it on first dates.
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