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:
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? :)
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.
I say, "I like pasta too! You know what I like even better? Not having diabetes."
"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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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!
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.
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:
Like I said, we try to stay out of the fray.