I love paleo so much, I feel like I have been given the key to health and longevity, and it makes me feel so good that I want to tell everyone. For me it's the perfect "diet," and I enjoy ALL the food. I am very proud to be paleo, so why is it when I'm faced with certain members of my family, and I don't have a slice of cake and they ask why, I end up mumbling something about being gluten intolerant and feeling like what I'm spouting out of my mouth is crap?! Does anyone else have this problem (and equally jugdemental family members), and if so how do you deal with it? I'm usually quite articulate and strongly opinionated, so it's very frustrating!
When someone asks me why I've not eating the cake or the pasta, I tell them that I am gluten/wheat/sugar intolerant.
When someone asks me why I look so fantastic and why my skin got so clear and soft and why I look ten years younger than my age, I tell them about my Paleo lifestyle.
The "why aren't you doing what I'm doing" question is defensive, and the asker wants to know why you aren't behaving like them.
The "tell me how you got so successful" question is the kind a seeker asks, and you will find open ears and an open heart.
I also face the same thing (I think we all do on here). Don't worry about the mumbling, I stumble too because I feel if I give an overview of the diet it is not doing paleo justice.
Most of my family and nonpaleo friends know I'm on this "wierd diet" so when I turn things down I don't get questioned, although I do get made fun of, but I just brush it off or say something snarky like "oohhh yeah it's SO crazy to loose 35lbs and feel great." or if the joke is that there is "no way" my husband and I can "stick to the diet" I normally say "we'll see" or "yeah it's been real tough since our challenge ended last May..." (sarcasm rules in my family)
For those who forget or dont know, My response towards cake/pasta/whatnot is normally "no thanks I'm full." if they push harder I'll say something like "thanks but that doesn't agree with me." and hold my belly. If that doesn't work I'll say "no seriously I know that type of food makes my IBS act up and NO one wants THAT to happen."
If it still isn't going through ask for a to-go slice and either forget it there or take it with you and toss or give away. The only other thing that my hubby and I do is that we consider events/meetings like this part of our 20% "cheat" and will take a small piece.
I think that the less judgement that you send their way (ie what you eat is toxic - killing you etc) the less judgemnet that you will get back (wtf is up with your weird diet).
Anyone in your circle of friends or family who is not going to be supportive isn't worth the precious time to explain the lifestyle to. I agree with Corinne, if someone asks and is eager to learn about the paleo diet/lifestyle I am happy to send them tons of links recipes etc; becaue I think that we are each others best help when it comes to recipes and tricks etc.
I haven't found many people to be terrible judgemental - most are amazed with the self control - I just explain that it's really not about self-control - just choices - AND it's not as hard as it sounds!
this is so apropos to what ive been going through, too and i just read THIS on whole9life last night. i loved it.
in a nutshell, here is a script that you can explain paleo without alenating people or putting them on the defensive.
"I eat “real” food – fresh, natural food like meat, vegetables and fruit. I choose foods that are nutrient dense, with lots of naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals, over foods that have more calories but less nutrition. And food quality is important – I’m careful about where my meat comes from, and buy produce locally and organically as often as possible.
It’s not a low calorie “diet” – I eat as much as I need to maintain strength, energy and a healthy weight. In fact, my diet is probably much higher in fat than you’d imagine. Fat isn’t the enemy – it’s a great energy source when it comes from high quality foods like avocado, coconut and nuts. And I’m not trying to do a “low carb” thing, but since I’m eating vegetables and fruits instead of bread, cereal and pasta, it just happens to work out that way.
Eating like this is good for maintaining a healthy metabolism, and reducing inflammation within the body. It’s been doing great things for my energy levels, body composition and performance in the gym. It also helps to minimize my risk for a whole host of lifestyle diseases and conditions, like diabetes, heart attack and stroke."
Just give them whatever information you're capable of at the time and reassure them that you're following a specific plan that is effective for everyone. That part is important because when they do start to see all the positive changes in you- and they will- they will come back and start inquiring about this specific plan which all of a sudden seems really reasonable considering the health benefits that you get from it.
I was where you were last summer. went paleo in july. family was very wary of what i was doing but curious nonetheless. by december, every one of them(all six) had committed to go whole hog at the beginning of the year. They all kept their word and did it and all have seen incredible gains in the first month, even moreso than mine in most cases being that i could point out the little things that i learned in my journey.
so i guess the bottom line is to just let them watch you.
I've only been paleo for about 2 weeks and a bit, but the health benefits are literally out of this world. I have suffered chronic fatigue syndrome, IBS, gluten/dairy intolerance for years and years and I just figured it was something I was going to live with forever. It affected every single part of my life, I was no longer having any fun at all, my girlfriend hated it (although she is completely understanding and supportive, bless her), I had no energy to do anything, no car or job because I was always so tired I felt I'd be a danger on the road or on the job. All of this is GONE ALREADY. I feel literally on top of the world, I have so much energy I can hardly get to sleep at night. And even with all of this proof in everyone's faces, most of the people having a full understanding of how bad my health was, most of them refuse to believe that its the diet that is causing all these amazing health reforms. I really don't know whether to give them up, but quite often I've resorted to memorising direct quotes and tidbits of scientific information from robb's paleo solution, which is often enough to convince someone that what they're consuming daily is TOXIC. I've managed to convert my girlfriend and mother onto the diet, and a mate of mine who is a mixed martial art fighter, and we're all feeling the same. Like has been said, let people doubt you all they want from their sick, unhappy lives and watch from afar as you live life to the full and can hardly stand still for a minute because of the years of lacking energy all of a sudden all bursting out of you!
I think this question deserves more discussion. I think lots of people are insecure maybe competitive and insecure, lots aren't always aware of this. When person A does something different or against the "grain", person B sometimes gets defensive. Almost as if person B is somehow threatened by person A's different approach. Really pisses me off. Kind of on a rant but it’s like this: If someone wants to know information about why I’m doing what I’m doing great! I'm happy to share. But when someone is threatened by MY choices and then tries to put me down i simply say “gee Person B I didn't realize what I choose to eat and how I choose to live had such an effect on YOUR life."
Great response Corinne