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Has Paleo affected your ability to be normal anymore?

by (7660)
Updated about 5 hours ago
Created February 25, 2012 at 6:47 AM

So I think Paleo has ruined me. I mean, I was annoying before (I've always been a cynical, skeptical SOB), but my friends and family may disown me at this point.

And it's not just because of Paleo topics. I don't talk about that much anymore unless someone is really driving me crazy with the craziness of their crazy. But it's spilling over into all sorts of things.

Maybe high fat contributes to a stronger bullshit meter? If we were so wrong about diet etc., what else are we wrong about? I just don't buy the garbage our loud culture is selling about anything these days. Politics, healthcare, philosophy, psychology, economics, yadda yadda yadda. My mind seems to zoom out, look at everything from an evolutionary standpoint and a geological time perspective, and I immediately disengage. It's not even worth having an opinion about.

Anybody else notice anything similar?

8ea84667a7f11ac3967f2ecfcad28ad8
641 · September 07, 2013 at 1:28 AM

I don't get sick of the BS because I simply ignore it, and then try to change the subject as quickly as possible. In the final tally, everyone gets to live their lives in the way they see fit -- and I consider it less than graceful to judge. I have no business telling anyone else how to live their lives, nor do they have license to tell me how to live mine. If someone persists in stepping over the line, I'll forcefully remind them to mind their own business. I wouldn't expect anything less from anyone else if I similarly misbehaved.

81181cab058dd652659e4bb2e6f25843
538 · October 01, 2012 at 12:22 AM

No, the way I see things let me to the paleo realm. I've been a libertarian for as far as I can remember, I brush and floss 2 x's daily (not sure why dental care came up), and I could honestly care less about barefoot anything. To me, it's clearly over-hyped (for the price, of course).

81181cab058dd652659e4bb2e6f25843
538 · September 30, 2012 at 11:59 PM

No, the way I see things let me to the paleo realm. Read the original post, your version of thinking in 'geologic timescale' is clearly different from the OP's. I've been a libertarian for as far as I can remember, I brush and floss 2 x's daily (not sure why dental care came up), and I could honestly care less about barefoot anything. To me, it's clearly over-hyped (for the price, of course)

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7660 · September 30, 2012 at 3:43 PM

What? Going Paleo hasn't changed the way you see other topics in your life? At all? What about barefoot running, dental care, politics, anything? Thinking geologically isn't overwhelming, quite the contrary. It puts the "now" into perspective. We live in unprecedentedly crowded and noisy conditions. Getting to a place of normalcy requires cutting through all that b.s. and carving out some peace for oneself. The moment is great, but it must be cultivated.

F0d897e3d602f2e3b303f21210f34bff
190 · September 29, 2012 at 10:20 PM

I'm reading this months after it was posted -- but Lady Arwen that's got to be one of the best Paleo quotes *ever*!

Bcc4479de4f16939076e0a00e2db1261
94 · September 29, 2012 at 12:49 PM

RawDawg, you sound like a RP fan....if so, thumbs up!

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290 · May 26, 2012 at 3:37 PM

I dwelled in the first set, as a vegetarian, for waaaay too long. That was a great breakdown of two ways to exist.

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1804 · May 17, 2012 at 2:34 PM

+1 well said, Okoknoway.

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2056 · May 17, 2012 at 1:44 PM

"What is going on in your mind is less important than you think, so just chill out." <---Fabulous.

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6229 · March 02, 2012 at 3:44 AM

Paleo has opened my eyes to a degree of skepticism for just about everything ... It's like being unplugged from the Matrix!

D4d83e7981ca572aaaa19fc620bb54f1
467 · February 27, 2012 at 10:15 PM

The best question and answer I've seen at PH.

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10044 · February 26, 2012 at 7:34 PM

I was looking at an old CNN news video yesterday on pasture vs conventional eggs. The focus was on possible salmonella dangers between the 2 egg production methods. There was no real discussion of the the nutritional value on the differences of the eggs.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587
7660 · February 26, 2012 at 5:54 PM

Then you are a stronger person than I. I don't say much to try to change anyone's mind, but it does stack up over time and make me question people's sanity.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587
7660 · February 26, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Agreed with Nance. See raydawg's answer for a comprehensive list.

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37187 · February 26, 2012 at 5:43 PM

Not much, in my opinion. But I'm not really normal either--is any lefty?

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587
7660 · February 26, 2012 at 4:53 PM

Yes. We don't have a TV and I'm having a hard time just making it through my old magazine subscriptions anymore. For some reason, Sunset just isn't as interesting as it used to be! :) And as much as I love Outside Mag, their dietary stuff is really obnoxious. Whenever I'm somewhere with a traditional news source (TV in an airport or newspaper at in-laws for example), it shocks me with how bad it is and that this is how most Americans get their information.

A1081af52b61372dbb3ed572d88968f4
425 · February 26, 2012 at 1:57 PM

+1 - great answer Aaron. Karen, I agree... going Paleo is like taking the red pill. I'm ~6 months in. Now that I can see, the rabbit hole seems to keep going deeper. Oh well, I like exploring ;-)

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3914 · February 26, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Yep. I pick my spots, but most of the time I just bite my tongue unless someone asks my opinion directly. I'm fairly introverted, so keeping my mouth shut doesn't bother me; but it's tough to watch friends and family do things you know are harmful. The times I can't keep my mouth shut are when someone's under attack -- like when someone says fat people just need to use some willpower and eat less, or that kids will be weird and anti-social if they don't go to a government approved education center. Then I get to make up for keeping quiet the rest of the time.

90c2bfe21424da87d37500ed528fbc77
260 · February 26, 2012 at 12:28 PM

I'm the same with the whole grains. When people ask me if they should have whole grain bread, or white bread I always just say, "one is garbage, and one is fancy garbage."

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260 · February 26, 2012 at 12:27 PM

I wish I could up vote this twice.

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7660 · February 26, 2012 at 6:48 AM

I LOVE what you're saying about modern nutrition. Funny though. I've been at this over a year, and I find myself getting more involved and wrapped up in it. The more I research, the more that nutrition seems like this linchpin in so many seemingly uninvolved areas of life, like mental illness for an example. And I just get my hackles up. Why can't anyone see the common threads? The dogmatism seems to be getting stronger in some sense. But I also feel the names melting away. Paleo, Primal, evolutionary, yadda yadda. Whatever. Just eat real food!

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587
7660 · February 26, 2012 at 6:43 AM

Thanks for that T.Lex! But your points are well taken. I find a bit of both negative and positive going on right now.

9b0310b623f8ed289c9571ab3a58a142
384 · February 26, 2012 at 3:41 AM

Hell yeah! I've recently completely 'fallen off my rocker' and started sleeping on the floor, intermittent fasting, not using soap, wearing my VFFs in public when I'm not barefoot, and questioning what I think is truly important and meaningful in life. It may make me feel like an LSD-laden hippie, but I know I'll be the one laughing in the end.

F9c172df4c32f7efb16ed586d142bdad
329 · February 25, 2012 at 11:22 PM

Okay, I see. You were more after how rejecting CW in diet/lifestyle leads to rejecting CW elsewhere. I was more addressing how rejecting CW can lead to feelings of being abnormal. Separate but related topics. I guess, consider my post a tangent then! (Btw, fwiw, I definitely didn't think your question was indicating any kind of "negative mindset" in you!)

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7660 · February 25, 2012 at 11:10 PM

Nicely put, thank you.

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7660 · February 25, 2012 at 11:06 PM

Hmm. My question was more about how Paleo thinking leads to deconstructing other topics in life too. Sorry if there was some confusion about that. By no means am I saying that everyone should be Paleo or think the way I do. What I'm saying is that thinking this way and seeing the behind-the-scenes machinations is a separating factor. It's hard to have an opinion on something like politics when you can't get caught up in the drama of it all.

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776 · February 25, 2012 at 11:02 PM

My favorite response I have ever read on PH.

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7660 · February 25, 2012 at 9:15 PM

Thank you for a thoughtful response. It does feel red pill/blue pill, doesn't it? But I get exhausted trying to participate in conversations when I don't agree with anything being said, and nobody seems to appreciate those responses anyway. I can get all Zen and nod and smile and listen without comment, but then I feel like I haven't actually interacted with anyone. It gets a bit lonely. Lantern unto myself, and all that.

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7660 · February 25, 2012 at 9:10 PM

This question isn't about convincing people of Paleo's rightness. It's about whether you say anything or not, don't you get sick of listening to all the bullshit that comes out of people's mouths? Being Paleo makes me feel like a complete outsider, which I'm okay with on some level, and on another level, it makes me sad. In addition, evolution can be applied to almost any topic out there, and when I do, all the silly things people have to say on all kinds of topics suddenly seem really, really silly. I feel like I'm going to end up as a loner on a mountaintop somewhere.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587
7660 · February 25, 2012 at 9:08 PM

I agree. I've struggled with suddenly sounding like my sister, who's cycled through lots of fads including raw veg*n. I remember how much I hated hearing her call cooked food "dead" food. Ugh.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587
7660 · February 25, 2012 at 9:07 PM

So true! If I'm gonna cheat, I'm gonna cheat right! I thought when I first went Paleo that I would be able to easily eat SAD when I needed to, but yeah, these days? I'd rather wait to get home.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587
7660 · February 25, 2012 at 9:05 PM

That's my hope. Thank gawd for the online community! And it's certainly not about offending anyone, but more like I feel more and more on the outside looking in. My whole life to some degree, I've felt like an anthropologist studying an alien culture, and Paleo has just pushed me further. I'm grateful my husband and daughter are with me on this journey, otherwise I'd feel very much alone.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587
7660 · February 25, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Thank you for a thoughtful comment. I agree about the politics. I feel completely uninvolved in anything along the Democrat/Republican axis, but I could see myself having to get involved in something local. I've been considering petitioning our town to build an adult playground (MovNat styles), so there's a good example.

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7660 · February 25, 2012 at 8:59 PM

Totally, I've never been one for "normal", the use of the word is a mere flaw of language and lack of something as succinct. But just because I'm comfortable being "abnormal" doesn't mean I don't feel a sadness at feeling a great distance between my friends/family and me. Being Paleo, and seeing through all the other BS too, is a huge separating factor.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587
7660 · February 25, 2012 at 8:54 PM

See? You get it too. Glad to know I'm not alone. Awesome answer.

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8933 · February 25, 2012 at 6:50 PM

*I've always been a cynical, skeptical SOB* I don't believe you! If you're paleo, you have to be AWESOME

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65 · February 25, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Good comment Korion.

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4029 · February 25, 2012 at 6:07 PM

thhq-A few times there is room for context, but I have started holding my mouth more and more. I realize that even though the scales have fallen from my eyes, just one year ago I would have been the one staring at a crazy person who tried telling me grains were not good for you. In fact I know that someone telling me grains were unhealthy probably would have made me even more intent on consuming grains. I've changed more towards suggesting "*try 30 days with zero grains and see how you feel, then tell decide if you really need them.*"

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100 · February 25, 2012 at 5:44 PM

This comment changed my life just now.

Medium avatar
10214 · February 25, 2012 at 5:40 PM

Leveraged leverage. We're at a point where homes aren't places to live but tools for more leverage. I've started to think of the banks in my broken down town as strip mines for the little bit of remaining equity.

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1377 · February 25, 2012 at 5:39 PM

I've long since added "food" to "politics" and "religion" in my list of conversation topics to politely skirt.

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1377 · February 25, 2012 at 5:38 PM

I know where you're coming from, but I can't get too mad about someone trying to improve their health. They're misinformed, but we've all been guilty of that. In fact, I don't even mind when people don't care at all about their health; they're only hurting themselves. What I DO mind VERY MUCH is when I see people buying garbage for their kids. For me, seeing a mom pushing a shopping cart full of Cola and Pop-Tarts is the visual equivalent of seeing someone slapping their kid in the face.

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17412 · February 25, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Look carefully at a dollar, it says "Federal Reserve Note" on it. The original ones could be exchanged for silver or gold. The current ones represent only debt. This video explains how it works: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dc3sKwwAaCU

Medium avatar
10214 · February 25, 2012 at 3:57 PM

You're on double secret probation from now on mister.

Medium avatar
10214 · February 25, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Live broadly. You're part of the human comedy too.

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812 · February 25, 2012 at 3:40 PM

maybe you need more sugar:P Life is bitter without it....

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2053 · February 25, 2012 at 3:05 PM

People are waking up throughout the world. Of course the trend had to eventually reach America. It’s a beautiful thing. I like this question and I like this answer as well.

A4587cfef29863db612c43f89c202cc1
2053 · February 25, 2012 at 3:04 PM

People are waking up throughout the world. Of course the trend had to eventually reach America. It’s a beautiful thing.

A4587cfef29863db612c43f89c202cc1
2053 · February 25, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Not Dollars. Most people have no understanding of how American currency works. Look at a Dollar, see the word "note". Understand that a note is a debt instrument. These used to be back by gold, meaning that you could trade a Federal Reserve Note (Dollar) for an amount of gold - the amount was set by Congress. Nixon did away with that and the Dollar has been backed by oil ever since. Oil trades are transacted in Dollars. So, to purchase a barrel of oil you first need to purchase Dollars - hence the Dollars have value. "Real money" may mean something other than fiat currency - more robust?

9adbf19e76ac38da796f29302c4be90a
209 · February 25, 2012 at 2:37 PM

I like this answer +1. By normal I think the OP means typical American so the answer to your rhetorical questions is yes. Out of curiosity what is real money? Dollars? Gold? Wampum?

Medium avatar
10214 · February 25, 2012 at 1:11 PM

It is crazy without the context and no one has time for that. I hope you don't slobber on them.

Medium avatar
10214 · February 25, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Annoying people is an annoying habit but +1 anyway. If you're not a pest to your kids they'd never get out of bed.

Medium avatar
10214 · February 25, 2012 at 1:04 PM

So it sounds like all the paleo gave you a fat head? Seems like the French slang for an idiot is "un fat". Not auspicious having such a singular focus. My prescription is to reading broadly and listen to opera. Give your mind some stretching exercise.

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12540 · February 25, 2012 at 12:50 PM

I have to go with THIS. I gave up on conforming to the societal version of "normal" 40 years ago, and never looked back... and got 4 amazing free-thinking children out of that perspective, so I say "Who's 'normal'?"

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1801 · February 25, 2012 at 9:23 AM

Yes! But, I was always a little like this anyway...

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab
5043 · February 25, 2012 at 8:21 AM

I wish more Americans were in touch with their inner bullshit meters. Be glad you can and do think for yourself!

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25 Answers

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96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84
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17412 · February 25, 2012 at 12:12 PM

What's normal?

Eating tons of high fructose corn syrup? Taking a cab, or driving for anything further away than 3 blocks? Fooling yourself into thinking that a bowl of cheerios and a can of diet soda is a healthy breakfast, so as to enrich big-agra?

Buying the latest locked-down, closed-source, non-upgradeable proprietary, DRM'ed shiny gadget, made by child labor in near-prison-like conditions, which has a non-replaceable battery and serves only as an e-store to enrich one giant corporation, only to throw it away in a landfill 6 months later and upgrade to the next iteration for another $250-$600? And then argue about the merits of your particular gadget vs your friend's choice in the same kind of crap?

Taking statins, or other drugs for life so as to enrich big pharma, instead of improving your health by exercise, and eating proper foods?

Investing in ETFs, or derivatives instead of real money, so as to enrich big banks? Or maxing out the credit cards and taking out crippling loans to mortgage a poorly built McMansion and lease or buy "luxury cars" so as to impress the neighbors across the street who are doing the same?

Watching brain destroying "Reality TV" shows instead of doing something useful, or enriching with your time? Or worse, watching spectator sports for 10 hours on a couch, while guzzling trans-fats loaded, high carb snacks made from GMO corn and soy to the point of morbid obesity, while getting no activity, or going outside, while claiming to love sports?

Eating nuggets made from pink sludge CAFO chickens that were fed arsenic and other toxins, loaded with MSG, artificial color, dipped in ammonia, and other crap?

Doing chronic cardio for hours on a treadmill, then having a super sized muffin and 32 oz mega-sweetened coffee like shake with soy cream as a reward?

Drinking "spring" water, which is actually filtered tap water, from BPA lined bottles with cool sounding names that are heavily advertised?

Buying new clothing every few months, cheaply made by child labor, made from sythetics, which fray after just a few cycles in the washer?

Thanks, but no thanks. I'd rather be the weirdo who doesn't do what everyone else does.

3b81530944ae7e11e92f4b967f9c0333
100 · February 25, 2012 at 5:44 PM

This comment changed my life just now.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587
7660 · February 25, 2012 at 8:54 PM

See? You get it too. Glad to know I'm not alone. Awesome answer.

A4587cfef29863db612c43f89c202cc1
2053 · February 25, 2012 at 3:05 PM

People are waking up throughout the world. Of course the trend had to eventually reach America. It’s a beautiful thing. I like this question and I like this answer as well.

Medium avatar
10214 · February 25, 2012 at 5:40 PM

Leveraged leverage. We're at a point where homes aren't places to live but tools for more leverage. I've started to think of the banks in my broken down town as strip mines for the little bit of remaining equity.

9adbf19e76ac38da796f29302c4be90a
209 · February 25, 2012 at 2:37 PM

I like this answer +1. By normal I think the OP means typical American so the answer to your rhetorical questions is yes. Out of curiosity what is real money? Dollars? Gold? Wampum?

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84
17412 · February 25, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Look carefully at a dollar, it says "Federal Reserve Note" on it. The original ones could be exchanged for silver or gold. The current ones represent only debt. This video explains how it works: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dc3sKwwAaCU

892d177f50b16f118152219229870e4e
776 · February 25, 2012 at 11:02 PM

My favorite response I have ever read on PH.

A4587cfef29863db612c43f89c202cc1
2053 · February 25, 2012 at 3:04 PM

People are waking up throughout the world. Of course the trend had to eventually reach America. It’s a beautiful thing.

A4587cfef29863db612c43f89c202cc1
2053 · February 25, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Not Dollars. Most people have no understanding of how American currency works. Look at a Dollar, see the word "note". Understand that a note is a debt instrument. These used to be back by gold, meaning that you could trade a Federal Reserve Note (Dollar) for an amount of gold - the amount was set by Congress. Nixon did away with that and the Dollar has been backed by oil ever since. Oil trades are transacted in Dollars. So, to purchase a barrel of oil you first need to purchase Dollars - hence the Dollars have value. "Real money" may mean something other than fiat currency - more robust?

9b0310b623f8ed289c9571ab3a58a142
384 · February 26, 2012 at 3:41 AM

Hell yeah! I've recently completely 'fallen off my rocker' and started sleeping on the floor, intermittent fasting, not using soap, wearing my VFFs in public when I'm not barefoot, and questioning what I think is truly important and meaningful in life. It may make me feel like an LSD-laden hippie, but I know I'll be the one laughing in the end.

90c2bfe21424da87d37500ed528fbc77
260 · February 26, 2012 at 12:27 PM

I wish I could up vote this twice.

D4d83e7981ca572aaaa19fc620bb54f1
467 · February 27, 2012 at 10:15 PM

The best question and answer I've seen at PH.

Bcc4479de4f16939076e0a00e2db1261
94 · September 29, 2012 at 12:49 PM

RawDawg, you sound like a RP fan....if so, thumbs up!

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8933 · February 25, 2012 at 2:36 PM

Korion's first law of normality states : never talk about food unless you're on the internet.

Still, I think I am now more normal, even though my perception of life has changed dramatically. I used to be extremely asocial, quiet, ... Since going paleo my mind works better. I can currently talk practically in a normal way with others. I don't get red, and it's only for the first few seconds that I act a bit shy. I still have the tendency to isolate myself, but at the same time I'm deliberately forcing myself to talk with people around me. I've never been outside this frequently in my life.

For example : for 2 years, I didn't go to class more than 5% of the time. Now I go 90% of the time, and I enjoy being around people my age again. It's a bit weird since I don't know anybody but everybody knows each other, but fortunately people at the university are very kind. Unfortunately, they spend most of their time drinking beer, so I have a hard time really connecting with others : I just can't go partying or I'll get sick and autistic again (I used to drink 2 liters daily but for some reason it helped me, maybe because it decreased blood sugar and made me very calm).

I like raydawg's answer : What's normal? I consider eating tons of fruit, animal products etc. completely normal. I don't consider the life's of my brothers normal yet they will not agree themselves : xbox, xbox, fart, xbox, eating crap, watching movies, eating crap, mood swing here and there, doing nothing (literally), showing invisible muscle, ... a constant repetition of the same mistake : forgetting they have a life to live, instead they prefer to forget the real world and hide in a fake one. But maybe we don't live in a real world and then I'm the naive one. I'll just continue to do what feels good, and I consider that to be normal.

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1377 · February 25, 2012 at 5:39 PM

I've long since added "food" to "politics" and "religion" in my list of conversation topics to politely skirt.

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65 · February 25, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Good comment Korion.

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3914 · February 25, 2012 at 3:28 PM

You touched on it in your last paragraph: when you realize it's possible for practically everyone -- including most of the accepted experts in the field -- to be dead-center 180-degrees wrong about something, you become more willing to think critically about other bits of conventional wisdom. It doesn't really matter what topic you first take the red pill about; eventually you start to see others differently too.

I grew up on a farm, so the first things that tripped my BS meter were mainstream beliefs about things like livestock and rural life. I knew that many of the things being taught by schoolbooks and TV on these topics were absolutely wrong -- and easily proven wrong -- and yet nearly everyone believed them. Once I accepted that was possible, it became easier to question other mainstream beliefs (and they are beliefs, not knowledge). Are grains really good for you, and fat really bad? Is global warming real, and if it is, are we causing it, and could we stop it if we wanted to (and should we want to)? Are teachers really underpaid and schools underfunded? Was this-or-that war really necessary and just? Do I really need to borrow money and build my credit rating? Should everyone go to college? Is it true that anyone can accomplish anything he sets his mind to, if he just works hard enough? Is second-hand smoke actually harmful -- at least any more harmful than dozens of other things we expose ourselves to every day without qualms?

And so on. Of course, you don't want to go too far the other way and start assuming that every piece of conventional wisdom is wrong, just because it's conventional. That way lies madness. But you do want to keep a skeptical mind, and when presented with, "Everyone knows that....," respond with, "Well, if it's that certain, there ought to be plenty of proof for it lying around, so show me some."

It's not so bad being the weird one. Just last night some friends invited me out to dinner. They know I don't eat gluten, but they don't always understand what that means or how ubiquitous the stuff is. Because of my own forgetfulness, I didn't realize they were inviting me to a fish fry. The menu: fish (yay!), breaded and fried in canola oil (boo!); macaroni and cheese; baked beans (quite possibly thickened with flour, not worth chancing); cole slaw most certainly made with soybean oil mayo; and loads of gluten-laden desserts. So I graciously thanked them for inviting me, but declined a plate, and sat and chatted with them while they ate, then went home and had a tuna omelet. A few years ago, I might have eaten just so I wouldn't feel weird, and put up with the headaches and cravings it would cause. I guess as I get older, I just don't care as much about looking weird anymore.

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3914 · February 26, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Yep. I pick my spots, but most of the time I just bite my tongue unless someone asks my opinion directly. I'm fairly introverted, so keeping my mouth shut doesn't bother me; but it's tough to watch friends and family do things you know are harmful. The times I can't keep my mouth shut are when someone's under attack -- like when someone says fat people just need to use some willpower and eat less, or that kids will be weird and anti-social if they don't go to a government approved education center. Then I get to make up for keeping quiet the rest of the time.

A1081af52b61372dbb3ed572d88968f4
425 · February 26, 2012 at 1:57 PM

+1 - great answer Aaron. Karen, I agree... going Paleo is like taking the red pill. I'm ~6 months in. Now that I can see, the rabbit hole seems to keep going deeper. Oh well, I like exploring ;-)

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7660 · February 25, 2012 at 9:15 PM

Thank you for a thoughtful response. It does feel red pill/blue pill, doesn't it? But I get exhausted trying to participate in conversations when I don't agree with anything being said, and nobody seems to appreciate those responses anyway. I can get all Zen and nod and smile and listen without comment, but then I feel like I haven't actually interacted with anyone. It gets a bit lonely. Lantern unto myself, and all that.

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2889 · February 25, 2012 at 8:07 AM

I never was normal.

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329 · February 25, 2012 at 10:51 PM

Interesting question. "Normal" is a very strange word though. What about: Has paleo affected my ability to be a happy, well-adjusted person? The answer depends much on mindset I think.

Negative, destructive mindsets...

  • Use paleo as an excuse to look down on the ignorant, the benighted, the bread-scarfers.
  • Feel constant irritation at non-Believers.
  • Feel constant irritation at mainstream wisdom that contradicts paleo orthodoxy. Let it really piss you off.
  • Surround yourself with jerks, then complain about it.
  • If you want paleo people in your life, convert your friends and family. Anyway, they could use fixing (saving)!
  • Preach the gospel to those who won't receive it with an open-mind. Better: Preach it those who don't care to hear it.
  • Allow helpful paleo guidelines to become inflexible axioms that are written into the space-time fabric.
  • Strive for moral rectitude and the demolition of sinners rather than simple truth and happiness.
  • Strive to live up to (or exceed) society's standards by your own devious paleo means (That'll teach 'em!).

Positive, constructive mindsets...

  • Diplomatically and rationally explain paleo when relevant. Otherwise, interesting people have plenty else to talk about.
  • Surround yourself with positive, excellent people.
  • Love and value friends and family for the people they are, not the paleo people you wish they were.
  • If you want paleo people in your life, find paleo friends.
  • Revise your beliefs in light of new evidence.
  • Lead by example.
  • Strive for truth and happiness rather than moral rectitude and the demolition of sinners.
  • Set your own standards and live up to them.

Bottom line, inner-Yoda time: It's not Paleo that makes you "normal" or abnormal or happy or unhappy or well-adjusted or not. It's you that does.

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329 · February 25, 2012 at 11:22 PM

Okay, I see. You were more after how rejecting CW in diet/lifestyle leads to rejecting CW elsewhere. I was more addressing how rejecting CW can lead to feelings of being abnormal. Separate but related topics. I guess, consider my post a tangent then! (Btw, fwiw, I definitely didn't think your question was indicating any kind of "negative mindset" in you!)

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7660 · February 26, 2012 at 6:43 AM

Thanks for that T.Lex! But your points are well taken. I find a bit of both negative and positive going on right now.

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7660 · February 25, 2012 at 11:06 PM

Hmm. My question was more about how Paleo thinking leads to deconstructing other topics in life too. Sorry if there was some confusion about that. By no means am I saying that everyone should be Paleo or think the way I do. What I'm saying is that thinking this way and seeing the behind-the-scenes machinations is a separating factor. It's hard to have an opinion on something like politics when you can't get caught up in the drama of it all.

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290 · May 26, 2012 at 3:37 PM

I dwelled in the first set, as a vegetarian, for waaaay too long. That was a great breakdown of two ways to exist.

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2171 · February 25, 2012 at 8:12 AM

I am of the opinion that there is no "normal". It is a human reaction to feeling marginalised. If we are different on, say, religious beliefs, we insist on being "normal" on sexual orientation. If we are different on those, we insist on being "normal" on eating habits, etc etc.

Everyone is weird. Just accept it and suck it up. I am weird, you are weird....that crazy guy that lives on the street, he's definitely weird.

Once you let go of the idea that there is normal, you can just relax and be you in every aspect of life.

I think Paleo is the type of movement, that while not directly encouraging this way of thinking, does tend to end up there or close to it.

Keep on annoying people. I do. And I love it!!!

Mwahahahahahah!!!!! (That's the sound of the evil laugh, in case not obvious...)

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10214 · February 25, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Annoying people is an annoying habit but +1 anyway. If you're not a pest to your kids they'd never get out of bed.

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7660 · February 25, 2012 at 8:59 PM

Totally, I've never been one for "normal", the use of the word is a mere flaw of language and lack of something as succinct. But just because I'm comfortable being "abnormal" doesn't mean I don't feel a sadness at feeling a great distance between my friends/family and me. Being Paleo, and seeing through all the other BS too, is a huge separating factor.

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12540 · February 25, 2012 at 12:50 PM

I have to go with THIS. I gave up on conforming to the societal version of "normal" 40 years ago, and never looked back... and got 4 amazing free-thinking children out of that perspective, so I say "Who's 'normal'?"

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20519 · February 25, 2012 at 1:11 PM

My inner-bs meter has always been in place but with a side of empathy and understanding. If I can make more of an impact with a smile and the topics, as inflammatory as they may be, actually productive and interesting instead of a shizshow... then that's my preference. It's worked so far.

EDIT ---> Of course I forget the Paleo part. Erm.. if anything, I think adopting the Paleo/Primal lifestyle has pulled off the food goggles and made me see even more of what is happening, negatively, with people and their diets. I now have a super sized view if you will. I keep very Ninja with the way I eat but it's been noticed, I talk to whoever asks me about it, and have successfully transitioned and supported several friends into trying P/P. All have held true, one is going on 5 months now - yay!, and to quote "you make it fun and interesting, never make me feel like an idiot with my questions, and I'm always learning." I guess my velvet hammer approach is working. <--- END EDIT

I've never been in the "normal" category, preferring my perpetual state of dorkdom.

To quote Revenge of the Nerds "Those nerds are a threat to our way of life." Yes, yes we are.

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10214 · February 25, 2012 at 3:57 PM

You're on double secret probation from now on mister.

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4029 · February 25, 2012 at 7:19 AM

I find I can't keep my mouth shut when someone mentions "healthy whole grains". My retort is often along the lines of "whole grains are to grains as low tar is to cigarettes" and "there is nothing in grains you can't get more of in better quality elsewhere".

Folks look at me like I'm crazy.

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4029 · February 25, 2012 at 6:07 PM

thhq-A few times there is room for context, but I have started holding my mouth more and more. I realize that even though the scales have fallen from my eyes, just one year ago I would have been the one staring at a crazy person who tried telling me grains were not good for you. In fact I know that someone telling me grains were unhealthy probably would have made me even more intent on consuming grains. I've changed more towards suggesting "*try 30 days with zero grains and see how you feel, then tell decide if you really need them.*"

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10214 · February 25, 2012 at 1:11 PM

It is crazy without the context and no one has time for that. I hope you don't slobber on them.

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1377 · February 25, 2012 at 5:38 PM

I know where you're coming from, but I can't get too mad about someone trying to improve their health. They're misinformed, but we've all been guilty of that. In fact, I don't even mind when people don't care at all about their health; they're only hurting themselves. What I DO mind VERY MUCH is when I see people buying garbage for their kids. For me, seeing a mom pushing a shopping cart full of Cola and Pop-Tarts is the visual equivalent of seeing someone slapping their kid in the face.

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260 · February 26, 2012 at 12:28 PM

I'm the same with the whole grains. When people ask me if they should have whole grain bread, or white bread I always just say, "one is garbage, and one is fancy garbage."

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70 · February 26, 2012 at 8:21 AM

Leading by example, with kindness and compassion, is an amazing way to convince people. Like anything, most people feel his/her values are being judged when you stray from the path. We are surrounded by misinformation, propaganda, and old-wives tales in all aspects of life. Just do your thing...people will be drawn to the results. As an artist, high school teacher, metalhead, guy who trains in MMA, I learned to just follow my instincts in all I do. In a conversation about what is good art with an older artist friend and mentor, he said: "you can't argue with awesome." I think that applies here, too. Just be cool as hell to everyone and everything and walk your path. Be opinionated and passionate, but also just listen. That was something hard for me, but has changed my view and made me assume less and be less disappointed, annoyed, argumentative. You'd be surprised how receptive people are to change. The amount of people who I've turned onto a paleo diet by just doing my own thing is nuts...

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1804 · May 17, 2012 at 2:34 PM

+1 well said, Okoknoway.

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11557 · February 26, 2012 at 2:49 AM

Growing up as a skeptical atheist surrounded by energy-feeling hippies, I've always had to try and keep a lid on spouting off about the bullshit surrounding. As a rule, I question things constantly UNLESS they are making me feel crazy- then I back off. Will the world come tumbling down if you don't resolve the differences between the political party you support and your feminist ideologies? Will you make it through the day if you don't illustrate enough reasons to vaccinate? It is fantastic to form new opinions that spout off a core belief (like paleo), but if you find it alienating, upsetting, or overwhelming, take the advice from my long-time skeptic/atheist/paleo mother: "What is going on in your mind is less important than you think, so just chill out. Yes, it is good to be angry about things, and sometimes you need to be "that person", but make sure you can dominate your opinions in every arena, never the other way around".

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2056 · May 17, 2012 at 1:44 PM

"What is going on in your mind is less important than you think, so just chill out." <---Fabulous.

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4218 · February 25, 2012 at 3:47 PM

I've come to realize that my own dogmatism about this way of eating is just as unpleasant as I've always found other varieties of dogmatism to be. As such, going Paleo has helped me to relax my soapbox tendencies on other topics, pay more attention to what works for me and to express my enthusiasm in a more socially acceptable manner. And to be happy for people when whatever they're doing works for them, even if it's not my thing. It's been fairly enlightening.

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10214 · February 25, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Live broadly. You're part of the human comedy too.

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7660 · February 25, 2012 at 9:08 PM

I agree. I've struggled with suddenly sounding like my sister, who's cycled through lots of fads including raw veg*n. I remember how much I hated hearing her call cooked food "dead" food. Ugh.

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303 · February 25, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Haha. I have become borderline orthorexic. I would rather not eat at all for a little while than put junk like McDonald's or Subway into my body. I'll just wait until I get home even if I'm starving. Not that I never cheat, but when I do I at least want it to be a high quality cheat. Plus, I cringe everytime I hear my friend talk about her daily morning bagel.

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7660 · February 25, 2012 at 9:07 PM

So true! If I'm gonna cheat, I'm gonna cheat right! I thought when I first went Paleo that I would be able to easily eat SAD when I needed to, but yeah, these days? I'd rather wait to get home.

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37187 · February 25, 2012 at 11:14 PM

I think there can be times during your first months that you will be "different" because you are testing and experimenting with new concepts and thoughts.

Speaking only for myself, as I approach my one-year anniversary I'm more confident and, for lack of a better word, relaxed about how I'm eating.

I don't use the words "paleo" or "primal" any more. I don't even think of it as ancestral eating either, although I did for a while there. Honestly, I think what I'm doing is MODERN nutrition. I define modern nutrition as practical application of the information that is available about paleolithic nutrition and the human body (current research) to select the whole foods most likely to support my health and well-being.

For some people, there is a somewhat dogmatic phase but I think it's because they are following "rules" and they're trying to do so by rote rather than through understanding. I don't need to do that any more and my understanding can be fluid as new information is received.

Because of all that, I think my family finds me much more "normal" now because I am rock-solid content with how I'm eating and I look/act healthier than I have in decades.

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7660 · February 26, 2012 at 6:48 AM

I LOVE what you're saying about modern nutrition. Funny though. I've been at this over a year, and I find myself getting more involved and wrapped up in it. The more I research, the more that nutrition seems like this linchpin in so many seemingly uninvolved areas of life, like mental illness for an example. And I just get my hackles up. Why can't anyone see the common threads? The dogmatism seems to be getting stronger in some sense. But I also feel the names melting away. Paleo, Primal, evolutionary, yadda yadda. Whatever. Just eat real food!

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701 · February 25, 2012 at 7:27 AM

Absolutely -- though there is a chicken/egg aspect to it: Did I start to wake up and become aware because of the lifestyle and diet change, or were the changes just part of the natural order of things after waking up? In my case I know it probably tips slightly to the latter, but at this point it's almost irrelevant... it's like a feedback loop: The concrete physical improvements -- especially nutritionally -- continue to clear the near-lifetime of mental fog from by brain, while the resulting clarity of thought keeps me grounded and sane in this existence that yea, is a bit out of phase with most of my friends and family. Without the clarity I get from it though, I don't think I'd be able to negotiate the differences that come up with those around me with any tact or kindness.

I've also realized that I haven't disengaged completely -- I've just kind of refocused my attention down to a more micro level. The folly of politics on a national level becomes something meaningful when it's about me standing at a podium in front of the city council trying (like a fool in the end, but hey) to keep my local dog park open.

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7660 · February 25, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Thank you for a thoughtful comment. I agree about the politics. I feel completely uninvolved in anything along the Democrat/Republican axis, but I could see myself having to get involved in something local. I've been considering petitioning our town to build an adult playground (MovNat styles), so there's a good example.

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139 · September 29, 2012 at 9:31 AM

This entire page is the most worthwhile thing I've read all month.

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4111 · February 26, 2012 at 5:18 PM

I've never been normal either. What am I missing?

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37187 · February 26, 2012 at 5:43 PM

Not much, in my opinion. But I'm not really normal either--is any lefty?

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7660 · February 26, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Agreed with Nance. See raydawg's answer for a comprehensive list.

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4258 · February 25, 2012 at 11:05 PM

I think for me paleo has made me aware of my fundamental nature in certain ways. Being human isn't about being modern, participating in certain cultural practices, etc. It's a lot broader and deeper than that. I can't really articulate all of it well at this point, but I do agree with you. Paleo has been something else to mark me as separate from most people, with a low BS meter and a growing urge to throw of the yoke of what I was taught for two decades and really analyse everything for myself.

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7660 · February 25, 2012 at 11:10 PM

Nicely put, thank you.

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7967 · February 25, 2012 at 4:21 PM

I've never been 'normal' by most people's standards. :)

I got into paleo long after I had already rejected most of the ideals and ideas I was raised with and that most people I know believe in, so it's just one more thing. I've learned to not let the fact that I strongly disagree with most people and systems in the modern world bother me much anymore, or disturb my relationships. It's always a work in progress of course; I've mellowed a lot with age, for sure (26 now).

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393 · February 25, 2012 at 1:50 PM

I think eating Paleo has turned on some more brain cells. Besides, my normal is not your normal.

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2486 · February 25, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Yes, post-Paleo I am definitely less complacent. I am contanstly fighting the urge to say "because gluten"...because, honestly, 'because gluten' in the reason behind all of my crazy. And most everyone else's, as far as I can figure (unless, 'because dairy')...however, not everyone has got it yet, and beating them about the head and shoulders won't help them get it. So find a way to not offend, while at the same time fighting against their inanity, and you'll sway the influentiable (and eventually the others will come around). But most importantly, you're living your life in the healthiest way possible and that's what's important. For millenia, the fittest have survived, and in our current envirnmont, I feel those of us who disengage are the healthiest, so it will be weird for a while. Keep following your path, and those of us who march to a different drummer will eventually band together and form a cohesive group.

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7660 · February 25, 2012 at 9:05 PM

That's my hope. Thank gawd for the online community! And it's certainly not about offending anyone, but more like I feel more and more on the outside looking in. My whole life to some degree, I've felt like an anthropologist studying an alien culture, and Paleo has just pushed me further. I'm grateful my husband and daughter are with me on this journey, otherwise I'd feel very much alone.

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2056 · May 17, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Not in the slightest. My exploration of paleo is a result of my questioning other things, not the cause.

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1804 · May 17, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Yeah, I've been wondering lately how in the world my hubby still loves me, haha! I've turned into a nutcase and people are starting to notice - Homemade kombucha! Homemade keifer! Raw milk searches! WAPF joining! Advocate against soy! Advocate against sugar!

Yeah, i'm turning into what society thinks is a nutcase. Too bad I think they are all nuts.

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10044 · February 26, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Being paleo definitely changed the way I view the news whenever they have a report on latest drugs, diets, and health research. The main stream media seem to focus on the wrong concepts most of the time. I tend to see most of the main stream news on health and science with a skeptical view now.

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10044 · February 26, 2012 at 7:34 PM

I was looking at an old CNN news video yesterday on pasture vs conventional eggs. The focus was on possible salmonella dangers between the 2 egg production methods. There was no real discussion of the the nutritional value on the differences of the eggs.

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7660 · February 26, 2012 at 4:53 PM

Yes. We don't have a TV and I'm having a hard time just making it through my old magazine subscriptions anymore. For some reason, Sunset just isn't as interesting as it used to be! :) And as much as I love Outside Mag, their dietary stuff is really obnoxious. Whenever I'm somewhere with a traditional news source (TV in an airport or newspaper at in-laws for example), it shocks me with how bad it is and that this is how most Americans get their information.

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641 · February 25, 2012 at 1:31 PM

I take my inspiration from Rob Wolf. My BS meter may peg, but I keep my mouth shut.

If they don't already get it, they'll never get it. There's no point wasting energy.

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7660 · February 26, 2012 at 5:54 PM

Then you are a stronger person than I. I don't say much to try to change anyone's mind, but it does stack up over time and make me question people's sanity.

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7660 · February 25, 2012 at 9:10 PM

This question isn't about convincing people of Paleo's rightness. It's about whether you say anything or not, don't you get sick of listening to all the bullshit that comes out of people's mouths? Being Paleo makes me feel like a complete outsider, which I'm okay with on some level, and on another level, it makes me sad. In addition, evolution can be applied to almost any topic out there, and when I do, all the silly things people have to say on all kinds of topics suddenly seem really, really silly. I feel like I'm going to end up as a loner on a mountaintop somewhere.

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641 · September 07, 2013 at 1:28 AM

I don't get sick of the BS because I simply ignore it, and then try to change the subject as quickly as possible. In the final tally, everyone gets to live their lives in the way they see fit -- and I consider it less than graceful to judge. I have no business telling anyone else how to live their lives, nor do they have license to tell me how to live mine. If someone persists in stepping over the line, I'll forcefully remind them to mind their own business. I wouldn't expect anything less from anyone else if I similarly misbehaved.

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538 · September 29, 2012 at 1:33 PM

You're falling into the 'slippery slope' argument. It's an easy fix. Just because we believe that the consensus is wrong about fat and cholesterol doesn't mean or have anything to do with other consensus in our lives. Don't be overly skeptical, keep your critical thinking cap on and see everything through the same (hopefully unbiased and even keel) bullshit filter. Don't get overwhelmed with 'zooming out' and thinking on a geologic timescale because after all we humans do not experience such a thing. take things as they come, make the decision based on the best info you have and learn from any follies. Life is all about experience, and its probably the only life we'll have, emerse in the moment and live.

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538 · September 30, 2012 at 11:59 PM

No, the way I see things let me to the paleo realm. Read the original post, your version of thinking in 'geologic timescale' is clearly different from the OP's. I've been a libertarian for as far as I can remember, I brush and floss 2 x's daily (not sure why dental care came up), and I could honestly care less about barefoot anything. To me, it's clearly over-hyped (for the price, of course)

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7660 · September 30, 2012 at 3:43 PM

What? Going Paleo hasn't changed the way you see other topics in your life? At all? What about barefoot running, dental care, politics, anything? Thinking geologically isn't overwhelming, quite the contrary. It puts the "now" into perspective. We live in unprecedentedly crowded and noisy conditions. Getting to a place of normalcy requires cutting through all that b.s. and carving out some peace for oneself. The moment is great, but it must be cultivated.

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538 · October 01, 2012 at 12:22 AM

No, the way I see things let me to the paleo realm. I've been a libertarian for as far as I can remember, I brush and floss 2 x's daily (not sure why dental care came up), and I could honestly care less about barefoot anything. To me, it's clearly over-hyped (for the price, of course).

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