4

votes

Do you try to convince people to go Paleo? Or find yourself justifying it to others?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 13, 2011 at 7:33 AM

So lately I have been confronted with a stupid argument:

"Cavemen didn't live past age 30."

I tried explaining that, while I consider my diet pretty strict Paleo, I do not model it after a caveman, since I prepare the foods in various ways that a caveman would not have been able to, but instead that it is simply attempting to eat unprocessed foods that our bodies were meant to digest.

I'm still working on my Paleo-Pitch. Since I live in a country where English is not the native language, I find it hard to always use the same story, as people have varying abilities to understand me.

Because I enjoy the food, the weight-loss and the lifestyle, I often find myself bringing it up in several occasions. Unfortunately, I fear that I am beginning to sound "Preachy."

There's nothing I hate more than when a vegetarian tries to tell me why I shouldn't eat meat, or starts getting defensive of their personal lifestyle choices, so I am really trying to avoid doing this.

What do you do when you explain your Paleoness? Do you try to convince? Do you simply relay? Do you have to defend?

B33f7c04c09d8bbbf181dd8aca04f373

(554)

on December 14, 2011
at 02:55 AM

Okay, that sounds seriously awesome, and I am going to have to add water kefir grains to my list of "fermenters" I need :)

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 14, 2011
at 01:09 AM

Let's just say I love it! Here's a link text: http://starfire-studio.com/kefirbycarys.pdf and a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-t9C7PoBRc

B33f7c04c09d8bbbf181dd8aca04f373

(554)

on December 14, 2011
at 12:58 AM

and what is water kefir? I would be interested in knowing more :)

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 13, 2011
at 06:00 PM

I've felt that urge to say something, but I also know how I would've felt if, before I switched to this lifestyle, someone had said something about my selections. I mean, I don't say anything to smokers and drinkers and I wouldn't want anyone evaluating my food choices (then or now.)

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 13, 2011
at 04:01 PM

I find that pummeling them in to submission is quite effective. Or pin them down and force feed them grass fed burgers and sweet potatoes.

1321554fbe74ad09e97c6e8c354021cc

(524)

on December 13, 2011
at 01:16 PM

My other issue is this reaction: "Oh, Atkins." Which is usually followed by "Didn't he die from a heart attack at age 50?"

956bcad1d462d433a4e1e22f6e3355d5

(1191)

on December 13, 2011
at 08:08 AM

Voila. Stop wasting your time on close-minded people and look awesome instead. Let them wonder how.

956bcad1d462d433a4e1e22f6e3355d5

(1191)

on December 13, 2011
at 08:01 AM

Voila. Stop waisting your time on closeminded people and look awesome instead.

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15 Answers

8
Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on December 13, 2011
at 07:55 AM

We had something on this earlier. The consensus, I believe, was that you only talk about the details if people are really interested. You can share how your health/life/mood has improved, rather than talking about what you eat or do. If they want to know more, give them some links or basic info for them to look into themselves. Don't get drawn into an argument, you have nothing to prove and no need to defend your choices. It gets repetitive. There's half-a-dozen reasons why the life expectancy of cavemen argument is flawed. As with most of everything else people might throw at you. You won't persuade them if they aren't open to the idea, so just demonstrate the benefits by the way you live your life.

956bcad1d462d433a4e1e22f6e3355d5

(1191)

on December 13, 2011
at 08:01 AM

Voila. Stop waisting your time on closeminded people and look awesome instead.

956bcad1d462d433a4e1e22f6e3355d5

(1191)

on December 13, 2011
at 08:08 AM

Voila. Stop wasting your time on close-minded people and look awesome instead. Let them wonder how.

3
Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on December 13, 2011
at 09:47 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human

Humans (known taxonomically as Homo sapiens, Latin for "wise man" or "knowing man") are the only living species in the Homo genus. Anatomically modern humans originated in Africa about 200,000 years ago, reaching full behavioral modernity around 50,000 years.

Which personally speaking I think is pretty good going for a species which apparently has a short lifespan and been eating the wrong thing (i.e. meat) for the last 200 millennia.

But leaving that aside, http://paleohacks.com/questions/78820/whats-your-definition-of-paleo/78859#78859 is what I talk about in a general sense with people. I think the best promotion for paleo is yourself in terms of your own health. If you look healthy and fit, people will ask, especially if they knew what you were like before.

Though and I will be completely honest I find it very difficult to walk past shops now especially at Christmas and see the amount of chocolate bars, sweets and pastries overflowing off the store shelves. In the UK in the last 5 years I believe we must have doubled the confectionery on the shelves. It makes me really angry, and I really want to do something about it in terms of education, and that will start family and friends.

Gently is the word.

Gently is the word, is the word that you heard, It's got groove it's got meaning. Gently is the time, is the place is the motion, gently is the way we are feeling.

3
6cdc6b1e75690cfcc4804a6c9eaa910a

(2171)

on December 13, 2011
at 09:19 AM

As someone fairly new to this way of eating, I do find myself justifying, explaining and even trying to persuade. My family are the most tricky. With a strong logical argument about why this not only helps to lose weight (my issue, but not of the rest of my family) but also to increase general health (of concern to everyone), watching my skinny and so far healthy sons go for a high processed, high carb, high sugar diet, and be told by my Paleo-cynical wife that she's been fine on it and so will they be, is the hardest thing. I have also this weekend, independently - but nice to have the support here, decided to just do my thing and enjoy it. If I can let the benefits of weight loss and general health shine through, then maybe I can have the deeper health conversations with them. While I'm the only one with a weight issue, it's hypocritical for me to lecture them on nutrition. However correct the advice, "Do as I say, not as I do" is always as unpalatable as a pasta ready meal...

2
D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on December 13, 2011
at 03:44 PM

The only two people I have justified my dietary choices - my wife and mother.

Since the topic has come up with friends, I have discussed Paleo with them but only if/when they broach the topic or ask questions since they notice that I am substantially lighter than what I used to be, plus odd dietary choices when there are social events, people get curious. I usually preface that what I'm about to tell them flies in the face of what they've learned their entire life. If they are interested, then I send some reading materials.

BTW - This question and variants have been asked many times before on PH. One example of many - http://paleohacks.com/questions/47284/what-are-your-techniques-when-recruiting-paleo-converts/47296#47296

2
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 13, 2011
at 03:07 PM

I never said a word to anyone except my grandson, who lives with me, until others started asking how I'd lost so much weight.

In answering, I've never used labels at all. On PH, I started with primal and gradually shifted to ancestral eating but to outsiders I've always said, "I've given up all grains, refined sugars and processed foods. I just eat meat, vegetables, fruit and occasional nuts." I also explain to friends that after giving up wheat I discovered it was the source of my long-standing chronic complaints.

In many cases, that brief explanation is the end of it. Eyes become vague and bewildered but there are no arguments because we're talking on the fact of my success. My close friends are happy I'm doing so well but not necessarily interested in changing from their own settled routines.

Most of the conversations about my dietary habits revolve around my "still" which is how they refer to my brewing of water kefir. :-))

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 14, 2011
at 01:09 AM

Let's just say I love it! Here's a link text: http://starfire-studio.com/kefirbycarys.pdf and a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-t9C7PoBRc

B33f7c04c09d8bbbf181dd8aca04f373

(554)

on December 14, 2011
at 12:58 AM

and what is water kefir? I would be interested in knowing more :)

B33f7c04c09d8bbbf181dd8aca04f373

(554)

on December 14, 2011
at 02:55 AM

Okay, that sounds seriously awesome, and I am going to have to add water kefir grains to my list of "fermenters" I need :)

2
24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on December 13, 2011
at 01:31 PM

I still try to convert my mom. She is not overweight, and eats well by SAD standards, but is on a statin, a blood pressure med, and now is apparently pre-diabetic. My sister is a nurse and doesn't really buy into paleo either- they see how well I do with this way of eating, but are both meat & satfat-phobic. I'm trying to emphasize that I eat a lot of veggies, eating a lot of meat isn't a requirement, etc. My dad is pretty low-carb and paleo-ish (and has lost about 40 lbs over the past few years), so I have him as an ally, but if we could get my nurse-sister on board, maybe mom will listen!

As for others, I tell my friends and aquaintances about the way I eat, and kind of leave it at that. Quite a few have gotten curious and gave it a try themselves; they all loved it, but have mostly fallen off the wagon for one reason or another :/

1
7cab5a1f1fd48c3cc4938ab824fdb52e

on December 13, 2011
at 04:19 PM

I keep finding more and more people to be curious about my dietary choice. Less and less, am I getting the Oh Atkins, and am getting why don't you eat grains?

I try and judge the true interest of the person. If they seem only minorly interested, I just tell them because they are inflammatory and I like being in control of my body, it was the best decision I have ever made. It is actually when they are more interested that I begin to stumble, because it doesnt happen that often, usually the inflammatory etc. apeases their curiosity.

However, it is starting to be more frequent that they want more details. I think I am sticking with the inflammatory/seed defence approach, along with evolution/natural selection.

I could ramble about it forever, but people only seem to take away that I avoid gluten. Whatever, I always offer to forward them some info if they like.....

1
Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on December 13, 2011
at 03:12 PM

I just do my thing and some take notice. When I do engage someone in conversation about health and nutrition, I always give them a chance to be interested and open. You never who will and who won't. But there will be no need to justify something that doesn't need justification. Instead, I make them try to justify SAD and watch em squawk and squirm.

1
24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on December 13, 2011
at 02:56 PM

Perhaps this is the problem with the whole "paleo" label. I like the term "ancestral" better, and especially like that "template" qualifier.

If it's about sharing in the interests of helping others improve health, I'd drop the labels and call it a real, whole foods diet. If they ask for clarification, explain why certain foods don't qualify.

In real life, I never share unless asked.

1
Medium avatar

(10611)

on December 13, 2011
at 02:53 PM

I realized earlier today that I felt guilty about wearing a fur hat, that saying it would offend someone. But who the heck cares? If I eat animals, wearing them is nothing to feel guilty about.

Maybe leather is the badge of paleo happiness. Just like hemp is the badge of vegan hippiness.

1
94e89cc96d5a58b71f36b369b8082999

on December 13, 2011
at 02:47 PM

Make progress and the rest takes care of itself.

1
164ed7cd8d84c926bc66f366619bf853

(495)

on December 13, 2011
at 02:36 PM

I learned a LONG time ago to never justify what I do, despite what someone else says. I've gone thru many dietary (and lifestyle) changes that family, friends, coworkers have often questioned. And rather that "defend my position" I just smile & continue on may way avoiding their questions - which are either argumentative or imposing. If it's a close friend/family member/coworker I may give some explanation... Otherwise, I want as little attention drawn to my being "different" b/c that's how people get ostracized. If I want to exercise my heart out & eat whatever I want under a certain premise, that's my business... I don't go around questioning them of eating SAD & sitting on their SAD butts all day.
The Golden Rule my friend.

1
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on December 13, 2011
at 12:43 PM

The only people I'm trying to convert to paleo are my parents. Dad doesn't care about the potential benefits and Mom doesn't have much to improve health-wise as it is. It's not easy!

0
81cf1892bafcdfa38779f4b9b488198d

(606)

on December 13, 2011
at 05:50 PM

http://robbwolf.com/2011/10/14/dont-be-that-guy-or-gal/

I find myself wanting to be that guy, but I refrain from doing so. Since going Paleo 3 months ago, walking through the grocery just makes my stomach hurt just watching what people put in their carts. I just want to say you know what that stuff is going to do to your body. When i do have someone who seems interested I just recommend some Paleo websites and let the sites do the explaining.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 13, 2011
at 06:00 PM

I've felt that urge to say something, but I also know how I would've felt if, before I switched to this lifestyle, someone had said something about my selections. I mean, I don't say anything to smokers and drinkers and I wouldn't want anyone evaluating my food choices (then or now.)

0
Medium avatar

on December 13, 2011
at 05:02 PM

When I encounter someone who's not paleo, I use mockery, ridicule, shame, and humiliation. I coyly ask them if they know the meaning of "retribution." By the end of the encounter, they know what they need to know, namely, one of us is making very poor lifestyle choices.

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