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How do you respond to people?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 01, 2011 at 6:05 PM

I'm always dealing with people telling me Paleo makes no sense. Or it can't be healthy. Or why don't you just fry up some maggots? I live in Phoenix and this article just came out in one of our local papers. It lists Paleo as an obnoxious food movement. Is it worth responding in the comments section? http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bella/2011/04/the_five_most_obnoxious_food_m.php

101b3a5c96d313d22262f65bdff20acf

(539)

on April 02, 2011
at 01:41 PM

With an attitude like this it's probably good you're not talking much about it in public.

B294f81b6a77c4ac1ad5fc55313dec84

(105)

on April 02, 2011
at 01:00 AM

((I likes this))

2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on April 01, 2011
at 09:35 PM

Absolutely I totally agree! I will try with people I care about ONCE but otherwise I cannot be arsed with the stress of it.

2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on April 01, 2011
at 09:31 PM

Ah Stabby I do enjoy your posts and love your way of putting things :)

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on April 01, 2011
at 08:26 PM

exactly. .

4d10a09dadeb266681418f5fe06c3f00

(115)

on April 01, 2011
at 07:52 PM

I'm down here in Tucson/Sierra Vista eating this way too...Let's just enjoy our "weirdness" out here on the Southwest! He he

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 01, 2011
at 07:50 PM

M-m-m! Maggots! Yum! I thought the article was funny, even if incorrect. (And its "Cordain Paleo" - which has its followers, but I think many more of us like the fat/salt/and-or/dairy). All press is good press in my book - someone may see that article, do a little googling and wind up here or at PaNu. And I admit, I can be a bit obnoxious - "Could I get some butter for this steak?", "Do you have real cream?", "Could you fry that in butter?", "Is the salmon wild-caught?"

5de6c215713504a05f8578c59753d8a8

(81)

on April 01, 2011
at 07:07 PM

send the writer this article about the Pheonix Suns. http://www.foxsportsarizona.com/03/25/11/NBAs-senior-citizens-prove-it-pays-to-pr/landing_suns.html?blockID=490991&feedID=3605

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on April 01, 2011
at 06:46 PM

Hmm, well their criticism is that we don't eat unhealthy food. Fail. They also make the assumption that we don't eat salt and we will always avoid all dairy. If I have to eat something like pasteurized cheese I'll eat it. No grains, though, but that is with good reason. The gut stays inflamed for a while.

5a726c5fe988a1783a39a75ff2ce82f7

(464)

on April 01, 2011
at 06:11 PM

The only thing this article says to me....is that there is clearly NO news happening in Phoenix so they have to fill their time/space with crap.

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12 Answers

10
Medium avatar

(12379)

on April 01, 2011
at 06:14 PM

I find that article obnoxious - I think the writer missed the point of the diet (see yesterdays thread on Paleo 2.0)

Don't worry about the nay-sayers - they'll come around (maybe) when they see your results.

I've given up on explaining how fat is good for you to those who don't really want to listen. I was having a conversation after donating blood yesterday with the people sitting at the recovery table. I brough some jerky and coconut oil with me for an after donation snack because all they have is cookies. The people sitting with me were like - "what they hell are you doing dipping that jerky in that white fat stuff? Are you nuts??" - My response - "yep-nuts!" One guy equated what I was eating with a big mac meal at mcdonalds - I chuckled and kept on eating while they all ate their 'healthy' zero-trans fat oreos and oatmeal raisin cookies.

Some people have been so innundated with the food pyramid for so long that they just can't begin to comprehend something else.

7
Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on April 01, 2011
at 06:39 PM

Remember the first rule of discussion. "Is there anything I could tell you that would make you change your position? No? Then this isn't a discussion. Good day."

Ask them what it would take to change their minds. I know what it would take to change my mind about anything that I believe, do they? Ask them how much of the actual scientific literature they have read. Point it out when they straw man your position and really rub their nose in it. It is the only way they will learn. Pavlov had to ring the bell an awful lot of times to make the dog get it that he was going to get food. I should hope that these people are quicker to learn than dogs.

edit: How Stabby responds to naysayers.

Everybody on the paleolithic diet eats salt now. The main premise that we form a hypothesis with (and then test it) is that those things that are novel might not be what our physiology has adapted to. If you gave an ancient human a salt-shaker he would love it and it wouldn't be the least bit unhealthy. The paleolithic diet begets excellent metabolic health so insulin levels stay low and we reduce our production of angiotensin, thus making salt relatively irrelevant to blood pressure. You are right that many foods are better with salt.

Also many paleos eat good quality butter. It doesn't follow that all dairy is bad all of the time just because it is novel, that is why the paleo axiom only allows for a hypothesis. Since nutrition is biology, and in biology evolution is the connecting axiom, we use evolution to speculate and form a hypothesis which then must be tested. Grains are demonstrably unhealthy save for maybe white rice in moderation, and not all dairy is created equal. Alcohol is also fine in moderation because we have an adaptation to make it fairly benign at a certain intake, not so with grains, legumes and excessive sugar or linoleic acid.

Paleo is a way at looking at the world of nutrition, in accordance with the basic principles of evolution. You can liken it to evolutionary psychology. Get your theory, make your hypothesis, test your hypothesis, and compare it again against your theory.

2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on April 01, 2011
at 09:31 PM

Ah Stabby I do enjoy your posts and love your way of putting things :)

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on April 01, 2011
at 08:26 PM

exactly. .

3
D0578c3826123f66a80b034cd3e78816

(565)

on April 01, 2011
at 08:35 PM

You don't. Arguing is generally a worthless endeavor. If a person is wondering why you do Paleo and how it could possibly be healthy then refer that person to some books and blogs instead of debating. Debates at online comment threads are generally only good for wasting time.

2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on April 01, 2011
at 09:35 PM

Absolutely I totally agree! I will try with people I care about ONCE but otherwise I cannot be arsed with the stress of it.

3
B294f81b6a77c4ac1ad5fc55313dec84

(105)

on April 01, 2011
at 06:48 PM

Hidy,

Since I was Zero Carbing before this, this is what I did. I told people I was gluten sensitive. Most people grasp that this means no breads or cereals. Then if they wondered about my lack of anything else, I just said I was avoiding sugars.

I always say this as if it's not in any way important, just the way it is. And nobody ever pokes further. Except for the occasional teenager who suddenly asks if it's related to Good Carbs/Bad Carbs. See what the internet has spawned?!!

Teenagers these days! Amazing!

2
263e2d3f741d1ecb0886454e977f4e6f

on April 01, 2011
at 10:13 PM

Perhaps, I am so anti-establishment, or I have lost 142lbs on Paleo, that I don't trying to educate the unenlightened. Lose your weight, live the lifestyle, life a long healthy life. You can't educated people who have no interest in looking outside the box.

2
98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

on April 01, 2011
at 07:51 PM

I love the "it can't be healthy" response which, as I see it, is an invitation to have a conversation. I think we should all have a quick "elevator talk" ready to times like this. I generally say something like this: "You know I used to think that meat and fat was unhealthy too so I understand where you are coming from. Like most people I listened to conventional wisdom for many years but what I found was that I was sicker and fatter the more I listened. Then one day I decided I had to find another way so I took control of my own life and health and started investigating, reading and learning everything I could about health and nutrition. I ran across this idea of "eating like a caveman" and while it seemed really crazy I read some more and it started to make some sense to me. I decided to suspend my disbelief for a while and just try something I had not tried before. What everyone was telling me to do to be healthy and lose weight wasn't working so I figured why not try what seemed like the exact opposite of what I had been doing. What I found was that my health got better and I lost weight. What I found was a way of eating that made me healthier and thinner than I had ever been before. I lost over 150 lbs and have kept it off for years now. (pull out photo of fat me...that gets them every time!) I then close by handing them a card I keep on me with some paleo websites on one side and a couple of book recs on the other and say to check them out if you ever get sick and tired of being sick and tired (I'll add the word overweight if it's appropriate) just like I did. In brief I acknowledge their thoughts (because I felt like them before), tell them what this has done for me, then invite them to suspend belief and investigate if they are so inclined. Boom. Done. Now some will indeed begin to ask questions (real appropriate questions) which I am happy to answer. Some people just sort of look at me like I have three heads and that's when I just excuse myself in some fashion.

If someone were to ask me why I don't just go eat some maggots I imagine I'd just smile at them and say nothing. For some an insulting comment like that is just a test. I might give them a chance to follow-up with an honest question. People are so uncomfortable with silence that it will undoubtedly push them to say something. If that something sounds like it could lead to a productive interchange I proceed. If not then I just walk away. If I know the person to be an idiot already I don't waste my breath and simply walk.

I just think it's important at these times of apparent challenge to our beliefs to center ourselves in the truth of what we believe and look for opportunity in some of these supposed challenges. I think it's most important not to get defensive. We have nothing to defend! People are funny and often then don't know how to start a productive conversation. I really do try to assume there is opportunity in front of me when anyone approaches me in any way about my diet. No I won't waste my time on stupid debate with someone with clearly negative motives but I think it's a mistake to assume that a question that seems confrontational is that alone.

And yes, leading by example is one of the most influential things we all can do. It's hard to argue with success.

As to the article, it's nothing new. Any idea that goes against the mainstream is up for slaughter regardless of its merits. Slow news day indeed.

2
0841e74f5f393fa77a8c5df5ec3a9a74

on April 01, 2011
at 06:20 PM

Bree, I agree that the article is obnoxious.

Also, in case anyone is interested, there is a "thumbs-down" button you can hit on the bottom right corner of the article.

1
Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 01, 2011
at 10:53 PM

argument is indeed a waste of time.

but if you do need to defend yourself, just go get a complete blood count. then when some well meaning person tells you you can't possibly be healthy eating that much fat, just tell them what your bloodwork says.

that should shut them up pretty fast.

1
77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on April 01, 2011
at 06:21 PM

Engage with people if you like, but you are not likely to change anybody's mind.

If you want to respond, there are valid reasons for doing so.

  1. You want to learn more about Paleo in the process of formulating, researching, and writing your responses.
  2. You have masochistic tendencies.
  3. You truly believe someone, somewhere in the world will read your response and have an epiphany, and thus turn their life around, and you are happy with a <5% probability of this ever happening.

If you really have a burning desire to educate people about Paleo, here are some tips to keep in mind.

0
F6ea948ab43dc51d72509c0989e670fe

(1639)

on April 02, 2011
at 06:06 AM

Well, I accept the fact I'm going to be different.

I don't follow some natural conclusions of paleo. I still eat salt, the occasional bit of sugar, and don't have an issue eating out as long as I can find something that is reasonably paleo. I do eat milk, so I don't worry about that. I find mexican, thai, or a place with lots of greens and protein work out well :)

As for the nay-sayers, I ask them how they really feel. I had someone giving me a bad time about the diet and they had a ton of carb crashes. I have other people telling me about how unhealthy it is to eat meat, and I ask about the intuit indians. They had a diet high in protein and fat, and very little in the way of disease that's plaguing us. I find that talking about studies, about actual disease and systemic inflammation leads to some information and idea exchange. It doesn't help that the media, some doctors and the government are pushing this, but most people will at least listen to why I do this. But I'm kind of stubborn about this whole "paleo" thing. I want to read the research, understand what I'm doing, and give a reasonable response to the whole "what's the caveman diet thing?" I want to give information, not embrace stupidity with pointless arguments.

I also tell them about my progress. 18 pounds in 25 days, no white hair when I had 3-4 inches of progression on my temples (I'm 30), reduced gray hair, lowered blood pressure, energy of a two-year-old, no recovery periods after working out, and a clear mind. I can verbally tussle my way out of about any argument where as carbs made my mind sluggish. Even better, I get a ton of compliments about how I'm doing and now looking. Paleo's changed my life, and I just get them to see that.

0
450f8be358a603c7ad02241235c8fb9d

on April 01, 2011
at 10:56 PM

I am vegetarian (not Paleo but thinking about it). Recently, I found out I am gluten intolerant. What I have now learned from this experience is that anyone who avoids the modern "diet" is looked at with the same horror/fascination as if they had a worm squiggling out of the corner of their mouth.

What we eat is very personal. As long as no one I worked with knew I was vegetarian (yes, we fare better when we skulk about under wraps, hoping no one will notice) - no problem - they just thought I preferred salads and other vegetarian fare. But once it became public "knowledge" - I became the "special needs child." Heaven help me if they knew I am considering the Paleo approach (although I will always be a vegetarian - maggoty ceremonial steaming hot Neanderthal livers ... well ...not an issue for me...) ;o)

So the fact that Craig Outhier wants to include the Paleo diet among his group of obnoxious food movements only underscores the "persecution" that nonconformists must endure. In the meantime, we are in GREAT health and looking to live long, healthy, and productive lives! Save yourself the grief. Don't talk about it. Do it.

B294f81b6a77c4ac1ad5fc55313dec84

(105)

on April 02, 2011
at 01:00 AM

((I likes this))

101b3a5c96d313d22262f65bdff20acf

(539)

on April 02, 2011
at 01:41 PM

With an attitude like this it's probably good you're not talking much about it in public.

0
Fe535c4994ac6176f76e1ff6d29eb08a

on April 01, 2011
at 06:22 PM

I see this as two seperate questions. How do I respond to people, and should you respond to that article.

First, the article, just leave it. The author is trolling for a fight in the comments, if you dont feed them, they starve and go away.

Second, responding to people, it all depends upon how they engage me in the conversation. Some come at me rather quizical and curious, at which point I will make a longer, more drawn out arguement which will explain the basis for this type of living. Of course, if they come at me with a "that cant be healthy," well have a look at what they are eating. From the information gathered here and from the other blogs/books Ive read I can rip down damn near any neolithic meal in seconds. When you show people you know more about what they are eating than they do, they shut up pretty quick.

Of course, we tend to be a fairly strong and fit group as well, so a well timed "Really? Youre telling ME how to eat?" often works wonders.

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