10

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How do I explain eating paleo to my dad?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created July 15, 2012 at 2:51 AM

I'm 17 and still live under my parents roof so I kind of have no choice but to eat what I'm served. I prepare my breakfast and lunch when I can, but when it comes to dinner, my dad is always asking me why I don't just eat what my mom makes. If we have chicken and rice, I pass on the rice. "Gluten and grains aren't bad for you like they all say," my dad will tell me. "We're all going to die anyway." "You're being too concerned with health and stuff." "Where are you getting your information from?" He's very much against my new paleo-lifestyle. I was making clarified butter and he asked me what it was. I told him and he said, "Why do you need to clarify it? What was wrong with it?" Btw, he's a strong baptist so I can't give evolution as a reason of eating paleo. I don't know how to explain how awesome paleo is.. Help!

4303a65967884e68bfae59817c227351

(1881)

on July 16, 2012
at 04:34 AM

Coming from another Christian which may help - I believe we were all made in God's image and that He provided us with everything we need to thrive here in this world. I don't think God has high blood pressure and cancer and a rap sheet of other ailments. We shouldn't either! We should not be creating "chemical food" or forcing things to become edible(ish). I'm pretty sure He knew what He was doing, especially with food. The plants and animals that roam around us are exactly what God designed us to flourish on.

4303a65967884e68bfae59817c227351

(1881)

on July 16, 2012
at 04:28 AM

Coming from another Christian which may help - I believe we were all made in God's image and that He provided us for everything we need to thrive here in this world, and food being no different. We should not be creating "chemical food" or forcing things to become edible(ish). The plants and animals provided to us are exactly what God designed us to flourish on.

7fb6efb15030ea965d00be6e8eb13fd4

(253)

on July 15, 2012
at 07:19 PM

Yes! Robb Wolf is basically my role model! Haha. Being paleo as a teen is eally hard, but I feel a lot more motivated now. Thanks or sharing your experience (:

7fb6efb15030ea965d00be6e8eb13fd4

(253)

on July 15, 2012
at 07:11 PM

That's a great point. I've been thinking of using that as a rebuttal. It's so true that the bread we eat now isn't the same thing as what people ate in Biblical times. Things have changed.

7fb6efb15030ea965d00be6e8eb13fd4

(253)

on July 15, 2012
at 07:08 PM

That's a great idea (: I'm actually reading Robb Wolf's "The Paleo Solution" right now. There's a lot of good info that I can use to share with them. Also, I recently made ratatouille for dinner for my family. It was completely paleo and everyone loved it. In fact, my "anti-veggie" younger sisters loved it so much that they've been begging me to make it again.

7fb6efb15030ea965d00be6e8eb13fd4

(253)

on July 15, 2012
at 06:58 PM

Thanks for the encouraging ad humorous comment (: I've actually said similar things to my parents on different occasions lol

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 15, 2012
at 05:55 PM

The first remark will bait up any Baptist I know for a good fight. Not a good idea to go there until you're ready to leave home.

91f5be33a7ec9f59a5c528af3c75175d

on July 15, 2012
at 04:52 PM

Yea I know it's just my iPhone doesnt correct it, or over corrects it and changes the word I want to put in. Any way hope the explaining to your dad goes well fella, if he is biblical just say your eating foods that are naturally produced or that god left for us to Stewart I guess.

A65499f2f8c65602881550fe309cd48c

(3501)

on July 15, 2012
at 04:41 PM

Dang it....I didn't mean to up vote Karen's comment. You know, sometimes people's grammar, spelling, etc. isn't all that, and that's alright. Sometimes, due to electronic keyboards, auto-correct, fat fingers, poor eyesight or any number of reasons, your personal editor just isn't available to make sure what you've written is crystal clear for those who can't figure it out. Get. Over. It. It irks the S*** out of me when people get undies in a bunch over this stuff. It could potentially prevent someone from asking something important because they're worried they'll be graded.

91f5be33a7ec9f59a5c528af3c75175d

on July 15, 2012
at 04:18 PM

Jeeez perdantic I was trying help no wonder people are selfish and quiet because people shoot them down, so Karen you know what do one, critique that douche!

Dea5f440698f5488b975ada2f61daa0d

(393)

on July 15, 2012
at 02:27 PM

It sounds like he might be taking some of this personally, but he doesn't need to. You are still a teenager, after all, and trying new things is normal. You may love your Mom and her food may be tasty, but you are currently testing you body's reactions to certain foods, mostly grains and processed carbohydrates. I hope he understands that being concerned with your health is directly related to caring for your body, your God-given vessel. Clarifying butter could be that you are trying foods from different cultures, perhaps as an experiment.

239bcbf6d0013fd74890f5c7305daf64

(664)

on July 15, 2012
at 12:14 PM

This just came to me...Make dinner for them! Make a purely paleo dinner for the family! Just and idea, but you can demonstrate to them how real and normal Paleo cooking is. On the brass tacks of the matter, really why is Paleo different...the biggest this is no grains. Other than that, most of our meals are very appetising and tasty.

239bcbf6d0013fd74890f5c7305daf64

(664)

on July 15, 2012
at 11:43 AM

Mikaela, I wish you the best of luck. It is really hard when your in your situation. I would recommend finding some easy to read and easy to understand articles to show them. They may be more curious than condescending. I applaud your efforts! And +1 for posting such a great question!

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 15, 2012
at 11:04 AM

Punctuation and grammar are helpful. They don't need to be perfect, but a certain bare minimum would at least make your answer intelligible.

A65499f2f8c65602881550fe309cd48c

(3501)

on July 15, 2012
at 03:48 AM

I applaud you for making such a great decision for your health. Perhaps in time as they see you thrive that will help them see. Choose your battles wisely and keep plugging along. I wish I had your smarts regarding healthy eating when I was your age.

7fb6efb15030ea965d00be6e8eb13fd4

(253)

on July 15, 2012
at 03:04 AM

Thank you so much for the great answer. I feel a lot more confident now. I know it's still going to be hard, but a least now I have an idea of what to do when my dad questions me again. Thanks again for the advice!

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12 Answers

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11
Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on July 15, 2012
at 02:59 AM

It depends on your parents - you might be able to explain it as just a personal thing: "I feel better eating like this; I've noticed [x, y, z] health improvements."

A lot of people feel defensive about Paleo because they feel you're trying to pressure them to eat the same way. Make it clear that it's your personal choice because you personally feel best with this way of eating, not something you're trying to force on them.

Honestly, if your dad is unwilling to consider evolution from a scientific perspective I doubt he'd be open to any other scientific arguments that contradict anything he believes for whatever reason. So I wouldn't even try to go down that road. Just pitch it as a personal preference, make sure you address any side concerns (for example, they might be worried that you're not getting enough calories - you may have to go through a day or two of calorie intake to prove that this isn't the case), and try not to make a big deal out of it. The less they notice it, the less grief they can give you about it.

7fb6efb15030ea965d00be6e8eb13fd4

(253)

on July 15, 2012
at 03:04 AM

Thank you so much for the great answer. I feel a lot more confident now. I know it's still going to be hard, but a least now I have an idea of what to do when my dad questions me again. Thanks again for the advice!

3
07c86972a3bea0b0dc17752e9d2f5642

on July 15, 2012
at 08:33 PM

No need to use the word "paleo." Say you want to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, fishes, etc. because it is the food that God has designed to be a blessing to humans and nourish them as temples of God, etc, and that its a way to simplify and be more appreciative of God's creation. If he pushes Biblical grains, point out that back then, grains went through a lot of preparation and bear no resemblance to the way we consume grains today.

I grew up in a Baptist family and I know they are usually receptive to ideas that stem from the idea that modern society has turned away from God's plan for humans.

2
91f5be33a7ec9f59a5c528af3c75175d

on July 15, 2012
at 10:14 AM

What I said to my parents was caveman style of foods berries veg meat to be frank an sum it up, and isaid everything that isn't factory made They got the drift, an are thinking of trying it to after I told them about insulin in most carbs try eat think I scared them a bit. Haha

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 15, 2012
at 11:04 AM

Punctuation and grammar are helpful. They don't need to be perfect, but a certain bare minimum would at least make your answer intelligible.

91f5be33a7ec9f59a5c528af3c75175d

on July 15, 2012
at 04:18 PM

Jeeez perdantic I was trying help no wonder people are selfish and quiet because people shoot them down, so Karen you know what do one, critique that douche!

91f5be33a7ec9f59a5c528af3c75175d

on July 15, 2012
at 04:52 PM

Yea I know it's just my iPhone doesnt correct it, or over corrects it and changes the word I want to put in. Any way hope the explaining to your dad goes well fella, if he is biblical just say your eating foods that are naturally produced or that god left for us to Stewart I guess.

A65499f2f8c65602881550fe309cd48c

(3501)

on July 15, 2012
at 04:41 PM

Dang it....I didn't mean to up vote Karen's comment. You know, sometimes people's grammar, spelling, etc. isn't all that, and that's alright. Sometimes, due to electronic keyboards, auto-correct, fat fingers, poor eyesight or any number of reasons, your personal editor just isn't available to make sure what you've written is crystal clear for those who can't figure it out. Get. Over. It. It irks the S*** out of me when people get undies in a bunch over this stuff. It could potentially prevent someone from asking something important because they're worried they'll be graded.

2
58d456f4c4d551a697e65ada8c32ad4f

on July 15, 2012
at 05:15 AM

Ask your folks if they'd be open to reading a book? Sometimes its good to show them some knowledge about the subject. Something even slightly entertaining or witty, Robb Wolf maybe?

I know my mom didn't always seem to be really interested in a lot of what I had to say when it came to health, but after I told her some stuff about physical therapy stretches and how her excuses for not doing them were dumb and she told my idea to her physical therapist, who thought I was brilliant for the idea... my mom started to listen to me more, and this was after I even had a massage license for more than a year. This past spring she even told me I've taught her a lot about food and cooking. Granted, I'm also 34 and a bit older. But, sometimes some facts with science behind it can go a long way. Also, standing your ground and offering to cook your own meals more or cook a meal or 2 for the family to show them what you're up to might help.

7fb6efb15030ea965d00be6e8eb13fd4

(253)

on July 15, 2012
at 07:08 PM

That's a great idea (: I'm actually reading Robb Wolf's "The Paleo Solution" right now. There's a lot of good info that I can use to share with them. Also, I recently made ratatouille for dinner for my family. It was completely paleo and everyone loved it. In fact, my "anti-veggie" younger sisters loved it so much that they've been begging me to make it again.

2
03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

on July 15, 2012
at 03:44 AM

Ugh, I know just how you feel. It is the same way with my parents when they visit, and I am old and married! I would not try to persuade them. Maybe you could joke that there are much worse life choices and its either this as a hobby or drugs?

Good luck!

7fb6efb15030ea965d00be6e8eb13fd4

(253)

on July 15, 2012
at 06:58 PM

Thanks for the encouraging ad humorous comment (: I've actually said similar things to my parents on different occasions lol

2
35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on July 15, 2012
at 03:19 AM

You could make the point that we may be the first generation to live shorter lives than our parents and that you don't want to suffer that fate.

I personally wouldn't bother trying to convince anyone that my diet is better than theirs. You can just say that you feel better without grains. That makes it not a judgment about his diet just a statement about yours.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 15, 2012
at 05:55 PM

The first remark will bait up any Baptist I know for a good fight. Not a good idea to go there until you're ready to leave home.

1
5e63e3fa78e998736106a4a5b9aef58c

on July 15, 2012
at 06:57 AM

Since discussing human evolution isn't going to be a useful means to convince him, perhaps citing genetic manipulation of grains by humans would be a better approach? The grains we have now aren't the same as the ones that went into all that bread mentioned in the Bible, and they have much more dire physiological effects on people. The same goes for corn--what Native people grew and ate wasn't the same as the hybridized varieties we have now.

Soy's another GMO commodity crop that should be avoided--and if you eat processed foods, it's in everything.

If you haven't read William Davis' Wheat Belly, I recommend it; your local library should carry it. Or check out Davis' blog: http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/ to get a better sense of his arguments.

7fb6efb15030ea965d00be6e8eb13fd4

(253)

on July 15, 2012
at 07:11 PM

That's a great point. I've been thinking of using that as a rebuttal. It's so true that the bread we eat now isn't the same thing as what people ate in Biblical times. Things have changed.

1
Cd77fd01d8be999aa91b8678e262f419

(825)

on July 15, 2012
at 03:55 AM

Do you have a person you can point your dad to, as a living breathing example of paleo? Someone like Robb Wolf or (for Primal) Mark Sisson? There are guys who exemplify paleo and are in incredible shape, and I know their stories can be pretty powerful to the older generations :)

See also http://paleohacks.com/questions/11208/are-there-celebrities-who-are-paleo-whom-we-can-cite-as-good-examples#axzz20exxp3AX

Hopefully with time it will become easier. I went vegetarian at 14 and had so many comments like that one levelled at me. "Why don't you eat this, it's perfectly good food" and all the like. I don't remember exactly what arguments I gave but I'm pretty sure it was just time that helped my family accept it. Oh, and the belief "this is just a phase all teenagers go through" (one that lasted another 14 years..). You could try that angle: "I'll try it for three/six months and see if it works"?

7fb6efb15030ea965d00be6e8eb13fd4

(253)

on July 15, 2012
at 07:19 PM

Yes! Robb Wolf is basically my role model! Haha. Being paleo as a teen is eally hard, but I feel a lot more motivated now. Thanks or sharing your experience (:

0
1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

on July 15, 2012
at 04:18 PM

I believe this is sort of a repetitive question. I would pout you towards this older thread. http://paleohacks.com/questions/52417/sell-paleo-in-one-paragraph-or-less#axzz20hzcCW1i

0
Medium avatar

(10611)

on July 15, 2012
at 02:46 PM

Tell him you're trying to eat like a cave man, or a nomad, or your grandparents, if that's more acceptable. Watch the movie Breaking Away, where the kid pretends he's Italian, and pay attention to how the dad reacts. You dad will probably laugh at you, but he'll think about it, so long as you don't go out of your way to be offensive.

Also beg them to feed you more meat. Offer to shop for it.

0
Medium avatar

(3213)

on July 15, 2012
at 12:08 PM

I don't like answering questions with a link, but this one is really good

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/primalblueprintflyer.pdf

0
Medium avatar

(3213)

on July 15, 2012
at 12:06 PM

I don't like answering questions with a link, but this one is really good

/Users/alvarochahin/Desktop/primalblueprintflyer.jpg

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