I just started eating paleo 10 days ago. I feel great I have not had any grains or beans or dairy or sugar ( of that I know of). I feel great! When I mention that I feel good about making this into a lifestyle for my family and I, I get a lot of concerned questions. More than anything the typical response is our bodies were not made to eat too much meat and no carbohydrates in the form of grains etc. I eat lots of veggies and fruit and healthy fats. But since I'm new to this lifestyle I am not too sure how to back up my feelings. Any advice?
asked byLisa_6 (290)
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on May 19, 2011
at 08:27 PM
I think you could benefit from reading The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf. He covers all of this well, and with style.
The reasoning behind some of these anti-paleo arguments is astonishingly poor. Firstly, there are cultures that eat literally no grains and are very healthy like the Kitavans. Oops. Second there are cultures that have eaten 95% of their diet as meat and were healthy like the Inuit. But I agree, we don't want to eat "too much" meat. But that is a tautology, as "too much" is something inherently not desirable. How much is too much, though? Who gets to decide that? That's why we always keep learning, to know how much meat or how much of anything else is a good idea. Paleo is diverse after all. Some people will say that it has to be super high protein, others disagree. Paleo is simply a way of thinking about what we might be best adapted to eat for health.
on May 19, 2011
at 08:29 PM
You could always just take it one step at a time and simply start eating traditional food made from scratch, which would include all the paleo food but also would include grains, legumes, dairy, etc. The transition from SAD to traditional food is 99%+ of the way out of the ills of modern society. There's no reason to try to rush into optimizing that last 1% or less before you get the other 99%+.
The main pitfall that you have to deal with when you start eating paleo or any other health-oriented eating routine is that if you eat like a normal person, putting basically any discipline onto your diet that encourages more whole foods will make your life much, much better. Normal people who start eating raw vegan really do get much healthier and get rid of a lot of their old problems, contrary to the dogmatic anti-vegan outlook you get from most people on this website. But that doesn't mean it's optimal or as good as paleo.
But that goes the other way too. Just like raw vegan is more limiting than a traditional whole food diet, paleo is too. Yes, raw vegan is more limiting than paleo, but they're both more limiting than a traditional eating routine. So what if a traditional diet really is optimal over paleo? That's hard to tell unless you try it too. If you go straight to paleo, and you're anything close to a normal person, your life will improve to a ridiculous degree and you'll literally enter an alternate reality of super awesomeness. But does that mean it's optimal? No. If a normal person tries raw vegan, the same sort of thing will happen.
The point is, even if eating a traditional whole food diet (which would include grains, beans, and dairy) is optimal, anybody going from SAD to paleo will notice a gigantic improvement in their health (just like they would if they went from SAD to raw vegan!), and notice that they're suddenly healthier than almost anybody they meet. But again, that doesn't mean that it's optimal! The fact is, most people's diet and lifestyle is so ridiculously bad, that any sort of discipline at all that leads to eating more whole foods will put you miles above almost everybody you meet. And paleo is one of the easiest, most concise ways to get that discipline.
So I would recommend that you don't get ahead of yourself and rush into trying to optimize that last 1% or less. Switch to a diet that lets you eat any whole foods you want, whether meat, fish, nuts, veggies, fruit, dairy, grains, legumes, or whatever. Don't even bother with all the talk on websites like this about how you should eat fruit in moderation or nuts in moderation or how grains are evil or dairy is whatever. Just quitting all the junk food and switching to a whole food diet will get you 99%+ out of the ills of modern society. Again, no need to try to optimize that last 1% or whatever until you get the first 99+.
Plus, you shouldn't be dogmatic and just assume that paleo is an optimization over traditional anyway. Most people don't even try traditional. Many people on here will tell you that gluten is evil because of a bunch of studies, and will back that up by saying that in their actual experience, wheat/gluten gives them IBS, migraines, or whatever else. But of all those people, who actually bought organic, high-quality whole wheat and combined it with other traditional ingredients and made bread or pasta from scratch? Probably nobody. When they say "wheat" or "gluten", they're probably referring to bread or pasta they bought at a store or something.
This is the bottom line: Eat grains, dairy, and legumes if you want. Eating a traditional whole food diet is 99%+ out of the problems of modern society. Don't rush into optimizing the last 1% or whatever, and don't even assume there IS any 1% to optimize. Perhaps a traditional whole food diet IS optimal. Don't take anything on authority; test this stuff in your own life.
on May 20, 2011
at 12:02 AM
As much as I care about my extended family and friends and want to see them healthy, I have learned the hard way that I am incapable of convincing anyone of anything at anytime. They have to decide for themselves that they want to learn something new or change an old way. So, I just keep how I eat and what I am doing to myself. Most often people will notice that I look different (better) and ask what I've been up to. I keep it brief and mention how great I feel and perhaps recommend a book (Primal Blueprint or The Paleo Solution for more technically inclined friends). People change only when they want to and only they can change their own minds...
on May 19, 2011
at 08:55 PM
I would just tell them you are concerned that these things don't agree with your system so you are doing the best you can with what does agree with you. It makes it clear that you have health issues without being specific enough to argue with.
If I do get pushback I respond as if they had said "I am worried about your health and want to be sure this isn't going to make it harder for us to be close" and say things like "I am getting regular bloodwork and will reevaluate every few months depending on that and how I feel, but don't worry it is just what I eat we will have lots of time to (talk/eat together/rockclimb) still"
on May 21, 2011
at 10:50 AM
I started this trying to loose weight as I go through it I am realizing the healthy lifestyle part. I physically don't look unhealthy but I am out of shape and need to put health back on top of my list. I plan on starting crossfit soon and that also seems to bring up concerned questions. I appreciate all your responses and I love to research so I will Be looking up facts! I also like the comments that say to basically relax and I don't need to take it so extreme. I needed to hear that! That's my personality and I know I need to relax and learn the first "99%"
on May 19, 2011
at 08:31 PM
Are you trying to lose weight? If you are, then eventually your progress will speak for itself. You have to be patient with your family while you plug away with paleo. Saying you "feel great" is one thing, but be prepared to answer their questions, and/or direct them to online sources, by explaining your choice scientifically.