2

votes

Paleo a lifestyle?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 19, 2011 at 8:11 PM

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?

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 21, 2011
at 12:49 PM

I agree that progress will speak for itself. I can remember when i first started hearing from multiple people "you never look tired, you have no bags under your eyes". I hadn't told anyone bout paleo this or that at all. I started hearing that from multiple people and only then I'd be like, "all ive done is stop eating grains." people might take what we say a bit more seriously if they're staring a solid example of efficacy right in the face.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 21, 2011
at 12:46 PM

One thing I've learned about telling friends/family about what you're up to with eating, etc is that its better to really wait and see if you yourself are still at it in six months or one year. I mean, wait wait wait until you yourself feel comfortable with it, the eating is default, you can attest to its effects, etc. If you do it for one, two, three months only and then start spouting off to everyone it doesn't go far in the way of actual advice yknow? I always, though its incredibly tempting not to, try to wait at least six months until I even begin to start telling people what im up to.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 21, 2011
at 12:44 PM

good remark about not needing to go to extremes, etc. I too fall into that category across the board, for pretty much anything I think about or try out. "take it slow" and "KISS: keep it simple, stupid" are prolly two pieces of advice that while pretty common, really have helped me once they've sunken through my thick skull.

8515be19faab037d37a788633e32b9f1

(290)

on May 21, 2011
at 11:02 AM

@anonymous coward: thanks for your response! I see you too a lot of time to help me. I agree with you but I also feel since I am not craving carbs or dairy I don't want to go back to square one. I started a few months ago only eating organic and local. I did cut out meat for a while and that was so hard on my body. So thats when I started the grass-fed meat. I need to step back and take a breath and just enjoy eating healthier! My husband has been begging me to.

8515be19faab037d37a788633e32b9f1

(290)

on May 21, 2011
at 10:51 AM

Just bought this book! Waiting for it and I can't wait to read it! Thanks for the suggestion!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 20, 2011
at 07:26 PM

I would ask them: "How did hominids ever survive for 2.5 million years without grains?". (Answer: meat, fish, eggs, veggies, fruit, nuts, tubers, insects and honey. And in the northern winters, just meat for many months at a time. It's bloody amazing that we made it out of the paleolithic intact!)

1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

(3789)

on May 20, 2011
at 01:42 AM

Yes. I'd like my family to be paleo, but they do eat better now than when I ate like they did.

61e254571b4c792bca87340a090a3ea1

(480)

on May 20, 2011
at 12:36 AM

we can agree on something +1 take that :)

B7fec4bf394de8dfa6403067aea94e1b

(1546)

on May 19, 2011
at 10:38 PM

This is close to how I explained it to people when I started. The idea of paleo or primal can bring to mind images of plates of raw turkey legs and grass clippings. I also volunteered to cook meals for them to show them that I am eating real food. Also, letting other people be aware of any cheat meals I might have and how that isn't going to kill me or ruin everything seems to help.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on May 19, 2011
at 09:55 PM

Yeah I decided not to clutter the post with banter. You can delete comments by clicking the X in the corner of your comment when you put the cursor over your post

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 19, 2011
at 08:40 PM

@Stabby: I didn't know it was possible to delete comments. Is that what happened? My comment above is in response to one that disappeared. Maybe I would need a higher karma or something before being able to delete comments?

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 19, 2011
at 08:36 PM

@Stabby: I don't get it.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on May 19, 2011
at 08:35 PM

Glad to know I have so much other merit.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 19, 2011
at 08:31 PM

Upvoted solely for seeing the word-based oddity there.

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6 Answers

6
Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

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.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on May 19, 2011
at 09:55 PM

Yeah I decided not to clutter the post with banter. You can delete comments by clicking the X in the corner of your comment when you put the cursor over your post

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on May 19, 2011
at 08:35 PM

Glad to know I have so much other merit.

8515be19faab037d37a788633e32b9f1

(290)

on May 21, 2011
at 10:51 AM

Just bought this book! Waiting for it and I can't wait to read it! Thanks for the suggestion!

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 19, 2011
at 08:40 PM

@Stabby: I didn't know it was possible to delete comments. Is that what happened? My comment above is in response to one that disappeared. Maybe I would need a higher karma or something before being able to delete comments?

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 19, 2011
at 08:31 PM

Upvoted solely for seeing the word-based oddity there.

6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

on May 19, 2011
at 08:36 PM

@Stabby: I don't get it.

5
6f2c00fcbf48c69f0ea212239b3e1178

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.

61e254571b4c792bca87340a090a3ea1

(480)

on May 20, 2011
at 12:36 AM

we can agree on something +1 take that :)

8515be19faab037d37a788633e32b9f1

(290)

on May 21, 2011
at 11:02 AM

@anonymous coward: thanks for your response! I see you too a lot of time to help me. I agree with you but I also feel since I am not craving carbs or dairy I don't want to go back to square one. I started a few months ago only eating organic and local. I did cut out meat for a while and that was so hard on my body. So thats when I started the grass-fed meat. I need to step back and take a breath and just enjoy eating healthier! My husband has been begging me to.

1
79648d1e9f1a8d25d9450a8a1d18fe64

(395)

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...

1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

(3789)

on May 20, 2011
at 01:42 AM

Yes. I'd like my family to be paleo, but they do eat better now than when I ate like they did.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 21, 2011
at 12:46 PM

One thing I've learned about telling friends/family about what you're up to with eating, etc is that its better to really wait and see if you yourself are still at it in six months or one year. I mean, wait wait wait until you yourself feel comfortable with it, the eating is default, you can attest to its effects, etc. If you do it for one, two, three months only and then start spouting off to everyone it doesn't go far in the way of actual advice yknow? I always, though its incredibly tempting not to, try to wait at least six months until I even begin to start telling people what im up to.

1
1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

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"

B7fec4bf394de8dfa6403067aea94e1b

(1546)

on May 19, 2011
at 10:38 PM

This is close to how I explained it to people when I started. The idea of paleo or primal can bring to mind images of plates of raw turkey legs and grass clippings. I also volunteered to cook meals for them to show them that I am eating real food. Also, letting other people be aware of any cheat meals I might have and how that isn't going to kill me or ruin everything seems to help.

0
8515be19faab037d37a788633e32b9f1

(290)

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%"

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 21, 2011
at 12:44 PM

good remark about not needing to go to extremes, etc. I too fall into that category across the board, for pretty much anything I think about or try out. "take it slow" and "KISS: keep it simple, stupid" are prolly two pieces of advice that while pretty common, really have helped me once they've sunken through my thick skull.

0
Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

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.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on May 21, 2011
at 12:49 PM

I agree that progress will speak for itself. I can remember when i first started hearing from multiple people "you never look tired, you have no bags under your eyes". I hadn't told anyone bout paleo this or that at all. I started hearing that from multiple people and only then I'd be like, "all ive done is stop eating grains." people might take what we say a bit more seriously if they're staring a solid example of efficacy right in the face.

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