6

votes

Dealing with non-followers

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created February 16, 2010 at 3:22 PM

How do you handle family/friends that do not follow the paleo/primal lifestyle? My strategy has been to let the results speak for themselves, but that has become more and more difficult. People are impressed when my fianc?? tells them that eating this way has cured her GURD and IBS, but the second she goes into details about the diet and not eating grains, they immediately dismiss the results.

The usual questions I get are about grains and fiber. I can talk about all the studies, give them documentaries or books, point them to the various blogs, but is it worth it?

How does everyone else deal with these situations or do you simply not worry about it?

04293f705870e1837b8670d3c1cd5f67

(2261)

on July 17, 2010
at 08:00 PM

I just wanted to mention that I was recently traveling and as usual, it can be hard to eat correctly (I was on a sailboat) and while I brought my grass-fed beef on board, and was able to obtain fresh caught salmon I ALSO ate the grains they brought when low on provisions. I had some veggies & fruit. I ate too much processed foods like bread, crackers, chips, & rice.(I usually never or rarely eat) now I am PAYING for it. I have a cold for the first time in four years! First thing I bought in port was Coconut Oil...Yum

04293f705870e1837b8670d3c1cd5f67

(2261)

on July 17, 2010
at 07:52 PM

I just wanted to mention that I was recently traveling and as usual, it can be hard to eat correctly (I was on a sailboat) and while I brought my grass-fed beef on board, we ran out and we were left with the grains they brought. :( We were able to obtain salmon of course. That's a good thing. But, had no veggies. I ate too much processed foods like bread, crackers, chips, & no I am PAYING for it. I have a cold for the first time in four years!

D251185e140e7f3d8df603a08fdbeabd

(95)

on April 28, 2010
at 07:24 PM

My wife & I were just discussing this topic last night & came to the same conclusion. We all have to make our own decisions & live with them, for better or for worse.

Abb08da08e327d776926f2c9e4856582

(225)

on April 27, 2010
at 11:10 PM

My allergist once told me that he was really impressed that I don't eat the foods I'm allergic to. He said the vast majority of his patients know what these things do to them, but they just can't manage to not eat them! Major dietary changes is simply out of most people's purview.

A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

(4183)

on April 26, 2010
at 04:12 PM

That reminds me of a Nicholas Taleb maxim: You can only convince those persons who can benefit from being convinced.

2ca12e89c4d756d36e149dcad91a9b58

(0)

on April 25, 2010
at 06:46 PM

excellent answer -- wish I could vote for it twice!

Ce0b5fd94b1034e96cf710b6f138c29d

(4089)

on April 25, 2010
at 04:14 PM

Agreed. It cheeses me off whenever I get told to go vegan. I wouldn't want to be guilty of the same sort of intrusive, sanctimonious, disrespectful behaviour myself.

0fd24d837dbad54740f53cc5f72068a0

(285)

on April 24, 2010
at 06:20 PM

Nice! That really put it in perspective for me. Paleo is working for us, but there is no reason to get all crusader and put us in the same class as the vegan sect that often insults and tries to push and prod. These are OUR choices. Live and let live.

  • 03591e15b7650ac61d96dd0141427cf0

    asked by

    (355)
  • Views
    1.9K
  • Last Activity
    1473D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

12 Answers

best answer

5
48d73cb880d957ebc147d658f21c0318

on February 16, 2010
at 03:59 PM

The first thing that I do in these kind of situations -- presenting non standard ideas, bryceb, is to determine whether the curious questioner is really asking a question or making a statement disguised as a question. If it's the later, I just quit, because he really doesn't want to find out anything. He just wants to tell you you're wrong -- because you're not doing what he wants you to. There's no way to discuss anything new under those conditions.

Ha! I just looked up, and Acton said the same thing :-)

A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

(4183)

on April 26, 2010
at 04:12 PM

That reminds me of a Nicholas Taleb maxim: You can only convince those persons who can benefit from being convinced.

18
0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on April 24, 2010
at 05:59 PM

Forgive me as this is a slightly cheeky answer but I turned your question around for you.

How do you handle family/friends that do not follow the vegan lifestyle? My strategy has been to let the results speak for themselves, but that has become more and more difficult. People are impressed when my fianc?? tells them that eating this way has cured her GURD and IBS, but the second she goes into details about the diet and not eating meat, they immediately dismiss the results.

The usual questions I get are about meat and protein. I can talk about all the studies, give them documentaries or books, point them to the various blogs, but is it worth it?

How does everyone else deal with these situations or do you simply not worry about it?

I think that to most people who are not that interested, talking about any health, lifestyle or diet to them sounds pretty much the same. If people ask you about it just give matter of fact answers and leave it at that, most people don't care about studies or blogs. People who want to know more can do so themselves. If not then its up to them. The freedom to do as you choose is an important thing for everyone. Just don't worry about it.

0fd24d837dbad54740f53cc5f72068a0

(285)

on April 24, 2010
at 06:20 PM

Nice! That really put it in perspective for me. Paleo is working for us, but there is no reason to get all crusader and put us in the same class as the vegan sect that often insults and tries to push and prod. These are OUR choices. Live and let live.

D251185e140e7f3d8df603a08fdbeabd

(95)

on April 28, 2010
at 07:24 PM

My wife & I were just discussing this topic last night & came to the same conclusion. We all have to make our own decisions & live with them, for better or for worse.

2ca12e89c4d756d36e149dcad91a9b58

(0)

on April 25, 2010
at 06:46 PM

excellent answer -- wish I could vote for it twice!

Ce0b5fd94b1034e96cf710b6f138c29d

(4089)

on April 25, 2010
at 04:14 PM

Agreed. It cheeses me off whenever I get told to go vegan. I wouldn't want to be guilty of the same sort of intrusive, sanctimonious, disrespectful behaviour myself.

4
A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on February 16, 2010
at 06:14 PM

I think it's curious that you tagged this question with "evangelism" because you are essentially talking about "making disciples" or not, right?

If people are genuinely curious and interested, then I suggest that you invite them over to cook and eat with you. Once they see that paleo meals can be delicious and satisfying, they might begin to want to know more. Then you can give them reading materials that confirm that the yummy meal was indeed healthy! But ultimately, I find that offering paleo food that's tasty and satisfying is the best first course of action. Then hit them with the research.

4
6b73f0c4b971e2dde7147920e329fe7f

(2041)

on February 16, 2010
at 03:43 PM

For what purpose? If others are skeptical or apathetic, don't make their choices your business. As much as it hurts to see people you care about making mistakes, often there's nothing you can or should do about it.

2
3e88219ad76dbcdb3d96d2a0788b83a0

(155)

on April 24, 2010
at 06:49 PM

Yes, interesting question. We have this problem in our family. Step-daughter has what we believe to be Chronic Pain Syndrome, yet will do NOTHING but take drugs to try to manage. She will not even entertain the notion that ketogenic diets do, indeed, have an effect on migraine, and other problems that she has. Can't go there anymore. It's a waste of our time, even though she can see our results. To make matters worse, her "religion" says to eat grains in abundance and meat sparingly. Oy!

Abb08da08e327d776926f2c9e4856582

(225)

on April 27, 2010
at 11:10 PM

My allergist once told me that he was really impressed that I don't eat the foods I'm allergic to. He said the vast majority of his patients know what these things do to them, but they just can't manage to not eat them! Major dietary changes is simply out of most people's purview.

1
1f2c69b50cde46bac29fd4d7f15aecb2

on July 29, 2013
at 06:09 AM

This seems to be another question which may require a paradigm shift. The question itself presumes the need to "deal" with unreceptive family members.

I don't believe any of us are obligated to "deal" with family members who are closed-minded and/or meddlesome and attempt to coerce us into eating the standard American diet. Any feeling of being threatened and so needing to judge or control others is a phenomenon that belongs fully in the jurisdiction of said family member, not in the jurisdiction of the person eating a Paleo diet. "Dealing" with them is not our responsibility.

This having been said...

My beloved spouse used to repeatedly mock me for eating meat, bacon, and grass-fed butter, and warn me that I would get fat. I generally would peacefully smile, ignore the comments, and continue eating butter.

However, if I felt like having fun, and if I was getting mocked with high enough frequency to justify the following, I would interject and say, "INTERESTING... WHICH ONE OF US HAS A LOVE HANDLE, AND WHICH ONE DOESN'T?!" (Hint: I do not have a love handle). Or, "Interesting... how's YOUR diet working out for you." Or, "Interesting, why don't you check back with me in a year from now when you have another love handle, and I still look like a skinny-ass porn star?" Etc.

Strangely, my beloved spouse one day randomly decided to eat a Paleo diet as well, and also strangely accredited this to Tim Ferris. Spouses' love handle disappeared coincident with this decision. The mockery of me for eating butter has mysteriously diminished. Interesting. Interesting indeed.

1
64242a1130eb51f4852f78beed38b3d5

(1343)

on April 28, 2010
at 08:38 PM

I have found it is slippery slope that can get you into preachy waters quick. I usually just show the results and point to the websites. If they come back a good talk begins.

1
B485f0cf678c0b420941e883adfea28d

on April 25, 2010
at 06:27 PM

I think it's extremely important that we remember to respect the lifestyle decisions of others. It's natural to want to tell the whole world about this amazing new lifestyle we've found and how much better we feel and how YOU can do this too! It's one thing if people ask about your diet and you respectfully explain how you've changed your eating, etc. Otherwise, I say just don't talk about it. And I live with two vegetarians. If they ever ask, I'll tell them. But for now, whatevs. Different strokes for different folks.

1
431274eafd914ee34d9c57262c1f617a

on April 24, 2010
at 11:48 PM

I've learned to just say that I'm on a doctor prescribed diet. If they ask for details I tell them no processed foods and no grains. (This is actually true, as one of my docs is Dr Westman) Hearing it's MD prescribed seems to limit the criticism. What I get most often is...."oh do you have celiac" and when I say no, I sometimes get confused looks.

1
Bebc8909d95205d0f266c839304c7d3c

on April 24, 2010
at 07:03 PM

I tell them that this is what works for me, and explain all the changes I've experienced. However, I also tell them that it's not for everyone. If you do it wrong or half-way, you can really end up damaging yourself. I point them to some of the excellent resources on the web that will help them get started in the same way I did.

0
699d8d5bb5d186c23c79aef4f7bf1145

on April 28, 2010
at 06:39 PM

If I sense the person has a genuine interest and will listen with an open mind, I will carefully explain why I eat the way I do. To those who ask but are closed minded or just think I'm weird I say I eat this way because it's a religious choice. Then when they ask what religion I say "Atheist".

Trying to convert others is a no-win situation. Take responsibility for your own choices and lead by example. Most people just aren't interested in a thoughful approach to diet and exercise (or a thoughtful approach to anything for that matter).

0
Acfd35c9e350bb4c0c17810af4decd95

on April 27, 2010
at 01:17 PM

No one here is interested in doing without carbs. I make the simple statement that I cut out all carbs and their faces go blank. I just do my thing and let them continue doing their thing.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!