11

votes

Does anyone get discriminated against on Paleo?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 23, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Hi I'm in Sixth Form and thought the Paleo Diet might be quite fun to try, but I knew people would say things even before I started.

Obviously all your friends have the average Joe ham sandwich, crisps, chocolate bar and (maybe) a piece of fruit.

Then I'm there with my mackerel and salad getting funny looks and people asking why I am eating that? Or they'll look at me and say what's that? But I really don't want to have to tell them as I don't interrogate anyone else over why they're eating what they're eating because its NORMAL.

Also my bag began to really reek of mackerel. Fair enough. But I think I should be able to eat what I want without people trying to disuade me away from it. In one of my classes my teacher even said "Why don't you just eat bread?" - well this was when my bag had really stunk of mackerel.

It's hard sometimes, but I don't want to give it up because I know I'm doing whats right and I just need a bit of support from time to time.

0a46a71bd3dca60276717f099b350132

(250)

on May 26, 2011
at 06:56 PM

+1. It makes it much easier at luncheons and business dinners where you can't really choose your options. People still may give you funny looks, but more people are seeing gluten-free as a viable diet option than some weirdo caveman diet you found on the Internet... ;)

A6e2b231f69366ce825476c5a6dcfff6

(1967)

on May 26, 2011
at 03:17 PM

Eating bread makes me feel like crap.

60199d3a580a4e17969059609e48e678

(883)

on May 26, 2011
at 12:55 AM

I say this all the time and they all retort with "no pasta either?!" Its amazing to me how many people are seemingly addicted to grain products... most of the time I just shrug and say "because I don't like how it makes me feel" simple, sweet and I don't have to explain any further.

F087e79f7e8a76613c9b82528ab6dc3f

(580)

on May 25, 2011
at 11:26 PM

I take zip lock baggies for each sardine or fishy thing. When I am finished,m I zip the can inside and throw it away...no smell

F087e79f7e8a76613c9b82528ab6dc3f

(580)

on May 25, 2011
at 11:25 PM

" Your cupcakes are grossing me out..I wish you would not eat them in front of me."

F087e79f7e8a76613c9b82528ab6dc3f

(580)

on May 25, 2011
at 11:23 PM

internal inflammation!1 awesome quip

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on February 25, 2011
at 12:00 AM

Great chuckle!!

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on February 24, 2011
at 09:30 PM

My sister-in-law is going to nursing school and told me the other day how important fiber is for people's diets so that they're "regular." All I could do was smile and tell her that I'm plenty regular without the beans and grains and stuff with fiber added to it. 8)

0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335

(1591)

on February 24, 2011
at 01:24 AM

Yes, let's save discrimination for a situation where it actually applies.

E2b9c679315c7c9c7265783dde89f350

(1303)

on February 24, 2011
at 12:40 AM

I know this doesn't help with the peer pressure/intrusive questioning thing, but have you considered bringing your mackerel in canned and opening it when you're ready to eat? Or, maybe get one of those great containers that seals airtight? It won't help while you're eating, but might help you to stay incognito until then.

E0b0d94cebef8ed2371d02ec2ecb5461

(94)

on February 23, 2011
at 11:56 PM

'Because what it does to teeth grosses me out.' brilliant

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on February 23, 2011
at 09:27 PM

A secret. Most people don't love bread half as much as they do your stakes.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on February 23, 2011
at 09:22 PM

"'Because it's not fit for a privileged citizen of the world's only hegemonic superpower.'----nice.

2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on February 23, 2011
at 06:10 PM

Yes, I like "I don't like to eat foods that cause internal inflammtion"

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on February 23, 2011
at 03:43 PM

You *ARE* doing what's right, and I think its wonderful...don't let those people pressure you into going off paleo. Think about your future, and how healthy you will be in 20 years, compared to them.

8c2ed9a35f6c4d35a3552a13ddabec8d

(525)

on February 23, 2011
at 12:52 PM

No not really trying to lose weight - just trying it for optimal health and fitness. I understand, maybe discrimination is the wrong word.

8c2ed9a35f6c4d35a3552a13ddabec8d

(525)

on February 23, 2011
at 12:51 PM

No not really trying to lose weight - just trying it optimalfor health and fitness. I understand, maybe discrimination is the wrong word

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13 Answers

9
77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on February 23, 2011
at 06:07 PM

Most of the objections you'll hear - e.g., why don't you just eat bread? - are highly predictable. Because of this, you can keep a little stock of one-liners ready to fire back without hesitation. The nice thing about one-liners is that they allow you to skip over a lot of speculation and evidence. So, for example, to your professor's quip I might - depending on my mood - say:

'I don't like what it does to the immune system.'

'I try to avoid nutrient deficient foods.'

'For the same reason that I don't eat Snickers bars.'

'Because the inconsistent energy it provides is annoying.'

'Because it turns to sugar, and sugar isn't adult food.'

'Because the stuff we put on bread tastes better by itself.'

'Because it's not fit for a privileged citizen of the world's only hegemonic superpower.'

'Because what it does to teeth grosses me out.'

'Would that it were smothered with pate... maybe.'

The point is not to be laugh-out-loud funny, or devastatingly clever. Rather, you merely want to throw it back at the quippers as quickly as possible, which transfers the awkwardness to them. About half will get baited into actually discussing the real reasons for avoiding grains, and - again, most of the time - this will only serve to reveal how little they know about the last 30 years of diet and nutrition related research.

As you might discover, they tend to retort with the most obvious question available, such as: 'How is bread like a Snickers bar?' Every once in a while you will end up in a real discussion with someone who intelligently disagrees.

These interactions provide a great opportunity to take advantage of your higher levels of testosterone, as they allow you to get as alpha as you would like, despite being perfectly civil the entire time, and, ideally, witty and well informed.

2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on February 23, 2011
at 06:10 PM

Yes, I like "I don't like to eat foods that cause internal inflammtion"

E0b0d94cebef8ed2371d02ec2ecb5461

(94)

on February 23, 2011
at 11:56 PM

'Because what it does to teeth grosses me out.' brilliant

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on February 23, 2011
at 09:22 PM

"'Because it's not fit for a privileged citizen of the world's only hegemonic superpower.'----nice.

F087e79f7e8a76613c9b82528ab6dc3f

(580)

on May 25, 2011
at 11:23 PM

internal inflammation!1 awesome quip

F087e79f7e8a76613c9b82528ab6dc3f

(580)

on May 25, 2011
at 11:25 PM

" Your cupcakes are grossing me out..I wish you would not eat them in front of me."

A6e2b231f69366ce825476c5a6dcfff6

(1967)

on May 26, 2011
at 03:17 PM

Eating bread makes me feel like crap.

8
Medium avatar

(3259)

on February 23, 2011
at 08:01 PM

Totally! My family doctor has stopped talking to me about blood pressure and cholesterol drugs, my rheumatologist won't give me Humira, clothing stores are always out of 33" jeans, my Mom stopped baking me cookies, my wife keeps physically "harassing" me...

Was it something I did?

does-anyone-get-discriminated-against-on-paleo?

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on February 25, 2011
at 12:00 AM

Great chuckle!!

6
Medium avatar

(7073)

on February 23, 2011
at 12:43 PM

ABSOLUTELY! My friends think I eat too much fat and too much of the wrong fat - lard and butter basically. They stick to their very low fat/olive oil on salad/no fat diets and tell me I will be suffering from heart disease pretty soon if I DO NOT WATCH OUT!

I think the population has been overwhelmed by the (mis)information that fat is bad for us. Some people I know go to the most extraordinary lengths to cut fat from all meat they consume, and think I am positively crazy to eat lard.

Many people I know are also attempting to cut meat from their diets in line with the vegetarian ideal that meat is bad for us and for the planet. Most eat meat only once a week (but will eat bread at every meal and snack on fast food too).

I eat meat and fat at every meal, inc. breakfast and snack on dried meat in between if I am hungry. I eat four or five eggs a day (another thing that causes shock amongst friends) and do not eat grains or corn.

Another thing that shocks other mothers is that I do not give my children fruit, only the things we find in the wild like berries and apples in the autumn. They think that 5 fruit and veg a day is an absolute given fact of life esp. for kids and I have been told that I am not feeding my children adequately because I do not give them at least one or two pieces of fruit a day. They love meat esp. hams and salamis so that is what they snack on.

I eat liver and calf's feet, animal brains and guts and think they are delicious, whereas many of my friends balk at the sight and thought of it and would rather stick to the leanest chicken breast available. They think I am weird (I wear Vibram Five Fingers and do not have a TV, so you can see their point) but I really do not care what they think, I am very healthy, fit and happy and my children have not been ill in the last three years, whereas I regularly sit and listen to other people talk about their health problems, colds and sickness.

It seems that these people are not quite able to connect the health of myself and my family with the diet we eat. But it is not their fault, all around us we are bombarded daily with messages telling us that this kind of food is bad for us, or it is just not available to us through the 'normal' routes, and we are not encouraged to cook things such as broth at home. We have to go out of our way to find brains and grass-fed meat.

Big business $$$$$/food marketers and advertisers/agro-chemical producers have orchestrated the perfect environment which leaves consumers totally at their mercy; misinformed and dependent on their produce and distribution methods. It takes a strong and inquisitive thinker/doer to see through the facade and get away from their strangle hold. You obviously are one of those thinkers.

4
C42ca04212a396353131758237f209d7

on February 23, 2011
at 11:44 PM

I'm in the military and as such get my food from a cafeteria of sorts. It's restrictive. The other day there were no 'healthy' options (deep fat fried this/bread covered that) available and I sat down with a minimal salad (pen ready to make note in the complaints book). Then in rolls a 'I'm gluten/wheat intolerant' and out comes a gorgeous looking chicken breast. No one gave her a 'weirdo' look. There were no raised eyebrows or sighs from the chefs. They simply whipped up some decent food for her there and then. Lesson learnt: be gluten intolerant if it causes issues.

0a46a71bd3dca60276717f099b350132

(250)

on May 26, 2011
at 06:56 PM

+1. It makes it much easier at luncheons and business dinners where you can't really choose your options. People still may give you funny looks, but more people are seeing gluten-free as a viable diet option than some weirdo caveman diet you found on the Internet... ;)

3
D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on February 24, 2011
at 01:31 AM

My entire life I've been a misfit/discriminated against for various reasons - because I'm a major nerd, because I'm square, because of my dry/dark/abstract sense of humor, etc.

So switching to paleo - i.e. being different in yet ANOTHER way - wasn't a huge mental leap for me in some aspects.

...but you know what? It IS the first time I've been different/discriminated against for being a rebel, telling common sense (aka conventional wisdom) to get lost.

Me? A rebel? O_o ... if you say so! ;-D

That said, the social aspects can be hard to navigate at first. If you can find a way to keep fish/seafood out of close-contact social situations (eat your mackerel for dinner at home; bring other less-smelly stuff to classes, for example), then you might gain some grace from your classmates. For some reason the smell of cold bacon is a lot less offensive to most people than the smell of cold seafood; maybe a bacon salad as a swap?

You didn't really discuss this point in your question, so this is just in case (since I don't know if you do or not:) If you openly discuss/scrutinize others' choices, too, you should fully expect interrogation from others on what you're eating. But if you mind your own business, folks are lot likelier to leave you alone...assuming you also don't make everything smell like mackerel, that is. :)

3
A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

on February 24, 2011
at 01:21 AM

They will get used to it, will accept after a while that you are they quirky food guy. I had the same in my school (I am a teacher). Recently when a colleague forgot his lunch and people started to offer some foods, I said that I had some hard boiled eggs. Another commented: "Of course you would" they got it, I am the one who eats a lot of eggs and brings fish cakes.

But to be honest - I also try to respect others, and I know fish can smell really strongly. a freshly done probably not, but my baked fish cakes made of canned fish, yeah... So I eat lunch later, after the main one sometimes.

Why is your bag smelling of a mackerel? Do you want it to smell that way? Are you ok with it? BEcause I wouldn't (even if I love mackerel)... I always have extra bag/protection if I have any strong aromatic foods.

F087e79f7e8a76613c9b82528ab6dc3f

(580)

on May 25, 2011
at 11:26 PM

I take zip lock baggies for each sardine or fishy thing. When I am finished,m I zip the can inside and throw it away...no smell

2
F5cce39a983b6074040592c00ec444d0

(270)

on February 23, 2011
at 06:26 PM

If you really don't want to explain what you're eating then just tell people you have a gluten intolerance and can't eat wheat/bread. But I bet if you explained people would be interested and might even follow your good example.

60199d3a580a4e17969059609e48e678

(883)

on May 26, 2011
at 12:55 AM

I say this all the time and they all retort with "no pasta either?!" Its amazing to me how many people are seemingly addicted to grain products... most of the time I just shrug and say "because I don't like how it makes me feel" simple, sweet and I don't have to explain any further.

2
C61399790c6531a0af344ab0c40048f1

on February 23, 2011
at 03:04 PM

Take pride in being 'different'. You are ahead of the game - they will cotton on eventually. And you don't need to justify or explain what you eat to anyone.

2
Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

on February 23, 2011
at 12:42 PM

I think "discriminated" is the wrong word. You're dealing with basic peer pressure and need to stick to your guns. It's just part of growing up. Are you trying to loose weight? If you are then eventually you will start to show progress and your friends will see the light, and if they are REAL freinds, they will support you. Your teachers should be rational enough to listen to an explanation about why no bread.

8c2ed9a35f6c4d35a3552a13ddabec8d

(525)

on February 23, 2011
at 12:51 PM

No not really trying to lose weight - just trying it optimalfor health and fitness. I understand, maybe discrimination is the wrong word

0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335

(1591)

on February 24, 2011
at 01:24 AM

Yes, let's save discrimination for a situation where it actually applies.

8c2ed9a35f6c4d35a3552a13ddabec8d

(525)

on February 23, 2011
at 12:52 PM

No not really trying to lose weight - just trying it for optimal health and fitness. I understand, maybe discrimination is the wrong word.

1
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on February 24, 2011
at 05:57 AM

I actually don't bring stinky foods to inclosed quarters. Or if you do, then a certain amount of harrassment is fair game. Other than that though, consider it a lesson in getting tougher. People will not harrass you for long once they realize you don't care, aren't going to listen, and are perfectly happy eating your own food. If they really want to bug you, you can also shoot them some statistics and recommend some books. Tell them to read up and then come back later once they are edumacated! ;-) Also, I find that often people are actually interested once I start telling them about some of the research about how fiber tears at your guts, fat is needed for proper nutrient absorption and brain function, etc.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on February 24, 2011
at 09:30 PM

My sister-in-law is going to nursing school and told me the other day how important fiber is for people's diets so that they're "regular." All I could do was smile and tell her that I'm plenty regular without the beans and grains and stuff with fiber added to it. 8)

0
F087e79f7e8a76613c9b82528ab6dc3f

on May 25, 2011
at 11:32 PM

Most of our friends eat very poor diets of processed food. They complain about the way my husbnad and I eat because we all eat together a lot at each others homes. pot luck style.. I do not eat lazagna or spaghetti etc...I bring my own meat and a large salad to share. After a year and a half of dealing with attitudes, they began to soften around the edges. Grilled meat and sides began to be offered. Now one of my biggest complainers is paleo, He used to add sugar to all his cooking. I could not eat it. It upset him. It's awesome now that he will not touch sugar. He is losing his huge stomach and I am encouraging the heck out of him. They will come around...switch from fishy food to a grilled chicken leg or something similar at lunch...or sliced steak on your salad. You will have them salivating after your lunch.

0
2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on February 23, 2011
at 05:49 PM

Just be happy you have discovered the "secret" to health and longevity. Time will be your biggest ally when (all other things going well) you are 40 and still youthful and genetically the best you can be. Untill then revel in your new found energy and the wonderful world of "Paleo".

-1
C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on February 23, 2011
at 10:07 PM

Are there gluten intolerant people at your school? What are they eating?

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