5

votes

Need to explain paleo to non-paleo people?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 10, 2011 at 10:13 PM

Since I went paleo three months ago via my sister who is paleo for over a year, I've noticed all the great things that come from it. I feel absolutely fantastic in every way. And I feel the need to share this with people who talk about their ills and pains, that many of those don't need to exist if only they would eat differently. But they nod and smile at me and then finish their sandwich and piece of sugar pie. I don't want to become a annoying disciple and therefore I often leave it to that. Have you been wanting to tell people about the benefits of paleo?

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on January 27, 2012
at 10:25 AM

It took me a while to convert my butcher. But the fat is indeed the hardest part. When I asked for the fattiest cut of lamb they had, they thought I meant leanest. I didn't ask further, just took some ground lamb :)

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on January 27, 2012
at 04:39 AM

I think that was very elegantly put, DG.

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on January 27, 2012
at 04:07 AM

Thanks JuBa for the vote.

Ba6d1897de1cddf0bab312da3696bd39

on December 11, 2011
at 03:55 PM

Unless they haven't chosen the path they're on and are only going down it from a lack of awareness regarding the consequences of their choices. In which case it might be the responsibility of a conscsientious person to speak up and so perhaps illuminate their ignorance. Perhaps none of your Buddhist, Hindu, or Pagan friends evangelize, but their prophets and priests did, or else how would their message have spread? Disseminating the Paleo gospel isn't about forcing your views on others; it's about undoing negative cultural conditioning that's worsening their lives.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 11, 2011
at 11:43 AM

My wife has banned me from talking about food/health/nutrition - she heads people off "Stop asking him questions!". I've learned (rather the extreme hard way) to hold my tongue/just shut up/say "whatever" when the subject comes up. Thank god for paleohacks - it gives me the outlet without which I would go mad!

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on December 11, 2011
at 06:03 AM

+1 Sage - I love this approach and it's the one I've taken. I enjoy my liminal status very much.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on December 11, 2011
at 02:58 AM

Yep yep. At first you're all excited and strict, but soon you realise it's just food and you can eat tacos, sushi and the occasional xmas cookie without dying.

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on December 11, 2011
at 02:53 AM

i do the opposite; start off with how i eat cow organs and spinach every day. they quickly walk away, but they never look at me the same. i can tell they are dying to ask me more about it, just like in the horror movies when the young innocent girl is reaching for the door knob......

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on December 10, 2011
at 10:33 PM

What RfTx said.

Medium avatar

(10663)

on December 10, 2011
at 10:20 PM

My brother, who is on SAD, has been complaining about wanting to lose weight. I excitedly started telling him about eliminating sugar/grains, eating more animal meat, and getting enough sleep--the fundamentals of Paleo, without ever saying the word "Paleo"--and he just looked at me and goes "that's impossible." I love telling people about the benefits and the reasoning behind Paleo but unfortunately, they just dismiss it so readily. I'd love for my brother (and the rest of my family) to adopt Paleo but I'm realizing now that it's gonna be a challenge.

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10 Answers

14
6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on December 10, 2011
at 10:17 PM

The feeling to tell others will wear off in about a month or so. My best advice is to lead by silent example and if someone notices your healthy results and they ask you about your diet, then take that as your cue to tell them all about your paleo diet. I've learned that most people have no interest in hearing that their current diet is bad.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on December 10, 2011
at 10:33 PM

What RfTx said.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on December 11, 2011
at 02:58 AM

Yep yep. At first you're all excited and strict, but soon you realise it's just food and you can eat tacos, sushi and the occasional xmas cookie without dying.

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on January 27, 2012
at 04:07 AM

Thanks JuBa for the vote.

3
Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on January 27, 2012
at 04:25 AM

For me, the feeling to tell others waxes and wanes with the progress I am making, or feel that I am making. Like today, I was in a physical theatre class (yay, grad school), and someone commented on my vibrams and that I look built. It was a good feeling, and I told them about paleo.

On the flip side, I used to eat very differently, so I sometimes need reminded that people are doing the best they can for their health based on their knowledge and budget. The most I can hope for is to offer a bit of knowledge and let them draw their own conclusions. Still, some knowledge, like "get more sleep and you'll be healthier" is pretty self-evident, which makes me feel better about telling people about my lifestyle, or parts of it.

3
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 11, 2011
at 12:06 AM

I just say I avoid processed foods and eat whole ones, such as meat, eggs, fruits and vegetables. I also tell them I make yogurt at home, so by the time I get to how I brew fresh water kefir every day they're watching me with huge eyes and can't think what to ask first.

Since they all know I've lost a ton of weight and I'm feeling much better, about all they can do is shake their heads and say meekly, "That's great!" :-))

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on December 11, 2011
at 06:03 AM

+1 Sage - I love this approach and it's the one I've taken. I enjoy my liminal status very much.

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on December 11, 2011
at 02:53 AM

i do the opposite; start off with how i eat cow organs and spinach every day. they quickly walk away, but they never look at me the same. i can tell they are dying to ask me more about it, just like in the horror movies when the young innocent girl is reaching for the door knob......

3
Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on December 10, 2011
at 10:34 PM

Tell people about how great you feel and any progress you've made, rather than how you did it. And if they ask, underplay the diet so it doesn't seem so radical a change. Quite a few will have considered whether they eat too much bread. But try and avoid anything that makes it sound like a low-carb or anything they can write off. Ratios, calories, none of that matters - it's about your food sources. Then you can build in to some of the details if they are still interested and asking questions. That's my approach. I also took pictures of my meals for a while when I started, so I could very easily illustrate how 'deprived' I was.

2
Medium avatar

on December 11, 2011
at 04:28 AM

I get the desire to "share the good news." But it just so much reminds me of evangelism and what I don't like about it, namely practically everything. I have Buddhist friends and Hindu friends and Pagan friends, all of whom believe very profound things, but none of whom go door to door trying to bring people into the fold.

It can be very difficult to wrap our minds around why people we love are busily killing themselves via lifestyle choices. Seriously, slow suicide can be hard to watch. One must learn to do so. People who learn to do so are called grownups. The impulse to "save the world" is not, ultimately, the altruism it purports to be. It is a form of narcissism.

People who are bent on self destruction, and who do not utter so much as a request for insight from others, deserve the right to pursue their quest in peace, or in the misery they have chosen.

Ba6d1897de1cddf0bab312da3696bd39

on December 11, 2011
at 03:55 PM

Unless they haven't chosen the path they're on and are only going down it from a lack of awareness regarding the consequences of their choices. In which case it might be the responsibility of a conscsientious person to speak up and so perhaps illuminate their ignorance. Perhaps none of your Buddhist, Hindu, or Pagan friends evangelize, but their prophets and priests did, or else how would their message have spread? Disseminating the Paleo gospel isn't about forcing your views on others; it's about undoing negative cultural conditioning that's worsening their lives.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on January 27, 2012
at 04:39 AM

I think that was very elegantly put, DG.

2
B525b3e4b1d6f1cdceec943cdec6eb7d

(1680)

on December 11, 2011
at 03:54 AM

Paleo has given me the kind of fantastic results (health, weight loss, energy, end of crazy hunger, etc) that everybody supposedly wants, and it was easy. So I can't begin to understand why everybody who hears about paleo doesn't try it immediately. People look at me and say "omigod, you look great, how'd you do that?" But what kind of answer do they want?

I'm still puzzling about this in my mind, and trying to formulate the perfect answer. Right now I'm going with something like this:

First response: Oh, I did a complete reversal in terms of food I eat and food I avoid.

If questions, on to second response Maybe something like: Hmmm, well. You know, I discovered that some of the stuff I've believed all my life about food was wrong. When I learned what the science really says, that changed everything for me. And so I changed my diet. I used to eat oatmeal for breakfast, for example. Now I have bacon and eggs. Lots of changes like that.

If more questions, I try to address those. I try to give short but interesting answers, so people can opt out at any point without being overwhelmed.

2
Df37dee1b45f564770863d8a74016cbe

(1035)

on December 10, 2011
at 11:40 PM

Less is More.

At first, I too was overwhelmed by a desire to enlighten people around me, because eating this way had rocked my world beyond what I had ever expected. Really quickly tho, I found most people are not ready, and I'm gonna be disappointed by 99% of their responses.

Fast forward 8 months, I just want to live it not talk it; this includes around family. In fact, if someone asks what I'm doing, I make it very brief and light: "living right, eating well". If they continue & push for more, I give a little more, "oh, eating nutrient-dense foods and getting hard exercise". If they REALLY push for more then I know my audience is ripe and I'll go into some detail, and give them a link or two for their own research.

2
Df7cf48be85c91165f9f39f1fe462e41

on December 10, 2011
at 10:28 PM

Usually, if anyone shows the slightest bit curiosity in my way of eating, I draw them in with a simple question that is hard to answer "no" to. That question is "Do you agree that people can become unhealthy or even ill by choosing to eat foods that are bad for them? Upon their "yes" answer I begin talking about how food can also heal different illnesses and ailments, as well as improve many other aspects of life. Usually that is enough to spark their interest and continue positive dialogue.

1
849c8f5246ced24564bf8d73d5b891fd

on December 11, 2011
at 08:43 AM

I would love to get our family to switch to a paleo "diet" (hate that word because it just sounds negative and like it is going to fail before you even start, but that's what it is...like, "My diet consists of..."). They listen and see the results, but mostly dismiss it. My parents say, "Well I mostly do that already anyway." A bagel every morning is not even close, mom. Or my in-laws, HA. Forget about that one. My FIL drinks diet soda like water, literally. He went through two cases in a day! And my MIL buys all this c**p that is prepackaged processed junk, and still sees my husband as the little boy who used to eat it (because he didn't know any different). We aren't even trying with them.

We were able to make some headway with my SIL. Here's hoping she sticks it out. We did tell her it will be tough going for a while. We will see.

0
7e36094a0f7a2fbad24290225405220b

(2064)

on December 11, 2011
at 09:49 AM

Never tell people that you eat fat! They immediately get on the 'What about your cholesterol?' kick and stop listening.

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on January 27, 2012
at 10:25 AM

It took me a while to convert my butcher. But the fat is indeed the hardest part. When I asked for the fattiest cut of lamb they had, they thought I meant leanest. I didn't ask further, just took some ground lamb :)

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