4

votes

On a scale of 1-10, 1 being least.. How receptive were you to paleo & why?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 15, 2012 at 7:43 PM

When introducing people to the concept of paleo, I find some are far more open to the idea than others. From what I've observed, it seems to depend on a number of things which include culture, age and educational background. Back when my diet was low-fat and plant-based, my parents were constantly berating me for my food choices and blaming all my problems on lack of fat (how do they know this stuff!?). But since I revealed to them my diet, I haven't heard a peep from them; my mom's initial reaction when I told her I wasn't eating grains anymore was 'Well, they are in the Bible.. but it's not like you need them.' So.. about a 9? (; She hasn't adopted the diet for herself, but I really don't think she'd have a hard time transitioning.

Most of my family reacted the same. My grandma (age 88) believes the more red meat you eat, the healthier you become. As far as I can remember, my aunts on my dad's side (all 8 of them) have always turned to eliminating refined carbs to lose weight, turning down fruit juices and pastries outright at Sunday brunch. I suspect this has a lot to do with culture (in our case, Mexican-American) and the way my grandma cooked and raised them: with an emphasis on healthy tradition.

My boyfriend was also a 10 on the receptivity scale, especially after having watched Fat Head! His mom, however, is skeptical and believes grapeseed oil is the healthiest to cook with, for whatever reason. She's at, like, a 2.

For me, it was about a 9. In my English class last year, we watched Forks Over Knives and, having been struggling with panic disorder and hypochondriasis for some time, I was skeptical that a diet that seemed so unnatural to me was cited as a path toward a disease-proof life, yet it intrigued me somehow. I started researching the film a few days later and, so luckily, found Denise Minger's analysis of the film, which also fully exposed me to paleo for the first time (I'd only heard of it before). I had also been taking a marine biology course and pondering the differences between organisms living in their natural habitat--living instinctually and just knowing what to eat and when and how--and humans, who, of course, have the painful luxury of choosing to gorge on pretty much whatever they feel like pleasing their palates with. When I started reading up on paleo principles, it kind of just clicked and made sense to me that we should eat what we were designed to eat.

Still, thanks to the CW I'd been inundated with, I was fairly terrified of saturated fat. Gary Taubes and Denise Minger changed that for me. (;

My best friend is enrolled in a nutrition certification course and although her professors (all certified personal trainers, most dieticians), from what she's told me, place emphasis on challenging conventional wisdom, and though she follows a high-fat, low-carb diet model, she still believes in arbitrary rules for reducing saturated fat. She also thinks I'm slowing my metabolism by not eating every 3 hours, like she does. She has no interest in changing her diet but it's by default pretty paleo and she tends to agree with most aspects of my diet, so she's at about a 7.

What about you guys? How receptive were you to paleo, and what do you think it depended on most?

5759bd89db5f73cabe0a6e8f8e6e1cb9

(1467)

on March 16, 2012
at 06:46 PM

I was EXACTLY the same; about a 1-2. Ditto the cavemen comment. I remember walking with my husband down the street and telling him how ridiculous it was that my crossfit group were doing the paleo challenge. I then remembered that the strongest people in my gym were paleo so I then decided to give it a try albeit skeptically. As soon as I started reading stuff on the internet things started to make sense.

23d8c5a65b69db66f745cd890a19510d

on March 16, 2012
at 01:37 PM

It was the same for me! As a psyc undergrad my favorite was evolutionary psychology, a very broad class looking at basically all aspects of human life, from sexual selection to sleep & anxiety disorders, from an evolutionary perspective. It only made sense that diet fit in there as well...so I was definitely at a 10 when I discovered Paleo.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on March 16, 2012
at 11:35 AM

Yesterday I told a guy bread made me feel bad. He said yeah bread sucks I never eat it, nor do I eat breakfast. Made me kinda speechless. He looked great btw, way better than me :)

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 15, 2012
at 11:16 PM

Yeah, my Dad always talks about a First Nations (Canadian up here) rugby player who just ate corn gruel and bannock, chain smoked, was an alcoholic, and could run a marathon with no training, after wiping people up and down the rugby field all day. Crazy running outliers!

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 15, 2012
at 09:50 PM

Ditto. I came in as a complete skeptic (I was anti-paleo even before that). The fact that I couldn't mind-over-matter away the positive effects told me that there was something to this.

6d06945c5244687be2f6a9ca731b9cc6

(405)

on March 15, 2012
at 08:03 PM

Awesome! The runners you mentioned sound like my dad in high school. HAHA. Yeah, some things are still a little fuzzyy..

9beda76f4e91faedc8fa70ecdc01251e

(298)

on March 15, 2012
at 07:58 PM

So I was a 3 or 4 at first, then a 9.

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19 Answers

4
3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on March 15, 2012
at 08:32 PM

It's a 10. I spent 10 years being sick as a dog, so when I read about so many people getting better on their health, I just started the diet right here, right there (I didn't wait "for Monday").

3
964af21f36fe10d5230d867e6c1c45ba

on March 15, 2012
at 09:07 PM

I first heard of Loren Cordain years ago and wasn't receptive at all. No GRAINS? Grains are HOLY! I had always been interested in the "spiritual" aspects of diet, and had gotten my ancestral wisdom from studying Macrobiotics. I had a lot of vegetarian cookbooks, including Diet For A Small Planet. I really thought eating less meat meant I was a better person.

The reality of having kids began to challenge this point of view. I got pregnant and it felt right to eat meat again. Our oldest child wanted to be a vegetarian for ethical reasons, while the younger ones flat refused. And weirdly, the younger ones seemed healthier and less prone to weight gain over time. I have to thank an old guy called The Frugal Gourmet (PBS) for passing on the Native American idea that the spirits of the animals come back to celebrate and enjoy the feast, so it's important to give thanks and acknowledge them. Covering the spiritual aspect, somewhat!

I didn't really find myself open to Paleo until early last year. At that point, if I remember correctly, Dr. Mercola had Chris Masterjohn on, talking about the take-down of the China Study. And if the China Study had it wrong, then...! From there, I found Lierre Kieth's book, which spoke to me at the time. Somehow I Googled up a CrossFit site with a link to PaNu, and I was off. It all came together quickly -- how did I even know about CrossFit?

I am far from perfectly Paleo or Primal. I have a ridiculous dark chocolate habit, but with enough weight to lose that eating any is crazy. The most surprising thing to me was that, after years of attributing my allergies and sinus headaches to dairy, they went away when I cut out... wheat?!

You never know what the right hook will be. My mental model of the natural human diet had to be turned around completely. The ones who can just jump in and try it are lucky!

3
0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on March 15, 2012
at 08:27 PM

10- I saw it could keep me off diabetes meds and re-shape my body after I lost weight with low carb and Atkins. Cordain ( who I questioned often) Rob Wolf and Mark Sisson where the gurus for me and still today. I am younger today then I was twenty years ago. Downside- new clothes- from XXL to XL now to L but wearing size 34 jeans is way cool (from 42).

3
45e51fee7d295e523ff4134f76c3ba05

(923)

on March 15, 2012
at 08:13 PM

I bought a copy of Cordain's Paleo Diet back in 2002 (which amazingly I still have) and thought no way in hell can I give up my pasta and dairy. A few years later and we found out my oldest daughter had a gluten intolerance, so I was cooking gf food for her and it still didn't click that I could have it too. Finally, my food allergies and chronic eczema were so bad my daughter (now grown) convinced me to go gluten free and my research quickly brought me back to a paleo diet. I gave up grains no problem, but dairy I'm having a harder time with. I just ate some feta/spinach chicken sausage for lunch (after being dairy free for a couple of weeks) and my face itches like crazy, so I think it's back to no dairy for me.

So, a 1 for me in 2002, and a 10 ten years later. Wish I had started back in 2002 - I'd be a lot healthier today.

3
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 15, 2012
at 07:54 PM

I was a 10, because I knew what I wanted to find and went looking for it. When I started looking I didn't know if it existed, so I was delighted to find a thriving community arguing about the fine print but agreeing on many of the basics.

The whole process took a few hours of browsing and I was ready to go.

I didn't talk much to family and friends at first but they're all fully informed now and supportive but not changing at this point.

2
Dc0b6400ec0a34615510f4e01cedab28

on March 16, 2012
at 04:33 AM

I feel like my husband and I came up with paleo on our own! Lol! My daughter had so many dietary issues. We first discovered she had issues with dairy, then soy (I was breastfeeding so I had to give it up too, which was really difficult for me at the time). Then as she started solids I questioned why we give cereals? So we stared her on meats and vegetables and then fruits. I asked my doctor about the cereals and he said it was good for iron and because they taste good. Humm, not for nutrition? Our daughter also started having serious constipation issues with any bread product. Just before her second birthday we were discussing if it would be healthy to remove grain products from her diet. We started to wonder what was in grains that you can't get from fruits, vegetables or meats? So we started googling, and sure enough we found our answer - nothing. There's nothing in grains you can't get somewhere else. (except excessive sugars I suppose!) During our excessive googling we quickly discovered paleo and it all clicked. The evolutionary perspective just makes so much sense. My husband said "should we try it? Just for a bit?" I said "really? Yeah! Let's do it!" and 4 months later and 23 lbs lighter (for me) we've never looked back. We were a 10 on the scale, but had it been 2 years earlier I'm sure we would have been a 2 or a 3.

2
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on March 15, 2012
at 09:45 PM

I started off at a 1. I was a smart ass and figured that there's no way that it could make a difference for me, but then some of the guys at the gym were getting good results and we did one of those dumb 30-day paleo challenges, so I jumped on the band wagon all while being very skeptical. But after a month I was 100% bought in and it's been 3 years and I see no end in sight. Not only do I perform better (my main reason for doing this) lots of "minor" health problems went away.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 15, 2012
at 09:50 PM

Ditto. I came in as a complete skeptic (I was anti-paleo even before that). The fact that I couldn't mind-over-matter away the positive effects told me that there was something to this.

1
D1728f99db66ff91d695a6df5cd38b02

(1368)

on March 16, 2012
at 02:05 PM

me 9 boyfriend -100 ooooh he keeps telling me that I will come around one day and be normal again. AHAHAHAHA

1
61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on March 16, 2012
at 01:26 PM

I kind of fell into a paleo style of eating as I was cutting out processed foods. I was a 10 with cutting out bread and then all grains, but with the other aspects (dairy, industrial oils, etc.) I started out skeptical...maybe a 5. I needed to do my own research before I would believe those.

I still eat dairy, but I'm pickier about sources as I think the processing is the problem more so than the actual dairy (for me, at least).

1
Ee70ee808f748374744404a00e1c22ed

(1163)

on March 16, 2012
at 01:52 AM

When I first ran into paleo, I was probably a 3- I learned about it through Mark's Daily Apple, but the fact that he was selling a diet book/tons of supplements, and that the whole site seemed pretty car-salesman-ish made me pretty skeptical about the whole thing initially. However, I have a background in anthropology/archaeology, and after doing some research I was pretty on board with the whole thing. I slowly started cutting out grains over a number of months, and finally went all in around the end of December.

1
Fb10cf8e5dbac271762e13721181d5dc

(453)

on March 15, 2012
at 09:32 PM

I tried calorie-counting on and off, and I couldn't make it work at all, so when someone I know talked about how they started eating more meat and lower carbs, and was losing weight, I became curious and read "Why We Get Fat" by Taubes. It made sense; the only thing I was dubious about was the saturated fat in meat but, um, I've always been a meat-eater and would be the little kid at the restaurant who ordered a steak. Also, earlier that year, I'd started including eggs in my breakfasts instead of cereal, just because. That small change gave me so much more energy, so all the admonitions of "don't eat more than 3 eggs a week!!!!" seemed like such a buzzkill. They made me feel better, dammit. So, when offered an explanation later in the book that saturated fat doesn't cause heart disease, I embraced it.

The removal of grains made sense too, especially when I read about some of the symptoms of gluten intolerance. I've always been somewhat "evolutionarily minded", but it just wasn't something that occurred to me in terms of diet until I started reading about Paleo. But when it did finally click, I wasn't at all resistant. I'd say I was a 9 before I read the explanations, and a 10 after I did.

1
D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

on March 15, 2012
at 09:08 PM

My first exposure to it was right after a major lifestyle change for me, which was the shift to "clean eating" in 2009. Before this change I was eating a truly standard American diet - everything processed, sparse vegetation, lots of ice cream (though we'd buy the slow-churned, reduced fat stuff which let me rationalize that I could eat twice as much of it) and an abundance of artificial ingredients. My idea of exercise was walking the half a mile to the store to buy cake.
Health issues caused me to make the switch to something very closely resembling the "clean diet" (which, despite its huge faults, had a major positive impact on my health because of the removal of so much utter crap from my system and the addition of nutrients that I had been depriving myself of). I primarily ate whole grains, loads of legumes/pulses, lots of vegetables and even more fruit, minimal canola, rice bran and olive oils, very lean meats because clean dieters recommend against saturated fat at all costs (and about 9 months after going clean I switched all animal products to pastured after watching Food, Inc... which led to a massive decrease in animal products due to the expense and my ignorance of how to properly source those things), peanut butter and other nuts. If I ate dairy it was low-fat and eggs were only included in 1/12 portions whenever I ate a homemade low-fat whole wheat muffin.

Soon after my conversion, a poster on a message board I frequented went paleo and was raving about how wonderful it was. Considering I had just had a lightbulb moment of my own concerning diet, and was in the almost religious honeymoon mindset of "my way is the right way and the only way to achieve true health", I thought she was bonkers. She talked about her fatty pastured steaks and how she raises her own chickens so she gets to eat beautiful eggs every day, and unabashedly stated that she didn't think whole grains and beans - especially soy - were very good for us. It all just seemed completely crazy and while I never confronted her about it, I constantly thought things such as, "But you need carbs! How can legumes be unhealthy?" In my defense she never explained the concepts behind paleo, just that she was eating that way and it rocked. Had she explained it or I looked it up, it probably would have made sense, but I didn't. So I was about a 2 or 3.

Well over 2 years later, with health issues prevailing despite doing everything "right" (including going vegetarian, then vegan), I looked into some ways that people online had suggested would help. Paleo was one of them, and this time I really researched it. I had already begun to suspect that grains were more devoid of nutrients than CW leads one to believe (the bran and the germ are the "best" parts, yet they make up a small percentage of the kernels), and once it made sense from an evolutionary perspective, I was a full-on 10 and still am.

1
9beda76f4e91faedc8fa70ecdc01251e

(298)

on March 15, 2012
at 07:57 PM

My chiropractor introduced me to it, and she came on strong, so at first, I thought, WTF??? But then I looked up info and came around quickly. My paleo/anthro educational background came in handy, too. I remembered some things I had learned way back, and it all made sense. Except those extreme runners in Mexico that live mostly on corn tortillas, beans and veg. Not sure how that fits in.

9beda76f4e91faedc8fa70ecdc01251e

(298)

on March 15, 2012
at 07:58 PM

So I was a 3 or 4 at first, then a 9.

6d06945c5244687be2f6a9ca731b9cc6

(405)

on March 15, 2012
at 08:03 PM

Awesome! The runners you mentioned sound like my dad in high school. HAHA. Yeah, some things are still a little fuzzyy..

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 15, 2012
at 11:16 PM

Yeah, my Dad always talks about a First Nations (Canadian up here) rugby player who just ate corn gruel and bannock, chain smoked, was an alcoholic, and could run a marathon with no training, after wiping people up and down the rugby field all day. Crazy running outliers!

0
9a86fa04b1a69b788e379093c7b83ef5

(402)

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

I was a 10, no doubt. I am an athlete, and it made me feel great, improved my performance, recovery, and body composition. Can't beat that!

0
Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on March 16, 2012
at 02:55 PM

Maybe a 3 or 4 at first, because I thought paleo HAD to be low-carb and associated low carb = Atkins = anorexia and somehow couldn't think past that. So I got all defensive of my healthy appetite, "I'm not one of those anorexic chicks who freaks out if she thinks she ate a carbohydrate," etc. But when I started cutting foods out of my diet in an attempt to help with my digestive issues, I first cut out wheat, then dairy, then sugar, then any kind of processed food full stop, and since I was almost eating paleo just with that, I started poking around a little bit more looking for recipes and stuff and was slowly converted over a couple months.

0
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on March 16, 2012
at 02:26 PM

10.

I had already been eating WAP-style for 2 years, but was watching the belly fat creep up (LOVED that sourdough!)

I was reading Tim Ferris' blog and he linked to Mark's Daily Apple. What I read made so much sense and I never looked back once I saw the result of dropping grains & legumes; 4 lbs of bloat gone & my digestion normalized in a few weeks.

0
B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on March 16, 2012
at 11:36 AM

I'd say a 9 : I immediately loved the idea but went raw vegan first...

0
A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on March 15, 2012
at 10:56 PM

When I first looked into it, I was probably a 2. I was, at that time, in total disagreement to many of the central paleo beliefs. I thought saturated fat was bad, grains were fine, cavemen died young (so why should we live like them?), I was a vegetarian (mostly for moral reasons), thought animal protein intake increased cancer risk (yeah, I read the china study), thought soy was a healthy source of protein, and on and on.

Then I started eating some butter from time to time and wondered "how bad is this for me?" So I decided to do some research. I looked at study after study on dairy fat, even stumbling upon a nice article by Stephan Guyenet on the subject. I came to the conclusion that it actually might not be so bad. My view of saturated fat slowly fell out the window.

Later I developed horrible symptoms of IBS which I suffered through for a while, eventually doing an elimination diet and the blame came down on wheat. After dropping wheat, I tested all of my food staples to see how they made me feel. Eating legumes gave me stomach pain. Eating eggs made me feel good. All of my own research and/or experience led me to conclusions on diet totally consistent with those of the paleo diet. Then I was about 9.

When I later became a conscientious meat eater, I went paleo all the way. Now here I am. Probably about an 8.

5759bd89db5f73cabe0a6e8f8e6e1cb9

(1467)

on March 16, 2012
at 06:46 PM

I was EXACTLY the same; about a 1-2. Ditto the cavemen comment. I remember walking with my husband down the street and telling him how ridiculous it was that my crossfit group were doing the paleo challenge. I then remembered that the strongest people in my gym were paleo so I then decided to give it a try albeit skeptically. As soon as I started reading stuff on the internet things started to make sense.

0
363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on March 15, 2012
at 10:34 PM

I started off at a 10 because it made so much sense to me in terms of evolutionary biology, and how I felt when I had eaten certain foods in the past (good or bad), but actually getting into it was tough, and still is on the sugar front for me from time to time.

23d8c5a65b69db66f745cd890a19510d

on March 16, 2012
at 01:37 PM

It was the same for me! As a psyc undergrad my favorite was evolutionary psychology, a very broad class looking at basically all aspects of human life, from sexual selection to sleep & anxiety disorders, from an evolutionary perspective. It only made sense that diet fit in there as well...so I was definitely at a 10 when I discovered Paleo.

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