2

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what is the first thing you can encourage people to do?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created December 17, 2012 at 6:19 PM

I know there are threads about encouraging loved ones to try Paleo already. My question is a little more specific. If someone is not ready/willing to change their entire way of eating, what is one reasonable thing you can ask them to do? A first step.

I thought maybe encouraging them to switch from vegetable oils to coconut oil. I'm not sure they'd see a difference in their health, but it seems like an easy enough switch.

Then I thought just adding grass-fed butter to their diet, replacing regular butter.

Going pasta-free for a certain period of time.

What one change can someone make that might show them this way of eating is worth it? I'm guessing my family members would want to see some sort of results before cutting out entire food groups completely. I'm thinking specifically of my 90-year old grandma. I don't think I could ever convince her not to eat rice and beans, not to eat wheat toast every day, or SPAM as she has been known to do occasionally. But maybe I could convince her to make one change. Any ideas where to start?

F54a16e4caf4dc8da9ef1369f46a95cd

(591)

on December 18, 2012
at 04:56 AM

I do agree with this, but she has so many ailments and complains about so many different things, and I'm sure changing her diet would help. The doctor said she has nerve damage in her feet (neuropathy), her head throbs, arthritis, high blood pressure, etc. All I want is to get her to make one small change which makes her feel better in some way. Easier said than done I know.

F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on December 18, 2012
at 03:12 AM

This reminds me of Kurt Harris, who suggests you as far down his list as possible: http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on December 17, 2012
at 10:04 PM

Gluten may be problematic, but switching oils is a lot easier. It also is an introduction into processed foods, as most are made with industrial oils, so you gradually start cutting down on those as well.

A08b210e4da7e69cd792bddc1f4aae4b

(1031)

on December 17, 2012
at 09:22 PM

Changing a diet, even a small part, can result in digestive issues (finding the right combination of foods that suit me best took a while); it can be a bit unfair to put someone of 90 years through that. I'd say tread carefully and have a fallback plan.

2e777bbcd49262eb31a24f821abec6bc

(1974)

on December 17, 2012
at 08:02 PM

You could recommend she replace the bread with a piece of fruit? Most people who aren't paleo would agree thats a healthy switch.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on December 17, 2012
at 08:00 PM

imo, probably 70%-80% of the problem is is refined sugar. Add in manufactured foods and oils and you'll be a lot healthier!

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on December 17, 2012
at 07:53 PM

Gluten is more addictive than industrial oil and, in my opinion, far more problematic.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on December 17, 2012
at 06:56 PM

And I'm not advocating GF processed stuff, of course. Just acknowledging that people making the transition often turn to those things rather than getting off grains altogether...at least at first.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on December 17, 2012
at 06:55 PM

I agree that ditching gluten is probably one of the biggest impact changes one can make, but it's probably also the most difficult. I mean, it's an across-the-board big change. Yes, you can buy lots of gluten-free substitutes these days, but that's a big jump from all the pasta, bread, cereal, wraps, bars, cakes, cookies, crackers, sauces, etc. If someone can make this jump, I think they'll get the biggest bang for the buck. But even with all the GF stuff available now, I still wouldn't call this an easy change. Not to mention $$. GF processed stuff is about 3x the money...

F54a16e4caf4dc8da9ef1369f46a95cd

(591)

on December 17, 2012
at 06:52 PM

Well I sort of already did that. Before I knew anything about Paleo, I encouraged my grandma not to eat cornmeal for breakfast anymore. She switched to eating a boiled egg and said she doesn't feel so sluggish anymore. Maybe I could convince her to replace the slice of toast with something else..

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on December 17, 2012
at 06:51 PM

I say this 99% tongue-in-cheek, but if she's 90 years old, I'd leave her alone and let her enjoy. (Then again, if she's 90 and lives every day in pain/digestive distress/something else wacky with health, I'd be more inclined to "help.")

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8 Answers

best answer

3
194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on December 17, 2012
at 06:23 PM

I'd start with dropping things with refined sugar in them, including corn syrup, rice syrup, marley malt, etc.. All added sweeteners. Don't worry about condiments.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on December 17, 2012
at 08:00 PM

imo, probably 70%-80% of the problem is is refined sugar. Add in manufactured foods and oils and you'll be a lot healthier!

best answer

5
35deaf0f101526bb113ea69f79934f2b

(436)

on December 17, 2012
at 06:25 PM

The thing that made the biggest noticeable difference to me was going gluten free. I don't actually notice a difference in how I feel on gluten free vs paleo (I do eat healthy either way though so really the only difference for me is the elimination of rice, quinoa, etc).

I think encouraging someone to go gluten free will make an incredible difference is how they feel. From there they can decide whether they want to take further steps.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on December 17, 2012
at 06:56 PM

And I'm not advocating GF processed stuff, of course. Just acknowledging that people making the transition often turn to those things rather than getting off grains altogether...at least at first.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on December 17, 2012
at 06:55 PM

I agree that ditching gluten is probably one of the biggest impact changes one can make, but it's probably also the most difficult. I mean, it's an across-the-board big change. Yes, you can buy lots of gluten-free substitutes these days, but that's a big jump from all the pasta, bread, cereal, wraps, bars, cakes, cookies, crackers, sauces, etc. If someone can make this jump, I think they'll get the biggest bang for the buck. But even with all the GF stuff available now, I still wouldn't call this an easy change. Not to mention $$. GF processed stuff is about 3x the money...

best answer

2
3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on December 17, 2012
at 06:32 PM

Gluten-free.


4
F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on December 17, 2012
at 07:46 PM

I'm gonna go against the grain here (pun, groan) - maybe the first step might be to get people to INTRODUCE foods, vs. taking them out. So encourage people to eat more grassfed beef, coconut oil, pastured butter, high quality animal fats, starchy carbs and greens. I'd say that's what I usually talk about when I tell them about Paleo - I focus on what I'm eating: 'ribeye, bacon, roasted root vegs" - vs. listing everything I've cut out.

3
8e323afb2e0ba3d104091f7e47815b40

(450)

on December 17, 2012
at 06:36 PM

Change one meal. Make every breakfast (or lunch, or even just snacks)paleo approved. Breakfast especially is likely to make people feel a difference on its own.

2e777bbcd49262eb31a24f821abec6bc

(1974)

on December 17, 2012
at 08:02 PM

You could recommend she replace the bread with a piece of fruit? Most people who aren't paleo would agree thats a healthy switch.

F54a16e4caf4dc8da9ef1369f46a95cd

(591)

on December 17, 2012
at 06:52 PM

Well I sort of already did that. Before I knew anything about Paleo, I encouraged my grandma not to eat cornmeal for breakfast anymore. She switched to eating a boiled egg and said she doesn't feel so sluggish anymore. Maybe I could convince her to replace the slice of toast with something else..

2
366c23d69eadce094a2b22299c58a424

(2988)

on December 17, 2012
at 07:11 PM

Easy, and not that hard to do: switch from modern wheat to ancestral wheats (spelt, einkorn, emmer, etc). It is now easy to buy most flour-based products, like bread, pasta, crackers & cereal, in ancient wheat forms, including many in "white flour" instead of whole wheat.

And for a 90 year old, this would actually mean eating a kind of wheat that is far closer nutritionally to the wheat they ate for much of their life (pre-1970).

[Oops, just realized I misunderstood the question -- obviously switching from one wheat to another isn't paleo. Still, I think it's an easy change likely to have a big impact, and for many people, more likely to be adopted than any paleo steps]

1
97d98cdf2f18fa2c0bd8567ea1159609

on December 17, 2012
at 07:45 PM

I think one of the best approaches would be recommending one or two items at a time to eliminate or replace. Start with something small, then gradually eliminate larger items. This may be especially helpful if the person(s) you are trying to help are resistant to change their lifestyle.

For instance (example):

Week 1 start:

  • Eliminate soft drinks and sugary drinks.
  • Eliminate sugary foods and treats such as candy, cookies, granola bars, etc.

Week 2:

  • Replace vegetable oils with coconut oil and olive oil.
  • Eliminate bread.

Week 3:

  • Eliminate boxed/processed foods, including bagged and boxed pasta.

Week 5:

  • Eliminate all legumes.
  • Replace peanut butter with almond or coconut butter.

Week 6:

  • Eliminate all gluten, refined sugar, processed foods, etc.

... and the process continues on.

Make the transition gradual. That way there is less dramatic impact to make your family/friends push you away and completely reject the lifestyle change. And remember a little change is better than no change at all. Especially when it comes to really stubborn family members such as your Grandma you mentioned.

F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on December 18, 2012
at 03:12 AM

This reminds me of Kurt Harris, who suggests you as far down his list as possible: http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

0
Ee6932fe54ad68039a8d5f7a8caa0468

(2668)

on December 17, 2012
at 07:14 PM

interesting to me that lots of people are recommending cutting gluten - not that i think that's a bad idea! i would still focus on the industrial oils, first.

4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on December 17, 2012
at 10:04 PM

Gluten may be problematic, but switching oils is a lot easier. It also is an introduction into processed foods, as most are made with industrial oils, so you gradually start cutting down on those as well.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on December 17, 2012
at 07:53 PM

Gluten is more addictive than industrial oil and, in my opinion, far more problematic.

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