1

votes

Paleo and social life!?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 25, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Hello!

Since I started with paleo I try to eplain to people why I don't eat all the stuff I ate before and they're still eating. Some understand, some just joke about it. I try not to mind.

But I have to say that sometimes I feel kinda isolated. Today a girl from the office brought cake, because it's her birthday. Everybody else is enjoying the cake, I just sit there. And I know that cake is tasty, but I also know that it's ingredients are not healthy/paleo.

Also when going to restaurants, what I really like to do from time to time, is a lot harder now, because most places serve completly "unacceptable" food. But the social gatherings around food and drinks is important to me.

I don't know how I will/can deal with that in the future. I don't want to feel isolated and don't really want to be the guy who doesn't eat the food when invited to an occasion.

Do you have/had the same problems? How did you deal with that? What are your exceptions (if there are any)?

cheers Marc

5b9a25a1a676397a25579dfad59e1d7b

(2318)

on March 26, 2013
at 11:47 AM

You guys are right and I definitely don't encourage people to lie about their dietary preferences. I guess I'm thinking of one of my most unpleasant experiences when I was met with legit hostility because I wouldn't partake in eating a birthday cake. They would have been all "Oh you poor thing, that sucks that you're allergic to wheat" instead of going the whole gossipy "She must have an eating disorder" and "Oh you used to eat this stuff all the time! What's wrong with you?" route. You're right though -- we need to stop feeling bad about wanting to feel good and just be honest.

89fa2da4805b0b4e54b77a5a20a2e206

(2097)

on March 25, 2013
at 11:59 PM

captain caveeeeeeeeeeemannnnnnnnnnnnnnnn..:) i agree- it should be fine to deviate from your eating plan *0nce* in a while.

1963db946ae415764d9044222fbf4c5b

(257)

on March 25, 2013
at 10:16 PM

This. It's down to frequency. If it's once a month or so (and assuming you're not celiac or anything) then just go with the flow - eat paleo if you can, loose paleo otherwise (dairy, safe starches), anything if you want/have to. If it's more often then start being more choosy, stick to a loose paleo or fast and talk some of the time. Socializing is paleo!

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on March 25, 2013
at 09:54 PM

@Matt exactly. It is a sad state of affairs when "white" lies are encouraged as a matter of course these days.

37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on March 25, 2013
at 08:36 PM

They still think it's weird that I carry my wife on my shoulder but they're getting used to it.

1d1a1aa53ec46345db814f2e5bc03838

(108)

on March 25, 2013
at 03:27 PM

I wouldn't lie but I could say something like "No thanks, I hate your poison!" ;-)

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 25, 2013
at 03:21 PM

Lol cliff .

6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

(1169)

on March 25, 2013
at 03:10 PM

It's harder when you're younger to be different. For me I cannot have a bit of cake. It's like a poison. I cannot have small bits. It would be like feeding a cocaine addict cocaine. Best for yo to say no thanks. If anyone presses it say you have an allergy. You are the one with the normal eating, not those others.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 25, 2013
at 03:07 PM

Lying about food allergies to fit a dietary preference? Boo.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 25, 2013
at 03:06 PM

Woah woah... WOAH. You act normal in public? You do at least carry your Captain Caveman club around with you, right?

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on March 25, 2013
at 02:54 PM

Oh, and you can verb the word guest/stranger, in which case it means "to avoid".

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on March 25, 2013
at 02:53 PM

Related: the Finnish word for "guest" is the same as "stranger." True story.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on March 25, 2013
at 02:52 PM

You don't have to lie. Just say "I have an adverse reaction to [substance]", people won't question since they don't want to hear how you shit all over yourself if you eat it, even though you actually just get some gas.

1d1a1aa53ec46345db814f2e5bc03838

(108)

on March 25, 2013
at 02:37 PM

Great advice, good links, thanks!

37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on March 25, 2013
at 02:29 PM

Eating friends is though.

1d1a1aa53ec46345db814f2e5bc03838

(108)

on March 25, 2013
at 02:24 PM

hahaha, not bad :)

  • 1d1a1aa53ec46345db814f2e5bc03838

    asked by

    (108)
  • Views
    3.1K
  • Last Activity
    1255D AGO
Frontpage book

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

8 Answers

8
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on March 25, 2013
at 02:19 PM

Having friends isn't paleo

1d1a1aa53ec46345db814f2e5bc03838

(108)

on March 25, 2013
at 02:24 PM

hahaha, not bad :)

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on March 25, 2013
at 03:21 PM

Lol cliff .

37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on March 25, 2013
at 02:29 PM

Eating friends is though.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on March 25, 2013
at 02:54 PM

Oh, and you can verb the word guest/stranger, in which case it means "to avoid".

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on March 25, 2013
at 02:53 PM

Related: the Finnish word for "guest" is the same as "stranger." True story.

7
37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on March 25, 2013
at 02:21 PM

Personally if it's a birthday party, Christmas dinner etc I will eat what's offered to me or take part in the culinary tradition. That goes for cake, a beer, pie, or whatever. It's just not worth the social hiccup to avoid a few grams of something that will be out of my system soon after. I don't even consider it a cheat, since I don't really crave these things... more like a gesture of solidarity with my friends/family. As long as these are not say, a weekly occurrence, and don't involve binging or huge portions, I don't let it bother me one bit.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 25, 2013
at 03:06 PM

Woah woah... WOAH. You act normal in public? You do at least carry your Captain Caveman club around with you, right?

37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on March 25, 2013
at 08:36 PM

They still think it's weird that I carry my wife on my shoulder but they're getting used to it.

89fa2da4805b0b4e54b77a5a20a2e206

(2097)

on March 25, 2013
at 11:59 PM

captain caveeeeeeeeeeemannnnnnnnnnnnnnnn..:) i agree- it should be fine to deviate from your eating plan *0nce* in a while.

1963db946ae415764d9044222fbf4c5b

(257)

on March 25, 2013
at 10:16 PM

This. It's down to frequency. If it's once a month or so (and assuming you're not celiac or anything) then just go with the flow - eat paleo if you can, loose paleo otherwise (dairy, safe starches), anything if you want/have to. If it's more often then start being more choosy, stick to a loose paleo or fast and talk some of the time. Socializing is paleo!

2
4610451431ec7155c87a5698be682a95

(1122)

on March 25, 2013
at 05:33 PM

What is sad about this is that no one now thinks twice about accommodating someone who is vegetarian/vegan. I have several vegetarian family members who have it much easier during family/social events than I ever did as a Zoner/Paleo eater. "Let them eat cow!"

2
86c97b2779feab3c330f5e1c5fea7e25

(2312)

on March 25, 2013
at 03:21 PM

In relation to your question about eating at restaurants...you can almost always find some kind of Paleo meal. Most places will have an option to have meat and veggies, whether it's a steak with steamed veggies or a salad with some kind of protein.

Since you enjoy this for the social aspect. just eat a bit before so you aren't craving a huge meal. Show up, have your (slightly altered) meal, enjoy your time with friends and all is good.

The other side is enjoy this as your 20% "cheat", but my point is that you can stay relatively Paleo even when eating at diners/restaurants.

2
5b9a25a1a676397a25579dfad59e1d7b

(2318)

on March 25, 2013
at 02:29 PM

It can be tough at first but if you don???t make a big deal about it, over time they won???t either. Just feel good about doing what makes you feel healthy and happy. If people ask why I don't eat something I just tell them straight up that it makes me feel awful and then I move on unless they ask for more details. Just be honest, open and light hearted about it. If you act defensive then they'll be defensive. Often times people get into this mentalty when on any type of quote unquote abnormal diet (aka anything not SAD) where they kind of start to isolate themselves. Who says you can't tag along with your friends and be social without eating the same crap they eat?

If all else fails (I've been there) simply say you have something of an allergic reaction to x, y, z. A little white lie is a lot easier sometimes then going into lengthy (and sometimes heated) discussion -- esp if people keep drilling you and making you feel like the outsider (in which case, maybe you shouldn't be worried about trying to pursue a realtionship with these people anyway?).

Check out this article from Marks Daily which begins to address the question.

Also the 80/20 rule could apply here as will. Check this out for more.

1d1a1aa53ec46345db814f2e5bc03838

(108)

on March 25, 2013
at 03:27 PM

I wouldn't lie but I could say something like "No thanks, I hate your poison!" ;-)

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on March 25, 2013
at 09:54 PM

@Matt exactly. It is a sad state of affairs when "white" lies are encouraged as a matter of course these days.

1d1a1aa53ec46345db814f2e5bc03838

(108)

on March 25, 2013
at 02:37 PM

Great advice, good links, thanks!

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on March 25, 2013
at 02:52 PM

You don't have to lie. Just say "I have an adverse reaction to [substance]", people won't question since they don't want to hear how you shit all over yourself if you eat it, even though you actually just get some gas.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on March 25, 2013
at 03:07 PM

Lying about food allergies to fit a dietary preference? Boo.

5b9a25a1a676397a25579dfad59e1d7b

(2318)

on March 26, 2013
at 11:47 AM

You guys are right and I definitely don't encourage people to lie about their dietary preferences. I guess I'm thinking of one of my most unpleasant experiences when I was met with legit hostility because I wouldn't partake in eating a birthday cake. They would have been all "Oh you poor thing, that sucks that you're allergic to wheat" instead of going the whole gossipy "She must have an eating disorder" and "Oh you used to eat this stuff all the time! What's wrong with you?" route. You're right though -- we need to stop feeling bad about wanting to feel good and just be honest.

1
A97b68379a576dfa764a4828304d2efb

(4181)

on March 25, 2013
at 06:08 PM

I really struggled with this too, at first. Until your friends and family get used to what you eat (took about a year for mine), how about choosing two non-negotiable foods you will avoid and then just accept the remainder as a slight deviation?

I found it easier to tell people I don't tolerate gluten or dairy (which is very true and I thought it would be nicer if I spared them the after-effects) and then keep kind of quiet about the rest unless really pushed on the subject.

Also, don't underestimate the arsenal of excuses you have! You can cycle through I'm not hungry / maybe later / I don't really like ice cream / etc, so it doesn't always sound like you are grounded from fun food.

As far as eating out, I try to suggest sushi or steak houses when possible and if not, I will go somewhere that offers raw oysters (nothing bad there) or some steamed seafood option. If none of that is available, I do a burger without the bun and grilled vegetables (but ask if the burger has breadcrumbs added). A word about sushi: stick to sashimi if possible and bring your own gluten free soy sauce if you are really sensitive to gluten. I eat white rice, but a lot of Japanese restaurants add sugar to their rice.

The longer you do the diet, the longer you realize what you can occasionally eat without dire consequences. I can eat french fries cooked in rancid oil without feeling too terrible, but I just ate wheat for the first time in over a year and I am still very much so feeling terrible a week later.

1
A003a0e704118f11b86a6e1fbbb13cd7

on March 25, 2013
at 04:58 PM

As far as treats in the office, perhaps you could stock your desk with some Paleo treats, so you don't have to just watch everyone eat. If you're headed to a dinner party, bring a Paleo dish to share, so you can show everyone that Paleo is tasty and you know you'll have something to eat. As far as restaurants, perhaps you could get more involved with picking the place so you can check out the menu and make a plan ahead of time. When all else fails, grab a steak and a side salad or some steamed veggies!

It does get easier as you go!

1
717ac8a668eec6c024186d46ff30b3c3

(105)

on March 25, 2013
at 02:48 PM

Hi, I agree that after going paleo, some social occasions become somewhat awkward like birthday cakes at office or having some conversation at a bar or a good meal at an establishment where no seemingly paleo-compliant food served. I was afraid at the beginning not to able to attend these so-called social events without hurting myself or someone. However what I discovered instead was that all these had some solution where you get even credit! Like, saying "I'm gluten-intolerant/sugar sensitive" to reject politely bagels and cakes and sugary beverages; or ordering a meat-weighted meal and eating only meat and side veggies only at the restaurants; or saying "couldn't drink because I have a fatty-liver" (, which would be somewhat true if I continued to drink as before paleo). With similar excuses I have even get credit and did not violate my resolutions/well-being. My only difficult rule to observe is going to bed before 10:30 pm. For this I an still having jokes. Hope this helps.

Answer Question


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