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Social "pressure" at work

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created August 08, 2013 at 9:27 AM

I have a part-time job at a small company (usually 6 employees present). We always have lunch together, and this lunch gets paid for by my employer. Every day, one of us goes to the supermarket to get lunch - I'm Dutch, so it usually consists of bread and such.

As I really don't want to force paleo on them, how can I eat paleo without coming off as an elitist? I don't really mind the 'I only eat unprocessed food' discussion, and of course I can bring my own food, but they'll probably think I'm some kind of douche who thinks he's better than them. I'll play that role if I have to.. but I'd rather not.

Any tips or similar experiences?

75d9b8386ab3e657a08bc1b73dd352be

(65)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

It's a good argument, I give you that. However, I'd prefer *not* attacking their lifestyle.. for now.

75d9b8386ab3e657a08bc1b73dd352be

(65)

on August 09, 2013
at 07:53 AM

Haha, true. Will do!

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 08, 2013
at 01:04 PM

not sure where you work, but I'd tell the person to mind their own business.

75d9b8386ab3e657a08bc1b73dd352be

(65)

on August 08, 2013
at 12:44 PM

I am, in fact, just asked if they were okay with buying me something else if I'm not the one buying lunch. It's just that they're pretty blunt about things here, and I was kind of afraid of bigotry. Last time I brought my own lunch, the response I got was 'Stop fucking around, just eat your bread like everyone else.'

75d9b8386ab3e657a08bc1b73dd352be

(65)

on August 08, 2013
at 12:41 PM

I am, in fact, just asked if they were okay with buying me something else if I'm not the one buying lunch. It's just that they're pretty blunt about things here, and I was kind of afraid of bigotry. Last time I brought my own lunch, the only response I got was 'Stop fucking around, just eat your bread like everyone else.'

76026e8ef496039d5075440ff731aa0d

(5386)

on August 08, 2013
at 12:39 PM

Yes, I was speaking of doctors there in Europe in particular compared to western doctors who never seem to know that, gluten can be a big issue. It's also best to test out your own N=1 like you have.

75d9b8386ab3e657a08bc1b73dd352be

(65)

on August 08, 2013
at 11:39 AM

I'm not quite sure what you mean. Are you talking about doctors in Holland? I haven't been tested for glutenintolerance, I just experimented by eating gluten-free - turns out digestion improves as there's less bowel irritation. May be unrelated, but I also suffer from Keratosis Pilaris, and found that (simply by eating gluten-free) my skin smoothes out as well.

76026e8ef496039d5075440ff731aa0d

(5386)

on August 08, 2013
at 10:32 AM

That makes so much more sense! I was thinking, if you eat bread, you can order whatever you want! how can someone give you a hard time for eating a sandwich! Thanks for the clarification. I've read before that doctors are much more aware of gluten and its effects on people, have you found this to be true?

75d9b8386ab3e657a08bc1b73dd352be

(65)

on August 08, 2013
at 10:23 AM

I avoid bread. That's the thing: typical lunch (and breakfast) for most Dutchmen consists of bread. So I'm kind off the odd one out here. I'm still trying to find out if I'm intolerant to gluten.

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7 Answers

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1
76026e8ef496039d5075440ff731aa0d

on August 08, 2013
at 09:47 AM

I love a good game of "Would You Rather"???So far your options sound like:

Would you rather be a douche, and get to eat what you want.

Lie and say you're "allergic" or some such, and get to eat what you want.

Tell the truth about the way you eat in a 5 minute explanation that will make you possibly the joke of some, while stirring intrigue in others, AND get to eat what you want.

Tough call, but as my name indicates, I go with option B on most occasions, because I do believe I???m allergic to gluten, or seed oil, or carbs, or being awake at 0600 hrs, I just have no idea what particular food, or the combination of, I also lack desire to find out because of my aversion to having my life blood sucked out by vampires with needles! My answer then, you???re allergic too fill in blank

I have to ask though, you???re Dutch, isn???t that weird? Also???you???re eating bread and are still somehow Paleo? Did I read that right?

Truth.

76026e8ef496039d5075440ff731aa0d

(5386)

on August 08, 2013
at 12:39 PM

Yes, I was speaking of doctors there in Europe in particular compared to western doctors who never seem to know that, gluten can be a big issue. It's also best to test out your own N=1 like you have.

75d9b8386ab3e657a08bc1b73dd352be

(65)

on August 08, 2013
at 10:23 AM

I avoid bread. That's the thing: typical lunch (and breakfast) for most Dutchmen consists of bread. So I'm kind off the odd one out here. I'm still trying to find out if I'm intolerant to gluten.

75d9b8386ab3e657a08bc1b73dd352be

(65)

on August 08, 2013
at 11:39 AM

I'm not quite sure what you mean. Are you talking about doctors in Holland? I haven't been tested for glutenintolerance, I just experimented by eating gluten-free - turns out digestion improves as there's less bowel irritation. May be unrelated, but I also suffer from Keratosis Pilaris, and found that (simply by eating gluten-free) my skin smoothes out as well.

76026e8ef496039d5075440ff731aa0d

(5386)

on August 08, 2013
at 10:32 AM

That makes so much more sense! I was thinking, if you eat bread, you can order whatever you want! how can someone give you a hard time for eating a sandwich! Thanks for the clarification. I've read before that doctors are much more aware of gluten and its effects on people, have you found this to be true?

2
Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on August 08, 2013
at 09:55 AM

Interestingly I posted the following on Facebook yesterday afternoon...

I was recently commented to after turning down some office biscuits:

"All the fanatical health stuff, we are all going to die..."

To which I replied (in a manner of words):

"Well it's not just about biscuits, but about the whole habit of things. The issue is that everyone assumes they will die young say in a car crash (or something), or die a little frail and wobbly in their old age. What people forget about is all the time in-between. It is one thing to die suddenly when it's your time to go, it's a whole other thing to spend the larger part of your life dealing with some stupid chronic health issue.

Now I am not saying eating a chocolate digestive is going to lead to a terminal disease, what I am saying is that if you make the habit of making a habit of displacing useful stuff with unhelpful stuff... well it just all adds up.

You are the sum of your chemical reactions, and these things are pretty damn sensitive. For example, eat in such a way that inflames your gut and you are not going to be able to absorb certain vitamins like B12 which are essential for neural development. Sounds abstract, but you know you sometimes get gassy or have a loose stomach after eating? Well keep assuming that is normal through your twenties and thirties, and you might just be dealing with the beginnings of mental health problem in your fifties. Depression is a lot of fun for your future wife and kids, and what's depressing about that is that maybe just maybe bread might have been to blame for your 'melancholy disposition' and all the wonders that go along with that.

Anyway I'm just saying if you are in the majority doing useful things like supplying yourself with the myriad of chemicals for life (i.e. eating whole foods the whole time), and using your body in such a way that you are constantly and consistently getting stronger, more mobile and resilient every year; then hell eat a packet of biscuits every week. But if you have no desire to even walk up seven flights of stairs each day at the ripe old age of twenty-five then... sorry, just being blunt here.

Think how truly crappy you feel having the flu for a week. Just imagine spending the next forty years dealing with something more serious.

Honestly, it's not difficult; just eat and move usefully consistently, 'everything in moderation' is a load of bunk. No one wants poor health in moderation let alone for the rest of your life.

Eat the damn biscuit, life is a lot more then just eating and drinking.

But personally I am hoping to be learning and doing a bunch more stuff in my sixties, and by that I mean stuff people do in their twenties. What's nice is that I have the next thirty years to practice it all before I get there.

Saying no to a biscuit is just more useful overall."

https://www.facebook.com/thomasherbertmash

75d9b8386ab3e657a08bc1b73dd352be

(65)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

It's a good argument, I give you that. However, I'd prefer *not* attacking their lifestyle.. for now.

1
197651282ddd8d675b974ee811d2269e

on August 08, 2013
at 06:31 PM

The good news is that peer pressure to eat SAD foods might be age related. In my twenties, I worked at such accompany where if you didnt eat like everyone else, they thought you were elitist. So I brought a lot of really weird foods for everyone, like green juice to share/gross them out. They agreed that I was weird and stopped bugging me.

I came back to the same company a couple of decades later (can you tell I'm stuck in this industry?) and all the same people are now eating salads regularly because they are all trying to stay fit. In fact, I'm the only one who doesn't get up at the crack of dawn to run and who stills eats fried foods. My,my,my, how things change in a couple of decades.

As you get older there's less peer pressure or at least YOU get to set the tone.

0
4b63eb9c59e947feb9dde8b3547d7c07

(55)

on August 08, 2013
at 09:57 PM

I've been bringing my lunch for a couple of years to work. If there is a company lunch when the order out for the group I just work around it. For example, Pizza: just eat the toppings, Salad; leave off the dressing or order oil and vinegar, if restaurant: order broiled fish or steak. As far as bringing my lunch, if anyone says anything I just say, "I'm trying to eat healthier" and just shrug my shoulders. They've all been fine about it.

0
0b1183c1cb9a03cb6dad93cb60926f6e

on August 08, 2013
at 04:42 PM

At the end of the day, someone is going to say something. I've been Paleo for a month and get all sorts of looks and sayings that I don't like. Many of them make me defensive. All I want to do is eat my food in peace. I don't sit there and complain about your sandwich filled with processed meat or your fried chicken with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy. A lot of negativity comes from not understanding, but most of the time, people are just curious. At the end of the day, just do you. Besides, you're lucky if you're only concern at lunch is what people think about your eating habits. I'm lucky to have a boss that knows I eat Paleo and so when the team goes out to eat, they make sure we are going some place that I can eat as well. Besides, while they're doing that midday crash, struggling for that 5 hour energy or Monster, you'll still be full of Paleo energy :)

0
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 08, 2013
at 12:33 PM

OMG, just ask for a salad or a side of veggies OR bring your own damn lunch -- Be responsible for yourself, don't expect others to make exceptions for you

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 08, 2013
at 01:04 PM

not sure where you work, but I'd tell the person to mind their own business.

75d9b8386ab3e657a08bc1b73dd352be

(65)

on August 08, 2013
at 12:44 PM

I am, in fact, just asked if they were okay with buying me something else if I'm not the one buying lunch. It's just that they're pretty blunt about things here, and I was kind of afraid of bigotry. Last time I brought my own lunch, the response I got was 'Stop fucking around, just eat your bread like everyone else.'

75d9b8386ab3e657a08bc1b73dd352be

(65)

on August 09, 2013
at 07:53 AM

Haha, true. Will do!

75d9b8386ab3e657a08bc1b73dd352be

(65)

on August 08, 2013
at 12:41 PM

I am, in fact, just asked if they were okay with buying me something else if I'm not the one buying lunch. It's just that they're pretty blunt about things here, and I was kind of afraid of bigotry. Last time I brought my own lunch, the only response I got was 'Stop fucking around, just eat your bread like everyone else.'

0
C6648ab69e5a1560c7585fe3ba7108fb

on August 08, 2013
at 12:26 PM

I'd try eating a few Paleo meals at lunch and really see if anybody notices; I'm US based and have been bringing in my own Paleo meals every day of work and I've yet to actually have people ask me why I'm not eating bread. I HAVE had to explain why I can't eat the office treats they bring in, but I just tell them I have gluten sensitivity and they're usually cool with that. You might be surprised at how unobservant people are about other people's lunches :P

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