Jaylee

"Concerned" friend...I'm in over my head!

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I'm on Day 24 of my first Whole 30 and I won't even go into the positive results I already have experienced....BUT today I got an email from a family friend with a link to this recent article expressing her concerns for my health. I was just going to ignore it, but she copied several other family members...so, I know this isn't the last of it.

I'm too new to all of this to know exactly what to say - even though I feel like it makes sense to me. (I should add that this person is a tremendous athlete - as in multiple medals at the recent US Track&Field National Meet...a biochemistry genius who loves, loves, loves science and she makes her living training people and providing nutritional counseling.) Which is why her email is going to strike concern in the minds of the family members she copied...they see her as a trusted resource. And me, well, I'm sure they think this is just another crazy fad diet that couldn't possibly be good for me.

I feel overwhelmed. I've successfully navigated SO many challenging situations in the last 23 days...

I just wanted to get to Day 30 in peace.

Any thoughts on this article?

Should I just hide until I'm done? ;-)

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It doesn't sound like your family friend understands what you are doing, that the information they are working with is through the lens of someone else. Also, this opnion piece is about the quality of the food one should eat and then it veers into an anti-meat stance. Nutrient-dense, can't argue with that. What you're eating is most likely more nutrient-dense than the diet espoused by Ornish.

The information we don't have is what diet the folks at the PMRI were starting with before they got their results. It would make sense that someone eating a lot of refined foods out of crinkly wrappers would show improvement if they ate unprocessed foods.

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If this person is interested in nutrition and is open to science, perhaps send her the links to Whole9, Robb Wolf, etc? I don't know if that would work... you could also kindly and gently say that you understand that she makes her own choices and, of course, you know that she understands that you make your own choices.

CC-ing your family is a pretty obnoxious thing to do, in my opinion.

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I don't recommend trying to combat this with science, unfortunately. I think you should talk about the improvements you have experienced and explain how you would gradually be reintroducing foods later. You don't have to get into details like how you would have no intention of introducing the devilspawn gluten...

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Good luck with your situation!

I have been probably 95% Whole30 complaint for about two months now. This is how I explained my food preferences to someone just this week (that asked me about it)...

"I love how I feel eating this way. I have tons of energy and I can do more intense workouts than before. I keep thinking I will be sore from pushing myself at the gym or with a run, yet I wake up the next day feeling no pain. And by eliminating grains, dairy and soy, I simply cannot eat the overwhelming majority of processed foods in the grocery store or any fast food restaurant. So instead I eat WHOLE, UNPROCESSED FOODS exclusively and they are really, really tasty and good. And the elimination of grains and dairy leads me to eat more veggies and fruits than I have ever eaten in my life. The longer I eat this way, the more convinced I am that this is the best nutrition for my body."

Personally, if I am feeling incredibly good and I am completely happy about the things I eat and I could care less about anything I gave up, then why should anyone else be concerned?

Perhaps you could share an article written by one of the many medical doctors that encourage their patients to eat this way as a course of treatment for their illnesses. When forward thinking MD's back it up, that might just carry a little more weight with your family members and help alleviate their concerns.

P.S. Sometimes I also like to say something tongue in cheek like, "Even if I ask my children which is better for you, a slice of bread or a cup of broccoli, they know enough to say broccoli."

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jaylee, I think the biggest thing missing here is that your friend really has no idea what the Whole30 actually is. There are two ways to address this: (btw, ccing your family was so passive aggressive that I can't even handle it...and I come from eastern europeans!)

First, you could reply back and just say, "I appreciate your concerns, but I think you're misinformed as to how I'm actually eating. This isn't an Atkins diet, this isn't about weight loss, etc etc. Here are some links as to what the Whole30 really is." You could then link to ISWF, or the blog, or whatever you wanted.

Additionally, rather than focusing on what you have excluded from your diet, you could mention what you ARE eating: unprocessed, nutrient dense, natural foods. Tbh, the most of the article you posted really reads in SUPPORT of the W30: eating for health, not for weight loss, eating nutrient dense vegetables, avoiding sugar, etc. You COULD draw parallels if you felt comfortable.

The second route is to ignore it. Diffuse the situation as often as possible, as quickly as possible...there are some people that just refuse to see the W30 or Paleo for what it is, no matter how gently you try to expose them to it. It's just a lost cause...you have to recognize when that is and just disengage.

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Oh my. I have found that simply presenting reading materials works better than me trying to get into the science. I simply talk about the fabulous things I eat (not what I don't eat) and how great I look and feel. I really don't engage unless they are willing to do a little research. It just isn't worth the aggravation.

Be strong..it's your eating plan and life, not theirs. ^_^

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Thanks to all for the support and advice. Honestly I would have just ignored it if it weren't for the cc: to family...I know I have to be somewhat prepared for all of that now.

@homer, emily, jhmomi, slw600 - I too felt confused about this being lumped in with Atkins and felt a little surprised that she didn't seem to really understand the plan...glad I wasn't the only one who saw it that way. And I am going to send her some links - she can read if she wants and if not, then the conversation is over - yay!

@renee - yes, I thought that, too...so much of the article actually supports this plan...another point of confusion about why she was using it to "warn me."

@derval - I know, right??

I also just read Wolf's post about not engaging with people who really aren't interested in the truth about this...his take on what a waste of time it can be. I felt a sigh of relief...and I let it go. Sitting here with my big bowl of roasted okra in pants that are now several sizes too big, with whole-pot-of-coffee-type energy....let them wring their hands about me. I'm better than fine!! :)

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I sent a reply with links and simply said that what people choose to eat is fairly individualized and certainly personal. I appreciated her concern and if anyone was really interested in what I was doing then they could read all the same things I had.

No one responded. :P

Then, this weekend, I was at a birthday party for one of my boys' cousins and several family members were there who had been cc'd...but my cousin (who had NOT been cc'd and didn't have any idea about the Whole30) came over to me in front of the other family members and said, "Oh my...what are YOU on?? You look great. Glowing. I'd be suspicious that you were pregnant if it wasn't clear you'd lost so much weight. Please tell me it's a pill or something easy!!" I laughed and said, "Well thank you and you're in luck, it IS easy. It's called food - real food. Radical, I know, but I'd be happy to give the website." Then I smiled at my "concerned" family and that was the end of that.

:D

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Living well is the best revenge... :)

I have done Atkins in the past - the article is right in that it's not the best health wise, but it has nothing to do with the meat. It is because you can eat lots of fake foods (Atkins bars, etc) and processed foods (McDonald's hamburgers minus the bun), and it's too easy to forget that Atkins says "eat vegetables" - they just gorge on all the meat and cheese they can hold.

I'll stick with real foods,thank you!

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