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NotACaveboyNotYetACaveman

Social aspects of Whole30

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Hey,

I've been dabbling in the Paleo diet for about a month now, and am enjoying how I'm feeling these days. While I'm not committing yet to the Whole30 program, I do have a few questions that often arise in social situations, especially when eating out with friends, etc. I'm a very social person and my work involves eating out A LOT.

1. What can I tell people who say I'm eating too much fat? My only answer so far is "fat doesn't make you fat!" but I'm having trouble elaborating in a way that doesn't sound like I'm giving a science lecture.

2. Same goes for red meat - people have been saying it's not good for your heart to eat too much red meat.

3. What can I tell people who look at me funny for avoiding all breads/wheats/noodles/etc? BBQing with friends and in work scenarios is weird when I go for a bunless hotdog or just a burger patty on a plate. Seriously, it's weird.

I'm really not the kind of guy to divulge details about a "diet" (I'm also skinny and in good shape already) so I'm just looking for smart healthy answers here that aren't going to start any debates.

Also, one more quick thing - rice milk is out, right?

Thanks for the help!

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Honestly, my experience is that there's no way to "explain" any way of eating that isn't going to make people argue with you. 5 years ago I lost 100 lbs thru healthy eating and cutting back on junk. I still had to explain myself ... and people wanted to argue with me that "you can't lose weight eating X" or "what you're doing is unhealthy" or whatever.

My answer to people who want to argue with me is "I'm trying something new and it might work and it might not, but I think it's healthy to explore all options".

Now having said that, I'll say that I don't believe in "fad" diets, and the historian/anthropologist in me says that "paleo" is a crock. But if someone wants to try a new way of eating that they think might work for them, as long as I don't think they're actually doing something to damage their health (like a 6 week Master Cleanse!), I'll mostly keep my mouth shut unless asked. If asked, I'll express my opinion and my reasons for doing so and then move on.

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I had a great friend who argued every point you mentioned with me. She was a frail marathon runner who ate a typical standard american diet...very low fat, lots of grains, no red meat, etc etc. I'd come into work post work-out, eating my leftover meat and veggies and feeling amazing. She'd hobble in an hour late, coming from the doctor who had just prescribed some pill or anti-inflammatory patch for any number of her aches and bruises and she'd sit, bandaged up like a friggin half dead zombie, telling me how unhealthy I was. You will not win these arguments. Try a quick explanation and if it doesn't work, divert the conversation to something else.

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I just told people that I was trying an elimination diet to see if I could clear up some allergies. No one said a thing. I work with scientists and everyone's pretty edumacated and down with the concept of experimenting, and we've already got a couple of people in our department with diagnosed celiac so people are used to this stuff. YMMV, but, I think "my doctor recommended I try this" tends to shut that stuff down, and if you start talking about wanting to put an end to your humiliating tribulations with diarrhea, no one will ask you anything about it ever again :)

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I eat at work at lot also. One thing that has worked for me is giving my non-paleo food away. People don't argue with m when I'm offering them the hash browns that came with my omelet or my toast... in fact now they flat out ask me if they can have mine. I'm not necessarily doing their health any good, but I don't get comments about what I eat anymore.

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Maybe it's because I live in California....but usually it's the people eating the bun/bread/grain/carb whatever or low fat anything who get all the questions and accusations of being unhealthy...carbs are so villianized right now and it's pretty mainstream.

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Lol that's funny Flynn! Here in ireland you could easily order lasagne is a restaraunt & it would be served with chips (fries) *and* garlic bread!

I was asked the other day and while I said Paleo I said "It's just getting back to eating natural, unprocessed foods" rather than mentioning cavemen/ancestors etc.

I was very pleased as the same person had exclaimed "oh my goodness, your shape has changed since we last met" - a nice way to hear you've lost weight I thought...

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You live in Ireland? Wow, I'm jealous. I lived in Killarney for a year. Loved it! I remember being surprised when I ordered Chinese food and they served it with chips. Crazy!

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I would just say "I follow a Paleo/Primal way of eating and I've never felt better! You should try it sometime!"

I don't get why people feel the need to comment on what someone else does/doesn't eat. I personally think that's pretty rude.

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Mark's Daily Apple actually did posts on at least two of your questions:

on fats: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/high-fat-diet-healthy-safe/#axzz1zbcC9MeC

on not eating grains: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/top-8-most-common-reactions-to-your-grain-free-diet-and-how-to-respond/#axzz1wxULs0Vc

As for the red meat, most people are thinking saturated fat or cholesterol, so getting a little understanding of why these things aren't unhealthy is important if you are wanting to explain it.

Rice milk is usually out for those who are eating strictly paleo. Or, at least I don't know of any argument as to why to include it in a strict paleo diet. Notice the word strict here.

I think if people are honestly interested, explaining away is great. But for those who are just giving you weird looks, go on with your day without saying a word. You really never have to explain or defend your eating choices, so I'd really only talk about it to people who are truly curious. Also, if I'm not feeling the food conversation, I just default to saying, "This way of eating just makes me feel the healthiest I've ever felt. That's all I really care about." Done.

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I am on Day 10, yeah double digits! I started a new job today. They told me 3 people's birthdays are this week so there are cup cakes and cakes in the office. I don't feel like eating them in particular but I was definitely hungry close to lunch time. I am hoping this is me getting used to my new habit of not eating sweets. The carving of sugar is slowly going down after the first week of Whole 30, so far so good.

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I gave up on trying to explain Paleo to most people. If I simply tell them I am focusing on whole, unprocessed foods in my diet and avoiding sugar and gluten, then people seem to have no problem with it. It's all in the packaging... :)

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I tell people it's what my doctor suggested when he ran blood work and now my bloodwork is great so it's working. True story.

And if they are truly interested they will ask questions instead of trying to tell you why you're wrong. ;) If they want to argue, I just say "this seems to work for me so I'm sticking to it for now" just to shut them up. But if someone is asking sincere questions (and you can tell when they are) I let them know what I've learned or refer them to resources if I can't remember everything.

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I had a great friend who argued every point you mentioned with me. She was a frail marathon runner who ate a typical standard american diet...very low fat, lots of grains, no red meat, etc etc. I'd come into work post work-out, eating my leftover meat and veggies and feeling amazing. She'd hobble in an hour late, coming from the doctor who had just prescribed some pill or anti-inflammatory patch for any number of her aches and bruises and she'd sit, bandaged up like a friggin half dead zombie, telling me how unhealthy I was. You will not win these arguments. Try a quick explanation and if it doesn't work, divert the conversation to something else.

Johnny, wherever you are....I just ran into an old friend at the grocery store.    She doesn't eat dairy, eggs, meat or fish.   She was sharing her way of life ...while on pain meds for bulging discs and constant back pain.  She told me that I was doing the worst possible "diet" for myself and begged me to stop.   I listened, squeezed her on the  shoulders, started to walk and decided to make a  run for my car.   I have some banged up toes but they don't hurt anymore.   :D  

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