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About a month ago I wrote a post about How to Avoid Blowing Yourself Up From the Inside Out During the Holidays. Inevitably during the holidays you’ll get a bunch a questions about why you won’t eat this or that. Blah, blah, blah. I have no doubt you’ll find yourself in a situation with some insensitive an/or misguided soul who insists this Paleo thing isn’t healthy at all. They will insist on this regardless of the fact that you’ve never looked better, never felt better and maybe even never felt happier.

I find this puzzling. You are standing there right in front of them, no doubt looking the best you have in a long time. You are a literal walking billboard for the health benefits of Paleo, yet they still insist that it can’t be healthy. This is undoubtedly because of their misinformed belief that animal foods and fats in particular are unhealthy due to the indoctrination of our population by the FDA and ADA based on faulty research and unproven conclusions. I won’t bore you with the research that proves these notions untrue. I am sure you have read much of this on your own. If not feel free to see my past posts discussing the health benefits of fats. And this one about the Truth about Cholesterol.

Here‘s another misinformed notion I hear a lot, “Any diet that excludes a whole food group can’t be healthy for you. You need to eat a balanced diet.” This argument really gets to me sometimes. I often ask,”What makes you think eating Paleo isn’t balanced?” They usually reply that without dairy and without grains or legumes the diet is not balanced. To this I ask, “Why?” Believe it or not sometimes they have no answer to the question why. Too many people have no idea what nutrients they are getting from the foods they eat. Which by default implies they have no idea what anti-nutrients they are getting from the food they eat. What I need to remind myself of is that not long ago, I was just like many of these people. I was as ignorant of my ignorance as they are.  It took getting sick to spur me into curing my own ignorance.

My answer to the whole missing food group argument is this:

Why is a balanced diet so important? Most would say in order to insure you are getting all the nutrients, both macro and micro, you need. Actually most do not use those words, most use words like vitamins and minerals. Maybe they will throw in carbohydrates and protein.

My next question is just what nutrients do they think I may be missing by eliminating grains, legumes or dairy? Some have no idea while others think they do. They may list fiber, vitamins, minerals, calcium, vitamin D etc. To which I reply that I get more of these nutrients from vegetables, especially green leafy veggies, and fruits than I can ever get from grains, legumes and dairy. And yes, that includes Calcium. One of the biggest misconceptions out there is that dairy is the best source of calcium. It is simply not true. See my post on What’s the Deal with Dairy.  Please also see my past post explaining why no Grains? for more details. There really is absolutely no nutrient available in the foods we choose not to eat that can not be found in great abundance and more absorbable in the foods we do choose to eat. PERIOD.

Look, the beauty of Paleo is just how flexible it really is once you understand what really is good for you and what is not. You can adjust your protein, carb, and fat ratios to fit your needs. The foods with the most micronutrients available in each category are all very Paleo foods. Grass Fed, pastured or organically raised animal foods have the best omega-3 to 6 ratios the most bio-available source of amino acids, protein, iron and vitamin Bs. Brightly colored veggies and fruits have the most fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, add in some roots veggies, a few nuts and seeds and healthy fats and you have the most balanced diet I can think of.

Don’t let someone else’s view of what healthy means deter you from your path to healthfulness and happiness. Don’t let yourself get drawn into a, “my diet can beat your diet” conversation. Some people may be genuinely curious because they can tell you feel and look great. Others may just try to poke holes in your Paleo life in order to justify the fact that they feel less than great, even though they are following the ADA and their doctors rules of a healthy diet.

Those of us in this Paleo community really are ahead of the curve. We are the early adopters. Change like this may seem radical and scary to those who feel comfortable in the familiar and are reluctant to change. That’s ok. As this movement toward whole, natural, unprocessed, unpackaged foods continues to grow, those who resist will slowly begin to find familiarity in a repeated message. As more of us demand better by voting with our dollars and our voices, better food choices will be the norm and not the exception.

This is your Paleo life. It belongs to you! Have faith in it and the choices you make to feel awesome and look awesome. If you do, the skeptics will turn to followers and you will have far more company in the healthy food camp during the holidays to come.  It’s your Paleo. Eat it. Enjoy it. Love it!

 

Happy Holidays and Until Next Time,

 

~ Laura, MGP

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4 Responses to “Handling the Inevitable Paleo Skeptics During the Holidays.”

  1. Pa-Leo says:

    Happy Holidays Laura,
    Thank you for all the thought provoking insight into the mind of another explorer in the field of nutrition and health in 2012.
    Best Wishes for health and wealth in the new year.

    BTW – 2013 looks to be a tumultuous period at the “Low Carb” end of the PALEO movement. I’m ready for the challenge.

    • Momgonepaleo says:

      Happy Holidays to you too! Thank you for all your comments and encouragement. I’m looking forward to 2013 as well. I think there will be challenges as well as an expansion of the Paleo movement. Low-carb or not, we have to start somewhere!

  2. Laura,
    Thanks for telling it like it is and for your candid style. Also – new paleo ‘students’ need to be equipped on how to reply to nay sayers or people asking why they choose to eat this way. I always make it about me ie. “I love dairy (wheat/sugar etc) but it doesn’t love me! In fact I feel ill after I eat it, or I get a rash on my arms” or “I get a headache for 2 days”, etc. When you make it about you, they don’t get defensive. You can also say how great you feel since eliminating these items from your diet. Most people just need to be educated and many want to be educated. That’s when the fun begins;)

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