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Gym Belle Q & A: How to Handle Paleo Haters

@jacazia (the lovely blogger behind The CrossFit Foodie) writes: Kind of annoying when a coworker tries to sabotage attempts at my paleo lifestyle.  Any words of wisdom?

When faced with skeptics, I remind myself that it took a fairly lengthy period of exposure to the paleo diet for me to stop thinking that it was totally wacky and consider giving it a shot.  When you're paleo, you focus on what you eat (lean protein, healthy fats like avocados and nuts, oodles and oodles of veggies, some fruit, etc.)  There's nothing extraordinary about this; we eat good stuff.  What's striking to the uninitiated, though, is the list of verboten foods.  Grains are out.  Legumes are out.  Dairy (for most) is out.  Life without grains is unfathomable to many.  I get that.  Until I tried it, I had no idea that I could function without pasta.  Bread was my absolute favorite food, and I truly thought that grainy foods made my brain work better.  What's obvious to me now about the way my body reacts to different foods was not at all apparent before I was several weeks into my paleo lifestyle, so I can't fault anyone for not "getting it." 

Moreover, I don't need anyone to get it.  I'm paleo (really, 90% paleo/primal 90% of the time) because it works for me.  I have no idea if it would work for anyone else.  To each their own.

I don't know what type of sabotage you're facing, whether it's truly malicious (incessant badgering beyond mere curiousness), inadvertent (daily offers of freshly baked cookies) or something else entirely.  If someone is deliberately dogging you, though, it's their issue, not yours.  I quote the wisdom of Scott Stratten (@unmarketing) when I say, "Don't try to win over the haters.  You are not the jackass whisperer."  In other words, don't get suckered into a false debate.  Just make it clear to your co-worker that you're not going to hear attacks on your diet; it's your business.  Hopefully they'll drop it. 

If it's innocent sabotage of the cookie variety, I would thank your co-worker for their thoughtfulness, but explain that you don't eat that type of treat.  If you're lucky, they'll learn to skip you when they pass out the goodies. 

If someone's genuine, but perhaps excessive, curiosity (or concern for your health) is bugging you, consider pointing them to Lauren Cordain's site or Mark Sisson's for more information.

Maybe the best advice I could give you is to seek out a paleo friend or two.  They've probably encountered similar situations and likely have some good recipes.  If they live close by, that's even better.  Sometimes it's nice not to be the only freak at the table ordering the turkey burger with no bun.

Any other thoughts for @jacazia?  Have you ever had someone attack your diet?

-Gym Belle-


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