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What to tell the Non-believers?

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  • #46
    @Nellie,

    I think it's crucial to know your audience.

    I think we could divide the general public in two broad and roughly divided groups: those who are intellectually curious, and those who are not.

    The very intellectually curious crowd would be very receptive to articulated, logical arguments challenging their ideas. They tend to seek comfort through understanding, and pushing them out of their comfort zone would be the best incentive to get them acquainted with the basics of Paleo and giving it a shot. One of my fav questions is: "If the human species is, say 200,000 years old, don't you think it's odd that CW suggests eating food that has only been available for the last 5,000 as the best path to achieve optimal health?" To me, this is the easy crowd, becasue the PB is not based on belief, but evidence. Three or four tailored logical challenges are enough to trigger the intellectual snowball that results in abandoning nutritional CW and embracing something aligned with their new perspective.

    The very non-intellectually curious crowd tends to be prone to adopting views of reality that give them emotional comfort, even if these views are evidently non-sensical. They follow advice from people based on faith or what it's evident to them that works. They are also to be prone to accept ideas that strengthen their previously-held emotionally comfortable beliefs. To me, this is the tough crowd. You might be are better off, for example, manipulating their feelings so that they stop feeling comfortable with CW and see the PB as attractive source of emotional stability. Or tricking them into trying the PB somehow and then trust that they'll stick to it as result of feeling good. Or introducing them to a charismatic character like Mark and encouraging them to "just trust" him and give it a go.

    Another big challenge posed by the very non-intellectually curious crowd is that they tend to be more unaware than average about what they do *not* know. They think they are already acquainted with the (coincidentally, emotionally comfortable) Truth and that the rest are basically mental wankers. The fact that some of these "wankers" happen to have post-docs in cellular physiology, for example, and interestingly, seems to have no effect on them. Anyone who has seen a (unilaterally) heated debate between an evidently ill-informed climate-change skeptic and a grad-school climatologist will know exactly what I mean.

    Personally, I decided to pick my battles and only invest time and effort in people I really care about. The intellectually curious people would eventually see the PB as a no-brainer so they are easy as well. As for the very emotional types, I tend to give up, invoke Darwin's natural selection principle, wish them luck, and keep my mouth shut. Low meat prices are, I also have to admit, a great incentive.
    Last edited by SerialSinner; 06-26-2010, 03:07 PM. Reason: typos
    “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
    "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

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    • #47
      The hardest people i'm finding are my FAMILY funnily enough. These lot are part of my daily life (mostly in some way or another) and they have plenty of uninformed comments about what we all do here. its so ridiculous. Main part for me is that i have brought my 4 year old along for the life change, he isn't liking it "all" just yet (understandably since his been made addicted to sugar), but i know i am doing him a HUGE favour, but the family just don't see it. Some of the comments have been amazing

      you cant make the child suffer
      oh just gives him some sweets
      his not allowed any sugary stuff?
      you gotta give the kid some bread for god sake, your the only person in the world who doesn't eat bread
      you don't let him have juice (looking at me as if i'm either crazy or horrible)
      etc

      its like they think by giving him the best i'm somehow doing him WRONG and being unfair to him, etc.
      One time http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/forum.php

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      • #48
        I learned many years ago that when someone asks me about my lifestyle with an earnest curiosity, I tell them what I do. I make no apologies. I make no recommendations. If asked for any opinion about what they do, again, if it is earnest, I may respond, but not with the idea that they must do what I do.

        I try to avoid any sort of contention because I have struggled--and still struggle--with a seriously pugnacious nature. Comes from growing up where and how I did, I guess, followed by being imbued with a warrior mentality during my "half a lifetime" in the military.

        My thought is that as I wish to live my life, others are free to live their lives. My way isn't the only way.
        Tayatha om bekandze

        Bekandze maha bekandze

        Randza samu gate soha

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        • #49
          @Ollie

          I have a 3 year old son. I've not tried to move him toward the primal eating plan yet simply because it's difficult enough to get him to eat as things are not to mention adding in new things or taking about what he knows. I would love to be able to feed him primal food but it's difficult to get him to eat anything he doesn't know. He's autistic which is a huge part of it. I've been informed by his therapists and teachers that for a lot of autistic children and people in general, when it comes to food, sometimes it's more the texture then the taste that they like or don't like. For example, my son will eat potato chips and French fired, but not baked, steamed or mashed potatoes. He will eat bacon but not sausage. He will eat chicken and beef now as long as it isn't cooked with anything but EVOO and soy sauce. I guess my point is, if my son were able to, I would totally feed him primal food every day. For what it's worth, I applaud your efforts to raise your son to eat well and he will eventually learn to love it as his body over comes the carb addiction.

          My family has similar sentiments about sweets and the like. My older sister had gestational diabetes with her last three children and was constantly complaining about how unsympathetic the nurses and doctors were when her blood sugar levels were too high. The reason they were always too high is because she wouldn't stop eating chocolate malt balls and caramel corn and all the other sweet stuff she always ate. I sometimes wonder if she is even aware of how much junk she really consumes on a daily basis and if she did know if she would think twice about putting it into her mouth. Not just her though but anyone who's ever complained about being unhealthy or over weight and then you watch as they chug a chocolate milk shake and listen to them say they don't understand why they can't lose the weight. I believe these people would fall into the 'very non-intellectually curious crowd' eh?
          What's for dinner? Dead cow!

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          • #50
            Well, when I comes to my children, they are not primal. One twin is much closer than the other.

            I was in listening to a nutritionist talk about how children deal with food. She says, if they say it tastes bad, you can bet it tastes bad TO THEM. Children tend to have stronger taste buds than adults. She says to keep presenting the new foods with some sort of "safe" food on the table. Eventually they will come around.

            I personally continue to present primal foods to my kids and know that one day they will be there. I do wish they would convert sooner than later. They already have big appetites, and especially the one that would rather eat more simple carbs. I just know if he'd eat 2 or 3 chicken legs, he'd actually feel full! But you know, the vomit antics over having chicken touch his lips...OMG.

            However, with regard to people that feel your child should have sugary food, and crap juice... if you don't want to argue, refer to your pediatrician. "His doctor says that he shouldn't eat that crap! That we have a national crisis on our hands with obese children, and that I can help keep my child from being tortured on so many levels just by cutting out nutritionless food." I haven't met ONE pediatrician that thinks that sugar and juice are part of a well rounded diet. They may be ok with bread and such. And they are likely to push whole grain. Which, if you're going to eat bread (which mine do... although less and less lately. YAY!) I'd rather see whole grains than processed Wonder bread (wonder what's in it) You could always tell family that your child is sensitive to grains. I mean, really isn't that premise of primal anyway? That infact our bodies just don't do well on grain.

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            • #51
              I disagree, to a certain extent, with the saying nothing / forcing religion view. I understand where you're coming from and for the most part I agree that you can't go round evangelizing, but we also need to combat misinformation. it matters. It's science, not religion. When you get national bodies pushing bad science as 'the right thing' and companies pushing the low-fat crap in their advertising and on the shelf - (there were only FIVE containers of plain whole cream on the shelf in the ENTIRE supermarket dairy case of hundreds of products) - when people start LEGISLATING "healthy" diets that make people sick, we're talking disaster of national proportions.

              It make me sad to see so many people suffering illness and unhappiness. We have a moral obligation to let people know the truth.

              Even from a personal point of view, other people's choices DO affect you and your family. They are already raising the retirement age here due to the aging population - but we'll all be working our fingers to the bone until we drop off the perch, to pay for real financial cost of ill health. And heaven help us if we need medical care, hospitals are already not coping.

              Sure we don't want to shove this stuff down people's throats, that's very true. But I think we need to look at ways to get the message out there. Support people like Mark. Share their videos and posts on our Facebook and Twitter, write book reviews on Amazon, blog about it, and when there's health stories in the media, get out there and comment. That's a great way to spread the word without being a PITA.

              In addition, we can take the 'be an example' thing seriously - not whining about giving stuff up, not being pathetic and taking the soft option so often that we compromise our own health, so that people really want what we have.

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              • #52
                I have been criticized and am still being criticized for my dieting lifestyle now. People have told me I am making incorrect choices and will see in the future what I did wrong. I have tried to debate/argue and it gets nowhere. I found the best thing for me is to let my results speak for me. People know that I was at 260 in February. They also knew I was at 250 in May. They now know I am below 225. My weight loss/muscle gain is the only talking I do!
                Insert whitty diet remark here!

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by JasonBanz View Post
                  I have been criticized and am still being criticized for my dieting lifestyle now. People have told me I am making incorrect choices and will see in the future what I did wrong. I have tried to debate/argue and it gets nowhere. I found the best thing for me is to let my results speak for me. People know that I was at 260 in February. They also knew I was at 250 in May. They now know I am below 225. My weight loss/muscle gain is the only talking I do!

                  I feel the same way I was 253 in February and I'm 178 now. I get all kinds of reactions and questions. I just tell people I changed the way I eat. If I get another question I give another answer until they stop. Usually they walk away thinking I'm on Atkins. They only person I try to give real info to is the wife. She lives off of pasta and it kills me.
                  "Live Free or Die"

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                  • #54
                    either they want it or they dont

                    If someone realy wants the info I'll send them here. Otherwise I've been telling people I'm allergic to wheat/gluten or that I'm on Atkins. I've stopped caring that much except for my family but even for them, they have to want it.

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                    • #55
                      I like the way you think warren. That pretty much describes how I handle it. To each his own but (IMHO) you're not going to convince the vast majority of people. I find you'll alienate more people then you'll "save."

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