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Thread: How do you effectively discuss Primal/Paleo Diet with CW'ers???

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009


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    Hi all - As I've switched to eating primal (currently doing a more-strict keto diet to drop off excess weight), I'm getting critique from friends/family/acquaintances.

    My question is - how best do YOU best deal with this and justify the primal diet and lifestyle?

    Sidenote: I realize that sometimes its best (easiest?) to avoid the discussion, but some people you do care about enough to broach the topic and explain why you LIKE, and BELIVE, in living primal in hopes they will be enlightened as well. So, I'm looking for ways best to encourage positive discussion with a person who is still clinging hard to the almighty food pyramid diet.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    Don't feel like you need to be the one to explain it all to everyone. I'm really comfy with public speaking, but I still wouldn't want to give a spiel on Primal vs. CW nutrition without doing some specific preparation. So have a few resources in mind, and mention those by name to anyone who is interested. This website is an obvious choice.

    I'm giving a few people copies of Taubes' book Good Calories, Bad Calories for Christmas. It does a pretty darn good job of toppling the food pyramid. So my response to criticism would be "Let's talk more after you've read the book I got you." LOL, I'm evil like that.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009


    What a coincidence, I was thinking of posting the exact same thing. With the holiday season around, I have people offering me non-primal foods ALL the time, especially at work. When I refuse, some get offended, some pester me with questions and the others just assume that I'm too vain about how I look. I'm comfortable discussing what I eat with family and friends but not all and sundry. The few times I've broached the topic in the past at work, they just smirked. And I decided then, I'm not going to discuss my diet with them.

    As for family and friends, I just talk about how naturally occurring fats are better than refined oils, free-range better than CAFO, coconut is healthy. My family is not primal but they are realizing that eggs are not the evil they are made out to be. And that they can use coconut in their curries w/o having to worry. And to eat more veggies and less grains. When I make suggestions one at a time, people seem more willing to listen.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009


    After trying more complicated methods, the single most effective response to comments is "I'm allergic" when people offer me foods I'm not willing to eat. As a result, everyone at work now knows I'm allergic to donuts, bagels, cookies, chips, and beer. Although some of them are bewildered by the heavy cream in my coffee and all the eggs I eat. But, people are noticing that I'm losing weight and have a new spring in my step, so that's about the best proof I can give.

  5. #5
    nina_70's Avatar
    nina_70 Guest


    I'm actually w/ Sharonll. I've discussed Primal with those who are open and for the rest I've told them I'm "gluten intolerant" so I can't take wheat, bread, cookies etc. Although it's a bit of a cop-out, it's actually not a lie. Since giving up grains I *have* discovered what a difference it makes (improved PMS, no bloating etc.). Then, for those interested I talk about gluten and how it can affect the body.

  6. #6


    A prerequisite is that the people holding CW have enough intellectual curiosity to give it the benefit of the doubt. A statement like: "I'm trying to mimic the diet we evolved really to eat as a way to be healthier" would be a good conversation starter. Or "have you heard about the Inuit?"

    Unfortunately, you probably won't come across with many people like that. It might be easy to say something like: "I am gluten sensitive" and/or "my insulin has been weird lately, I have to be careful".

    In short: pick your battles.

    “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

  7. #7
    Rozsa's Avatar
    Rozsa Guest


    Sharonll -

    I've noticed a rise in gluten-free CWers, this seems to lend me a bit of credibilty.

    Same here, the results others see in me seem to override their worry for the most part. Although now that I'm eating carnivore, with lots of raw meat at that, I'm sure I'll have to defend myself a bit more..

  8. #8
    go_ginger_go's Avatar
    go_ginger_go Guest


    *If* someone inquires, I will quickly say "the way hunter-gatherers ate -- meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts and that's it." (I don't say anything about no grains.)

    *If* they ask why, I'll say, "Because they never had arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, or anything else we've all got today."

    But mostly I try to keep quiet about it and just let the changes in my body/skin/life speak for itself.

    Oftentimes all you are doing is planting the seed. It may be another year before the person is ready to make any changes. But at least you've planted the seed.

    If someone is trying to force food with grains/sugar on me, I'll just say "I'm allergic." That puts the kabosh on it immediately.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009


    Just tell them real food has a face.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009


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    Interesting thoughts!

    I especially like the "allergic to X food" response. Never thought of using that, and it might come in handy in the future.

    Also good idea in giving people small tidbits of information at a time; it avoids the inevitable information overload and "waking up from the matrix" response.

    @ Pikaia - Interesting book, I think I might pick it up. What spurred this question MOST was actually a discussion I had with a med-school friend, who was basically trying to crap on my diet and improved health (obvious CW vs Primal conflict!). I've been rereading Mark's definitive guides to Sat Fat/Cholesterol/Sugar/etc to get a better understanding of how things work. I find it easy to internalize information, but explaining this information to others is a challenge; but one I'd like to be able to do better (to help people when the opportunity arises).

    Edit - just realized mark suggests reading the good/bad calorie book too!

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