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May 22, 2012

Top 8 Most Common Reactions to Your Grain-Free Diet (and How to Respond)

By Mark Sisson
568 Comments

As I’m sure you’ve seen, eyes raise and questions arise when you order a burger wrapped in lettuce or discard a “wrap” and eat the contents. And then, when you answer with “Oh, I don’t eat grains,” minds boggle and mouths gape as they stumble to grasp the notion of someone who doesn’t eat bread or pasta. Eventually, though, they fire off responses, challenges, questions, and proclamations. This isn’t right, this isn’t possible, this doesn’t agree with their idea of how people should eat. It just isn’t normal. You’re not normal, and you should be ashamed of yourself for introducing a new paradigm. But not all are personally offended by your decision. Some are honestly curious and flabbergasted. Some just want to know why someone would give up grains and how they get along without them.

So, what kind of stuff do we hear out there in the wild?

Rather than just linking to yet another MDA post, maybe on why grains are unhealthy or how to give them up, let’s take a look at the eight most popular and prevalent questions and then try to come up with some good responses to them. I’ll give both longer ones and succincter ones (that you can fire off in an elevator).

“Oh, is that a low-carb thing?”

While grains represent an easy, cheap source of carbohydrates (that most sedentary people simply don’t need), they also contain “anti-nutrients,” proteins and lectins and other nutritional factors that impair digestion, perforate the intestinal lining, increase inflammation, and can even exacerbate or (possibly) induce auto-immune diseases. Since the purpose of life is to reproduce and that grain has to make it into the ground to germinate and turn into a plant, grains don’t want to be eaten, and they use the anti-nutrients to dissuade consumption in lieu of the running, climbing, flying, crawling, biting, and stinging that animals use to survive.

Response: “Kinda, but it’s more than that. In order to survive and spread their genes, a grain uses anti-nutrients to dissuade animals from eating them. Some animals have adapted quite well, but humans haven’t, so I choose not to eat them.”

“I could never give up bread. And aren’t grains the staff of life?”

For the past several thousand years of human history, bread has been a staple food. The ancient Egyptians baked it. The Greeks and Romans made it. You probably grew up with it. It was – and is – cheap and filling. Today, because billions simply need calories from wherever they can get them, grains are the ticket, the “staff of life.” But it’s not like we’ll wither away into nothingness, all because we failed to heed the biological dietary necessity to eat grains ordained by some higher power. Grains aren’t the staff of life in an inherent sense, but rather because they’re cheap, reliable, and easy to work with. They provide calories and a modicum of nutrients to people who absolutely require those calories, regardless of any nutritional downsides. Having joint pain and bloating because you ate some whole wheat, while unpleasant, is better than dying of starvation because you refused it.

Response: “An unfortunately large number of people are forced to subsist on grains as a staple, because they’re cheap and plentiful and calories are scarce, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best way to eat. Grains aren’t necessary if you have access to plenty of fresh animals and plants.”

“Where do you get your fiber?”

As if only cereal grains contain non-starch polysaccharides. As if all the world’s inulin, pectin, chitin, beta-glucans, and oligosaccharides are found solely in wheat, barley, rye, rice, oat, and corn. As if some of the richest sources of soluble fiber – you know, prebiotics, or the kind that our gut bacteria can ferment and convert into metabolically-active short chain fatty acids – aren’t fruits, roots, nuts, and green vegetables. And, as if the richest sources of insoluble fiber – the metabolically-inert stuff that pretty much nothing can digest and which serves only as a bulking agent for improving the robustness of our bowel movements – aren’t whole grains.

Response: “I get my fiber from fruits and vegetables. Best of all, our gut bacteria can actually digest the fiber from fruits and vegetables, thereby producing short chain fatty acids that improve our metabolic health. Grain fiber is just a bulking agent that fills your toilet bowl.”

“What about the USDA food pyramid?”

What about it? Take a look around you. The obesity rate is the highest it’s ever been, and almost everyone who’s not obese is “just” overweight. Diabetes is on the rise. People live out the end of their lives relying on a complicated cocktail of pharmaceuticals and medical apparati just to eke out a few more years. All this, despite the majestic, all-powerful USDA dietary recommendations informing everything we put into our collective mouths. How’s that USDA food pyramid working out for us so far, I’d like to ask. I’m not necessarily assigning a causative role to the pyramid (though it certainly plays a role, in my view) in the obesity epidemic. I’m just saying that it has done absolutely nothing to stanch the rise of diet-related illness. I’m saying it doesn’t have a real impressive track record.

Response: “Since the USDA food pyramid was released in 1992, the obesity rate has increased unabated. What about it?”

“That must be terribly inconvenient. What do you eat for breakfast? What about sandwiches? What about dining out?”

Well, you see, all you gotta do for a bread-free sandwich is spread a little mayo on your right hand, some mustard on the left, and pile on the avocado, the deli slices, and the tomato slices in between. Easy as pie. Seriously, though, I don’t get this question. Have these people never heard of bacon and eggs? Omelets? A steak and salad? Do they think a sandwich is indivisible? That once you place the final slice of bread atop the meat, lettuce, and cheese the sandwich can never be altered, that you physically cannot pry the bread off the innards? Have they ever even witnessed the creation of a sandwich? Are they going to weird fascistic restaurants that force you to consume the bread and pasta? I just don’t get this one. I really don’t.

Response: “Just take off the bread and eat the other stuff. Bam.”

“Everything in moderation, I say. I don’t like to deprive myself of anything.”

Ah, yes, the eminent voice of reason. “Everything in moderation”, they say. Trans-fat? Bring it on, or else it’s deprivation! Margarine? Slather it on my veggies! Must not deprive! Arsenic? Sure, I’ll have a bite! Why not? That said, I’m just not seeing where the deprivation comes in. I fail to see how not eating a food that leads to poor health, digestive upset, and bloating is somehow deprivation. You could say that I’m technically depriving myself of feeling like crap by not eating grains, but that’s a good kind of deprivation. If you want to be quite literal, eating grains deprives you of a full, healthy existence.

Response: “When I eat grains, I feel terrible, bloated, and not like myself. The way I see it, I’d be depriving myself of a full, rich, healthy, happy life if I were to eat grains in moderation. Besides, do a rib-eye, some buttered broccoli, and a glass of red wine sound like deprivation to you?”

“I’ve been eating grains all my life and don’t seem to have a problem.”

You may not have an obvious problem now, but that’s only because you’ve grown accustomed to your body and it to your diet. The signals of discomfort are dulled, and the intensity of the pain has reduced. You’ve gotten used to the stomach upset, the intermittent bouts of diarrhea. You know how all those “things just happen” as you get older, a view that is reinforced when you see the same thing happening to everyone else around you (all of whom also happen to eat grains)? How you start going downhill at 40, it becomes hard to lose weight, all that stuff. Spend some time looking at what everyone is eating – grains, grains, and more grains – and you might notice a connection.

Response: “I felt the same way until I tried ditching them for 30 days. All those little niggling aches and pains and complaints that I figured were just an inevitable aspect of life have disappeared. I feel better than ever.”

“Where do you get your minerals?”

Although whole grains may look nutrient-dense, simply looking at the mineral content of a whole grain on a nutrition website tell you very little about how your body absorbs (or doesn’t absorb) those minerals. Remember those anti-nutritional factors present in most whole grains? Another one is called phytic acid, which binds to minerals in the grain and prevents their absorption in the gut. Calcium, zinc, magnesium, iron, and several others are susceptible to the lure of phytic acid, and research shows that cultures who rely on grains for the bulk of their macronutrients and micronutrients display deficiencies in these and other minerals.

Response: “Since they’re bound up to phytic acid, the minerals in grains aren’t really even all that bioavailable to your body. What you see listed on the nutritional facts isn’t what you’re actually absorbing and assimilating. I get my minerals from plants, fruits, and animals, which our bodies can actually absorb.”

Whenever you deviate from the norm, people are going to ask questions and try to challenge you. That’s fine and totally understandable. Remember – there was a time when all this Primal stuff sounded crazy to you, too. We are different. And people are going to react. They’re going to be defensive, inquisitive, accusatory, or all of the above. Try not to be defensive yourself. Try to maintain composure and think back to when the idea of giving up grains was utter madness, take a nice diaphragmatic breath, and respond. This is a time to educate, and perhaps even inspire. Utilize it.

I know I didn’t cover everything. I must have missed more than a few. So, readers, tell me: what else do people say when you tell them you don’t eat grains, and how do you respond?

TAGS:  gluten

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568 Comments on "Top 8 Most Common Reactions to Your Grain-Free Diet (and How to Respond)"

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Merky
Merky
5 years 2 days ago

This is great thanks!

A Concerned Mom
A Concerned Mom
3 years 1 month ago
Not only do I feel you are doing a disservice by promoting this bogus fad of grain free you are possibly causing a dangerous situation when parents listen to this and do such diets on growing young children. There are only a few people who need to go grain free. People have been shown to thrive with whole grains and legumes and are crucial to meet nutrient requirements. People do not get fat on oats and beans they get fat on sugar foods. They have high cholesterol from eating red meat. Your so called voodooo science is based on short… Read more »
Macy
Macy
3 years 1 month ago

Actually, the idea that red meat causes high cholesterol has been debunked. People have high cholesterol from hydrogenated fats.
Also, paleo diets don’t cause eating disorders, mental problems like depression, anxiety, and body dismorphic disorder causes eating disorders. And the author is absolutely correct about grains having phytic acids that stops the absorption of minerals- that I learned in my nutrition class.
There is absolutely no solid proof that grains are necessary.

truth
truth
2 years 5 months ago

there is absolutely no solid proof that anything other than “sustenance” are necessary.

marie
marie
4 months 7 days ago

Ok, so this is an old thread, but…
I was just about to say this about cholesterol. If “a concerned mom” decides to believe all that Harvard says as absolute authority, then she should also read their reports on how saturated fats do not cause high cholesterol and how cholesterol does not cause heart disease. I agree with you. Grains are not necessary. I am a holistic nutritionist with both mainstream and alternative training. I am confident in my own understanding of this matter.

cbrett29
cbrett29
3 years 4 days ago
I respectfully, but completely disagree. Carbs are carbs – you can readily get them from fruits and vegetables and do not need breads, cereals, rice, pastas and other grain products. I’m not saying they are bad for everyone necessarily, I’m just saying they are completely unnecessary for providing energy for the body; which is what carbs do. As for micronutrients, please show me how eating 2500 calories of plant based, whole foods doesn’t provide such nutrients. I myself didn’t see anything anti-legume here, but I am sticking with legumes (just no grains). Perhaps I could get on the whole grain… Read more »
Adelle
Adelle
2 years 10 months ago
If you haven’t dealt with any severe digestive difficulties or other aches and pains, a grain free diet may seem like a weird fad diet. I was put on a grain free paleo type diet by a nutritional therapist when I was in daily pain. The doctors were out of ideas on how to help me, thousands had been spent on medical tests, I had been on various medications and nothing helped….until I went grain free and started taking digestive enzymes and eating foods with probiotics. My digestive problems went away and I finally feel normal again! Why in the… Read more »
Nathaniel Yost
Nathaniel Yost
2 years 8 months ago

You must believe everything you hear from the government seriously. I bet you believe the food pyramid is the way to go also from the government. Whole grains and legumes are in fact not crucial to meet nutrient requirements…. Do some actual research instead of just listening to the kings and queens who rule you.

Cindy
Cindy
2 years 4 months ago

Did IQ’s drop??!?

If you’re feeling worse since you’ve gone Paleo I’d go to the doctor if I were you. “I have never felt so sick and had so much difficulty getting food down and keeping it there since I have been experimenting with grain free.”

What are you eating? Are you eating foods enriched with vitamins, minerals, etc.?

Sounds as if there could be something else going on than just changing diets.

Karen
Karen
3 months 2 days ago

Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis comes to mind for folks who feel better eating carbohydrates. I am just the opposite. My body requires a high normal potassium level to feel normal.. and functional. Paleo and better yet extremely low carbohydrate is the winning ticket for me. Insulin spike lowers my potassium and often causes severe reactions up to and including paralysis even with potassium wnl.

Cindy
Cindy
2 years 4 months ago

It’s not a bogus science and if you’re taking advice strictly from Harvard and the Mayo clinic then maybe you should verify resources. Especially ones who are known to receive government funding. Just a thought. . . .

Christine
Christine
2 years 4 months ago

I get physicals yearly….. Having gone primal my physicals are the best EVER. The fat on my body is GONE… You are crazy. The proof is what happens to our body not what people say in text books! Ridiculous.

Mark Entingh
2 years 4 months ago
I have been grain free for 3 months now, and I have never had so much energy, so much brain power, so much quick wit, and also, veggies & meat have never tasted so good. Whenever I eat any kind of grain, I get bloated, I get tired, I feel depression setting in. If you really want to learn about how gluten-based foods attack the immune system, causing inflammation and even auto-immune diseases over time, watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvUgcLQOUSA I don’t eat rice, noodles, corn, or wheat. I eat home-cooked soups & salads that I prepare myself & some dark… Read more »
Victoria
Victoria
2 years 1 month ago

Do you eat beans?

Michele Lea Morin
Michele Lea Morin
2 years 12 days ago

Interesting article. I agree completely that it is highly likely that no further cavities or decay is possible. I do not believe anything can reverse the decay process once it has begun, though.

Lea
Lea
4 months 19 days ago

Go check out the article on reversing tooth decay on http://www.kitchenstewardship.com. She has x-rays to prove it absolutely can be reversed! Also http://www.welnessmama.com.

Sandra Barr
Sandra Barr
1 year 7 months ago

My heart doctor recommended a grain-free diet which I really like. Same benefits as you mention. However, after two months, I am losing a pound a day. That sounds good, but scary. Did you experience this?

Martha Carpio
8 months 29 days ago

HEEEEELPPP!!!!!
Hello, I have been grain free for 2 1/2 month, I good at the beginning but in the past month my digestion has slowed down to where I have small bowel movements 5-6 times a week!!! I eat 2-3 cups of veggies and fruits a day (total of 5), protein (chicken) 9cups of water, nuts 4-6 days a week , 3 meals- 2 snacks! And I tried eating whole wheat bread and I felt terrible, bloated 🙁 I’m in desperate help!!!!!

marie
marie
4 months 7 days ago
I don’t know if you will see this, but small bowel movements are actually natural. Eating a lot of grains add bulk to the stools and that is often unnecessary, it stretches the intestines and can damage them. I suggest you do a beet or chlorophyll tablet test to see how fast your transit is. If you see dark fuchsia or dark green in your stool within a 6-18 hour period, you are most likely doing quite good, bowel movement wise. But everyone’s transit time is different. You can worry if your transit is over 24-32 hours from eating to… Read more »
Chris Meyers
Chris Meyers
2 years 23 days ago

Pipe down crazy lady. If you want to keep your fat slob American children full of grains, and sugars, and otber garbage do it and shut the heck up. We dont need your BS preaching on here about a completely healthy and better alternative because youre too weak stupid and fat to control what you or your kids eat. Get some self control.

Marie
Marie
1 year 10 months ago
It’s an interesting argument! My ancestors are from a small town in Italy and they lived very very long lives on no/low meat diets. They ate homemade breads, homemade pastas, but the staples were also lots and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, lots of beans and greens, and some seafood. Very little cheese or milk as they were harder to come by. They were active and very social. I’m not convinced that going grain free is necessary but the problem these days is that people eat much too much processed grain products and much too much sugar! Protein is… Read more »
marie
marie
4 months 7 days ago

I think the key word is “ancestors”. I bet they ate real, freshly milled wheat flour that was not GMO and treated with a bunch of harmful chemicals. That would make a big difference, especially with all their other good habits. My personal opinion tho. 🙂

Denise Stuart
Denise Stuart
1 year 5 months ago

Dropping my cholesterol by 40 points and lowering my blood sugar to pre-diabetic from diabetic levels in 2 months is hardly bogus science. I realize not every eating program is for every person as we are all different, but no grains and no sugar worked for me. Before going off on a rant maybe talk to some of the people who have tried it. Taking grains out of my diet has been life changing for me.

John Clark
John Clark
1 year 4 months ago

How do you explain Eskimos? They eat mostly fat, no grain, and have almost zero heart problems.

Margaret
1 year 2 months ago

They are called Inuit, they don’t really like being Eskimo. Inuit means “the people”. Eskimo means “raw meat eater”.

KarenUK
KarenUK
1 year 3 months ago
NO way….lol I cannot believe so many people are not getting the BIGGER picture here. I am 33 and have always been slim and active from a very young age. I seriously couldn’t tell you at what age I just automatically hardly ate grain foods. I just didn’t find any tasty or appetiting. It was until a few years ago I got told certain grains, like Oats for Porridge was healthy breakfast. I have had this for breakfast the last 3 years and BAM! I have not felt so unhealthy, tired and even having bowl issues. I have cut all… Read more »
Tezza
Tezza
1 year 28 days ago

I’ve got the beginnings of rheumatoid arthritis. So does my entire family. I went grain free and immediately the pain went away. I don’t think grains are any great loss. We don’t need them.

David
David
9 months 27 days ago

I’ve gotten phenomenal results on this type of diet. I’m never really sick and I have way less bodyfat.

David
David
7 months 1 day ago

Gluten was the source of my terrible fatigue, brain fog, peripheral neuropathy, and dermatitis. It is no fad like that concerned ignoramus below suggests.

Angell HW
3 months 5 days ago
Agreed! How come every time someone discovers a way of eating that works for them they have to try to prove that everyone else’s way of eating is wrong or prove that their way of eating is THE best way? Each of our bodies are designed uniquely (genetic makeup) and we each carry different sensitivities to various things (foods, environmental factors, etc) so we obviously do not all benefit from the exact same way of eating…not to mention varying lifestyles (strenuous work vs stationary work) It’s important to see a certified nutritionist and come up with a plan that puts… Read more »
Ben
1 month 17 days ago
It’s not bogus at all. I was suffering 40 different food sensitivities. And if you look at the medical literature. Grains have show damaging effects to the villi of you small intestine, the very finger like projectiles that take in these nutrients. Grain are rough on these villi. As for fruits and vegetables, the stuff we should be consuming, (fruit can be debatable) are unfortunately very depleted of the very minerals our body requires. Why are we not replenising these mineral back into the soil of commercially easier farming. Would that be a good start? Not to mention the chemicals… Read more »
Brad
Brad
15 days 4 hours ago

I emphatically disagree. Eating refined grains is not healthy. It leads to inflammation, heart disease, and diabetes. Completely cutting it out of your diet will do wonders for your health. You’re being silly. I hope you’re just trolling.

cbrett29
cbrett29
3 years 4 days ago
It took me a while to do it, but being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and having meds prescribed changed everything for me. I cut only “processed” foods out and lost 25 lbs, levelled my blood sugars, lowered my blood pressure, lowered my LDL cholesterol, raised my HDL cholesterol, cleared my skin, lost inflammation, reversed ED – all within 90 days. I only realized after that I was really mostly cutting out grains in doing so (as I didn’t consume too much refined sugary foods to begin with). I live fine on a plant-based diet with nuts, seeds, legumes, soy-based… Read more »
KarenUK
KarenUK
1 year 3 months ago
I am genuinely pleased and happy to see genuine people who actually see the truth. I always say, it is like taking risks, and being blinded to things, most people wouldn’t think of helping a certain charity until that particular cause has something linked with them. Why wait, until it is too late?. I am not sure how to post on here only reply. If you do not get harmed or notice it, people will just continue with their bad habits. More fool them. I am glad you’re a lot healthier now and as you say, you do not need… Read more »
Michelle
Michelle
5 years 2 days ago

Fabulous article. I really enjoy your writing!

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
Paleo Bon Rurgundy
5 years 2 days ago

All my little aches and pains, especially in my joints went away when I ditched grains (including beer). I used to really feel changes in barometric pressure in my right knee (old lingering injury). No longer. My joints are happy and fluid.

Chris
Chris
5 years 2 days ago

I read your comment in Ron Burgundy’s voice.

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
Paleo Bon Rurgundy
5 years 2 days ago

That makes two of us

Charlotte
Charlotte
5 years 2 days ago

Me too! Please post more, it tickles.

tyler
tyler
4 years 11 months ago

lol

Veronica
Veronica
4 years 8 months ago

I love Paleo Ron Burgundy….he makes me smile

Alexander
Alexander
5 years 2 days ago

I agree with you, Ron. I have arthritis and my right LCL would be sore after playing basketball, and my right knee would always stiffen up. Since ditching grains, those pains go away soon after playing, instead of 2 days after. One night after playing ball, my girlfriend made me a bowl of pasta, my 1st in 3 months after going Primal. The next day, my right knee was swollen, and people who barely knew me at work asked me why I was limping. No need to convince me!
Stay classy.

jensen
jensen
5 years 2 days ago

I went primal (mostly…baby steps) around the same time I started running barefoot; I actually found this site looking for info on vibes. When my years-old nagging knee injury went away, I attributed it to the change in my stride taking pressure off my knee, but now I’m thinking there could be more to it.

Jane
Jane
5 years 1 day ago

took me a good three breaths in and out to work out what the heck vibes were? I had visions of you on an adult web site looking at… well… you know… my brain did a stop rewind change gears sound, and then I finally realised you meant vibrams… I thought I was in an alternate universe for a sec. EEK.

Rama
3 years 8 months ago

now you have to ditch your girlfriend as well!

Davetron
Davetron
5 years 2 days ago

You stay Primal, San Diego

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
Paleo Bon Rurgundy
5 years 2 days ago
Brooke
Brooke
4 years 11 months ago

Omg, that looks AWESOME! With all the food trucks here in LA, there must be one or two like that!

Mantonat
Mantonat
4 years 10 days ago

There’s one here in Denver, too, called Caveman Cafeteria.

Jody Ruttan
5 years 1 day ago

Once upon a time I was able to accurately predict the coming of any precipitation two days in advance through pain in my leg from an old injury. After cutting grains out my diet I have unfortunately lost that ability. Although I now walk without a constant limp and the rest of my body is happy. Pros and cons. 🙂

grisly atoms
grisly atoms
1 year 6 months ago

Jody, sorry to hear that your weather predicting skill went away with the grains. Hopefully meteorology wasn’t your career path.

Jojo
Jojo
4 years 11 months ago

i love your pic… you are hilarious… and you didn’t post anything that is funny… but reading it like ron burgandy would say it is super hilarious

Debra
5 years 2 days ago

These are perfect answers – concise and educational, but not snarky. I passed your post on to my fans. Those who don’t eat grains will have these handy when the inevitable questions come up and those who still do can ponder why.

Thanks!

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
Paleo Bon Rurgundy
5 years 2 days ago

I now use something I heard Matt Lalonde say. To paraphrase: “I do my best to eat foods that are low in toxins, low in inflammatories, and dense in nutrients”.

Tough to dispute that statement.

Violet
Violet
5 years 1 day ago
Good post. I find the answers just a bit *too* didactic, though. I don’t quite go for the mind your own business of EG and others, below, but tend to say (which is true): I’m intolerant to gluten and lactose, and allergic to shellfish, eggs and casein. I figure I’m in Mark’s choir, but other people might not want the lesson. On another note: Mark said, ‘Do they think … that once you place the final slice of bread atop the meat, lettuce, and cheese the sandwich can never be altered, that you physically cannot pry the bread off the… Read more »
EG
EG
5 years 2 days ago

I normally say something like “Mind your own goddamned business,” but that’s just me.

Joe
Joe
5 years 2 days ago

Haha!

Alison Golden - PaleoNonPaleo

Yes, I have a similar response, although I am a little more polite. 😉

Don!
Don!
5 years 2 days ago

Yep. IMO it’s pretty f#@%ing rude to harangue people about what they’re eating or not eating, and I don’t consider it my job to try to convince people to eat primal.

Nicole
Nicole
5 years 1 day ago
When I first went Primal, I felt SO GOOD, that I wanted to spread the word and told anyone who I thought would listen about my discovery of the PB. That resulted in frustration (on more than my part). I have learned that some people do not want to be healthy and even feel amazing if it means drastic change. So, even though I want to tell my (terribly) allergy-suffering co-workers that their symptoms will abate if they stop allowing inflamatory food into their systems, they will think I am a nag, not helpful. So, I just feel sympathetic and… Read more »
Tim
Tim
5 years 1 day ago
I hear you. Whats hard for me is hearing coworkers talk about their children’s allergies and hearing them talk about upchucky cheese and/or McDiabetes in the same sentence. I had horrible allergies as a child, even as a baby I threw up constantly. I can only imagine what might have happened if I’d been fed a low sugar, grain free, seed oil free diet like I feed my kids today (with occasional exceptions). But the sad truth is that cooking from scratch means hamburger helper and cake from a box for lots of folks, certainly where I am. And my… Read more »
Mel
Mel
4 years 9 days ago

I know what you mean.Change is hard.Some people are not willing to do something hard.Some people just want to carry on the way they are and pop the pills.What annoys me,is when they want sympathy for their ailments.I find it hard to be sympathetic to someone who sin’t willing to even try something new.

peony girl
peony girl
3 years 11 months ago

hahaha

Pam
Pam
5 years 2 days ago

Thanks for the helpful suggestions. When I first converted I was very defensive especially around my low fat, more grain friends.

Some of those friends try to sabotage my eating style with temptations or simply make a back-handed comment about just what I’ll eat when going through a buffet line behind me.

I have learned to ignore them and eat what is available as a way to show them, I’m not going hungry – that’s for sure!

Primal Pants
Primal Pants
5 years 2 days ago

Thanks, Mark! My parents think I’m crazy and lecture me about fiber all the time. I wish I could get them off the grains. They tease me and think this is just “a phase”. *sigh* I worry about their health. 🙁

Aaron
Aaron
5 years 2 days ago

Sad thing is, they are worrying about yours too. It’s all about what research you hear/believe/trust.

Isabel
Isabel
5 years 1 day ago

+ 1

My parents also lecture me with their superficial knowledge because they are “worried”. (Honestly, I don’t get how you can be worried about somebody who is medication- and pain-free for the first time in years and feeling better than ever…)

Plus, they are completely stubborn. After all explaining failed, I started to mention studies which are as fake as the whole page here according to them. Full stop. Sometimes the wording “Growing up is when parents start to become stressful” just IS a perfect match…

Rama
3 years 8 months ago

You can be sick – its normal. You can be on medication – its normal. You may be still getting sicker – its normal. You can’t change your diet using proven commonsense and get better – thats not normal. Thats the new bleached, brainwashed world for you.

Vince
Vince
5 years 2 days ago

Yes, parents. I am in the process of converting them and this was exactly the post I needed. Even bought them the blueprint for their anniversary. Thanks Mark.

Wes
Wes
5 years 2 days ago

Yeah, my parent’s were worried about my saturated fat and cholesterol intake for a while… But after I got my dad to take a look at MDA, he’s become a believer. He is actually thinking about trying the primal thing, but is a bit worried about how the increased fat intake will affect his pancreatitis.

Andrew
Andrew
5 years 2 days ago

I feel ya on this… similar situation here

Anthony
Anthony
5 years 2 days ago

Don’t you just love being lectured about your health by your very unhealthy in-laws or parents because you look too thin (more like your not fat enough – like them)and do weird stuff like not eat grains or partake in sugar overdoses. Even as their kidneys fail and they pop another round of medication they still manage to tell how we should eat & live.

Rachel
Rachel
5 years 2 days ago

+1 for this! I hate it when people say I look too thin – actually due to my muscle mass, I’m nearer the higher end of the okay BMI range. And every time I see family I haven’t seen in a few months, they ask me if I’ve lost weight. Um, no. If I had lost weight every time you asked me that, I’d be dead by now. Sorry you have the image of me, 35lbs. fatter, inexorably etched in your mind.

Alison Golden - PaleoNonPaleo

We have, as a society, completely lost sight of what a ‘normal’ weight is. We think it is 15lbs heavier than it really is. I ignore people who say I look ‘too thin’ – and they are always at least 20lbs overweight.

karen
karen
5 years 1 day ago

I just remind them that everyone else is simply getting fatter – and I am staying the same weight year after year. That’s why I look thin.

Ginger
Ginger
4 years 11 months ago

I just wanted to let you know that I laughed out loud when I read “if I’d lost weight every time you asked me that, I’d be dead by now.” 🙂

Anna
Anna
4 years 8 days ago

I’m in my 40s, and over my adult lifetime have gone from a size M to an S. My jeans size has decreased to ‘0’ over the years. And I have weighed exactly the same the entire time! Anyone else notice the shifting clothing sizes?

primal aly
primal aly
5 years 2 days ago

oh anthony! i feel you! i get the “you’re too skinny” debate every time i go to a family dinner. i just take a deep breath, smile, and remember i am leading by example.

Happycyclegirl
Happycyclegirl
5 years 1 day ago

I hear you Alison! I am absolutely amazed at how our society’s perception of a “healthy” weight has shifted upward and what was “overweight” a couple of decades ago is now considered “normal”.

Anthony
Anthony
5 years 1 day ago

What is the saying about you can’t fly with the eagles when you are scratching around with the turkeys? I hope you know what I mean, but you can’t let others – even our dear old families who always know what’s best for us, right? try and bring us down to their level. These types of people are happiest when others are as miserable and unhealthy as they are. Misery loves company & I don’t mind being on my own.

ces
ces
5 years 2 days ago

Oh man, try having Italian in-laws. If you don’t have a protruding gut, dark circles under your eyes and groan with every move you’re malnourished.

L.Z.
L.Z.
4 years 11 months ago

Hahaha, very well said!

Radrev
Radrev
4 years 11 months ago

Yep. Just happened last weekend.

Nicole
Nicole
4 years 11 months ago

When someone exclaims, “Oh, you’re too thin!”

I always want to say (but don’t), “No. You’re too fat. Rude, right?”

Because, if you think about it, someone saying “You’re too thin!” is JUST as impolite; it’s a criticism on someone’s body. And even if it’s said out of concern, being overweight is cause for concern, too.

Or am I just mean?

Terri
Terri
4 years 4 months ago

Nicole, I have lived with the derogatory “you’re so thin” my entire life! (almost 50) I too have always wanted to reply “you’re so fat” in a pleasant voice and see the response. But you’re right, rude. I have just come to the conclusion that overweight people don’t think they are the ones overweight. Really listen to them some time. They will talk about other unhealthy people but not include them selves, it’s just denial. So consider the source and say “thank you” and if you can walk away. They will get the message, and if not it’s their problem.

mrsunderstood
mrsunderstood
3 years 6 months ago

How unfortunate that you can’t just say…. “Look at YOU! How many medications are you on now? How often are you complaining about joint pain, muscle pain, sleep problems, and weight gain? YOU’RE giving ME advice, and you expect me to listen?!”

Luna K
Luna K
2 years 11 months ago

Never and I am over my recommended weight. Skinny people dont have to go through the pain of someone scared to sit by you cause you are “too skinny”. Dont whine about being skinny in a world where the mentality is: the thinner the better.

cancerclasses
5 years 2 days ago
A diet high in insoluble fiber can actually cause colon cancer, the fiber is like eating sticks & twigs that beat up the delicate 1 cell thick layer of epithelial cells lining the colon. Fiber has much the same damaging effect on colon epithelium as sugar does in arterial endothelial cells which is why high blood sugar & high carb diets & intakes are bad. Cardiologist Dr. Dwight Lundell in his podcast interview with Jimmy Moore says high blood sugar is like taking a wire brush or sandpaper to the 1 layer thick endothelial cell lining of your arteries every… Read more »
Arty
Arty
5 years 2 days ago

I’m with you 100% on that.

L Pilolla
L Pilolla
5 years 1 day ago

Excellent points. I read a Yahoo(ey) article on Gibb’s death from colon cancer which suggested that it was odd for him to have contracted that disease as he was vegan. (I may be wrong but I assume grains & possibly soy were heavy in his diet.) They also threw in the “link” to read meat and colon cancer. How frustrating. I can only hope more people come to realize the detriments of a grain-heavy diet, both for themselves and in regard to larger ecological issues (GMO’s, monoculture, etc.)

karen
karen
5 years 1 day ago

Suggest they eat more fat. If you eat more fat, you don’t need all that fiber to “stay regular.”

Rob
Rob
3 years 1 month ago

No, plant foods are what you need plus they contain antioxidants. You don’t get those from meats. I cut way down on grains and dairy (I don’t stress over small amounts in my diet) so now I eat lots of raw salads with chicken or fish added. Instead of dairy I drink almond milk or water. I think its bad advice to tell people to simply eat more fat. Some fat is fine, just don’t overdo it.

Jane
Jane
5 years 1 day ago

hope you don’t mind I showed this to all my friends… great comment!

CMHFFEMT
5 years 11 hours ago

Im glad to see other people posting about the whole fiber thing. I eat what is mostly a carnivorous diet. Just have never been a veggie fan and I am more regular now than ever. At the risk of being TMI I am perfect on the Bristol Stool Scale http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_Stool_Scale lol the thigns you learn about yourself when you go paleo

mm
mm
4 years 11 months ago

True… but I’m pretty sure our intestinal walls are a bit more than one cell thick or else there’d be no room for immature gut cells & stem cells.

The only good news is most paleolithic veggies had way more fiber than selectively-bred neolithic veggies, so we’ve evolved to deal with a little fiber………. so long as the gut is 100% healthy.

Bet
Bet
3 years 11 months ago

Learning this (along with other things) literally changed my life. I am a life long IBS/Crohns sufferer and was constantly told I needed fiber to ‘get better’. Now I don’t use any fiber (beyond what I get from fruits and veggies) and most of my digestive symptoms have disappeared (but will appear if I cheat and have anything with gluten in it).

Rob
Rob
3 years 1 month ago

I don’t know who told you as a Crohns sufferer that you need fibre!!! My wife has a similar issue and she eats refined white bread and rice. brown rice and whole grain bread irritate her condition. High fibre foods are the last thing she needs! Btw, over a billion Chinese eat white rice and are neither sick nor fat.

Tim
Tim
5 years 1 day ago
I have the same problem. Specifically with my mother. She went on the offensive (both senses of this word) recently by sending me multiple emails with links to Harvard studies about saturated fat and cholesterol. Many of them appeared to be funded by Moonsanto (misspelled purposely) too, oddly enough. I heard all about how terrible my ‘low carb diet’ is, how my kidneys must be groaning and my heart must be crying itself to sleep every night at my Tim foolery. All despite my stellar cholesterol numbers (60 HDL, 112 LDL, 176 total), nonexistent triglycerides, evaporated allergies, and the fact… Read more »
Clare
Clare
4 years 3 days ago

Even my diabetes educator thinks this is just (for me) a passing phase and I will not be able to live it as a life style…… although she did not have a hissy fit when I told her this was how I was living these days… she simply said IT WON’T LAST!

Leah H
Leah H
5 years 2 days ago

Excellent post! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Korry
Korry
5 years 2 days ago

Once again, an article which answered all my questions!

Ware
5 years 2 days ago

My usual response to the inevitable “no grains? Oh, you poor thing! I could never give them up!” is something like “All that money I was spending on bread and pasta? Now I spend it on steak.” People seem willing to admit that this is a reasonable trade-off.

Primal Pants
Primal Pants
5 years 2 days ago

Yes!! I used to waste so much money on bread and cereal that would just get stale or moldy. Now I can afford grass-fed ribeyes! Mmmmmm…

Jody Ruttan
5 years 1 day ago

I have to remember that steak comment for next time I hear, “that must be so expensive buying all those gluten free specialty foods.”

Usually I just look at them, add a dramatic pause, and say, “I don’t”

Tim
Tim
5 years 1 day ago
Totally. It boggles my mind all the gluten free garbage out there. My Aunt is a Celiac, my cousin is wheat intolerant and her daughter is a Celiac. However, rather than get calories from fat, they all eat rice flour gushing with seed oils and preservatives by the butt-ton. My kids eat bacon, eggs, sausage, grass fed beef, lamb and pork, ghee, butter, lard… I’d use tallow if I could but the organic farmer I get my beef from literally doesn’t believe that I want it. It’s hard just to get the lard and leaf lard (OMG, that stuff is… Read more »
ValerieH
ValerieH
5 years 1 day ago
I have a lot of fat in the freezer from roasting the meat. I have chicken, duck, turkey, ham… When you roast a duck or goose, it sounds like bacon is frying from all the fat that comes off. My mother taught me a trick when I had fat left over from a Christmas goose. Take the roasted fat and extra fat or skin you might have reserved, put them in a saucepan with water. Let it simmer for 20 minutes. Let the pan cool (in a cold place is great). The fat will solidify at the top and the… Read more »
Lauren
Lauren
5 years 10 hours ago

Tim, I agree with the g-free garbage. I was told I’m a Celiac last August(or was it 2 Augusts ago?). I also have IBS. People usually comment, “You’re gonna get so skinny.” and I laugh at that, since there are still sugars, rice/potato/corn flours. I’m annoyed because I haven’t mastered what hurts and what helps my stomach. I’ve picked up some things from these posts, so thank you…but I’m still wondering how to find the best balance. I find I am hungry easy and a little bit light-headed when I try to ‘eat healthy/organic’. Any tips?

Tim
Tim
4 years 11 months ago
Hi Lauren, I don’t know if you’ll ever see this but my wife had severe IBS symptoms, which we had assumed were due to her gall bladder removal surgery, but then they resolved about 90% after going to a paleo/primal diet philosophy, as did my asthma and my allergies. For the final bit of her IBS, we’ve been experimenting with removing dairy here, nuts there, etc. I think we’ve narrowed it down to nuts at this point but it’s an ongoing process. Take heart, work hard, be diligent, and I believe you can see an end to your symptoms or… Read more »
Paul
Paul
5 years 2 days ago

Good article. I workout four days a week and have been eating primal for a few months now. I’ve never been good at speaking so I’m just going to take my shirt off and show them them my six-pack and ask, “Are you really going to argue with this?” Then flex until they bow their heads in shame.

Primal Pants
Primal Pants
5 years 2 days ago

Exactly! Let the proof speak for itself! We all need to show people that this works…rhetoric will never work…unless they are asking about it…

Merky
Merky
5 years 2 days ago

hehehe. Love this. I usually wait until my friends/family tell me how great I look, then I tell them how I am doing it and how they could do it too if they wanted.

Podsixia
Podsixia
5 years 2 days ago

When they see results others are getting… That’s usually when the willful self-delusion becomes evident. Showing people a way out doesn’t do anything for the internal barriers that keep us from doing stuff that takes effort but would be good for us. I speak from experience…

yoolieboolie
yoolieboolie
5 years 2 days ago

tee hee hee, awesomeness

oxide
oxide
5 years 2 days ago

“show them them my six-pack and ask, “Are you really going to argue with this?”

Ha-ha! That is EXACTLY why I took the final Primal plunge. I looked at the images of Mark on MDA and said: “I’m not going to argue with a fifty-seven year old with a six-pack.”

If we really want to new bring people into the primal fold, the LGN angle might be a more effective “in” to their CW-chained brains than any nutrition lectures.

Anthony
Anthony
5 years 2 days ago

Reminds me of a muscleheads cartoon I saw years ago of of an ab-roller salesman trying to sell it to a group of bodybuilders. The bodybuilder has pulled up his singlet to reveal a 6 pack and asks: Tell me again why I should buy your product?
When your good health and shape is all evident, it should be explanation enough.

Jess
Jess
5 years 2 days ago

Love this!

primal aly
primal aly
5 years 2 days ago

*applause* LOVE IT.

MikeD
MikeD
5 years 2 days ago

“Just take off the bread and eat the other stuff. Bam.”

Just eat meat and veggies, bam.
Just go outside and do stuff, bam.

im going to end every sentence today with bam.

ces
ces
5 years 2 days ago

Hahahahabamhahahaa

Dan
Dan
4 years 11 months ago
Bam is the buzzword of my sentence ending relative to short primal explanations. Nevertheless, I do start with the six-pack flash and flex. So it goes like this (e.g.): Flash & Flex Six-Pack, Do this and that for 30 days…wait for it…BAM! (No, really now, the BAM gets now “wait for it, in most cases at least.) Irrespective of the jolly comment I above, what is really hard is trying to argue your case to those who, as Mark posited, have accustomed themselves with the small discomforts produced by eating non-ancestrally (or even non-primally – which is more permissive)since such… Read more »
Oliver Kelly
Oliver Kelly
5 years 2 days ago

Bam. I love it Mark. Eating like a king, feeling fantastic. Stick to your grains and your ailments if you like and I’ll stick to what’s working for me. Pow!! 🙂

Mr Ed
Mr Ed
5 years 2 days ago

When my Gran had a nervous breakdown in the 1930s the doctor prescribed Arsenic, a pint of Guinness a day and sitting in the garden. She was going strong into her nineties, so it can’t be all bad!

Nick
Nick
5 years 2 days ago

Hahahaha

David
David
5 years 1 day ago

Brilliant, now thats a doctor

Hilary
Hilary
5 years 2 days ago

Dear Mark,

You’ve unaccountably missed out the classic,
‘Shouldn’t you eat a balanced diet that includes all the major food groups?’

yoolieboolie
yoolieboolie
5 years 2 days ago

isn’t that the food pyramid question?

merryish
merryish
5 years 2 days ago

There’s a variation that goes, “I just don’t think it’s healthy to cut out an entire food group…”

It’s kind of the “all things in moderation” argument plus the “food pyramid argument” plus a big dose of self-righteousness.

You may have guessed, I hear this one a lot from my friends.

David
David
5 years 2 days ago

I respond, wheat is not a food group, it’s a carbohydrate/anti-nutrient. Try 30 days without it and see how much better your digestive tract feels. That was all it took for me, no digestive problems since ditching grains almost two years ago. If I’m traveling through Europe and succumb to the temptation for fresh bread and croissants it only serves to remind me how poorly I feel afterwords and I’m back on the wagon.

Hilary
Hilary
5 years 2 days ago

I’ve heard it as a reason not to try dropping grains from someone who’s chronically ill with auto-immune problems. I do understand her not having the energy to change (I mean, how many new recipes did I try when I last had ‘flu?), but still… sigh…

More Butter, Please
More Butter, Please
5 years 2 days ago

My response to that is, “But grains aren’t really food. Not for humans, at any rate.”

And, when pressed, after “moderation” has been invoked, I say, “Given what they do to the human body–and to my body in particular–grains are a slow-acting poison. How do you eat poisons in moderation?”

Ann Marie
4 years 11 months ago
That’s the exact comment I got from my vegetarian friend who came to my home for dinner.She brought wheat thins and hummus for appetizers.I told her I was avoiding wheat for now. “It’s bad to eliminate a food group. You need grains, etc..” She eats wheat and was tested for Celiac disease and was told she did not have the condition. She was thrilled, b/c she eats mostly pasta, cereals, etc. However, she has suffered for years with pre-osteoporosis condition. She is very thin and does chronic cardio too. (I wanted to say: “Isn’t cutting out meat eliminating a food… Read more »
mm
mm
4 years 11 months ago

Alcohol is a type of fuel, therefore, a food group. It was very popular in the 19th century.

ProudDaddy
ProudDaddy
5 years 2 days ago

I have no idea how long it’s been offerred, but Jimmy John’s here in Minnesota (basically a sob shop) offers an “unwich” version of all their sandwiches. Progress!

Ion Freeman
5 years 2 days ago

My local cheese steak cart will give me a ‘south beach special.’ It was Atkins, South Beach & c. that gave us widely available bunless burgers. Mad respect.

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
Paleo Bon Rurgundy
5 years 2 days ago

I ordered a roast beef sandwich last night with out bread. The server cameback and asked me how the kitchen should make the sandwich since there was not a “no bread button” on the computer register.

I smiled and said exactly the same way but instead of bread use two big pieces of whole lettuce. I could see her mind was blown.

Chris
Chris
5 years 2 days ago

I did a similar thing… Ordered the Cali-Chicken Sandwhich no bread… They came back with sliced chicken on a wrap… When I took the biscuit off my plate the server looked at me and said, “You said no bread, not no wrap.”

Sigh, it takes times.

Mike
Mike
5 years 1 day ago

I once ordered a burger with no bun at a pub near my office and the waitress started to walk away then turned back and said “Are you sure? No bread?” Then she came back from the kitchen a few minutes later and said, “The cook doesn’t know how to DO that!! He’s just a KID!” I kind of had no idea what to say for a minute then said, “The plate is the bottom bun… then just don’t put a top bun on..”

L.Z.
L.Z.
4 years 11 months ago

Hahahaha! So good!

Jenny
Jenny
4 years 11 months ago

“He’s just a kid” — hahah, like you’re doing something terrible to torture him! How could you, you monster!

Carla
Carla
4 years 11 months ago

This is interesting because where I live, I rarely have a problem with ordering food without bread, rice, etc. They say “OK” with a smile and keep it moving. I guess in Portland servers are used to people who are Primal, gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free, soy-free, or any combo.

HillsideGina
HillsideGina
5 years 2 days ago

In-N-Out Burger, a local favorite, serves “Protein Style” burger wrapped in lettuce, no bun. It’s on their not-so-secret menu.

Ruth
Ruth
5 years 1 day ago

Yes!!! The Jimmy John’s unwich is my favorite go to meal if I didn’t have time to prepare a lunch or I’ve been out running errands and need to fill my belly. They have a little piece of my heart for this.

Shipmaster Mahoney
Shipmaster Mahoney
5 years 2 days ago
This is good. Unfortunately when there’s such dogma involved in the old grain paradigm, no amount of facts, reason or logic will convince them. Even the amazing physical, tangible results that are manifested in front of their eyes won’t convince them. A lady I know says that people at her work think she purges because she lost so much weight eating “unhealthy, fatty foods”. I agree completely here though. The trick is not to preach. The last thing you want to do is act like a snarky vegan. IF they ask, then tell them why you are doing it. But… Read more »
Trav
Trav
5 years 2 days ago

My avatar is better!!!

Shipmaster Mahoney
Shipmaster Mahoney
5 years 2 days ago

Ha. It is. I agree.

Clare
Clare
4 years 3 days ago

When I told my GP I had gone GRAIN FREE she simply asked me if I was ensuring to take B vitamins 🙂 No worries there

John Pilla
John Pilla
5 years 2 days ago
I don’t usually get those. Of course most people I am with know that I lost (by choice lol) over 65 pounds, 7 years ago, had kept it off, and for the past 1-1/2 years started exercising. (Yes, it’s true, 80% of weight loss and health is diet, not human replica’s of mindless hamsters/gerbils on a tread-mill for hours! Nothing against hamsters/gerbils mind you…) What I usually get is Why? and not a sarcastic, but truly inquisitive why. And since most people are familiar these days with Celiac “disease”, I start with the extreme and what they know and lead… Read more »
Gem
Gem
5 years 2 days ago

You know the wheel running and grooming captive vermin exhibit is actually anxiety induced obsessive behavior…

Camp lover
9 months 6 days ago

They also may be getting vitamin D from their fur oil they lick.

Susannah
Susannah
5 years 2 days ago
When I tell people that I avoid grains for health reasons, they understandably assume I have Celiac. I tell them I don’t but that I do have a sensitivity to proteins found in grains such that grains make my arthritis hurt/flare up. People then wonder if a doctor prescribed a grain-free diet for arthritis. I say no (they prescribed meds). That I found this on the internet and did a 30 day experiment. I also say that lost of people have a grain sensitivity and don’t even know it. The people who have a chronic physical issue often say, “maybe… Read more »
merryish
merryish
5 years 2 days ago

You know better people than I do! Instead of “maybe I should try that” I always end up with “Oh, I could never give up pasta and bread!”

So, most of the time I just lead with “gluten sensitive” and leave it at that. After all this time without any, it’s probably true. =D

Susannah
Susannah
5 years 2 days ago
The people with mild problems do say “oh I could never give up pasta and bread”. It’s the people with more severe problems who say “maybe I should try that”. Pain and loss of function makes them desperate and more willing to try something radically different. Even people in pain do get nervous about life without lots of carbohydrate. Instead of trying to talk them into making two paradigm shifts at once, I bring up the non-grain sources of carbohydrate such as potatoes (white and sweet) and squash. I wasn’t willing to try this experiment until I got desperate either.… Read more »
More Butter, Please
More Butter, Please
5 years 2 days ago
When they say, “I could never give it up!” I say, could you try doing it for 30 days? Or even just two weeks? If you don’t feel better and start losing weight, you can go right back to eating it. Just try it as an experiment, and see what happens.” Most people can’t bear the thought of giving up grains permanently, but if you turn it into a short-term challenge they might actually give it a go. And if they’re anything like me, they’ll feel so lousy when they go back to grains it will at least make them… Read more »
Sue
Sue
5 years 2 days ago

When people tell me “Oh, I could never give up pasta and bread”, I just smile politely and say “I didn’t think I could, either. But, I feel so amazing and youthful again, I will never go back to eating grains.”
The word “youthful” seems to spark an interest in those who are skeptical. I know I sure did NOT feel youthful pre-Primal.

Thank you, Mark, for another terrific article!!

Melinda
4 years 11 months ago

When my doctor recommended the paleo diet and I did my research, that was my original thinking… how unthinkable to give them up!

On the other hand, I was tired of the inflammation and post-meal crashes. I took it one meal/restaurant at a time.

2 months later, and I don’t miss it so much. In fact, I just had something from the patisserie recently, and regretted it for the next couple of days. I love my non-toxic and delicious food so much more.

Clare
Clare
4 years 3 days ago

I got sick and tired of well intentioned friends showing me and buying for me gluten free goodies at the supermarket. Those things are full of unhealthy ingredients. I would not buy food stuffs like that normally – why would I do it just because the label said GF? Tiz so much easier now I am totally grain free…..
Got a conference to go to shortly and I will take my own food parcel for lunch and dinner…… have no intentions of eating the GF stuff they will provide….. and I doubt the double camembert will be on the menu 🙂

Laurie
5 years 2 days ago

My mother, who is 84, has been grain-free since last October. She has rheumatoid arthritis for 20+ years. Two months after we restricted her grains, her rheumatologist was amazed at her progress. No edema in her legs. Instead of 9-12 swollen finger joints, only 1!! And she lost 10 pounds. Her success caused him to recommend a grain-free diet to his other patients. There are a few open-minded MDs out there.

Jem
Jem
5 years 2 days ago

I love hearing that! I’m so happy for your mom. Life can get better, even as we age.

Teresa
Teresa
4 years 11 months ago

Wonderful!!!

ProudDaddy
ProudDaddy
5 years 2 days ago

Oops, “sUb shop”.

merryish
merryish
5 years 2 days ago

I actually liked it better the first way. 🙂

Polly
Polly
3 years 11 months ago

Me too, it made me laugh.

I have an over active imagination 😀

AustinGirl
AustinGirl
5 years 2 days ago

If I get “the look” then I explain that I too thought this was a silly gimmick at first (like some Dr Oz-esque “super food” diet deserving of an eye roll). Then I tried it for a week and looked better. I tried it for a month and felt better. Now, after more than a year of mostly Primal eating, I’ve lost over 30 lbs. I’m happy to explain what I do to anyone who asks, but I know what works for ME and if folks don’t like it, I don’t care. Haters gonna hate. Period.

Marisa
Marisa
5 years 2 days ago

Mark, I have to tell you that a friend of mine is an endocrinologist and after seeing my success, I sent her to your site in late January. I saw her the other day and she told me she has been telling patients to follow the diet/lifestyle on your site and has seen great results. Keep up the great work!

Shipmaster Mahoney
Shipmaster Mahoney
5 years 2 days ago

I’m signing up for school to get a Dietetic degree. I totally want to be the bastard child of dietitians. I’m going to be the dietitian whose patients actually lose weight, feel better, beat Type II without medication, etc.

spincycle
spincycle
5 years 2 days ago

I have been thinking of doing this too, I’m just not sure I could swallow all the CW, and then regurgitate it for the exams. Plus I’d probably get fired for all the counter-culture dietary advice I’d be giving. I’m still thinking about it though.

ces
ces
5 years 2 days ago

Same here.

Chris
Chris
5 years 2 days ago

My twins are finishing their one semester health class in high school, and since Dad has lost 55 lbs. doing the no-carb plan, they questioned a lot of the “healthywholegrains” dogma they were being taught. Teacher was not too supportive, saying that it’s risky and goes against when the experts say. Then I met her at an open house, and she looks like how I used to look…obese. They had little choice but to answer the tests the way the teacher wanted, and we eat low-carb at home. They get it.

mila
mila
5 years 2 days ago

I, too, was thinking of doing this. Even though I live in Chile they recognize certifications/degrees/training from other countries and then I would be allowed to open my health and wellness center which is something I’ve been dreaming of doing. The only thing: I need to find an accredited training program online.

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
Paleo Bon Rurgundy
5 years 2 days ago

I believe Robb Wolf and Sisson are working on thei own unique certifications.

Shipmaster Mahoney
Shipmaster Mahoney
5 years 2 days ago

There’s actually a place near where I live that has paleo dietitians and physicians. There’s my in.

I figure it might be hard to get a job as a contrarian nutritionist. Still, I want to do this. If I can’t get hired, I’ll start my own program from my basement. Just don’t tell the Feds.

StoneCutter
StoneCutter
5 years 2 days ago

That’s exciting to hear. I would totally be interested in an online MDA certification, especially if it somehow then allowed me to meet the CA cert requirements.

ces
ces
5 years 2 days ago

Sweet.

Andrew
Andrew
5 years 2 days ago

I plan to study similar subjects in college.
I also feel I will be forced to learn and be tested on much CW I don’t agree with, but I definitely hope when I am not under the thumb of CW education, I can attribute to the revolution

Jane
Jane
5 years 1 day ago
I was enrolled in a Bach of Dietetics and Nutrition, eating CW and fat. I thought I’d take advantage of everyone’s fat and disease and be assured of a job. One year into my degree I had a lecturer suggest I “do some research” into the metabolism of carbs (wink wink nudge nudge…). I did and then I quit CW/Dietetics and Nutrition and re-enrolled in Bach of Science/Bach of Education. I will teach high school math science. Meanwhile for FUN I hang out on my own F-book Primal page, where I currently have 60 friends (yay) most of whom are… Read more »
Barb
5 years 2 days ago

Holy COW! That’s awesome… Endo’s have the reputation of being some of the hardest in the medical field to convince.

Claudette
Claudette
5 years 2 days ago

Hey, Mark! Love your stuff (and your bod, too). I just had a RD tell me that pizza is healthy! Had to laugh at that one. No more joint pain for me, and no more pizza either!

mila
mila
5 years 2 days ago

I agree, no more pizza for me………….buuuuuuuuut…I will have plenty of “meatza.” I learned this during my time on Atkins and is something I’ve kept in the arsenal.

Sitara
5 years 2 days ago

Yeah, cauliflower crust pizza is good too.

Lauren
Lauren
4 years 11 months ago

please explain a cauliflower crust pizza!!! 🙂 Sounds…tempting to try and see if it actually tastes good 🙂

kath
5 years 2 days ago

not eating grains sure hasn’t stopped me from eating pizza! Just get creative with it.
http://www.recipegirl.com/2012/01/16/cauliflower-crust-hawaiian-pizza/

yoolieboolie
yoolieboolie
5 years 2 days ago
I was the one asking annoying questions and getting sidelong glances a few years ago. I get more questions abouf my five fingers than my diet, though. I just bought “Eat Like A Dinosaur” for my kid who starts kindergarten in the fall so he can have some understanding about why we eat the way we do. I “lol” inside when I start reading “we’re different because we don’t eat grains”, but I know he’ll be challenged. I almost went for homeschooling just so he wouldn’t be handed cookies and cupcakes every day like he was in preschool. Time will… Read more »
Cathy
Cathy
5 years 2 days ago

That book was just recommended to me the other day for my daughter. Can’t wait to go get a copy of it. I’ve been fortunate that her preschool does not provide food unless you want them to, so I pack all her food for the day, and have been able to keep her mostly primal.

defrog
defrog
5 years 2 days ago
My daughter is 2.5 and obsessed with the PBS show, Dinosaur Train. I love how her favorite characters are the herbivores, and she’s nicknamed baby spinach leaves after the triceratops, Tank. At mealtime, she says, “Mommy, I want some Tank leaves, please!” That and dinosaur kale. What a perfect name to get a kid to eat it. Doesn’t hurt that she’s occasionally a carnivore, too! We’ve kept her about 95% primal. We let her have Cheerios and a breakfast bar periodically. Its unfortunate that we can’t pack nuts for her to snack on at school–there are too many other kids… Read more »
yoolieboolie
yoolieboolie
5 years 2 days ago
The book is a bit carb heavy, and plays to kids’ love of sweet treats, so I have to remember that they are still for the kids, not me. There are plenty of great egg and meat recipes too, though, and a whole chapter on packing lunches. His preschool wouldn’t allow packed lunches without a doctor’s note. We finally pulled him after it got so bad that he was having violent tantrums every two hours- tantrums that would only be calmed by having him eat a slice of bread. Thank goodness I found the resources to get him off grains,… Read more »
Jacquee
Jacquee
3 years 11 months ago

Just started baby steps on Primal eating the last couple of weeks, and of course its a fight getting my daughter off bread and nutella. Would love to know about the resources you mention for helping get kids off grains.

Caroline
Caroline
5 years 2 days ago

Yesterday, I ate out at a burger joint and noticed they had gluten-free bread. I hadn’t eaten a piece of actual bread in over a year and wondered how I would fare.Well…today I feel like crap. My muscles ache, and I feel groggy. Soooo I’m glad to be finished with that experiment!

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
Paleo Bon Rurgundy
5 years 2 days ago

More often than not, gluten free is an oxymoron. Per FDA there is a threshold for gluten that can be deemed as gluten free. Further more, even if the bread or dough, etc, were gluten free, most likely the kitchen is not.

Ironically certain states have tighter standards than the FDA. I read that JWU Culinary dept. plans to build a gluten free lab/kitchen.

Moe
Moe
5 years 2 days ago

Even if it is totally 100% gluten-free, it may still be a hot mess. I’ve found some gluten-free items that are loaded with starches, sugars, and chemicals. Kind of like the ‘fat-free’ cookies that have more sugar and junk than regular ones!

Cathy
Cathy
5 years 2 days ago

The bulk of the questions I get are about whether this lifestyle is healthy for my daughter (5 years old). I usually remind people that she is the child who is NEVER out of school sick (has missed one day due to illness since she started preschool three years ago). I get comments all the time about how healthy and calm she is, compared to her sugared-up classmates. The results speak for themselves, I guess.

zack
zack
5 years 2 days ago

I’m working on shifting my 2.5 year old now. Not an easy task (he is giving me fits) I’m only a week in though, hopefully he’ll come around.

Ion Freeman
Ion Freeman
5 years 2 days ago

I’ve got a 2 1/6 year old. Mac n Cheese! Pretzels! Gold fish! Cheerios!

Jake
Jake
5 years 2 days ago

Bacon! Baconbaconbaconbacon!!!

karen
karen
5 years 1 day ago

When I was vegetarian and had a toddler, even then made no sense that were were feeding our little kids cereal, crackers, a sandwich. Even then I realized it’s all the same, just packaged differently. Different shapes does not make it nutritionally diverse.

shirley
shirley
5 years 2 days ago

It will come, can you plant a garden for him? My grandson loves to help and eat the garden items. He loves grilled onions and red peppers, broccoli and steak. Yes he likes mac and cheese too so I make a cheese sauce all organic and as healthy of mac and cheese I can. Over all he never liked sweets and breads. maybe born primal?

Sitara
5 years 2 days ago

At least you can use the Quinoa pasta for the mac part.

trojan_n_phx
trojan_n_phx
5 years 2 days ago
hey zack, we made the switch when my son was 3, and my daughter was 1. There were a few challenges, since the boy loved his waffles and oatmeal, and raw veggies can be hard for an infant to get down. But there weren’t any other options in the house, and we tried not to make it a fight as much as possible. If he gets hungry enough, he’ll eat, and there are alternatives. We made some of the snacks from Elana’s Pantry, with alternative flours, to help ease the transition, but we don’t even do that much any more.… Read more »
HillsideGina
HillsideGina
5 years 2 days ago

There’s no need to eat raw veggies.

Megan
5 years 2 days ago

Ugh! Mac’n’Cheese – the bane of my existence! Our daughter has been primal for a year now, she’s almost three. She has nearly forgotten about all the junkie food out there EXCEPT the blue box! You would think that stuff is made of toddler crack!

AustinGirl
AustinGirl
5 years 2 days ago

Amy’s pasta has a gluten free version of mac and cheese that tastes JUST like the blue box, but a bit less like chemicals. I keep it around for moments of my own weakness. Its great stuff. Maybe that would work for your kiddo?

Megan
Megan
5 years 1 day ago

Maybe. I am thinking about just giving in and buying some of the ludicrously priced “Paleo Pasta” – or possibly a pasta sold in the organic section of our grocer that’s made from brown rice – and trying out a homemade version. Real cheese, organic milk and cream, real butter. Knowing my kid though, she’ll probably hate it. Toddlers are incredibly irritating, lol.

Jeff
Jeff
5 years 11 hours ago

Even as toddlers, my kids NEVER

Jeff
Jeff
5 years 11 hours ago

turned down a steak. They tend to not want crap when they are full from tasty animals and plants

Jenny
Jenny
4 years 11 months ago

See, if she hates it, just tell her that means she doesn’t like mac and cheese anymore. “It’s baby food!”

… I’m kidding, but sometimes it’s tempting to put a certain spin on things with our toddlers, isn’t it??

Jim
Jim
5 years 2 days ago

This is exactly what I was looking for when you asked what we wanted in future posts. It’s my ‘elevator pitch’. This will be very helpful and may help me convert a few more friends!
Thanks Mark!
Jim

Nic.A
Nic.A
5 years 2 days ago
I tend to get the ‘oh, what diet are you on?’ question a lot. I hate that diet has become a word used to describe some weight loss regime opposed to ‘lifestyle’. CW thinks that a diet is a weight loss regime I guess.(?) People seem to be even more confussed by that notion more so than why I don’t eat grains and other select foods. I enjoy the opportunity to discuss with people the difference between a CW diet and a lifestyle [obviously centered around the paleo lifestyle]. People seem to become highly interested when we compare meals; everything… Read more »
Shipmaster Mahoney
Shipmaster Mahoney
5 years 2 days ago

RIght. A “diet” is a temporary nutritional change for temporary weight loss.

Jenny
Jenny
4 years 11 months ago

For people still baffled by this, I use an analogy: “A vegetarian isn’t somebody on a diet. That’s just how they eat. I’m the same way, only STEAK.”

Sharon
Sharon
5 years 2 days ago

I get asked that all the time too. “Are you still on your diet?” And then there are the people who just glare at me because I’m on a “diet” yet I’m thin and don’t need to lose any weight. I stopped answering.

Thomas
Thomas
5 years 2 days ago

I tell the diet people that I’m doing a lifestyle optimalization:)

karen
karen
5 years 1 day ago

I tell people I’m running an “experiment” to find out if something or other works (i.e., no dairy).

Jesrad
Jesrad
5 years 2 days ago
One question I had a couple times, which is not in the list, is: “Aren’t you gonna feel hungry very fast ?” Considering I no longer felt snack cravings every two hours, that really took me by surprise. The proper way to answer should be along the lines of “As I do not eat grains anymore, I no longer subject my body to the insulin roller-coaster that makes you feel hyper after an hour, then tired and hungry after two hours. Besides, I found a duck filet roasted in its fat and a big bowl of steaming spinach drizzling in… Read more »
Real Food RD
Real Food RD
5 years 2 days ago
funnily, I don’t really ever get questions. I thought for sure I would this weekend at a festival when the only edible option was a lamb sandwich without the bun. “so just the meat, then?”, said the girl and she didn’t even raise a brow. I have to question how fair it is to cast so much blame at the food pyramid (now MyPlate) when only about 3% of people actually follow it. Sure, people think they’re trying, but they fall sort. What’s one of the main areas of imbalance? Most people eat way more grains than recommended and way… Read more »
mm
mm
4 years 11 months ago

Yes. Blame the food pyramid. Because doctors and dieticians are forced to learn it, and it affects what types of nutritional research gets funded, and what gets blacklisted.

Read Gary Taubes’ Good Calories, Bad Calories for an interesting history lesson on modern nutrition “science” & policy.

Aaron
Aaron
5 years 2 days ago

“and can even exacerbate or (possibly) induce auto-immune diseases”

My son has chronic urticaria, an auto-immune disorder which had him taking adult level dosages of steroids and other medicine (he’s 10). Going grain-free has cleared up his hives. When he’s eaten grains (pizza at a friends, bread when eating at a family member’s house) his hives come back.

Jennifer
Jennifer
5 years 2 days ago

Heh. My mother is obsessed with all the “wholesome” B vitamins that are *cough* added *cough* to grain products. “Where do you get your B vitamins?” is what she always asks. Not eating enough offal here, so I need to figure out a better answer to that one.

Aaron
Aaron
5 years 2 days ago

Try liverwurst.

Paul M.
Paul M.
5 years 2 days ago

You get plenty of bioavailable B vitamins from muscle meat.

BootstrapsOnMyFivefingers
BootstrapsOnMyFivefingers
5 years 2 days ago

Question: what if people ask, why do grains have natural defenses, but other plants that we eat don’t? My husband asked me this question and I didn’t have an answer. Does anyone know?

You can see where this argument was going – very convenient for high-carb grains to have anti-nutrients and lectins, but low-carb vegetables don’t have them. Sounds like “diet magic” to the uneducated.

Aaron
Aaron
5 years 2 days ago
Some plants want you to eat them, it is part of their reproduction cycle. This is mostly true where you are eating the fruit of the plant, and not the plant itself. When animals that eat these parts defecate, they then deposit the seeds in geographically isolated areas. Some other plants, we have evolved to more readily break down and eat (like how rodents and birds can eat grains without as much ill-effect as us). You know that avocados contain a chemical called persin that is toxic to birds, but not to us? That onions/garlic/chocolate are toxic to dogs, but… Read more »
spincycle
spincycle
5 years 2 days ago

Thanks, great question and great reply.

oxide
oxide
5 years 2 days ago
To be honest, I wonder about this. The argument for evolutionary poison only works if the seeds kill you directly, or at least before you have kids, so that you don’t pass on those grain-eating genes. But since grains don’t kill you until after you’ve had kids (and usually they don’t kill you at all), there’s no selection to NOT eat grains. If the grains are trying to kill us off by evolution, they aren’t doing a very good job of it. If anything, the grains are allowing us to breed more humans which may mutate into the equivalent of… Read more »
Aaron
Aaron
5 years 2 days ago
Evolution isn’t cut and dry. It is a process. Those anti-nutrients may be enough to kill off some organisms (bacterial possibly) immediately. Genetic adaptation isn’t universally advantageous. The thick layers of fat on a seal would have it die from heat exhaustion in the tropics. What is advantageous changes, see the story about the Peppered moth and the Industrial Revolution. Grains don’t choose to kill us or not. At some point in their history grains with higher concentrations of anti-nutrients were more successful than those without. This could be because they simply existed within a plant that had a more… Read more »
mm
mm
4 years 11 months ago
It may not kill you but it can make you sick enough for other people to not want to mate with you as much, reducing the propagation of whatever mutant genes you had that made you try to eat them, if any. Thus, the selection is in how hot you,re going to look so you can have a lot of people who want to share some genes with you, how much energy & healthy, non-inflamed joints/etc you’ll have to oblige them all night long and how long you’ll be able to live without catching a disease of civilization so you… Read more »
Andy
Andy
5 years 18 hours ago

Because grains are a seed, not a plant! Seeds do not want to be eaten as they want to grow up to be plants.

Egalitaire
4 years 11 months ago

I think if we look at the evolution from the plants POV, not ours, it makes more sense – the plant isn’t trying to kill us – the plant is trying to get it’s seed transported to another location while in “still-able-to-germinate” form.

When mammals eat the seeds and spread them though defecation, the seeds can grow in the new locale. If the host/transportation device (the mammal) digests the seed, it can no longer germinate, it becomes a negative evolutionary event for the plant.

Plants have evolved the anti-nutrients to protect their offspring, not to harm us.

mm
mm
4 years 11 months ago

This is also probably why seeds have phytic acid to keep us from absorbing calcium…

Calcium: it’s what a growing eukaryote-based lifeform needs. (This message brought to you by the phytic acid council)

Anna
Anna
4 years 8 days ago

What about nuts?