Ok, so you’ve taken the paleo plunge, or even just a 30 day challenge. Great! Things are going to start to change. Your body, your emotions, your moods, and your food. Someone is going to notice! I can’t tell you how many times I have had people see me eat one meal, and ask why I skipped the dinner roll, mashed potatoes, or rice. This is a fantastic opportunity that you are going to want to take advantage of, and trust me, they are ready to listen. Some might be intrigued by this lifestyle, while others will shun its facts in a glorious trample (or stumble) of your information. But dont get nervous, here are 5 steps you can follow to explain your lifestyle to your friends:
- “Its a nutritionally dense diet.” Most people will agree that a diet rich with fruits and vegetables is ideal for superior health. By explaining how the paleo diet is rich with micronutrients, like vitamins and minerals, your friends will understand why a paleo diet is optimal. Dont be afraid to use the classic “livers are more nutritious than bread” line. Once they see how much nutrition you are actually getting from the diet, they will start to loosen up. It is hard to disagree with eating more nutrients. Once you have completed this step, you can take a stab at explaining to them antinutrients.
- “Its an anti inflammatory diet.” Another great way to get someone intrigued by the paleo diet is by explaining the anti inflammatory benefits of not eating grains or vegetable oils. In recent years, vegetable oil has had a halo surrounding its “low-fat” nature. However, the high amounts of omega 6 fatty acids found in vegetable oils, as well as grains and grain fed animals, actually increases inflammation in our systems. Systemic inflammation can lead to sickness, which we are all trying to avoid. Once your friends have hear about the insane inflammation that occurs from omega 6 fatty acids, they will begin to have their minds turned.
- “Our previous thoughts about fat consumption are skewed.” This one might be a bit tougher to explain. A lot of people have some real issues with accepting the fact that the “lipid hypothesis” was faulty. It seems to have been seared into our brains that fat is bad. One way to explain this to your friends is to tell them all about Ancel Keys and his 21 Countries study that was actually only 7 countries (click here to read more about Ancel Keys). You could also tell your judgmental friends that fat is absolutely necessary for proper digestion of vitamins and minerals (aka why they are called “fat soluble vitamins”). I find the latter of the two explanations to usually sit better in the stomachs of “non paleo’s (muggles?)” But give them both a shot if your feeling perky.
- Functional fitness. Ahh functional fitness. The term that has been oh so celebrated amongst crossfitters, and paleo people alike. Its quite the sell, and it makes sense. The idea that you can train not to suck at life seems to make everyone absolutely giddy. But how do you explain it to your friends? Well, i think its just that simple! Tell them that functional fitness trains you not to suck at life. Explain to them how functional movements like the deadlift, pushup, pullup and squat train you for everyday activities so that when your old and (not) decrepit, you will still be able to pick up your grandchildren.
- Basics. Its never a bad idea to just toss the basics out there. Giving a broad overview of the topic of paleo can sometimes really hit home with your friends. Remember to mention paleo as a lifestyle rather than just a diet. Tell them about antinutrients, omega fatty acids, and how this diet is optimal for human health. Some people will catch on right away with the basics, others will need a bit more in depth explanation. But that’s what we are here for!
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