Paleo Interventions

Paleo Interventions

Like me, I'm sure you frequently hear people discussing their ill health.  Sometimes it’s so glaringly obvious that they would likely benefit from a 30-day Paleo trial.  So what do you do? Are you in favour of an Intervention?

Last week I was preparing my lunch in the shared kitchen in my office, when I was joined by a lady complaining to another colleague about her terrible stomach problems.  She’d seen so many doctors and specialists, had so many tests – but nothing was found and none of their suggestions helped.  She went “low-gluten” and “almost dairy free” a few days ago and was feeling a bit better, which she put down to avoiding pasta in the evenings.  She wasn't feeling great, so was just preparing some toast (wholegrain bread, obviously) with margarine, to settle her stomach.  I spent ages in the kitchen, waiting for a chance to intervene, looking for a chance to tell her about Paleo and suggest she just tries it for 30 days.  But no chances arose and I'm always really unsure whether or not it’s wise to intervene.

I generally take the stance that if I'm asked anything about what I do, that’s an opportunity for me to tell someone about it.  But in a situation like this, where I'm not asked – and don’t even know the persons name, I normally don't intervene.

Hopefully another opportunity will arise.

What do you do in situations like this? Have you ever performed a Paleo Intervention?

Paleo Cookbooks cavemanfeast paleo-recipe-book
5 replies
  1. Sally
    Sally says:

    I don’t say a word – unless asked. And even then I’m pretty vague unless people want more info. A few of times I’ve been told “You’re looking well… what are you doing” and variations there of. My answer has been “I’ve cut out gluten, grains, and dairy. It’s what works for me.”

    If they want more info they’ll ask for more. If someone says I need to go gluten free I’ll email some links if they want. But I’m really at the point, and it doesn’t matter what it is, I don’t offer info in so many cases unless I’m asked.

  2. Cathy L from San Jose
    Cathy L from San Jose says:

    Hi Suz —– I am an Aussie who has lived in the US for 30 years. I work with a woman with severe rheumatoid arthritis — I’ve given her books to read and recipe books but she hasn’t converted — I feel bad for her every time I see her hobble around at work (labour intensive work since we work as nurses in a birthing unit!). She is working extra these days to help pay the bills while she has a total shoulder replacement in a few months. She is on heavy duty medications (similar to chemo therapy). Another co-worker (Chinese/ Malay) is fit and healthy but her husband (Caucasian) is 51 and on Lipitor — I’ve talked to her about the paleo diet and she just can’t come at all the “unhealthy” meat and fat in the diet — I did loan her a cookbook but she hasn’t tried any of the recipes yet. I suggested that she and her husband watch the movie “Fat Head” since she is so concerned about meat and fat in the diet. Another co-worker is constantly talking about her 5 year old son who has severe allergies, behaviour problems and sleep disturbance and is having his tonsils out soon. Another co-worker the same age as me (59) is suffering from Type II diabetes, thinning hair, low thyroid, and is overweight — she is Filipino and just loves her rice and noodle dishes – her husband has severe heart disease and almost died a few years ago. Another young woman I work with has severe GI issues — bloating, gas, stomach disturbances, over weight. She has a great sense of humor so she always manages to make a funny story out of her GI issues — she frequently has to drop what she’s doing at work and make a bee-line for the toilet. As the charge nurse I’ll often get a desperate message on the phone asking can I come in and take over the care of her patient for a few minutes and I know it’s because she has to make a bathroom run. Her mother suffers from diverticulitis and I heard her wondering aloud the other day if she will “inherit” the same disease. — She is one person that I plan to offer information about the Paleo diet — heck I think she would be better off if she just gave up gluten for a start. I am an avid knitter and I follow a blog of a woman who designs knitwear and teaches knitting — she suffers from fibromyalgia and has given up gluten but she still has flare ups and frequently writes in her blog about how difficult it is for her to think straight and remember her design ideas, whereas she used to have a really sharp intellect. I wrote to her once offering to send her a book about the paleo diet but she would not disclose an address to send to and gently “snubbed” me by saying that she was already following a similar diet. Yet when I read her blog it’s often about cooking food that is not grain free – only gluten free.
    Every where I turn, I’m surrounded by sick, sick co-workers– but I really try not to proselytise because I know how infuriating that can be whether it’s religion or diet or exercise. I have a vegan friend who constantly makes reference to her vegan lifestyle and I just don’t like having much to do with her these days ( she looks skeletal and, especially when stressed, also has a “nervous stomach” – which I believe is code for “frequent diarrhea” ).
    So I choose my words carefully and try to feel my way into the conversation. Some people noticed my weight loss a year ago so that opened up some conversations, but everyone is used to my new weight now so I don’t get as many comments. Even my own grown sons are resistant to my new ideas (can you blame them — I subjected them when they were young to a pretty severe vegan, then vegetarian diet) but one of my sons is a fitness nut so he may be more receptive in the long run. My husband has gone along with the no bread, no pasta approach and loves lots of vegetables and meat and fish but he feels that he has to have oatmeal in the mornings and hasn’t switched to coconut milk yet — he still uses soy milk because he is sensitive to cow’s milk. He likes and buys cottage cheese and yogurt so I would say he is more “primal ” than Paleo. I just caution him to get full fat dairy products whenever possible (try finding full fat yogurt or cottage cheese in the stores these days.) Even so, his daily morning blood sugars seem to indicate a big improvement in his glucose levels (he is pre-diabetic ) so I am settling for what I can get. He is happy with all the lovely meals that I now cook. He is 64 and neither one of us is on any kind of medications so I guess we are doing something right.
    Sorry this is so long but the upshot of all this is that I try to feel my way into the conversation. Some people are so overwhelmed by all the trials and tribulations of their illness, that they feel they just can’t cope with major changes in the diet. — it’s too overwhelming for them. so I just plug away in the background trying to answer questions and educate people about my lifestyle. I have various little catch phrases that I repeat from time to time like — “it’s not the cholesterol it’s the triglycerides”, “it’s not the fat it’s the carbs”.

    • Suz
      Suz says:

      Thanks so much for your comment Cathy, that’s a lot of people around you not looking after their health. It must be so frustrating for you! Definitely a good idea to plug away in the background. Eventually they’ll have to take notice.

  3. Andrew
    Andrew says:

    I’m much the other way … not backward in coming forward.
    I begin with the quote purported to be from Einstein
    “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting the outcome to be different”
    or “if nothing changes … nothing changes”

    EVERYONE has a choice .. do something or do nothing.
    Luckily in my work, I don’t have anyone as you describe.
    I work with people who want to change their business and life and I respectfully put their feet in the fire and am honest and open about the things they have to change to achieve the goals they want. If they don’t wish to change then we cease our relationship.

    Interestingly people never change if the “chair” they are sitting in is too comfortable and the one over the road doesn’t appear more attractive or more comfortable.

    Creating a better future is what it’s all about.

    Questions such as the following can be melded into your conversations.
    So you like being in this painful place?
    How long have you been here?
    Who and what would you be if you weren’t in that place?
    What would you do to get out of the mess you are in?
    How much would you pay to get out of this space?

    I have friends who have health issues and those that didn’t like the conversation never mention their pain, discomfort etc when I’m around, as they know my sympathy is summed up with “just make the change”

    Tough … yes and I’ve got more wins than losses so far.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.