In a world where different cultures, races, religions and sexualities gain more acceptance than ever before, it never fails to surprise me how much shock and confusion people express when I explain to them about my Paleo lifestyle. It’s amazing how even though the knowledge is out there for everyone to access, so many people choose to ignore it and follow conventional wisdom. When explaining how I choose to live and eat, I'm usually hit with a barrage of questions. These are the most common reactions:
1. So what do you actually eat?
By far the most common, and perhaps the most stupid question people ask me is ‘what do you actually eat!?’ When I tell them that I don’t eat grains, sugar, dairy, or processed food, people seriously struggle to contemplate what would be on my plate at meal times. ‘So no pizza? No bread? How do you survive?’ I don’t just survive; I thrive, and feel healthier every day. Instead of explaining to people what I don’t eat, I now tell them all the wonderful things I do eat instead. Meat, fish, loads of veggies, nuts, coconut, fruit, even the odd bit of dark chocolate. I find this generates a much more welcome response.
2. But doesn't eating meat give you colon cancer?
No. No it doesn't. Do your research – meat is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, and if you don’t eat it, you’d feel much healthier and stronger if you did.
3. How can you be healthy without whole grains?
The amount of people that are still tricked into believing that whole grains are healthy is startling. If I have the energy, I’ll explain to them about anti nutrients, lectins, gluten, phytic acid and intestinal permeability. If I don’t, I’ll simply tell them that vegetables are much more nutrient dense and therefore healthier.
4. But how do you get your calcium?
‘Calcium makes your bones grow stronger’ said the famous Petit Filous advert. Many people ask me how I get my calcium without dairy – when I just tell them how kale, broccoli, sesame and almonds are my friends – and how it’s also important to balance your calcium levels with adequate magnesium and other trace elements, if you really want strong bones.
5. So do you run around chasing wild animals with a spear (sarcastic laugh)
The more facetious opposition will often snigger and make a very silly comment implying that a ‘caveman’ lifestyle has no relevance in the modern day world. I’ll often explain to them how my workouts replicate real life situations that our ancestors would have found themselves in – including weightlifting, sprint training, and CrossFit. I’ll then go on to tell them what a difference this has made to my body composition and general fitness. Sometimes though, I’ll just laugh and say ‘Yes. Yes I do. Don’t you?’
6. And what’s with the shoes? Aren't they bad for your joints?
Once again, the way modern day marketing has invaded the vulnerable brains of our fellow humans amazes me. When people see me running in my Vibrams, they genuinely believe that I'm going to cause serious damage to my knees, ankles and spine because there isn't enough ‘cushioning.’ Quite honestly, this one doesn't even warrant a response!
These are just a few of the questions I am faced with whenever I tell people about how I live. Have I missed any? What are the funniest reactions you've ever received when you tell people you are Paleo?