Doing something different to what society considers normal is often met with scorn, laughter or criticism. And if you're really lucky, sometimes you get all three at once. And if you're a fan of the paleo diet than you're probably getting this often from all the paleo-haters out there.
My favourite hater comment: "A caveman wouldn't eat that"
I'm not naive about the paleo diet. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea and I believe that it's the kind of drastic lifestyle change that people need to discover for themselves - I don't try to convert others to my way of thinking. I do it for me and not them.
So whenever I am asked about it I simply state "I'm eating like a caveman - lots of meats, vegetables, fruit and nuts" and leave it at that unless someone demonstrates enough interest to show they wont be a complete jackass about it.
But the paleo-haters don't return the favour. They don't choose to keep their ideas and opinions to themselves but instead choose to argue with me every step of the way, resulting in my now favourite hater-comment:
A caveman wouldn't eat that!
There are many subtle variations of this comment but the concept is the same. It is often dripping with amusement with an undercurrent of gloating, as they take pride in pointing out what they believe are contradictions in my eating habits.
I always feel like responding with "Yeah stupid me, the caveman probably didn't have that. I've just been waiting for someone to pull me up on a technicality because I'm not enjoying feeling great, looking great, and being super healthy. Can I share your stupidly mega-upsized Big Mac, fries and coke? Maybe we can also share the subsequent heart attack too?"
Paleo is making the best choice from what's available
But I'm too nice to do that. I feel like it's my place to choose the be the bigger person (figuratively) and let them know that while paleo does have guidelines around what should and shouldn't be eaten, the basis of the entire thing is about making the best choice from whatever is available.
Sure a caveman may not have had much bacon and certainly didn't have access to too many espresso bars but is that really a big problem? I haven't been able to successfully kill my own woolly mammoth yet, nor have I been able to locate a naturally occurring coffee plant near my house so forgive me for combining the best of both worlds and eating a paleo(ish) diet with the aid of modern convenience. But that is exactly what this paleo diet is about.
If we (the paleo-lovers) actually tried to replicate our ancestral diet to the letter than it would be very difficult to achieve, simply because certain foods are no longer available in the quantities that would be needed. But what we can do is take the concepts of the paleo diet (and the valuable lessons learned about what is actually good and bad for our bodies) and use that to make the best choice in a modern world. That is what being paleo is about.
Example of making the best choice
I took my wife out to dinner at a nice restaurant on the weekend and while I am pretty confident that my cavemen ancestors didn't eat Confit duck a? l’orange & sweet potato, I am also supremely confident that I chose the the best option for me and my body.
PS: I'm also sure cavemen didn't have access to espresso martinis and I don't care. I am in love with them. :)
So what brilliantly flawed arguments have you other paleo friends endured? I'd love to hear about them so feel free to share your horror stories.