NO GRAINS, NO GAINS: A GROUP A OF PRIMAL/PALEO/GRAIN FREE WOMEN WHO BLOG ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES/LIFE/BENEFITS WITHOUT GRAINS. A GREAT WAY FOR OTHERS (WHO MAY BE WANTING TO LOSE WEIGHT, REVERSE AN ACUTE/CHRONIC HEALTH TREND, AND/OR TRANSITION FROM COMMERCIAL WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAMS) TO READ ABOUT REAL LIFE WOMEN WHO ARE LIVING THE LIFE AND SUCCEEDING!
Let's face it: going grain free or paleo or primal or whatever else similar is going to lead you right smack dab in the middle of MANY conversations with people skeptical of your food choices (as if it somehow matters to anyone else what YOU put in YOUR mouth!). But, truthfully, it is usually a huge topic for family, friends, coworkers and even strangers! Personally, I think that when someone knows, deep down, that they are eating poorly (chemicals, junk, whatever), they feel more of a need to talk to you, to talk DOWN to you, about your food choices. Seeing others make good choices can often feel like an attack when you aren't eating well (it felt that way to me for a long time).
I've been "paleo"ish for 2.5 years now (on average, sticking to about 95% paleo.. about 3% primal and 2% OMG BREAD AND CAKE), so I've got some practice talking about my diet.
So, some common things I hear and my responses:
- Gluten sensitivity is all in your head.
- When I go grain free (dairy free, etc), my acne and rashes disappear, I lose a couple of pounds (from being bloated), and I FEEL amazing. When I eat those things again, all those problems come back. If it's in my head or in my body, no matter, I prefer to feel this good!
- You must eat a lot of meat! That's not good for you, either!
- Actually, since going paleo, I've eaten LESS meat than before. The whole point of going grain free is to eat healthier. I've replaced
my grains with vegetables, not meat, which leaves me feeling fuller, so I need less throughout the day. True paleo adherents emphasize the QUALITY of meat, as well, so I buy less meat in order to get antibiotic and hormone free meats!
- You aren't getting the nutrients you need without grains.
- If you've made a commitment to eating a well-rounded diet with the full spectrum of nutrients, it's easy to get the vitamins and minerals that are found in grains: eating nuts, leafy greens, and high quality fish will get you most of the things that are found in grains (like selenium, folate, manganese and betaine).
Whatever the point is, I have an easy counter point, and the reason is this:
I didn't go grain free to jump on a fad bandwagon.
I didn't go grain free to lose weight.
I didn't go paleo because my ancestors ate this way (they didn't, by the way).
I went grain free (and pretty much paleo) because it is the diet that WORKS for me - removing grains/dairy/legumes from my diet actually freed up a lot space in my diet that had previously been bulked out with calories dense and nutrient light foods (bread, ahem). I had to fill that space, and the whole POINT was to get healthy, so I filled that space with amazing nutrient dense foods: spinach, tomatoes, beets, sweet potatoes, etc.
When I have grains in my life, they take over. They also cause me to be bloated and inflamed (which leads to my blood sugar spiking and me craving MORE grains). I need them OUT of the picture in order to eat the way I do.
When you know, truly, that the way you eat is healthy for you and right for you, it is easy to deal with skeptics. I've done my research, I am educated about food and the history of food. I didn't do this on a whim and I've been doing it for a while.
No skeptic will dissuade me from my path - especially not when I feel and look better than I did in my 20s at 32!