Ever make excuses for why you don’t partake in grains? Wondering the best way to pass on processed foods at a party? And how do you eat healthy when there are no healthy choices available? In this week’s edition of Ask a Health Coach, Erin is here to answer your questions about defending and maintaining a Primal lifestyle in a SAD world. Keep your questions coming in the comments section below or over in our Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook Group.
“How do you deal with relatives who totally buy into the dietary guidelines? I think my siblings actually believe I’m harming myself and my kids with my ‘crazy’ diet. What do I say to make them see my side?”
Trust me, I know how frustrating this is. And honestly, I don’t typically engage with anyone who tries to shame me for my choices (just like I don’t shame anyone who hasn’t realized how detrimental a Standard American Diet can be).
That said, when it’s family, it’s hard not to engage. It’s also hard to not let it rile you up. Hearing someone say that canola is one of those healthy oils or “I can’t believe you don’t eat bread” or “this soy burger is so much better for you” can make a sane person scream. And no amount of citing nutritional studies https://www.marksdailyapple.com/low-carb-barbecue/‘>2 (that won’t scare off your non-Primal friends). That way you’ll be guaranteed something healthy to eat — something where you know all the ingredients. Even if you’re not much of a cook, you can easily throw together a colorful salad and bring along a delicious Primal-friendly dressing that everyone in attendance will love (and ask you about). There’s also the possibility that your real food contribution will spark a non-confrontational conversation about why you eat this way and (hopefully) give them an alternative perspective on what good health is all about.
“When you are out and there are no Primal choices, is it better to eat unhealthy or nothing at all?”
Here’s the deal James. Once you have a solid understanding of what ‘healthy’ is, you can always find a better-for-you choice. When you’re hung up on following the rules to a tee, or the opposite end of the spectrum, having those “life’s too short not to eat the cake moments” — that’s when people typically get into trouble.
But let’s back up a sec. Say you’re at a restaurant and you’re starving, completely ravenous. Even with the best willpower, you’d be struggling not to scarf down the whole bread basket. Anyone would. Now, I love when my clients have the awareness to realize that they’re hungry (vs looking for something snacky to pass the time), however there’s a difference between being hungry and being hangry 3 That’s when all logic and reasoning go out the window.
When you answer hunger with a processed, grainy thing like bread, you’re going to have a blood sugar spike, then a big ol’ sugar crash — quickly followed by another round of ravenous hunger.
So, my first piece of advice is to eat a little before you arrive. When your blood sugar is stable, you’re more apt to make choices that are aligned with your goals. Meaning, you’re more likely to choose a healthier option than dive head-first into a basket of grains.
Second, you can almost ALWAYS find something Primal-ish at a restaurant. Order a burger and scrap the bun. Ask for a plate of steamed veggies with butter. Or sip on a cup of coffee with cream ‘til you can get your hands on something more satiating.
And third, the Primal lifestyle is all about balance, so if you end up eating the bread, don’t sweat it. While the 20% isn’t intended to be about cheating, it is about navigating real life scenarios.
Have you had to defend your Primal lifestyle to family or friends? If so, what strategies have you used? Share your experience in the comments below.