A Conflict of Interest
It’s a tricky situation, to say the least, when someone close to you is doing something that you just know is harming them. I can speak from personal experience on this note, as I have a close family member who would be so helped if they were to go Paleo, as they’re suffering from an auto immune disease.
Recently, I received an inquiry from a reader on this very topic.
“I have a very good friend who is a fitness trainer, that has decided to go vegan with her husband and promote that lifestyle to her clients. I intend to not get involved in a discussion about it so I don’t ruin a friendship. She has Hashimotos, infertility, endometriosis and suffers bouts of depression. I understand that everybody is different and what works for one may not be the best solution for another. I also understand that auto-immune diseases can be caused or worsened of poor gut function and why on earth would she keep grains and legumes as her main source of food? It hard to argue with her when, as she refers to a few vegan athletes as proof that what she’s doing is ‘healthy’. I can not imagine eating all those beans and legumes!! I guess I am asking how you approach someone that seems to think this is the key to longevity. Any thoughts would be appreciated!!!“
Talk about a conflict of interest! I’ve been in very similar situations myself and my best advice is to try to have a chat with your friend, once, and see if she is receptive to the subject. Be sure to come from the angle that you’re suggesting she be open minded because her own health is at stake.
There is, of course, a chance she won’t want to listen. I would not likely have bee open to a talk like that, when I was vegan for two years; but look at me now. Could I possibly be further from vegan?
Let her know you care about her and hope she would at least educate herself a little about the havoc she’s wreaking on her body (perhaps you can put it more mildly in an attempt to keep her from getting defensive) so at least she’s aware of what’s happening.
As you may already know, people often don’t gravitate to Paleo until something is ‘wrong’ as it’s viewed, unfortunately, sometimes as being radical.
The truth is, she may have to go through the process of getting worse before she gets better.
Keep positive, not preachy, and hopefully the time will come in the not too distant future when she asks, “What was all that Paleo stuff you were suggesting?”
As much as it stings to see someone close to us suffering needlessly, there’s only so much we can do.
Keep being a Paleo role model and setting a great example for your friend and those all around you!