Phasing Into It
“I had a Paleo breakfast this morning!”, exclaimed a friend I met for lunch the other day.
She and I had been chatting about her nutrition habits when she asked whether I thought Paleo could help her low energy level without ‘causing her to lose weight’ since she’s already quite slim.
When I assured her it would be perfectly suitable for her, she began to ask more. (I don’t get Paleo pushy with friends and don’t offer unsolicited advise- that would just be annoying- so she had a lot she wanted to learn.
We went along, question by question and then parted ways, and that was that.
Coming back to the other day, it was tangible how proud she was of herself for having eaten a Paleo breakfast, so I replied by asking what that Paleo breakfast she’d eaten had consisted of.
She said she’d eaten green beans with organic peanuts sprinkled on top, along with scrambled egg whites and some fresh fruit. Then, she continued along saying this was huge for her since she usually either skips breakfast or has cereal and that she never eats any veggies.
I’m the first to admit that when I first began offering Paleo consultations and educating people on the topic I was far more dogmatic than I am now. For no other reason than simply wanted everyone to reap all the benefits of a True Paleo regime.
Over the years, though, I’ve come to realize that approaching it in this manner is not necessarily the best method.
Not because I think people should half-ass Paleo, that ‘cheating is necessary’ or that complete Paleo isn’t completely doable, all of the time.
Rather, taking steps in the right direction, steps that are small enough to be manageable without seeming overwhelming as well as steps that can begin to elicit positive responses are often the best course of action for anyone who might not otherwise give it a try.
Yes, more education is needed and I will tell my friend that green beans and peanuts are not Paleo and that she’s better off eating the whole egg rather than just the white, but at that very moment, in that place and time when she’d made the effort to cook, and eat something green was not the right moment.
She was so happy she’d eaten a ‘vegetable’ (the confusing to many green bean) and that she’d taken time to consider her food at all was so tremendous that encouraging that far superseded correcting her on ‘what she did wrong’.
It may be a slightly different story if someone’s health is at great risk- like someone who has Celiac disease and doesn’t realize the necessity of eliminating gluten (and dairy as it’s very cross reactive), but for this type of situation, I’ll proceed carefully (even more so as she’s a friend not a client), and pepper in the Paleo bits when we meet and pour them on in abundance when she asks my advice.
Many different ways of getting there, and so long as the methodology is there and the education continues, we’ll be in a far healthier place versus promoting misconceptions and Faux Paleo as Real Paleo and so on.
What little steps have you taken today?