Friday, August 1, 2014

Dealing with Skeptics - No Grains No Gains blog topic August 2014

Our Mission Statement : A group a of Primal/Paleo/Grain free women who blog about their experiences/life/benefits without grains. It’s 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!

The August 2014 topic is : Dealing with Skeptics!

Here's how defines skeptics 
1.a person who questions the validity or authenticity of something purporting to be factual.
2.a person who maintains a doubting attitude, as toward values, plans, statements, or the character of others....
People  question why I don't eat grains.  They are skeptical. There's blame, there's an attempt to scare or shame me. I understand it. Really, I do. Because for years.... I was a huge lower carb, higher animal fat, avocado, skeptic. I, too, was convinced of all the fears of heart clogging saturated fat. Holy Smokes, I used to think, I will NEVER be low carb and wind up needing to work up cardiac disease. NEVER EVER.  All because I ate a ton of whole grain bread, Fiber One bars, and oatmeal and couscous. The box said they where "heart healthy", so did a lot of other agencies.

How did that work for me? It didn't. Really. I was pretty darn sick up until I stopped eating grain (and most processed sugar). The best measure of going grain-free was the right thing for me:
  • my  hs-CRP was 8.6 mg/L (now 0.4 mg/L ) 
  • my weight was 60-70 pounds  over my current weight (now sustaining a 70 pound loss)
  •  my BMI-I had Type I obesity and my BMI was 34-ish (now a solid 22 BMI)
  • my HA1c was 5.7% and climbing (now 5.3% and steady)
  • my HDL was 49 mg/dL  (now 79 mg/dL)
  • my triglycerides were over 100 mg/dL and climbing (now in the 40's mg/dL)
  • Emotional eating/binge eating daily or weekly, (now zero, but occasionally a binge thought crosses my mind. I count myself in remission/recovery)
Disclaimer **** I'm not a doctor, so if you are working with one who has had some current nutritional training and is a good diagnostic clinician,  he/she will know your personal health history, genetics, personal risks, etc. Please check in with your own doctor. I encourage you to change docs or get a second opinion if your medical team is not addressing your health concerns in conjunction with you, your health and the current research. So much information is very out of date.****

 Here are the most current skeptics questions:  and my responses.

0. If the person is a known negative person, narcissist,  anger or drama king/queen, or manipulative I only respond "I feel better now" and minimize my time with them. Not my circus, not my monkeys. Moving along is the kindest, best thing I can do for myself and them! I'd like to save my time and energy for people who do really care.

For responding to normal skeptical people who just want to know and/or who genuinely care AND that I could provide a teach able moment to a low inflammatory grain free diet and why I look different.

1. Accusation: "You WILL get a heart attack/clogged arteries/stroke/constipation without heart healthy grains"
My response: No! In fact with my old blood markers, the high inflammation, weight, higher triglycerides, I was much closer to being sick and the lower weight. 

 I end the conversation with:  I feel so, so much better now, lower heart risk and ... in a whisper if they've asked- I poop like  a champ now that my gut bacteria and inflammation are all healed up... just saying....!!!" 

2.  "Grass-fed beef and Coconut Oil are high in saturated fat very,very bad for your heart health-EVEN avocados can be problematic" says commercial weight loss programs, associations paid by big food and based on poor science .

My response:  No!  I think that the nutrient dense profile of grass-fed animals, coconut oil and especially avocados keep my hs-CRP low and my HDL really high. Far from my grain rich diet and high inflammation markers of the past. I feel full, my skin, hair, hormones, sleep are all in tip top shape now that I'm eating good, nutrient dense foods.

Besides, I feel so much better after I eat grass-fed beef and eggs cooked in coconut oil and avocados as regular foods during my week.

 3.."You won't get enough nutrients and lack of whole grains will give you colon cancer"

See my response to #2. I get plenty of nutrients.  I steer clear of burnt foods, processed lunch meats and my family history is negative. I'll go get a screen when the doc says it's time, and I'm fortunate that colon cancer doesn't run in my family. MS runs in my family and I believe that by eating low inflammatory, that I can lower that risk.  I sure don't miss those nasty processed deli meats and diet frozen foods and high carb snack bars that I used to eat. I'm not so sure those were my best nutritional choices at the time. Glad I've found that in real, whole foods!

I feel so much better, rarely hungry, better skin, more energy, better sleep. Seems like good nutrition to me!

3. "You caused this, you stopped eating grains and now you can't for LIFE, you messed yourself up pretty bad, are you sorry you can't grains, oats, healthy whole wheat cereal, beer, eat pasta, pastries, cakes, cookies, baklava served at a potluck,  made by an elderly mother- she will cry if you don't eat it (not kidding), fresh French bread in France, fresh Italian Pastries in Italy, etc.?

My response: No, I don't miss it. If I did I could choose a Paleo desert (rare) or other grain free option.  I think I was gluten sensitive for many years. I got used to joint pain, acne, migraines, thyroid disease, and was told by my doctor that it was to be expected to feel like crap and they gave me medicine. Now, except for thyroid medicine, I'll be off even Ibuprofen and cold meds for most of my life. I had no idea how the gluten's, grains,  effected visual things but also my immune system, my sleep, etc.

I feel so much better now! No way would I go back to the physical and emotional pain of grains- even a little bite, and yes, your family will stop crying, caring, and will get on with life!

4. If there is an emotional/binge eater that won't stop pestering me to eat moderate, that "It's widely known and proven that eliminating a food/food group will cause you to binge and you'll stay sick forever and moderation is PROVEN to work, aren't you worried about that?"

 My response:  No! My emotional eating didn't stop until I started to go gluten, then grain, dairy and nut free. Moderating  trigger foods was 100% binge eating for me.  Especially wheat.  Eliminating foods brought me to wellness like no other tool. I've been not myself for 40 years with emotional eating. I'm in remission now by abstaining. and please understand that abstaining does NOT equal restriction. If that person just won't stop: I'll stop them and ask them if they would recommend that a recovered alcoholic hang out in a bar with their old drinking buddies or line up their shelves at home with booze?  That's how it is with me and grains. End. Of. Story. I dismiss them and end the conversation.Or put them back into #0. Not going to argue with what doesn't work...

I feel so, so, much better when I don't emotionally eat or binge eat. Whole new world!

If there's one take away in my whole, long examples is this:
Eat the food you eat because it makes you feel better physically & emotionally,thrive, and be your authentic YOU.

Don't take my word for it, be your own n=1 experiment. What's your experience? Lots of skeptics clouding your decisions?

Head over to my other blogger friends to read how they deal with skeptics

Gwen at the Sunny Coconut

Jeannette at For Life

Leigh at Poonapalooza

Also, there are great articles at Mark's Daily Apple about grain free/gluten free food templates
Happy reading!
The dangers of going gluten free
The 8 most common reactions to your grain free diet and how to respond
Why Grains are unhealthy


  1. You'd think seeing your success would convince the skeptics but you know what works for you and that's enough. Those of us still on the journey are lucky to have long term maintainers like yourself to show it can be done. You rock!

    1. Hi Anna.... I know, I think the fear of the silent (heart disease, cancer, bone loss) scares people. With all the outdated info about high inflammatory oils, read meat, etc... I can't blame people from the brain washing we've all been given. People forget what I used to look like and they didn't know my blood work. I remember it, though... :) Glad you are still on the pathway to your own health success. Keep up the great work.

  2. Great post, Karen! Thanks for organizing us and our monthly topics! This was a GREAT one!

    1. It was an awesome topic. I really enjoy the group topics because even though we are grain free our lives and food templates and life stages are all different. We are stronger together. Thanks for being part of it, Gwen!

  3. you said it all! my only addition is a big AMEN. :-)

    1. Thank you, Tess! It warms my heart there are people out there who GET it. :)

  4. Awesome post Karen:-) So proud to be a part of this great group of women! xx

    1. Thank you, Leigh. I know you've had a high stress month, so thanks for continuing to be part of the monthly topics. So good to see how we approach the same topic, with different (yet similar) approaches. :) Karen P.

  5. Super post Karen ....delivered and written in your great style, just love it.

    Have a great weekend

    All the best Jan

  6. When I eat with other people, either at my home or elsewhere, I do get some eye rolls and/or skeptical comments about eliminating whole foods groups. However, I think everyone would benefit from an elimination diet, or at least cutting out gluten for a month and then seeing how they feel. Really interesting post, Karen.

  7. Way to stay strong in defending what works for you! You are a rock star!

    Also, just stopping by to say thank you so very much for your encouragement...this momma really needs to hear it. I appreciate you!