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Friends & Food

Isadora

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2013
Messages
213
I have this friend, we’ll call her Natalie, who is very dear to me. She is 1.55 m tall and weighs 39 kilos. Her Tanita scale shows her at 6% body fat, mine at a "whopping" 11%. She has two children, Patrick, 7, borderline autistic since the birth of his sister, Diana, now 5. Both kids look severely malnourished, especially the boy, who is extremely picky about his diet. Her husband looks OK, actually fighting off a few pounds, exercising a lot and eating a regular diet. Their live-in babysitter has put on some serious weight too in the past few years — so my guess is that real food is bountifully available in their house, just that not everyone partakes…

Natalie was always a fussy eater. She always said she wanted to put on more weight, but was unable to. She claimed severe digestive issues allowed her to only eat a few things: processed grains in all their forms, especially the white bread/pastry/pasta. She tends to be a vegetarian, but sometimes white fish makes its way on her plate. I've seen it happen. It was painful: she carefully chose only the white meat on top, so the white sauce it came with would not touch it. She left all that had been made impure by the unexpected sauce on the plate. She abhors fat. Yogurt, white bread, almond milk and soy milk are her main sources of protein.

She says about her son (with some degree of admiration, but I might be wrong in this perception) that he can only tolerate white foods. Not even a little pink, as in chicken breast. Therefore, Patrick eats some kind of formula milk, a little rice, white fish, and not much else.

They took him to a nutritionist and they thought that person to be very unprofessional when she prescribed tons of supplements.

Frankly, I am on the border of some kind of intervention here. I try to distance myself from these problems, but can’t. I feel like I should act.

Sending her eBooks and links didn’t work. I even tried sending her husband a few things on FB, and all I got back was “You have some bizarre conceptions there.” Traditional food and Peat thinking are obviously too far from their realm.

I should probably mention one other tidbit of communication I had with Natalie recently — as a way to end the conversation on food I had initiated she told me, with some impatience, that if I think that food is the only way we get energy into our bodies I am very much mistaken. What about the Yogis that never eat? Food is only 25% of what makes us who we are, the rest is… Hard to explain. Energy, there…

By her standards, I am obsessed with food, I eat way too much, I got myself very sick with extreme diets and nasty animal food. She feels very sorry for me and would do anything to help me out. She is trying to open my mind towards the healing energy out there and I did my best to follow her, but… That’s another story.

I did get a tidbit of an opening — she promised me she would get herself tested for gluten intolerance, but I couldn’t convince her to do the same for the boy (”I will not put a needle in my baby just to make you happy.” Apparently, the kid never had a blood test in his life.)

Another small victory: I made her curious about niacinamide.

What else could or should I do? If anything?

Thanks! Any input will be MUCH appreciated!
 

cliff

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
425
Age
33
Location
Los Angeles
I generally just give people suggestions and stay out of there business. There either gonna take my advice or not, some times you have to just bite your tongue.

Maybe try to explain to her rationally that soy/almond milk are man made garbage foods devoid of nutrients and she would be 100 times better off with real milk. If she made that change her diet wouldn't be too bad.
 

jaa

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2012
Messages
1,035
You are in a difficult spot in terms of being able to change your friends mind. She does not see you as a healthy person and will therefore view any advice that you give that's in opposition to what she believes or what she's seen mentioned in the mainstream as incorrect and unhealthy. In my opinion you have a few ways to convince your friend of your arguments:

1) Get healthy to the point where she can't ignore it. If she views you as unhealthy, and feels you are arguing against her, you must appear a lot healthier before she will start to listen. A few months on RP diet probably won't cut it. You'll have to lose all excess weight, have great skin and boundless energy.

2) Use a model. Find a person she looks up to who follows a lot of RPs ideas. This is probably very unlikely to happen.

3) Find common ground. Is there anything she currently believes health wise that is similar to one of RPs ideas? Send her stuff on that and introduce her to RP that way.

Right now I'd say 3) is your best option while working on 1). GL.
 

charlie

The Law & Order Admin
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Messages
12,294
Location
USA
Jaa, I have a family member who most recently has been persuaded due to mainstream articles(you know, cause if mainstream says it, it has to be so) that seed oil is bad. I am taking that and trying to build off of it but without much success it looks like.

I dunno, I wanna give up again and just go back into my cave. Until mainstream tells people what to do, most of them wont do it.
 

jaa

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2012
Messages
1,035
Yeah it can be frustrating when you're just trying to help. I find it useful to look at it as if they were trying to give me health advice. It also helps to remind myself about what I considered healthy 1 year ago, 5 years ago, etc. :)
 

chris

Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2012
Messages
437
Age
29
Location
UK
I've stopped giving advice and just keep to myself really. I was recently surprised what theyve been hearing. I'm used to the usuals sat fats, sugar, salt are bad, the other day a family member was preaching about serotonin and how good it is, didn't realise they are starting to push that on the public now.
 

sctb

Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Messages
61
In general, I really don't dispense advice unless asked. And even when asked,
I find it helpful, like Charlie, to give information in an accessible way. If they've
heard that seed oil is bad, wow -- that's a great start! Alternatively, folks are
generally quite receptive to the concept of vitamins, minerals, and proteins, as
well avoiding "engineered" junk foods.

- Scott
 

Isadora

Member
Thread starter
Joined
Feb 11, 2013
Messages
213
cliff said:
Maybe try to explain to her rationally that soy/almond milk are man made garbage foods devoid of nutrients and she would be 100 times better off with real milk. If she made that change her diet wouldn't be too bad.

I did try that and I got a long explanation on the completeness of the soy protein..:( Mercifully, she did take the nutritionist's advice to stop feeding her son soy milk -- the estrogen argument convinced her. I tried to get her to take her daughter off of it too, who needs estrogen at 5! :(

So you think a kid can grow alright on a diet of milk, rice and white fish? I hope you are right... And maybe I should stop raising my cortisol levels over it..:)

jaa said:
You are in a difficult spot in terms of being able to change your friends mind. She does not see you as a healthy person and will therefore view any advice that you give that's in opposition to what she believes or what she's seen mentioned in the mainstream as incorrect and unhealthy.

Yep...:(

jaa said:
In my opinion you have a few ways to convince your friend of your arguments:

1) Get healthy to the point where she can't ignore it. If she views you as unhealthy, and feels you are arguing against her, you must appear a lot healthier before she will start to listen. A few months on RP diet probably won't cut it. You'll have to lose all excess weight, have great skin and boundless energy.

I do appear very healthy and that's where my doctors get their impression that I can't be as sick as I claim. I have excellent skin, people place me in my early thirties constantly. She doesn't think I'm fat, she keeps arguing that I should stop trying to lose weight. Our friends and family keep referring to me and my husband as these freaks whose looks have stood the test of time like no other person they know. My husband is truly amazing, everyone thinks he must have "done" something... And few years ago, in the States, we both were asked for our ID's in a Ruby Tuesday's in order to be served alcohol. Well, maybe the waiter was trying to be extra nice, but still, we took it as a compliment...

So I got that covered. However, she refuses to see a link between the way we look and what we eat! She thinks we look great DESPITE of our diets, not BECAUSE of them. When people read vegan propaganda, I tell you, there is no convincing them..:(

She thinks I'm unhealthy because of my constant complaining during this past year and the autoimmunity and the cancer scares I've been through. Now, if I could fix my thyroid, then I'd be in a different place...

jaa said:
2) Use a model. Find a person she looks up to who follows a lot of RPs ideas. This is probably very unlikely to happen.

I'll think about that... Thanks for the suggestion, jaa! The ideal person should be new age-ish enough to appeal to her beliefs, while RayPeat-ian in his or her diet... Hmm... Interesting challenge!

jaa said:
3) Find common ground. Is there anything she currently believes health wise that is similar to one of RPs ideas? Send her stuff on that and introduce her to RP that way.

I already tried some of that, but maybe the kid would be a better angle. If I could find stuff related to autistic kids and recovery using traditional dieting, maybe I'd be onto something...

Sounds like a great plan, jaa, thanks again! :)

sctb said:
In general, I really don't dispense advice unless asked. And even when asked, I find it helpful, like Charlie, to give information in an accessible way. If they've
heard that seed oil is bad, wow -- that's a great start! Alternatively, folks are generally quite receptive to the concept of vitamins, minerals, and proteins, as well avoiding "engineered" junk foods.

- Scott

I usually dispense the advice freely when the people in question are healthy. When they're not, it's a different matter... Last year, after a good friend got diagnosed with pulmonary cancer, phase IV, I froze when he asked me, repeatedly, what he should eat. I was doing paleo at that moment. I had read that a ketogenic diet was good because cancer cells can only feed on sugar (which is a big question mark for me on the Peat diet...) Anyway, I told him about that but couldn't find it in me to insist or persuade... It is strange how doctors are also very, very unhelpful on that subject. They couldn't give him any advice. He found refuge in the "Anticancer Diet" book by Schreiber which we recommended, but... Yeah, it's really tough. Remember how Ray Peat wouldn't give advice when asked on this subject? I totally understand him.
 

kev1

Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2013
Messages
9
I usually dispense the advice freely when the people in question are healthy. When they're not, it's a different matter... Last year, after a good friend got diagnosed with pulmonary cancer, phase IV, I froze when he asked me, repeatedly, what he should eat. I was doing paleo at that moment. I had read that a ketogenic diet was good because cancer cells can only feed on sugar (which is a big question mark for me on the Peat diet...)
http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2011/09/an ... ncer-diet/
go to 'a note on ketogenic diets'
It seems to work in brain cancers, maybe not for others. Fasting before chemotherapy can apparently make the treatment more efficient.

Regarding your friend, I would not try to convince her of following a specific diet. That is most likely to fail. I don't think it is good to blindly follow what one person says including Ray Peat. She will probably think the same. It can also help to give her advice that seems less crazy to her (e.g. leaving out advice to increase sugar intake). There are many traditional tribes with vastly different diets that are or, unfortunately were, very healthy. The goal should be to increase food quality in her case and not focus so much on very specific advice that will not reach her. (e.g. talking about serotonin or hormones in general)
We tend to always think from our perspective and forget that other people think very differently from us. Your advice should change something for the better. If her son got off the soy and ate some other foods, that would be a significant improvement. If your aim is to turn them into "peatarians" you will fail.
But, tbh, I wouldn't give any advice at all. You can't 'help' everyone.

Well, maybe it will work. Best of luck ;)
 

gretchen

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2012
Messages
816
Why would you want to stay friends with someone who looks down on you? That sounds unproductive to me.

I've found through talking to people that not everyone is at a point in terms of their understanding to "get" Peat. They either don't care that much about nutrition or are highly programmed (such as to believe in things like essential fats) and don't know it. You friend says animal foods are bad. Obviously she doesn't understand protein and you are not likely to make her.

Do you have your own children and family to look after?
 

Isadora

Member
Thread starter
Joined
Feb 11, 2013
Messages
213
gretchen said:
Why would you want to stay friends with someone who looks down on you? That sounds unproductive to me.

I am sorry if I made it sound that way, although I am not so sure where... Anyway, I appreciate your concern, Gretchen, but trust me, this is not the case. On the contrary... There is mutual respect and desire to not strain our long standing relationship over such issues.

kev1 said:
It seems to work in brain cancers, maybe not for others. Fasting before chemotherapy can apparently make the treatment more efficient.

Thank you, kev1, I'll talk to him about that!

kev1 said:
Regarding your friend, I would not try to convince her of following a specific diet. That is most likely to fail. I don't think it is good to blindly follow what one person says including Ray Peat.

Amen to that! I am not trying to turn her into a peatarian, but I would like to see her eat fewer grains and more meat... And try more approaches with her son... I suspect that she might have a gluten sensitivity that is making her body reject many other foods. She does look addicted to grains, actually, they are clearly the stuff that give her pleasure. If there is no sensitivity, well, good for her, let her indulge if her body found equilibrium in that. What can I say... But if she has a leaky gut that only accepts gluten and a few other things, I think it is critical for her to change her diet.

Yeah, it's tough, and who knows what "help" is... Tomorrow they might discover that grains are the wonder food that can make us live forever if ingested in large enough quantities on a leaky gut, and then I'll feel guilty... :)
 

Jenn

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2013
Messages
1,035
Russet potatoes are white, a complete protein and with a little coconut oil and salt are a complete meal...and gluten free. Speaking from experience, you can live on just potatoes for a long time and heal and thrive.
 

Isadora

Member
Thread starter
Joined
Feb 11, 2013
Messages
213
That sounds like an excellent idea, Jenn, I'll send my friend the Cronometer profile of that combo! It would be a great victory if her son would allow potatoes into his diet and there are serious chances that my friend will be willing to try and convince him to eat that, rather than meat...

I am surprised at the high tryptophan content in potatoes, though. Of the varieties in Cronometer, Russet seems to have the most... Otherwise, I would have consumed a lot more myself...

Thank you!
 

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