Why It’s So Onerous to Ditch Grains (When Everybody Else is Consuming Them)
We’re lucky here at Marks Daily Apple. We have a solid group of people committed to improving their health by learning about the oh-so-harmful effects of the standard American diet. But when you step out of that tiny corner of the internet, there’s a whole world out there singing the praises of freshly baked bread smothered in butter substitutes, oven-hot oatmeal raisin cookies, and bowls of “heart-healthy” granola swimming in fat-free Milk.
It is no coincidence that there are many of these people Struggling with sore joints, brain fog, and extra weight without knowing a diagnosis of diabetes or high blood pressure might be around the corner.
Indeed, this might be right where you are right this second. Maybe you were on the fence trying to clean up your diet. Or, you’ve finally gotten tired of being fat and foggy and you’ve decided that you really deserve to feel better. Or maybe you have observed someone in your family dealing with a chronic health problem. No matter what makes your change happen, I’m glad you are here because the more people we can understand how food affects our bodies, the greater our effects.
So what’s wrong with grain?
If you’ve been here for more than a minute, you know this Grains are often problematic in the body. Not only do they trigger an insulin response and increase fat storage (like all excess carbohydrates), they also contain lectins, a naturally occurring toxin that affects the permeability of the intestinal wall. Which, of course, can lead to anything from food allergies to autoimmune diseases. But I digress.
You probably don’t need another lesson about why grains, industrial oils, or sugars are toxic to your body. However, what you may need – if you are struggling with the same things as my own clients – is how to do it successfully throw them away from your diet when it feels like everyone and their sister are instagraming their overly art-driven avocado toast around the clock.
Why are they so difficult to avoid?
Grains are woven into almost every aspect of our society. And unless you were brought up on an ancestral diet, Your preferences for starchy foods were likely dictated from a young age. Studies show that most infants prefer sweet tastes over bitter and sour ones, which may reflect a biological instinct to choose foods that are more in the high-calorie carbohydrate store.
The good news is that your likes and dislikes, even if influenced by innate preferences, can be changed. So, at least biologically, you’re not stuck in your sweet tooth.
But if it isn’t physical desire that is causing it, what does it matter?
Social science research shows that When you eat the same food as other people, you feel more connected to them. It also makes you seem more trustworthy and cooperative. In fact, researchers at the University of Chicago conducted a series of experiments that looked at the effects of eating together and the effects of eating the same thing.
In one experiment, participants played either the role of a manager or a union representative and had to work out an hourly wage that was mutually acceptable. At different times during the negotiation, the couples were given the same type of food to nibble on. At other times they were given different foods. The researchers found that if the participants ate the same things, an agreement was reached much faster. They also found that they were more likely to trust the information they gave each other when the same foods were eaten.
Simply put, we crave connection
For most people, eating is a shared experience that often creates joyful, lasting memories. Think of holiday parties, birthday parties, weddings and a barbeque before Covid.
Eating is just one of the ways we connect with one another. As you have probably noticed, eating the same foods as others creates a positive sense of belonging. In contrast, choosing a different diet can make us feel isolated, even if these foods have been found to dramatically improve our health, happiness, and the fit of our clothes.
This need for connection is so wired into our DNA that social threats that are threatened can affect our confidence and self-esteem. Therefore, in most situations, we do everything we can to prove that we are worthy of belonging – even if it goes against our beliefs.
How to Go Against the Grain (pun intended)
I tell you that 9 out of 10 customers who are new to the whole thing, “Don’t eat bread ?!” Or more precisely, so as not to be left out or judged. This is roughly the time I break these strategies against the grain in a world where everyone seems obsessed with bread.
1. Be comfortable with your why. I realize I sound like a broken record here, but understanding your profound reason for whatever you do is a key factor in getting through the ups and downs of your health journey.
2. Review your philanthropic beliefs. Don’t be fooled here. People-friendly is not about being kind and easy-going. It’s about acting a certain way in hopes that others will like and accept you, which in turn helps quantify your self-worth.
3. Make your limits clear. Without borders, it is easy to immerse yourself in what is important to other people. Take the time to figure out what is okay with you and what is not. If you really want to live a life that you are proud of, knowing (and sticking to) your limits is important.
4th Appreciate the differences. What fun would it be if we were all the same? A bunch of robots walking around eating the exact same foods and doing the same jobs would be nerve wracking. Try to account for (rather than judge) the differences in the people around you and see what happens.
5. Find healthier connection options. Just because you aren’t peeling pasta plates together doesn’t mean you can’t feel a connection with others. When you work out one on one and (when it’s again socially appropriate) hug, the attachment hormone oxytocin is also released.
6th Know who has your back. Being part of a community like the one here at Marks Daily Apple creates a sense of belonging. It also gives you the confidence to know that your goals are not only achievable, but are literally supported by hundreds of thousands of other health enthusiasts.
6 strategies to get rid of grains for good
Any kind of change can be challenging. But being surrounded by friends and family who are in your arms because you’re not a fan of the food pyramid makes it even harder. Kudos to you for following your truth – and remember to use these strategies the next time you face someone who asks why you aren’t eating bread.
- Be comfortable with your why
- Review your philanthropic beliefs
- Make your limits clear
- Appreciate the differences
- Find healthier ways to connect
- Do you know who’s got your back
Now it is your turn! I would love to hear what worked for you. Tell me about it in the comments below.
About the author
Erin Power is the coaching and curriculum director of the Primal Health Coach Institute. She also helps her clients reestablish loving and trusting relationships with their bodies – while restoring their metabolic health so they can lose fat and gain energy – through her own private health coaching practice, eat.simple.
If you are passionate about health and wellness and you want to help people like Erin for their clients every day, you should consider becoming a certified health coach yourself. In this special briefing event hosted by PHCI Co-Founder Mark Sisson, you will learn the three simple steps to building a successful health coaching business in a maximum of 6 months.
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