I am a Doctor of Physical Therapy as well as a Certified CrossFit coach and co-owner of CrossFit Craic, which is a fitness training and education center located in Dedham, MA. I always seemed to have been viewed by my friends as the "healthy" one because I was the first to eat whole grain pasta, brown rice and oatmeal. Eventually, as my husband and I got more and more into CrossFit and the functional fitness movement, we began stumbling upon the works of Taubes, Loren Cordain, Robb Wolf, etc., and learned that the "healthy" things we were reading really weren't what they were all cracked up to be....at ALL.
John (my husband) and I slowly began cutting out grains and processed carbs over the course of about one and a half years. Since I have been living the "paleo" lifestyle, I have been stronger, healthier and happier than I have ever been. The best thing in this experience for me is that my husband and I have changed the eating habits of my immediate family and the great majority of our clients at our private training facility. We ascribe to and promote the paleo/primal ("No Bread" as well call it) lifestyle and time and again hear amazing stories from our members of significant fat loss, reversals of chronic health conditions, and otherwise life and family changing events. Making the choice to eat the way I do has certainly changed my life.
Not eating the processed, pro-inflammatory carbs that I used to eat is easy, since I gave it up relatively gradually. The biggest challenge for me is coming up with a brief and honest answer to a questioning person as to why I eat the way I do. Invariably, when people find out the way I eat, I find that answering them truthfully ("because it's bad for you" or "because it's poison") is usually met with some derisive, patronizing or otherwise non-constructive comments. If I tell a white lie and say "I'm sensitive to gluten" or "it makes my stomach hurt", people tend to nod their heads and leave me alone. Does this truly satisfy me? Not really, but...it is difficult to reverse decades of propaganda in a five minute bus ride. I haven't quite figured out the best response yet.
People approach this lifestyle many different ways, and since I have succeeded with mine I'll definitely provide some advice which I often give to my clients. First...I am NOT on a diet. I live a healthy lifestyle which involves not eating certain foods because they are bad for me. This is in the same vein as saying that cigarettes or illicit drugs would not be conducive to my healthy lifestyle, therefore I do not consume these things. If I can keep this in mind, it is easy for me to avoid processed, pro-inflammatory carbs without feeling like I'm deprived of anything; I know they are not good for my body, therefore I simply do not eat them.
So my biggest piece of advice is try to get this into perspective: if you choose to eat a carbohydrate restricted/paleo/primal diet, you are making a CHOICE to follow a healthy LIFESTYLE. Diets suggest short-term; I am more concerned about longevity and sustainability of a health choice. Another piece of advice I have is to get into it gradually: start by having a carbohydrate restricted breakfast, then add in lunch, etc. I know some people promote going all in, cold turkey, which works for some people. That tactic definitely doesn't work for me, and it may not for others as well. Definitely figure out the best way to go into it so that you will succeed and SUSTAIN. Lastly, get a teammate or two.
At my business (CrossFit Craic in Dedham, MA), my clients and I all have a Facebook group dedicated to share stories, recipes, etc., with our lifestyle choice of "No Bread" (as we refer to it). It is a great place for support, and I would highly recommend getting a loved one or friend on board with you, as it will make your journey into a healthier lifestyle much, much easier. You will have someone else to commiserate with as you are forced to stand in the face of years of governmental hogwash :-).