Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS • Nutritional Periodontist
May 26, 2016
Only about 5% of my patients are interested in my Paleo diet and lifestyle protocol. But, I keep pressing on.
My patients who follow my nutrient-dense diet and lifestyle recommendations usually are self-motivated because of other medical issues. For example, a few have recovered from a serious medical incident, and they have decided to make a change. Others have been diagnosed with a serious medical condition, and they want to get their general health back. Some patients have been following a “healthy way of living” for a while, and now I have shown them an evidence-based method, of which they have never heard, that makes sense to them.
Many people, with whom I come into contact, feel that a Paleo-type diet is too restrictive or stringent. My 30-Day Reset Plan is not difficult. It describes all the foods you could eat as much as you wanted and as frequently as you wanted until you were comfortably satisfied. However, it removes foods that most people eat daily and are used to eating even though those foods are inflammatory. After about 3 weeks on this program, cravings (especially for refined carbs and sugars) disappear or become greatly reduced. The overall benefits of an eating lifestyle like this are far reaching – well beyond a healthier mouth. My own personal story is impressive, and I share it with anyone who is interested.
While I am passionate in what I believe, it’s impossible for me to motivate anybody. You, as an individual, must motivate yourself based on your personal and innermost beliefs and goals. For example, about 30 years ago, I had a patient who had lung cancer as a result of smoking for decades. He was fortunate. Medicine at that time was able to save his life by removing his diseased lung while retaining his healthy lung. Yet, he still smoked cigarettes! How could I possibly motivate a person like that when the threat of his own mortality was not enough for him to stop smoking?
I can tell my patients how I have done what I have done personally. I can call attention to their selfish needs to have a beautiful smile. I can speak to my patients’ intellect by showing them the science-based health facts for embracing a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle. I can explain how healthy eating can improve their oral health as well as their overall health. I can suggest to my patients that staying on their present course may be like standing on the train tracks of an oncoming train. I can emotionally appeal to their inner selves to want to live long enough to see their children and their children’s children grow into beautiful people. But, I cannot make them do what I think they should do. They must make their own decision to act or not to act.
So, to answer the original question, most of my patients do not follow a Paleo-type diet and lifestyle. But, I won’t reduce my efforts or desire to educate my patients if they show an interest in my way of thinking. I have been accused of being a fanatic when it comes to primal nutrition and lifestyle. I stand guilty as charged. My goal is to help self-motivate all patients that are interested in getting onboard a Paleo-type diet and lifestyle. I have written about this over and over again.
I am always available to help. Send me an email with your questions.