If this ridiculous video can go “viral” (132 million views), surely a life-changing diet can get more attention, right?
I couldn’t feel more grateful for the opportunity to be on a stage with these amazing guys. I mean, I get to sit and talk to Robb Wolf about how to get the word out about the Paleo diet. And who has a crush on Robb Wolf?? This girl.
So this got me thinking. What on God’s earth am I going to talk about up there?! I just heard some statistic claiming that people’s number one fear is public speaking, not death. I can’t say that’s quite true for me as the possibility of hell has always struck me as profoundly terrifying, but I’m no real lover of the stage. Hopefully I won’t throw up all over Robb Wolf while I’m up there. I figure now is a good time to prepare some thoughts on the topic of spreading this Paleo thing to the general public.
It’s growing, but not quickly enough.
Luckily, Rush Limbaugh is on our side. Yesterday, Rush was touting the caveman diet on his radio show, which may have as many as 20 million listeners. Rush was referencing this article by heart surgeon Dr. Dwight Lundell, who “freely admit[s] to being wrong” about recommending cholesterol-lowering drugs and a low-fat diet to his heart disease patients for the past 25 years. He says those recommendations “are no longer scientifically or morally defensible”. Hoo – ray. He went on to say he believes that eating meat, fruits, and veggies is the way to go. The article was at www.sott.net, and that site gets at least 150,000 visitors a day, according to compete.com, which is not quite the 20 million captive listeners Rush had, but it’s still more people than the population of the city of Boulder, CO (where I live).
There was another article in the Washingtonian about a woman whose health improved dramatically after a Hashimoto’s diagnose when she went Paleo. The Washingtonian gets about 160,000 visitors a day.
Then there are things cropping up like this Men’s Health online article discussing 15 nutrition myths. While they don’t say anything about “Paleo” per se, they do fly in the face of conventional wisdom by disagreeing with things like “granola is good for you”, “meat is bad for you”, and “egg yolks raise your cholesterol”. Visitors to menshealth.com per day? 1,863,295. Boom.
These are just three of the gobs of Paleo-proliferating articles I’ve seen lately. So the Paleo diet, or its tenets, at least, are in the press and it’s becoming more of a household term, but it needs to grow faster in my opinion. Like it needs to replace the USDA’s MyPlate yesterday.
How do we do that, you guys? This is an actual plea for your opinions, as my reputation with Robb Wolf is on the line here… Here are some of my ideas. Please share yours in the comments below if you have any kindness in your hearts whatsoever.
4 Ways To Proliferate Paleo
1. What about getting into the school system? We could sneak into elementary school rooms everywhere, replacing MyPlate propaganda with the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Paleo and the Paleo Solution. Or we could challenge Paleo nutritionists everywhere to start grassroots nutrition groups in schools. I actually did this a couple years ago at a high school in Boulder. I met with the kids for 2 hours every week and blew their minds about the inaccuracies of nutritional dogma. The kids learned a lot, and they all changed their diets to an extent. And now I’m not quite as scared of high schoolers as I once was.
At that age, kids are much more in control of what they eat than younger children, and they can have intelligent conversations (well, to a point…) with their parents about what they’re having for dinner. At the elementary school age, the kids may or may not tell their parents about what they learned in class about food that day. In fact, they may actually be tempted to hide that sort of curriculum from their parents lest they take away their Cinnabon Cream of Wheat for breakfast. So when do we start pushing for Paleo in schools and how do we involve the parents? You tell me.
2. Tell more people about what you’re eating. Surprisingly, I don’t bring up my diet with people I meet, and rarely even with friends or family unless they explicitly want help with their own diet. I find proselytizing obnoxious, and when you’re talking about a topic as sensitive as diet, any sort of nitpicking or boasting can be taken as proselytizing, especially if you’re a nutritionist. But you guys who don’t seem like you’re giving a pitch to a potential client every time you talk about your diet… you guys have some real power. Tell people how awesome you feel and why. If it’s too personal to bring up in face to face conversation, then Tweet and FB the hell out of this thing! You know, casual posts about recipes you make, or a little bragging about your weight loss… Pique people’s interest in the most impersonal ways possible.
3. Ask your gym to do a Paleo challenge. Find sponsors who will give you guys prizes for your successes. You’d be surprised how easy it is to get Paleo companies to give you free stuff, including us. We’d dole out some memberships or ebooks to people who hopped on the Paleo challenge train for sure.
4. Tell your doctor how you lost weight. Make him or her take your blood and analyze it so they can see that you’re not only healthy on the outside, but on the inside, too. Then give them your favorite Paleo book. Yes, it’s audacious to hand a book to a doctor, but so is telling people how to eat when you weren’t schooled on any such subject. If anyone is going to spread the word, it’s the deified doctors. Remember that docs are often seeing up to 50 patients a day, so unless their interest is piqued for some reason (like you losing 100 pounds and giving them a book about how you did it), the last thing they probably want to do is go home and do research after work. Be the person who inspires them to learn more.
I need your input here, guys. Let me know how you think we can take this thing from grassroots to mainstream even faster than it’s already happening.