If your job was to spread the Paleo Diet to the world, how would you do it? Where would you start?
A "tell at least one person about the Paleo Diet" Day? That's the best I could come up with at 3am.
I have moved away from trying to preach about "Paleo" -- it weirds people out, they think it's a fad diet, and they get distracted by the "wait, didn't cavemen die at the age of 25, and that's why they didn't get cancer?" type of questions. They also tend to be overwhelmed by the extent of foods they need to avoid: all grains, all legumes, all processed foods, all vegetable oils, all sugar, etc. etc.
I have started telling people that I basically avoid all processed foods. Eat Real Food Only. Avoid most things with nutrition labels and ingredient labels.
This makes intuitive sense to most people -- they just don't want to commit to doing it, because it's inconvenient. But if they seem interested, then I'll throw in a little info about insulin/inflammation, and give them three basic rules to follow:
At this point I just tell them to try it for 2 weeks and see how they feel. I had a client report back that her acid reflux problems disappeared. She was shocked and pleased. Yes, I know 2 weeks is not ideal -- I'd rather they try for 30-180 days -- but it's a start, it feels manageable, and it can yield good results anyway.
I try to avoid talking about lectins, phytic acid, etc. unless they are REALLY interested in the details. I think a lot of the time, most people just want to know how they can look killer in a bikini -- they aren't really interested in the biochemistry. If you hit them too early with that stuff, they tend to zone out.
from another comment I made somewhere on paleohacks:
One more thing. Nassim Taleb is a great spreader of the ancestral health meme, outside the immediate paleosphere. I think that paleo deserves a few other great meme-spreaders (is that a word?). I'm not really talking about celebrities, but more about intelligent people, capable of reaching a bigger audience. People like Dan Dennett, Richard Dawkins, EO Wilson, Steven Pinker, Jared Diamond and the likes. But hey, Scarlett Johansson would be OK too! ;-) Oh, that, and a TED-talk on paleo/ancestral living, that would be nice.
Personally the best strategy so far has been the 'lead by example'. Helps (a bit) for family and friends, but not the best way to conquer the world. Although maybe, there may be some exponential effect to this strategy ;-)
I'd write up something detailing my experiences on how the PD improved my health and helped with weight loss, and then send it out to a few friends who I know wouldn't consider it a waste of time to at least read. In turn, they'd probably know someone they'd want to send it to, and it would at least get that "far" from me.
I'm not a fan of pushing the diet, because when people do that it tends to come off as "preachy" even when that's not the intention. It turns others off to the concept, I think.
I've decided Paleo isn't for me. I've recently had all kinds of stomach problems - I went back on the grains.. back to a conventional diet and all is well again.
I don't think its for everyone - so would be reluctant to promote it to everyone. I tried it for awhile.. indeed, raced on it - but in the end it just didn't work out. It's too extreme.
I don't TRY to spread the Paleo Diet at all. Diet is like religion for most people. They believe what they believe and pushing the matter won't help. My experience with spreading the Paleo has been in random situations with people that have noticed the benefits:
On another note, a friend of ours recently has experienced some unexpected weight gain. She asked us for advice b/c my wife and I both seem "healthy and fit." Unfortunately, she wouldn't believe that eating fat is healthy. She was also shocked that I didn't care that my cholesterol was 240 (a VAP test showed that I had healthy levels of HDL, low triglycerides, and large amounts of large particle LDL). Unfortunately, this is the society we live in. If people want to make the change, they will.
i'm so greatful i found arthur de vany via reading something by nassim taleb. it definitely helps to have people you admire for other reasons spread the word on paleo. there are people out there who would give paleo a try if they only knew about it and read some of the science and/or testimonials about it. people at work and family have asked me how i've gotten in shape. i tell them, but still most don't follow paleo. you have to be very motivated. and those people are out there, they just haven't heard of paleo yet.
I don't do that.
You need to be motivated for changes, nobody can impose it on you. If somebody asks me or whines about problem, then its another thing.
Life priorities are different. And some people are like trashcans - can eat anything without any ill effect whatsoever.