So. As I mentioned in a previous thread instead of hiring a nutritionist for a "Lunch & Learn" at work this month, I talked them into letting me give the presentation! \o/
My audience is about 30 men, blue collar workers, middle/middle class and lower middle class type guys. They drive pick up trucks, they hunt/fish, they like to say "Get R Done".
I can't go full blown Paleo on them because #1 that is not what my place of employment is looking for and #2 it's a bit too much information for beginners.
Points I plan to make:
I used to say Eat Less / Move More, but I think a truer statement is EAT BETTER / MOVE MORE. I will talk a little about fitness, my work does provide a free membership at a health club only 3 of them use.
I want them eating real whole foods and not boxed packaged stuff.
Reducing grain based carbs and getting fiber from fruits and vegetables.
Don't drink your calories (lots of soda drinkers), drink water/coffee/tea.
I plan on reviewing some typical fast food meals. We have a lot of guys that eat out at McDonalds and Popeyes every single day.
Because I have hunters, I do want to stress how awesome their fresh meat and fish is for them.
We also have a few diabetics, so I need to address that at least a little. One diabetic guy sits across from me and drinks Strawberry Crush while eating his cookies and chips for breakfast every morning. It's crazy!
I know I am not going to get through to everyone, but if even one of these guys improves their health and diet because of something I said, that would make me happy.
I WOULD LOVE SOME IDEAS OF INFORMATION TO INCLUDE, ESPECIALLY WITH THE UNDERSTANDING OF WHO MY AUDIENCE IS.
Yep. Every journey starts with one small step. People get overwhelmed thinking they must change everything all at once. Anything you can do to impart the 30,000 ft view and give them ideas on simple things they can do to do better for themselves is great. Definitely let them know that even making one small change can be a powerful act would be a very good thing.
Michael Pollen has some great one liners that seem to resonate with people (His 12 commandments: "Don't eat anything your grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. Don't eat thing that won't eventually rot, etc) Try to find some sort of brain worm that they will remember the next time they are in the store or have any choice in what they put into their mouth.
Maybe a presentation similar to the "Eat this not that" swap idea would work well? (a pat of butter on one plate. A cup of corn oil on another. A potato on one plate. A bowl of noodles on another, etc) If you have the ability to actually have food samples there I think that can be very effective.
Edit: I just saw this and thought of you. I think these kinds of visuals can make a huge impact. I love the last line about if it's not good enough for bugs and bacteria it's not good enough for your kids (or you!) Love the McDonals meal that doesn't rot. You can google to find that if you like. Another good visual that most SAD eaters can understand. Might make a good opening to your talk.
Agree with RolandPlain--the hunting angle will be the number 1 key that those guys will identify with the most. This will make them appreciate how unhealthy "grocery store items" can be.
Additionally, from what I know about the redneck types as you described them, play up the Big Government angle as well...corn and wheat subsidies, pharmaceutical interests and how it is in the government's best interest for them to be unhealthy. Maybe this will help motivate them to "stick it to the man" if you know what I mean!
So nice of you to put such an effort into helping out your co-workers! These men are an integral part of our society--blue collar, raising families etc. and they are sadly under-served in the health information arena. Kudos to you!
Listen, don't stray away from grains too much. those "redneck" types will not listen. they're "meat and tater" guys. it'd be a good idea to mention the use of whole grains, and multigrains, rather than standard white pasta, and white bread, thats all processed bleached garbage. and all HIGH on the Glycemic index (aka an issue for diabetics, and cause rapid fat gain due to the storage hormone insulin). Focus in whole grains, oatmeal, and sweet potatoes. or carbs from fruit.
Soda, is a waste of calories. it is literally 28g's and up of sugar. 100ish calories of insulin spiking, fat stored SUGAR. not to mention that high fructose corn syrup is a chemical and doesn't break down in the body till it's half life has past.
Anything in a box should be avoided! processed food is what makes us sick as a culture!
You should seriously stress that game meat is the number 1 best thing in the world to eat, even the fat on it is incredibly healthy! tell them that the more they hunt and eat, the better. (they'll like this and see it as an excuse to take off of work to hunt, haha) Also I would do a break down of OMEGA 3's 6's and 9's, and which types of food contain them such as game meat, grain fed cattle, grains, fish, etc. explain the benefits and drawbacks of each type of oil. such as omega 3's fighting inflammation, and 6&9's causing it, and inflammation is normally a protective response, but SAD's contain 25 times more 6&9's than 3's therefore the body tends to OVER-inflame everything; i.e. leading to joint pain, arthitis (anything ending in itis is pain through inflammation), intestinal, arterial inflammation, high triglycerides, etc... Then break down that omega 3's from game and grass fed meat; fight inflammation, are an HDL triglyceride, thus lowering low density lipo-protein (LDL), can slightly thin blood lowering blood pressure, not to mention that 60% of the brain is made of DHA, and 90% of the eye is made of DHA as well, also every single cell wall in the body is made up of it.
Tell them that just because they can shoot insulin to regulate blood sugar doesn't mean they should use it constantly. There have been studies done where they monitored the effect of insulin on artery damage using blue dye, and when insulin was injected into the artery, it had a serious cratering effect (imagery: Imagine Bird shot from a 12 gauge onto a concrete wall). The final thought was that this could be the leading cause for needing amputation of limbs and heart disease/ heart attacks due to the rough surfaces collecting cholesterol (plaque).
So the main part is, focus on using multigrains, and lower GI index carbs, because the blue collar guys will never buy into the zero carb thing. Just get them to make better choices. Most of these guys would still rather trust lipitor to lower cholesterol rather than red yeast rice (same exact statin effect minus liver damage). GOOD LUCK!
I think maybe a kind of "listen to your grandma" approach might work. I know a lot of those guys too, and they tend to be conservative, old-fashioned in ways, like to talk about how great America "used to be." Appeal to that. Your grandma wouldn't have bought any fake crap in a box...no instant oatmeal for her! She made her own oatmeal. She made pot roasts and pork chops and brisket. She told you to eat your vegetables. She told you that starches would make you fat. She DIDN'T tell you that fat would make you fat. She used real butter, not margarine. She gave you whole milk and cream. She made everything from scratch, and grew a lot of her stuff in her own garden. And so on... I think this appeal to "back when things were better" might work with your audience. Good luck!
Hi sherpamelissa. When I present the paleo concept to people I go through the following steps:
With regard to the first point, ask the audience what they think they should do TO LOSE FAT. I am pretty sure that EVERY answer they give will be along the lines of the 'conventional wisdom':
(You could use a whiteboard to categorise their ideas as such).
Now suggest to them the following scenario; "If we were to go out for a celebratory meal at an expensive restaurant and I told you to 'bring your appetite', what would you do to COMPEL yourselves to EAT MORE than usual?"
When I have asked this question, most of the answers I have received have fallen in to one of two categories. Most people suggest:
So you should see the paradox there; that the VERY thing we are told to do to LOSE WEIGHT ('eat less, do more'), is the VERY thing we'd do to COMPEL ourselves to eat more ('eat less, do more')!
This example should make things very clear to your audience.
When you see this paradox in such a stark example, the failure of the last 40 years of dietary advice becomes all too apparent.
I agree that the "meat and potatoes" theme will go over well with your male, blue-collar audience. I would think that when most of those guys were kids, its what their mothers and grandmothers used to cook and feed them, so you might want to work that in somehow...that "paleo" is the way that their mothers and grandmothers cooked...before the corporations took over the food supply so badly. Perhaps you could make analogies to their hunting activities, in that they have to "scout out" good sources of food. Or that like if the deer at crap like twinkies all the time, that the deer would be unhealthy, too, and that the venison wouldn't taste good.
I would stick with the parts of paleo that can't be argued with easily. For instance, saying that wheat might injure them could create some argument. It's not maintstream and not what they have heard. But if you say that grains have close to no nutrients and are just empty calories, that is something you can easily back up with nutrition charts and can't be easily argued with. What is the difference between bread and cake? Not much other than cake has more sugar. Yet people have for some reason been told bread is healthy. Show them nutrition charts for healthy foods vs not healthy foods. Teach them how to input and track their nutrition for a few days. That should be an eyeopener, having them see their lack of nutrition right in front of their eyes! I wish someone had done that for me a long time ago.
Good plan on emphasizing healthfulness of wild game. A message that they want to hear is always an easier message to portray. Another positive is to emphasize that many healthy foods are also tasty, like steak and taters. Simple messages are also easier like to avoid processed. And most things that never go bad are not healthy. Even the bugs don't want that food! What does that tell you? (of course, there are a few exceptions like beef jerky)
as far as educating people goes, the first thing to know is that you'll get a lot of pushback- even from the people who have begged you to help them and those who need it the most. it's really hard chipping away a lifetime of misinformation and debunking most of what the complicit relationship of the medical and research establishment, mainstream media and pharmaceutical companies have conditioned people to believe. the best line of defense is to have yourself as a model of what it can do- the more drastic the change the better. after that, point to others that have done the same as you successfully. the more examples the better. people who i see regularly- family, coworkers, friends- watched me effortlessly lose the bodyfat that has stubbornly hung around since they've known me. i didn't preach to them or even tell them what i was doing, i just showed up at work everyday with my 1b of meat for lunch and whatever vegetable i was having that day; at work functions i'd politely decline the cake or whatever treat they were having; at family functions and holidays i'd cook my own side dishes to have with whatever meat was there; and to top it off, i worked out half as much. after the first 20, i would get comments on how good i was looking. after the second 20, i started to get curious inquiries as to how i was eating bacon, tons of fat and looking amazing. by the time 50 dropped off, i had everyone's attention and was forced to start an email list and give everyone who inquired an abridged version of a primal lifestyle(i'm lacto-paleo). i have about 30 people- including my family who i have on my list and it's doubling as a means for slowly educating them followers on the reason WHY we do the conventional-wisdom bucking things we do, and as a moral and dietary support system. since i've been through it and voraciously read about this stuff ad infinitum, it's easy to hack out the reasons someone's stalled out or have quirky little issues pop up.
one more point that has been mentioned earlier but doesn't get discussed enough in these forums. there's a certain cultural and lifestyle element that may need to be addressed to get some people to buy in. for instance, for my dad, after months of badgering the last "bribe" i made to get him to buy in was simple. he could eat all the pork he liked. that one thing has enabled him to adhere to the diet(they've been telling southern blacks to get as far away as they can from the classic hamhock and neckbone soul food for the last 40-50 years) is the fact that he can boil pig's feet, ribs and neckbones til his heart's content. is it better than eating grassfed beef? no, but it's miles ahead of a SAD. i thought when someone mentioned pushing the hunting aspect to the more rural folks, that was pretty brilliant. as is pushing CSA's and cowshares to the hipsters and indie kids in the major cities. everyone isn't a crossfitting athlete or into every nutritional study that comes out. for most people to be successful, you have to find the most painless way possible to implement as many of the primal/paleo principals into their lifestyle.
A suggestion for kicking the soda addiction is to ween slowly. I was super addicted to diet sodas; and I think a lot of the addiction was in the fizz and the sweetness, so I started by getting some great organic juice and doing 1/2 juice 1/2 soda water for a week or two, then 1/4 juice 3/4 soda water then finally soda water with a squueze of half an orange and half a lemon. Now I drink still water with the squeeze of lemon.
Cold turkey is tough as soda is like crack. When you are drinking the soda your tastebuds are accustomed to the over-sweetness of it - and it takes your 'buds some time to step down from the sweet. Now the smell of sweet soda makes me cringe.
Oh and - water is soooooo much cheaper than soda!
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