The truth will set you free.  But first, it will piss you off.  Gloria Steinem

So how do we, as a national (world-wide?) movement position sensible Paleo more firmly into the mainstream consciousness?  This is a question that continues to vex those of us who sincerely wish to bestow the many blessings of Ancestral Wellness to the masses.  Or, in a less-than-philanthropic sense, those of us who wish to avoid going down with the ship of SAD-eatin’ fools on which we happen to be marooned.

Take a look at the following Google Trends chart, a comparison of “vegan diet” (in red) vs “paleo diet” (blue).  The full chart with associated number breakouts can be viewed here.  Also, notice (the linked view) that Austin far and away leads the pack in Paleo inquiry.  Epicenter of Physical Culture, anyone? 🙂

 

 

Robb Wolf brought up this rapidly-approaching-critical-mass idea in the PFX12 Affecting the Future of Healthcare and American Food Policy MasterMind panel discussion.  As an interesting aside, checkout the disparity between “search volume index” and “news reference volume”.  People are searching for information that the “news” is not, as of yet, up to the task in providing.  And maybe that’s good “news”, if we in the movement are able to credibly fill that information void.

Attempting to nudge the mainstream in the right direction is, if one is to listen to the hardcore Paleo-gensia, an anathema to the very soul of the movement.  If Paleo were a religion, it certainly would not be evangelical Christian.  And as a card-carrying libertarian, I get it.  Let them eat cake (quite literally) if they’re too frackin’ lazy to figure this out for themselves.  Down-the-rabbit-hole biochemistry aside, who cannot see the elegant simplicity (and truth) behind going grain, dairy and legume free?

The problem is, we can’t just load up our self-righteous, Pilgrim-Paleo asses and drift to some new, pristine shore.  There are no pristine shores remaining, as this crappy SAD diet (and it’s wicked mistress, diseases of modernity) are wrecking the entire planet.  Go off-the-grid if you want — and I’m cool with that mind you (because for any other of a myriad of reasons, I’d do the same) — but the repercussions of this insidious infestation will hunt you down and, in some way, reek utter havock over your hard-fought-for quality of life.  You won’t be riddled with diabetes, but you can bet your sweet ass you’ll be paying in some form or fashion for those who are.  No, this is one thing I’m willing to burn precious life force fighting against mainstream ignorance for.

For me, that vehicle for this broad outreach looks to be the Paleof(x) entity, or some branch thereof.  Efficient Exercise has also initiated a concerted, like-minded push, bringing Dan French (the doctor of rhetoric!) on board to help craft a palatable and digestible, mass-media-acceptable message.

Does a watered-down, mass-media-friendly message somehow taint the “purity” of the Paleo message?  I don’t think so; no more, in my way of thinking, than does popular discussion of string theory dilute the purity of the hardcore science.  There will always be those of us who geek-out on the biochemistry behind why any of this stuff works to keep people healthy.  The masses, though — and we have to realize and accept this — just need to know (from legitimate sources) that this diet is effective, and how to effectively implement that diet alongside smartly-programmed resistance training.

In health, fitness and Ancestral Wellness –

Keith

 

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Keith Norris is a former standout athlete, a military vet, and an elite strength and conditioning expert with over 35 years of in-the-trenches experience. As a serial entrepreneur in the health and wellness space, he is an owner, co-founder and Chief Development Officer of the largest Paleo conference in the world, Paleo f(x) . As well, Keith is a partner in one of the most innovative lines of boutique training studios in the nation, Efficient Exercise. He’s also a partner in ARXFit training equipment, and a founding member of ID Life. In his spare time, he authors one of the top fitness blogs in the health and wellness sphere, Theory To Practice.

11 COMMENTS

  1. As usual, my love…you hit the proverbial nail on the head! Can’t wait for DVDs so I can re-listen to this Mastermind session to be able to hear again everything Robb, Judith McGreary & Dr. Amy Myers said some really great information. Also so I can hear all the sessions I missed. Glad you put this information out there, my love. Great post!

  2. Thanks for the great post and my sentiments exactly! “Down-the-rabbit-hole biochemistry aside, who cannot see the elegant simplicity (and truth) behind going grain, dairy and legume free?”…too true. And as you say most people don’t need the biochemistry they just need info, but who says what is legitimate information? I think paleo is all about getting back to basics and that’s got to be good for everyone 🙂 Thanks again.

  3. as long as paleo as commonly discussed ignores sibo/fodmaps/ibs issues, vilifies simple sugars and fructose, and ignores hormonal dysregulation such as sub-clinical hypothyroidism – then paleo will always be just another fad diet.
    i for one await the tipping point when the paleo thought leaders can no longer ignore or brush under the rug the overwhelming number of people who fail to thrive on typical paleo recommendations.

    • I think all the the Paleo “top echelon” (i.e., Wolf, Kresser, et al) would be quick to point out that Paleo simply establishes a solid deckplate from which to operate, and for some, that’s all the intervention they’ll ever need. Some come into the game, though, a bit more “broken”, and therefore require more intervention — an intervention that (and whatever it might be) will be exponentially more effective if and only if that solid Paleo deckplate has already been established. To use an S&C analogy, Paleo to me, is like a solid underpinning of all ’round strength.

      • What I can also see in this progression is a move from prescription to experimentation at the personal level.

        I think that some people are realising that we need to get the crap out of our diets, but also that within what we can eat, there is a reasonably wide variation in the way each persons diet is created and evolves.

        This is what I have experienced with Robb Wolf, and will now be looking out for it with others…

        Keep up the good work,
        George Super Boot Camps

  4. I think the better approach is to focus on the what to eat list before the what to avoid.

    Paleo shouldn’t = grain, dairy and legume free

    Paleo should = meat, vegies, saturated fat

    Make the good foods naturally edge out the bad foods.

  5. Love it, Keith. It’s tempting to get caught up in the minutiae and bicker in the rabbit holes, but the fact remains that the vast majority of folks have no idea that this works. We need a more concerted effort to connect with those folks.

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