More notes from PaleoFX

Since I got an extra 100 fans yesterday (thanks for sharing everyone!) I decided to publish another few pages of notes from my awesome weekend at PaleoFX.

The Community Outreach Panel

I’ve gotten a little flack for running this ‘2000 likes’ campaign on Facebook, but I’d like to explain my rationale. As a grad student whose blog is not earning any money, it’s really difficult for me to advertise or market myself. Many of the best blogs out there increase their readerships by doing giveaway contests, so I thought that this could be my own little giveaway to encourage people to share my page with their friends. Maybe it’s a cheap way to get followers, but I thought it would be a good way to increase my visibility in the Ancestral Health arena.

I agree that the content of a blog should speak for itself, and I hope that my content will continue to increase in quality as time goes on. As I learned this week from people like Nom Nom Paleo, FitBomb, Paleo Parents, Civilized Caveman, and the Primal Palate, blogging can be (and pretty much is) a full time job. It’s tough to create content that is unique, interesting, and consistent enough to reach a wide variety of followers.

I’ve realized that my favorite bloggers are very precise about the frequency of their posting. For example, Nom Nom Paleo posts every day, which is pretty incredible. Other bloggers like Cave Girl Eats only post once in a while, but her posts are so hilarious and worth reading that she’s still able to hold onto readers despite the gaps between her posts. At the end of the day, it really does come down to content. So I’m going to use what I’ve learned this weekend to improve my blogging ability and hopefully give all of you something worth visiting my page for!

I’d also love any comments or recommendations about topics you’d like me to write about. Feel free to shoot me an email at if you want to chime in!

Without further ado, here is the next round of PaleoFX notes. Enjoy!

Community Outreach Panel – Jimmy Moore moderating

  • Angelo Coppola, Benjamin Palmer, Roger Dickerman, Robb Wolf, Neely Quinn, Kim Mulvihill
  • What do we do with the Paleo/Ancestral Health Message?
    • Making it mainstream
  • Neely – 3 Best Strategies
    • Meal plans – making it doable for people, help from nutritionists
    • Movies – entertainment, many people are capable of producing something
      • We need more Tom Naughtons
    • Schools – teaching children about nutrition, getting kids when they’re young
  • Benjamin – Only takes ONE person with tenacity to make changes
    • Coming out of veganism, wanted to make better meat options available
    • “I can sell a whole cow in 3 hours!”
    • Build your own little community (eg. meatshare) makes access either
    • Assume that details will be overlooked by most – even if you write clear directions, people are still not always reading them
      • With community organizing, there are always misunderstandings, dont expect everything to run perfectly
  • Roger – Should we even call this Paleo? Is “Ancestral” better?
    • Some people hear the word Paleo and they totally tune you out
    • Not a one-size-fits-all
      • Presenting many different options allows clients to choose what works for them
    • Pay attention to who is attracted to the terminology
  • Angelo – Encourage people to get out to farmers markets, participate in local food ecosystem
    • When they want to start taxing fat, more people will say ‘this is ridiculous’
    • We haven’t done a terrific job of defining ‘Paleo’
    • Maybe we should have an on-ramp protocol for getting people involved in the diet (induction phases, or stages)
      • Ramp-up to different levels of Paleo
      • Become less of a house divided against itself
      • Diet that morphs over time as you fix yourself metabolically, doesn’t make what you did before wrong, its a stepping stone
      • People are going to see bloggers ‘quarreling over potatoes’ when they really might just need to take different steps
      • Lets see where this goes in 10 years and “hopefully we’re not dropping dead of heart attacks”
    • We need to challenge the Dogma
  • Robb – Main point is helping individuals make changes so the message spreads
    • Part of the problem is bringing the scientific element to the discussion
    • Fundamental concept of biology needs to take rightful place in discussion of nutrition, sustainability, etc.
    • We’re in a transition point where practitioners are using the principles to train clients to have great results (eg. Dr. Wahls)
    • Food quality really matters, can’t weigh and measure our way out of a bad diet
    • Find where there is no resistance, don’t waste time battling with people
      • Somebody in your community needs help, try to affect change with people who are willing to accept your help
    • There are folks that want to know more about this
    • Nothing warrants the level of vitriol we’ve seen popping up about certain topics
      • Remember that we just want to help people to the point where we don’t even need events like this
    • This is a sign of a systemic failure that we need to fix
    • I’ve been beating this drum for 15 years, we don’t need to keep rebranding
      • It’s accelerating and people need to just be patient
    • In 2007 “Paleo Diet” passed the “Vegan Diet” in Google trending
      • It actually helps people and people are excited to share
    • People say “your book saved my life” so its just a matter of time before people start passing the information along to their friends/family
    • Be patient, love people, push the message forward, let people buy in
      • Hard to market this besides just making the information available in the community
  • Jimmy – Find whatever you’re good at to help spread the message
    • Take a chance and do something to help people
      • What are you good at?
  • Kim – Saw research about sedentary adults changing their diets and in 2 weeks showing big changes in their biomarkers – they ate Paleo
    • She became test subject and did ramp-up diet, 3 days of lab work
    • 2 weeks of diet and did 3 more days of fasting labs (keeping her weight same)
    • Her cholesterol dropped 50 pts, was prediabetic before she started (unknown to her) BP came down
    • Kept going and dropped 30 lbs and 2 dress sizes
    • Ran the story and got great ratings, they want another series for May
    • Trying to get it out mainstream, there’s nothing that has struck a chord with viewers like this
    • “I can’t believe you’re a doctor doing this on TV”, “This is amazing, you’ve changed my life”
      • Ripple effect
      • Slowly, medical community is testing the water
      • Painstakingly hard to change medical beliefs but more and more physicians are getting on board
      • Not common knowledge/belief yet but it is growing
  • Bumper sticker response for something practical that YOU can do right now to make this become more mainstream
    • Angelo – Support food ecosystem in your own neighborhoods, support local famers markets, make food quality part of your approach, meet people in your community that care about creating quality products, find the egg geek that’s making great quality orange yolked eggs
      • Robb – “Guy in Chico that you had to look in his eyes and tell him you would not scramble his eggs”
    • Benjamin – Huge supporter of making food choices more visible and fun and not a mysterious, scary thing. Coming from vegan community, you can be passionate about something and make it scary to people. Be enthusiastic and passionate but be gentle with message. “Strike at them with a padded wiffle ball bat, rather than a blade/sharp sword”
    • Kim – Emphasize being good most of the time, not being perfect.This is the first ‘diet’ I’ve ever liked because its not a diet, its just changing the way you live. “Emphasize the cheating.” Tell your friends to watch series on (find link) You need a person to share their story. There’s no drug in the world that does it the way this diet does it.
    • Neely – Use facebook. Use the word Paleo when posting things.
    • Robb – Social media, don’t make outrageous claims or beat people up, be civil in the message you send because its an easy experiential process. Just give it a try for 30 days and see what happens. Focus on community, create relationships with local food and grassfed meat suppliers. Change the local economy and help support local businesses making products you want.
    • Roger – Go macro with Benjamin’s ideas. Pull together different talents to make changes in physical world. Find community members that can help support your lifestyle changes. Interconnect people to make your own Mastermind panel to see what can be done in your own community
    • Jimmy – Write a letter to the editor at a newspaper about your experience with Paleo. Call up your local TV station and tell them how it changed your life. Create a blog, start a podcast, you can do something that makes a real difference and gets attention. Take advantage of having the term “Paleo”, get it out there to get it from being a fringe thing to so mainstream that these events become irrelevant. Sean Croxton says ‘just eat real food’, if we promote that message, it will resonate with people.
  • What do we do about people that don’t buy into the evolution argument?
    • Robb – to tackle scientific argument, we need to have credible science to back it up
    • But if theoretical underpinnings don’t work, just let them try the diet and see what happens, they don’t need to understand the theory behind it
      • Go carefully, be respectful
      • Wouldn’t be surprised if epicenter of Paleo ends up being Europe because of their greater acceptance of theory
  • Long term health care burden – how would Paleo affect that?
    • Robb – “Moore’s Law” technology advances so that everything gets cheaper and better quality, in third party medicine it gets less efficient, quality goes down, gets more expensive
      • We should be paying almost nothing for healthcare
        • Only infectious disease, genetic disorders, and accidents
      • Economics are clear on this, our healthcare should not be bankrupting us
  • How do we address the saturated animal fat argument/recommendation?
    • Neely – start with coconut oil, then graduate to animal fats
    • Physicians can be helpful in encouraging patients to eat sat fat
    • Kim – what happened when we were told the low-fat message? we got fat.
    • Robb – Cholesterol recommendations don’t necessarily have to
      • Why do I recommend lean meat? you have to lie to people a little bit in order to get people to buy in. “It’s kind of like speed dating.”
      • Neely – “Stop telling people to eat lean meat!”
      • Robb – “We’re trying to get this message out to the masses without getting knee jerk reactions.” Let them buy in first and then start adding in information about adding sat fats.
      • Roger – If you don’t have the credentials to prove to someone that high fat is the way to go, find an MD/expert that will support your argument. If someone fights you on your arguments, you can find someone more ‘qualified’ to back you up.
  • Legal implications of this discussion. People in healthcare industry face sanctioning by regulatory operations. Eg. RDs that get into legal trouble for promoting saturated fat.
    • Robb – Eventually we’ll have to lawyer up and protect people who are risking their profession by stepping outside the standard of care. We need to create professional organizations that have infrastructure to protect people.
    • Kim – I haven’t been sanctioned, and be judicious about your recommendations
    • Angelo – Physicians tend to be pretty easy to work with on this issue. Our pediatrician has supported our use of the WAPF formula with our baby. Your doctors may be more clued in than you expect, even though we often assume the worst.
  • Supporting your local physicians and practitioners is just like supporting your local farmers
  • There are people/groups out there that are working towards changing policy to help protect people who are relying on government to provide for them
  • Jimmy – 50 people came to the USDA to testify against the Dietary Guidelines (eg. Adele Hite, Pamela Schoenfeld)
    • Maybe in 2015 we can have 500 people come testify against the guidelines
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  1. Hey Laura,

    Thanks for sharing your notes! I really wanted to be at PaleoF(x), but, well, a family and day job keep me too busy to get out much! It’s great to hear what people were saying, and what their thoughts are on these topics. I greatly look forward to seeing more notes, and hopefully some full-fledged write-ups of your experiences/impressions in the near future (given all your copious free time 😉

    Thanks again!

    1. I’ll do my best to sum up the event, and I’ll definitely be posting the notes as time goes on. Hopefully I can get to my goal of 2,000 fans but I’ll continue posting the notes in stages. Plus I have at least part 2 if not part 3 coming from my own personal experience at the event.
      Yes, the free time thing is an issue… but I’ll get it done!

  2. HI Laura:
    Thank you so much for posting your notes. I was in Austin but unable to attend every talk I wanted to–obviously. I’m really enjoying catching up on what I missed. I like the note you have regarding what Angelo said about some Dr. might surprise you. I had to take to my son to the pedi this past week–our first visit in a year since going paleo. My son is pretty low on the weight chart, so we had a discussion about what to do. He suggested “pediasure” (a high calorie shake for kids). I told him that probably wasn’t going to happen and what else does he have for me. He then asked, you’re not vegan are you (as if being vegan was one of the dumbest ideas he’s ever heard). I laughed and said, “No, we’re the evil opposite of vegan”. We decided on on coconut milk fruit smoothies with whey protein powder. A win win. Thanks again!!
    Tonja Pizzo