9

votes

Paleo Careers..?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 29, 2010 at 11:32 PM

I was one of the unfortunate many that have been laid off and would love to get into a career that dealt with Paleo and its ability to heal. Do any of you work in a Paleo career or have any ideas that you would recommend?

I was looking in to getting a psychology degree and then trying to heal patients by looking at their actions through an evolutionary lens and by implementing diet, exercise, sun exposure, community, green space and other Paleo concepts that have helped me so much. I noticed that there is a field called Evolutionary Psychology but it doesnt seem to get much respect.

Another avenue would be a dietitian; however Im sure learning conventional wisdom in all of the course work would be miserable. In addition although I am fit and physically healthy I am by no means a magazine cover model and feel that the physical appearance of a trainer does impact their business (I could be wrong). I also came to Paleo for the mental health aspects but if I could help people through diet I think it could also be very interesting.

Anyway, any thoughts or direction would be greatly appreciated.

A4e6473c7791ca1ddeedf5c5db5fbe14

(85)

on April 06, 2013
at 01:06 PM

I'm in dietetics too, and it's true, the professors are surprisingly open-minded. What I've found is that the science that they teach is all right, so you do learn how nutrition works. It's just the conclusions/advice they give you based on that science that's a little mixed up. I think they best experience for me has been giving a paleo presentation in one of my classes. There was actually one other student (1 of the 2 guys in my class) that also presented paleo. But it made the project enjoyable for me cause I felt like I was actually getting the info out there, and my professor loved it.

03e3bba7e338a7c6a10ebd93c62a3501

(10)

on April 03, 2012
at 02:44 PM

Yes, thank you Nance . Wouldn't sell a lot of gluten and sugar spice blends here. Everything is GLUTEN FREE and SUGAR FREE. And the new site is www.paleoblends.com and it is now a rub of the month club for more variety. You just sign up and get 3 blends each month.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 05, 2011
at 01:51 AM

I'm assuming you meant gluten/sugar FREE spice blends? I'll check out your link.

B525b3e4b1d6f1cdceec943cdec6eb7d

(1680)

on December 04, 2011
at 06:26 PM

Thank you for this, Jenny J. I've wondered what it would be like to be a student in this kind of program, and appreciate the description you've given us of your experience.

B525b3e4b1d6f1cdceec943cdec6eb7d

(1680)

on December 04, 2011
at 06:23 PM

I love your hospital food idea! If I ever wind up in hospital, I will be relying on friends and relatives to bring me real food. It would be much more convenient to pay a private food service, and I'd be willing to do that if there were such a service.

C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on February 10, 2011
at 06:24 PM

May I suggest Sex At Dawn? http://www.amazon.com/Sex-Dawn-Prehistoric-Origins-Sexuality/dp/0061707805/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1297362056&sr=1-1 for an alternative take on human sexuality. They suggest an alternative hypothesis of multi-male multi-female relationships which explains a lot about that the traditional pair bond models fails to.

D14fc881fbe88bc4556092e20889d3ab

(0)

on June 17, 2010
at 02:53 AM

LMHC (licensed mental health counselor) in private practice. Just heard about Julia Ross, "pioneer in Nutritional Psychology, and have begun researching it. She was interviewed on the LLVLC podcast 2X.

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397

(1165)

on June 14, 2010
at 06:12 AM

If you dont mind me asking what do you do in the mental health field? That is a field that Im vary interested in but kind of balked at the 5 years it takes to get a psych degree.

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397

(1165)

on June 02, 2010
at 06:42 AM

Thanks Janet, some really good ideas

2b4f887f5fd32a37c6038eb0aaaf3bf5

(1648)

on May 07, 2010
at 02:11 AM

Yes, I really loved Buss's Evolution of Desire, it was definitely my favorite. I'll have to check out Robert Wright's book. Haha, Open Source Religion, I love it...

A480640a53eb5dc8966f49141942f705

on May 02, 2010
at 05:58 AM

Two great intros to evolutionary psychology are Buss's Evolution of Desire http://www.amazon.com/Evolution-Desire-Revised-4/dp/046500802X/ and Robert Wright's Evolutionary Psychology http://www.amazon.com/Moral-Animal-Science-Evolutionary-Psychology/dp/0679763996/ If you go further down the Life Coaching angle you might find yourself becoming a guru. I wonder if Paleo could be considered an Open Source Religion ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source_religion

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 30, 2010
at 05:13 AM

I think it would be a hit. There was a series on the 100 mile diet and I watched a few episodes of that. Interesting

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397

(1165)

on April 30, 2010
at 03:18 AM

Thanks, a lot to look into. I think a Paleo show would be great. I'd watch it!

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397

(1165)

on April 30, 2010
at 12:49 AM

I live in Los Angeles but would relocate for a great oppertunity

5740abb0fa033403978dd988b0609dfd

(2633)

on April 29, 2010
at 11:40 PM

Where are you located?

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17 Answers

5
57feacef8780cc6289f608f3677859f0

(163)

on June 02, 2010
at 03:32 AM

As far as careers go, I think your options are pretty much academics, which doesn't sound like what you are interested in.

Which is why it's time to think outside the box! Anyone looking to start an unconventional career that seems "impossible" except "in academics" may very well have their views changed after reading some Tim Ferriss and especially his book about time "arbitrage" and paving the life/career you want. Less like a self-help woowoo motivation book, more like a "blow your brains out and open your eyes to new possibilities with the right tools" book.

PortlandAllan has the right idea:

I think building a web site/blog reputation that you could leverage into a personal trainer/diet coach/etc. -- something that doesn't require a credential investment and has a low barrier for marketing and finding clients

It's just a matter of convincing people to pay you for what you have to offer. As a budding entrepreneur, I think of it in 3 parts:
1) defining WHAT you offer into a package (eg. nutrition counselling specializing in treating depression, an ebook on implementing paleo and mental relaxation methods, a recipe collection)
2) defining WHO can benefit from your offer
3) letting people KNOW about it (marketing, promotion, talking to people about it)

Maybe even combine Paleo experience with another personal interest/area of expertise, to make for a unique offering to potential "clients". Paleo specialty life coaching, as someone mentioned, sounds like an option. Or if you want to come across as more concrete and goal-oriented (less vague/ woowoo fairy stuff), maybe career coaching with stress relief/mental health-by-diet specialty?

In any case, all of these don't require an expensive Masters or PhD. Credentials, (aside from those who truly desire to do academics/traditional professional work, no disrespect) are only useful for hiding behind a sense of inadequacy. It's like saying you're not sure if you're good enough to provide value/help others directly, so "I got the degree just in case I couldn't do what I actually want to do"....but clearly, ANYONE who knows about paleo has SO much potential ability to help others. How many unhealthy people are out there?

It's about confidence, which I'm sure you know a lot about :)

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397

(1165)

on June 02, 2010
at 06:42 AM

Thanks Janet, some really good ideas

3
2e27f37b07eae7a692f6fd4095f7dee2

on May 04, 2010
at 03:01 PM

Getting onboard the "Paleo" wagon has inspired me to take a class this semester called "Primal Minds." I have learned so much awesome stuff about how primal cultures often fare better in ways other than diet that I have decided to pursue a degree in Anthropology with a heavy emphasis on biology as well.

Edit: Oh yeah, 1st post!

3
Efc949694a31043bfce9ec86e8235cd7

on April 30, 2010
at 07:52 PM

What about being a "Paleo Personal Chef"? You'd prepare delicious, diverse, portable and Paleo meals for your clientele and charge a monthly price. It's not uncommon in many urban areas, especially for busy singles.

3
5740abb0fa033403978dd988b0609dfd

on April 29, 2010
at 11:40 PM

I've given this thought as well. I think building a web site/blog reputation that you could leverage into a personal trainer/diet coach/etc. -- something that doesn't require a credential investment and has a low barrier for marketing and finding clients (I'm thinking run ads in craigslist and weekly tabloid newspapers) is the way to go.

Of course, this assumes you live somewhere with enough population that you could realistically hope to find enough paying clients.

Good luck.

2
518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on December 04, 2011
at 02:08 AM

I'm in a conventional dietetics program, which I would probably recommend over other nutrition programs if you are interested in being able to work with a wide variety of people and appear accredited to them. It's amazing how as soon as you say "I'm a nutritionist" instead of "I'm a dietitian", peoples eyes immediately glaze over, and hardly any scientists will take you seriously. I've switched into my program after getting my way halfway through a microbiology/chemistry degree, which made it relatively easy for prerequisites, but if you haven't taken any science it's a bit of a pain to get into. My program length is 5 years, so it is also a big commitment. It is true, some of the nutrition courses are absolutely painful, but if you are lucky you will be able to compliment your program with lots of useful courses (statistics, media writing, business management, organic chemistry, animal physiology...).

I thought that the profs were going to be tough to deal with in a conventional dietetics program, but it surprised me how open-minded my nutrition profs have been so far. They are true scientists, and will be the first ones to tell you that we know way less about nutrition than we let on. They are also very upfront with government recommendations and the effects that lobbyists have had on the food system. I complained about how outdated one of our textbooks were to one of my profs, and she told me to highlight every statement I disagreed with, and keep the textbook with me for the rest of my degree program. If there is any statement I cannot solve, she said she would back me as a teacher sponsor if I applied for a research grant. She also prefixed our whole section on lipids to our class as "for the record, you need to know this for the tests, but I agree with very few things I am about to tell you. It is your job to find out why, and come back to me with your arguments". We also have lots of guest talks by anthropologists, which has been one of my favourite aspects of the program. Amazing insight, first hand, from all over the world, brought into the classroom.

One of the things I didn't think about: the actual students in the program. Having been in microbiology/chemistry, I was more used to conventional, "purist" scientists. Nutrition/dietetics students have this attitude of blaming and shaming the overweight, and most of the students are females. It is actually quite upsetting, I got very worked up one class hearing people talk about how the government should take away any child who is in the 90th percentile away from their parents. I went to the school services and the faculty department to talk to them about this incident, and they said this is very typical of first year dietetics classes, and that is why they are trying to get as many anthropologists/psychologists into the classroom in the first year. But yeah, people are getting more tolerant, but be prepared to be surround by students that are not the slightest bit overweight, wear yoga pants, were athletes in high school, and eat Lean Cuisine. Seriously, no one can cook. It's weird.

Overall: right choice for me, and what I want to do in my future, but probably won't fit many people.

B525b3e4b1d6f1cdceec943cdec6eb7d

(1680)

on December 04, 2011
at 06:26 PM

Thank you for this, Jenny J. I've wondered what it would be like to be a student in this kind of program, and appreciate the description you've given us of your experience.

A4e6473c7791ca1ddeedf5c5db5fbe14

(85)

on April 06, 2013
at 01:06 PM

I'm in dietetics too, and it's true, the professors are surprisingly open-minded. What I've found is that the science that they teach is all right, so you do learn how nutrition works. It's just the conclusions/advice they give you based on that science that's a little mixed up. I think they best experience for me has been giving a paleo presentation in one of my classes. There was actually one other student (1 of the 2 guys in my class) that also presented paleo. But it made the project enjoyable for me cause I felt like I was actually getting the info out there, and my professor loved it.

2
C1fb8666b1ae085507a76a4c494e4f0a

on July 07, 2010
at 07:36 PM

You know what I always thought could make a decent business? Providing specialty food for people who are in hospital. I've no idea if hospitals even allow that, but I know if I had to spend time in hospital I sure wouldn't touch what they serve there, and would gladly pay for some sort of specialty catering/delivery service.

'Life coaching' is a good one as well (evolutionary life coaching?), but you really have to put out a ton of effort into differentiating and marketing yourself. I work with a lot of life coaches (branding, marketing, web etc) and the market is pretty saturated and continually growing... but you position yourself right, and get in front of the people who want what you're offering, and you can do well (and do good at the same time)

Other than that... what about working with animals in some capacity?

B525b3e4b1d6f1cdceec943cdec6eb7d

(1680)

on December 04, 2011
at 06:23 PM

I love your hospital food idea! If I ever wind up in hospital, I will be relying on friends and relatives to bring me real food. It would be much more convenient to pay a private food service, and I'd be willing to do that if there were such a service.

2
3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on June 15, 2010
at 03:56 AM

Ryan,

A lot of good advice on this forum thread!!

Have you heard of Evolutionary Neuroscience? New peer-reviewed journal and the editor Prof Steven Platek will be producing a poster at the Ancestral Health Symposium. (the journal had a recent article on Einstein's BRAIN which made the top 100 in Discover) http://frontiersin.org/neuroscience/evolutionaryneuroscience/editorialboard/

He ALSO has his on blog and is Crossfit Level certified, into educating on Paleo and health.

Consider contacting him for ideas? We email and he is a fantastic educator with AMAZING ideas.

I don't know much about Psych but what I see in the chronic health conditions field is part of recidivism and failures in treatment are related to psychosocial barriers. One thing I never regreted was getting an extra certification for more indepth knowledge and credentialling (the CDE -- certified diabetes educator and Crossfit nutrition cert --w/ Robb Wolf (and Nicki wink).

Good luck with ALL your endeavors and hope this adventure yields much fruition and passion!

-grace

2
D00e034f6270660946a903c274f562af

on April 30, 2010
at 01:28 PM

Music is pretty paleo.

2
2b4f887f5fd32a37c6038eb0aaaf3bf5

on April 30, 2010
at 01:14 AM

I got my degree in psychology, and LOVED Evolutionary psychology, took any class that somehow related to it. The strong focus is on natural & sexual selection. You will learn a lot about why certain traits exist - because they made people more likely to live, or to be mated with. Mating is a big topic. We also learned a bit about warfare & violence. And, of course the topics of kin theory (you do things to support those who have shared genes), game theory/tit for tat, etc.

Oddly, though, we didn't learn much about how current psychological issues (disorders like depression and anxiety; motivation; learning; etc) are related to evolutionary theory. I did not get a graduate degree in it, though, so perhaps in grad school there is more info related to that.

I would recommend you read some of the literature before you go into it (The Selfish Gene, The Red Queen, etc). As far as careers go, I think your options are pretty much academics, which doesn't sound like what you are interested in.

Though I hesitate to say the phrase, it sounds like something you'd like to do is to be a Life Coach, with the specific focus on Paleo lifestyle.

You might also want to try Environmental Psychology, which I think will be more related to what you are thinking of than evolutionary psychology. Environmental psychology focuses on the interplay between human beings and their surroundings. I haven't studied this, but from what I have read, one aspect is to get people out into natural surroundings, as a treatment method. ?

Yes, I'm with you, though. This is something that I've been thinking a lot about. I was even thinking that it would be cool to do a reality show, where you took typical SAD Americans, and had them live a paleo life for 3 months, and show what a huge difference it makes.

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397

(1165)

on April 30, 2010
at 03:18 AM

Thanks, a lot to look into. I think a Paleo show would be great. I'd watch it!

2b4f887f5fd32a37c6038eb0aaaf3bf5

(1648)

on May 07, 2010
at 02:11 AM

Yes, I really loved Buss's Evolution of Desire, it was definitely my favorite. I'll have to check out Robert Wright's book. Haha, Open Source Religion, I love it...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 30, 2010
at 05:13 AM

I think it would be a hit. There was a series on the 100 mile diet and I watched a few episodes of that. Interesting

A480640a53eb5dc8966f49141942f705

on May 02, 2010
at 05:58 AM

Two great intros to evolutionary psychology are Buss's Evolution of Desire http://www.amazon.com/Evolution-Desire-Revised-4/dp/046500802X/ and Robert Wright's Evolutionary Psychology http://www.amazon.com/Moral-Animal-Science-Evolutionary-Psychology/dp/0679763996/ If you go further down the Life Coaching angle you might find yourself becoming a guru. I wonder if Paleo could be considered an Open Source Religion ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source_religion

C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on February 10, 2011
at 06:24 PM

May I suggest Sex At Dawn? http://www.amazon.com/Sex-Dawn-Prehistoric-Origins-Sexuality/dp/0061707805/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1297362056&sr=1-1 for an alternative take on human sexuality. They suggest an alternative hypothesis of multi-male multi-female relationships which explains a lot about that the traditional pair bond models fails to.

1
6fa48935d439390e223b9a053a62c981

(1676)

on May 04, 2010
at 03:39 PM

Like plants? How about a nursery? You could propagate fruit and nut-bearing plants, herbs, spices, as well as standard landscaping plants.

1
A1a4882d31414600b2cab395a5b17161

(699)

on May 03, 2010
at 11:12 PM

I think the arts can make a great Paleo career. If Grok wasn't hunting and gathering he may have been singing, dancing, painting, making up stories, etc. The arts are capable of impacting people to a significant degree.

1
9747ae0ff20a8f4a4a2857c66820b125

(439)

on May 01, 2010
at 01:17 PM

If you're into outdoorsy stuff, NOLS or Outward Bound instructor?

Neither of those groups eat Paleo when they're out on an expedition, but I know NOLS at least suffers from a lot of CW when it comes to dietary practices (they do teach a nutrition class, as well as spend a lot of time teaching groups how to cook in the backcountry). There's also practical concerns for how to carry enough food for multiple people for many days without re-supply.

I do wonder what would happen if I went on another trip with them and wrote down on my medical information that I medically couldn't eat what, grains, gluten, or sugar of any kind. They are capable of accomadating gluten free; one of my group members had some special food for this, but it was gluten-free pasta and other stuff like that.

But food aside, NOLS is awesome.

0
03e3bba7e338a7c6a10ebd93c62a3501

on December 04, 2011
at 08:54 PM

Consider the needs of the Paleo community and fill one. For example, all the cookbooks coming out because we were all unsure what to make.

I am in a similar situation and found myself unable to get 100% organic and gluten/sugar spice blends, specifically dry rubs for ribs. So I made my own. Now I am selling them. (http://www.facebook.com/paleoblends (not meant as a commercial, just sharing)

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 05, 2011
at 01:51 AM

I'm assuming you meant gluten/sugar FREE spice blends? I'll check out your link.

03e3bba7e338a7c6a10ebd93c62a3501

(10)

on April 03, 2012
at 02:44 PM

Yes, thank you Nance . Wouldn't sell a lot of gluten and sugar spice blends here. Everything is GLUTEN FREE and SUGAR FREE. And the new site is www.paleoblends.com and it is now a rub of the month club for more variety. You just sign up and get 3 blends each month.

0
44da2dfcdb8c4d750215613f3c6a664e

on December 03, 2011
at 10:16 PM

I went to Bauman in Santa Cruz and got my Natural Chef cert. It was an okay experience. I've had to learn a lot on my own, which is sad, considering I paid 10 G's for the program. There was a heavy vegan/vegetarian bias as well as some wierd spiritual (Mother Earth/Father Sky) hippie stuff. Don't get me wrong, I can hang with the hippie crowd... but Paleo cooking needs to have a factual/scientific base to it or else people won't believe anything you say.

I did learn a lot about nutrition and cooking techniques. Although the hands on part seemed to be lacking (especially with preparing meat) and the instructors were, oftentimes, guessing about things they knew nothing about.

Maybe a different location will fare better. And the nutritional counselor program appears to be a bit more comprehensive.

0
24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on February 10, 2011
at 02:55 PM

I've been wondering about this is well- I've come across Bauman College and just found the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (http://www.integrativenutrition.com/); their programs look relatively short and inexpensive. Then you don't have to deal with a CW-laden RD program and you get a credential at the end, but I have no idea how well-regarded these institutions are/if it would be worth it (and I wonder how meat-friendly they are). Anyone have any thoughts/feelings on Bauman or Integrative Nutrition?

0
461312f31b933638202e0308ab4011b4

(258)

on January 05, 2011
at 12:51 PM

Great answers here! Nutritionist, life coach, personal dietician?

0
D14fc881fbe88bc4556092e20889d3ab

on June 13, 2010
at 05:38 PM

Great question/discussion. Have been in private MH practice for 20 years and, newly come to Primal/Paleo, have been checking around for a P/P nutrition certification in order to incorporate it into my practice.

D14fc881fbe88bc4556092e20889d3ab

(0)

on June 17, 2010
at 02:53 AM

LMHC (licensed mental health counselor) in private practice. Just heard about Julia Ross, "pioneer in Nutritional Psychology, and have begun researching it. She was interviewed on the LLVLC podcast 2X.

Ae011d9f1c8654ea66854ca2a977c397

(1165)

on June 14, 2010
at 06:12 AM

If you dont mind me asking what do you do in the mental health field? That is a field that Im vary interested in but kind of balked at the 5 years it takes to get a psych degree.

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