5

votes

What are your techniques when recruiting Paleo converts?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 25, 2011 at 4:27 AM

Mine kinda suck.

I've tried converting all my friends and family with mixed results.

Most of my family now talks about nutrition more. It's a topic that has thankfully replaced political debates at the dinner table and in the living room. I am grateful for that.

I convinced my mom to go Paleo. She eats fruits, veggies, nuts, berries, fish and seafood. She is 100% grain-free. She lost 20 lbs. at 62. She looks and feels great. She just retired and is really feeling fantastic!

The other convert was my neighbor. He had a son with ADHD who has been on medication since he started grade school. One summer his dad wanted to take him off it and asked for my help. We eliminated refined sugars and grains from his diet and loaded his system with fruits, veggies and meats. He struggled at first but finally stabilized to the point where his dad recognized a distinct improvement in his behavior. He was easier to talk to and more emotionally in control. He could communicate far more effectively. His dad was extremely pleased but it didn't last because his mother wasn't on the same page.

Who are your victims and projects?

How successful are you at recruiting people in your life to go Paleo?

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 25, 2011
at 07:08 PM

That is TREMENDOUS! You must really be swinging their heads!!! Dedicating yourself to lose 60 lbs is no small feat!

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 25, 2011
at 07:07 PM

I agree as well. I've met some people who I tried to reach and gave up particularly earlier than usual because I sensed they were completely shut down and didn't value my opinion on any level. Some people are convinced that their life is hopeless and they wait for others to expound all of their energy. It makes them feel special but they purposely ignore the advice so they can keep getting special attention in that way. I cut those types off FAST.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on June 25, 2011
at 06:52 PM

Well then you and I will become great friends in this forum :-)

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on June 25, 2011
at 06:20 PM

upvoted for selfishly coveting the beef!

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 25, 2011
at 04:53 PM

I agree but unfortunately even telling people exactly how they're damaging their bodies often isn't enough to get them out of their complacency. When my friends see how I eat they claim they would rather die than not eat sugar. Human beings are pretty ridiculous when it comes to making important life changes.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 25, 2011
at 04:49 PM

BTW - the headline was for effect. I know it can come off as unorthodox or volatile but shock value gets people talking which is a good thing. I'm cool with lashings. I can take it.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 25, 2011
at 04:47 PM

It was for effect. It's just my personality. People get used to it - or the run FAR FAR away.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 25, 2011
at 04:46 PM

hahaha!! I laughed so hard when I clicked that link. I WANT ONE

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 25, 2011
at 04:35 PM

I don't know...if someone is poisoning themselves and I sit and wait...the damage could be lethal. I agree you have to know when to lay off but there is a time to press.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 25, 2011
at 04:26 PM

I hope she does. I liked your response CaveRat. In my future career as an R.D. in school district I will be doing a great deal of behind the scenes work because the position is not one where I'll be some sort of high profile public figure like a teacher. I will blend in some nutrition education on a community level - maybe one open event per year or full staff meeting. Otherwise I will work case by case with teachers in small groups. With my family, it's impossible to keep my mouth shut but I'm learning.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 25, 2011
at 04:22 PM

Like I said, no one I care about is suffering. Even if they were I don't see how proselytising would help, because it is annoying and tends to make people dig in their heels. That's why I would imagine leading by example, and volunteering information only if asked, is more effective, even though I can imagine it's incredibly hard and frustrating to keep quiet when you see someone destroying their health. But constantly talking about your diet makes people tune you out eventually, as far as I've seen.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 25, 2011
at 04:22 PM

hahaha...aweseme

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 25, 2011
at 04:10 PM

Is it hard for you to watch someone you care about suffer emotionally and physically?

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on June 25, 2011
at 11:53 AM

I didn't see your comment when I made the religion comparison.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 25, 2011
at 06:10 AM

I know just the person to use the science link on, A BIG THANKS!

Ffc7e0ecad8e8831b528c5d4921377cc

(942)

on June 25, 2011
at 05:47 AM

Two converts. That's great. As others have replied, mostly you just have to demonstrate that Paleo works. More thoughts http://pbexplorer.wordpress.com/selling-pb/

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15 Answers

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3
Fe535c4994ac6176f76e1ff6d29eb08a

on June 25, 2011
at 04:43 AM

I think I do ok, but its mainly because I dont actively recruit. I let my own personal results do the talking, and let people come to me. People see how much weight I have lost, and that I am also happier, and stronger, and more fit, and have this glow about me, they have to ask. What I often here is that they have seen other people lose a lot of weight like that, but their crabby, look kinda sickly, and arent that pleasant to be around. So I start telling them about all the bacon I get to eat, getting them thinking about how crappy they feel after a big bowl of pasta, and how none of that stuff gives you what you need to be strong and fast, and things start clicking. I love seeing those light bulbs go off.

Ive been doing this for about six months so far and have 3 full converts and a few others that are starting to think about it. If we are keeping score.

What got me onto this was quitting a 21 year tobacco habit. It took me 21 years to quit something I KNEW was horrible for me because I just had to be in the right mindset to do it. Once it was done, I was energized to find out what else about my life I could change for the positive and found the Primal Blueprint which was great since it dealt with both diet and fitness. Thats what I have found with talking to people about this. They have to be in a headspace to receive the information, otherwise CW will just rear its ugly head and they wont be able to connect the dots. Dont try too hard and it will happen.

8
D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on June 25, 2011
at 05:29 AM

Attraction, not promotion IMO. Let's leave the proselytizing for religion.

Converts, victims...scary choice of words. Hope it was for effect. I suggest you keep your side of the street clean and feel good about the choices you have made to improve your health and inspire others to understand why you have made those choices.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on June 25, 2011
at 06:52 PM

Well then you and I will become great friends in this forum :-)

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 25, 2011
at 04:47 PM

It was for effect. It's just my personality. People get used to it - or the run FAR FAR away.

4
66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on June 25, 2011
at 05:29 AM

This is not a Religion no converting needed :) If people are truly interested they will ask questions and be willing to hear the answers, then pointed to the resources on the interwebs they can educate themselves and then make an informed decision. People need to learn how to think for themselves and get out from under the control of the government and conventional wisdom.

People want everything handed to them with no effort put forth, we live in an instant gratification society, we are spoiled. Yes life can be hard and stressful, etc but it can feel way worse if we are overweight, out of shape and have metabolic disorders that are a direct result of what we eat and since that is under our control we can take responsibility and change what we are able to. Being paleo is about being human and living as such, making our own choices, learning from our experiences and moving forward physically, mentally & spiritually.

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on June 25, 2011
at 11:53 AM

I didn't see your comment when I made the religion comparison.

2
44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on June 25, 2011
at 05:53 PM

I dont recruite, its already hard enough to find grassfed meat :) I just tell people grains are not worth much, replace them with vegetables. I dont want to make a scene what i do not want to eat. But i many times do, i just would like to eat stuff that i like and not talking about it, like anybody, just to feel accepted and so on.

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on June 25, 2011
at 06:20 PM

upvoted for selfishly coveting the beef!

2
Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on June 25, 2011
at 04:18 PM

I don't. I prefer to operate under the radar. "Paleo" is not an army or a religion. It's just a change. I support my local butcher, buy grass-fed meat - there are ripple effects and I think I'll find and associate with others over time. PaleoHacks is a great start there.

I do suppose that if more people ate and acted this way there would be some positive shifts in the world - reduced grain agriculture to start, better food systems for the kind of foods we prefer to eat. But even then if you push it or turn it into a "cause" then the Monsatos and ConAgras of world will take notice and see a threat. That would just turn into a stupid us v. them battle (see Atkins). Who needs that?

There are one or two people who have changed their eating habits because of seeing my weight loss. My wife is kind of interested (to my surprise) but I'll fall down amazed if she makes any actual changes...

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 25, 2011
at 04:26 PM

I hope she does. I liked your response CaveRat. In my future career as an R.D. in school district I will be doing a great deal of behind the scenes work because the position is not one where I'll be some sort of high profile public figure like a teacher. I will blend in some nutrition education on a community level - maybe one open event per year or full staff meeting. Otherwise I will work case by case with teachers in small groups. With my family, it's impossible to keep my mouth shut but I'm learning.

2
B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on June 25, 2011
at 07:23 AM

i am my only victim.

if anyone else is trying this because of me, its simply because i "look so healthy" and they want it for themselves.

2
Cbda678b2a6bf0537d8c4ea0ce8aa9ad

(4319)

on June 25, 2011
at 04:41 AM

I think almost everyone will open their ears when you mention "weight-loss", as well as and the mechanics of insulin and glucose in the weight/health picture.

I also always say, check it out on google, don't believe me.

1
Df37dee1b45f564770863d8a74016cbe

(1035)

on June 25, 2011
at 09:02 PM

Oh, I often have the urge to share the good news of "Salvation from the SAD". LOL! (religious reference b/c I grew up in a proselytizing religious cult) But most people don't want to be proselytized and even those who ask just want a super quick answer. So getting some inexpensive business cards printed up with a couple Paleo websites provides a quick gentle way to pass info along to those who actually seem interested.

Otherwise, I agree with the person who said, "grassfed meat is hard enough to get."

1
116d23135449332a8bf9106220cf632b

on June 25, 2011
at 05:53 PM

I started a blog. It's the talk of my family, my friends are giving me feedback, and most importantly, people are asking me tons and tons of questions. I didn't hurt to lose 60 lbs either!

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 25, 2011
at 07:08 PM

That is TREMENDOUS! You must really be swinging their heads!!! Dedicating yourself to lose 60 lbs is no small feat!

1
13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on June 25, 2011
at 04:44 PM

If someone mentions the wicked migraine they had last weekend, I will say that I don't get migraines anymore, since I changed my diet. In other words, I will create opportunities to be asked because my changes aren't very visible; but now I try not to talk about nutrition too much (even though I think it is very interesting) until I am asked. It is almost as bad as politics.

I have had people ask about my bumpersticker http://www.cafepress.com/+sticker_oval,83734410

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 25, 2011
at 04:46 PM

hahaha!! I laughed so hard when I clicked that link. I WANT ONE

1
7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 25, 2011
at 04:05 PM

Recruit? Converts? This isn't a cult. I don't look at other human beings as "projects". The only thing that works, IMO, is to lead by example. If someone asks, answer their questions. Otherwise, don't, unless you want to come off as a zealot. My technique is to keep my mouth shut. Hearing someone yammering on about their diet is always annoying no matter how tactful or helpful they think they're being. Plus I see no need whatsoever to try and change how my family eats, especially through giving totally unsolicited advice. No one is sick or overweight and my parents already eat really well. My mom is 5'9 and about 130 lbs after 3 kids and menopause! She doesn't need diet advice from her daughter. My grandparents, in their late eighties, are slim and have no health problems except some osteoarthritis and hearing loss. You can bet I'm not sitting there worrying "Oh grandma, you'd be so much healthier if you'd only give up your one slice of toast in the morning!"

I know I'm lucky that this is the case, instead of having to watch my family get sicker and sicker and not know what to say or do.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 25, 2011
at 07:07 PM

I agree as well. I've met some people who I tried to reach and gave up particularly earlier than usual because I sensed they were completely shut down and didn't value my opinion on any level. Some people are convinced that their life is hopeless and they wait for others to expound all of their energy. It makes them feel special but they purposely ignore the advice so they can keep getting special attention in that way. I cut those types off FAST.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 25, 2011
at 04:10 PM

Is it hard for you to watch someone you care about suffer emotionally and physically?

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 25, 2011
at 04:53 PM

I agree but unfortunately even telling people exactly how they're damaging their bodies often isn't enough to get them out of their complacency. When my friends see how I eat they claim they would rather die than not eat sugar. Human beings are pretty ridiculous when it comes to making important life changes.

7d0c3ea9bf8be00b93e6433d8f125ac3

(7540)

on June 25, 2011
at 04:22 PM

Like I said, no one I care about is suffering. Even if they were I don't see how proselytising would help, because it is annoying and tends to make people dig in their heels. That's why I would imagine leading by example, and volunteering information only if asked, is more effective, even though I can imagine it's incredibly hard and frustrating to keep quiet when you see someone destroying their health. But constantly talking about your diet makes people tune you out eventually, as far as I've seen.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 25, 2011
at 04:35 PM

I don't know...if someone is poisoning themselves and I sit and wait...the damage could be lethal. I agree you have to know when to lay off but there is a time to press.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 25, 2011
at 04:49 PM

BTW - the headline was for effect. I know it can come off as unorthodox or volatile but shock value gets people talking which is a good thing. I'm cool with lashings. I can take it.

1
4a585ea8059f71614597a56805cc60c7

(390)

on June 25, 2011
at 02:59 PM

I don't try. If people ask about my body or skin or energy, I tell them what I do and how I felt before and after the SAD life. That's all. I am friends with some super stubborn people (who happen to be vegetarians) and they would sit down in a burning building simply because you told them to get out. People have to help themselves, all I can do is share my experiences when they are interested!

1
D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on June 25, 2011
at 11:51 AM

I don't try to convert anyone. Converting is for religion when you believe something on faith. Paleo is science and I can see evidence thru direct observation.

Within about 5 minutes of meeting me, most people learn thru small-talk that I am an avid reader. They always ask what I am reading or some of my favorite authors. That is the one and only time I offer paleo authors and information - unless they ask for more. But I only offer paleo advice to obviously overweight or unhealthy people.

I'd hate to see the day when we have jokes about Jehovah's Witnesses and Paleo Witnesses knocking on the door.

1
2ab6415f5f20b8fe1d34a94c7be85e6a

on June 25, 2011
at 07:33 AM

I wear bacon cologne (http://www.fargginay.com/ lol) and they follow me home wear they bow down to me and call me their god i then convert them to paleo telling them it's the only way to serve me. jk but really just look good and happy and people will ask about what you do eat etc. Thats when you can explain. Btw good work so far.

226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 25, 2011
at 04:22 PM

hahaha...aweseme

0
226b10cbb6b1d3530b00d2d84a2dc86e

(3313)

on June 25, 2011
at 03:52 PM

Great answers so far! The consensus seems to be to let your body and energy do the talking and to extend a hand when people ask questions or seek you out for help. In teaching we call this a teachable moment. You simply wait for the student to open himself or herself to a new idea or concept because at some moment that idea or concept becomes immediate and relevant to the student.

I struggle with this because sometimes those moments are few and far between and so much damage can occur in waiting.

I can't watch people close to me suffer and hurt themselves while remaining still.

Case in point - I'm friends with a married couple and they're awesome people.

BUT

when I crash at their place I watch them load up their small children with gluten, dairy mono-sodium glutamate, synthetic dyes, Aspartame. These kids are volatile. They tear up the house. They are hypersensitive, cranky and cry alot...LOUDLY. I love their children and I love them but they are burnt. They are struggling BIG TIME.

I can't watch a pregnant mother guzzle a bottle of high fructose corn syrup. If I ever step into WalMart I want to blow my brains out seeing the way people have abused their bodies and minds. The place is a freak show. They are mutating the human race (exaggeration for effect).

I couldn't stand seeing my mom tired all the time. I had to step in. She was fixin' to retire. I want her to be happy.

My dad's lack of energy concerns me. He is too lethargic for a man under 70.

I worry about my sister breastfeeding after having just ate some kind of pasta or bread. She is a college coach and a health nut. She should know better.

I feel like I have an obligation to inform and protect people close to me.

I think our community needs to be more proactive about this. We need to develop sensitive ways, effective methods of informing and protecting fellow women and men.

People are hurting. They are sick, obese, ill, suffering. They are desperate for solutions. Now is the time to be a community that presents solutions in a sensitive yet assertive manner. We are living in a teachable moment.

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