Robb’s Angels Take on the American Dietetic Association Conference – Mission #1

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It all started as an idea – an idea that turned into Robb’s Angels’ debut mission.  Last Sunday and Monday the Angels set out to make some waves at this years American Dietetic Association (ADA) Conference in San Diego.  (As an aside the Association will be changing its name to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics effective January 2012.)  Our main goal at the conference was to generate interest in the paleo lifestyle and gain some allies in our fight for optimal health through nutrition.  (Here is a link to the mission details.)  We set out not sure what to expect.  Would we be laughed at, yelled at, loved, hated, or just flat out ignored?

We entered the expo hall on Sunday morning ready for anything.  We were greeted by a banner showcasing all of the major sponsors.  Things were looking grim – but we weren’t scared.  I mean really, we’re Robb’s Angels; Coke, Pepsi, and Whole Grains don’t stand a chance…  We continued on to our booth passing the ‘Sweet N’ Low’, General Mills, Kellogg’s and Nestle emporiums (seriously, they had some MAJOR exhibits – HUGE!!!).  But we still were not discouraged as we also had some pretty strong allies – the Beef Council, Pork producers, Avocado growers, strawberry, blueberry, fig, walnut and almond groups all had some very impressive digs too.  We arrived at our booth to see that we were positioned across from some heavy hitters (see picture below) – but we had two days to make our mark and we weren’t going down without a fight!

Armed with some awesome literature,( The Paleo Solution (the Spanish version too!!), Everyday PaleoPaleo Comfort Foods,  Make it Paleo and a FAQ sheet) we were ready, and the mission had begun.  We cannot thank Victory Belt Publishing enough for sponsoring, our booth, and giving us the opportunity to spread the word.  This would not have been possible without the help of Linda (our honorary Angel), Siegy, and Erich Krauss the Victory Belt team.

We had many people stop, pick up the books, and flip through them – little did they know, they were in for our sales pitch.  We LITERALLY jumped out of the booth and stepped in front of them so they couldn’t walk past without hearing about paleo.  In the words of Angel Stephanie G., “I cannot even begin to describe how rewarding it was to see some of our worst critics and skeptics start to see things more clearly.”   Jay from Season 11 of the Biggest Loser even picked up a copy of Everyday Paleo for his son, who is living a paleo lifestyle.  Very positive and hopeful!!

We were faced with a spectrum opinions regarding the paleo lifestyle.  Surprisingly many dietitians and health professionals had never heard of it and wanted to learn more!  Some were more knowledgeable and others ‘thought’ they knew.  We worked hard to dispel myths and generate excitement.  For the most part we were VERY successful.  I had one RD request Robb hold a book signing.  Another, when I asked “How would you describe the paleo diet?” answered; “It’s the diet everyone should be on.”  And still another told us, “You guys should be the ones running this show.”

We had others that visited wanting more information because a friend, family member, or co-worker was ‘doing paleo’ and with great success.  Professors, doctors, and professional associations were among those who were actually on our side and wanted to help spread the word.  While many of the expo exhibitors were giving away free samples of their products, we didn’t need to – paleo sells itself no fancy packaging or ‘new formula’ required.

We did face some opposition, which was to be expected.  We spent a small amount of our time educating these resistant individuals, most often to no avail.  A concept that is extremely important for all of us to understand is that we need to choose our battles wisely.  We are here to educate, assist, and encourage the paleo way of life – but no matter what we do, say, or how much evidence for paleo there is there will always be an ‘unreachable’ population unwilling to change.  As Robb says,  “We really need to avoid negative people and focus on the ones who need our help and are at least willing to try.”   It is a fact of life that we will win some and lose some but one thing is certain – we will NEVER stop fighting, helping people, and changing lives.  And we all love a happy ending!!

“Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.”    -John Wooden

 

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  1. Tamera
    October 3, 2011 at 5:06 am

    I’m so excited to see you guys making a difference and the fact that health professionals are supporting the diet. My doctor was actually the one who told me to try the Paleo Diet. I suffer from hypothyroidism and with recent level changes, my weight has been piling on. Instead of increasing my meds, which I begged him to do, he wanted me to try the Paleo Diet first. Needless to say, I lost 8 pounds the first month and I’m into my second month. Weekends are hards when you’re at a baby shower and you have to give up the cake and punch, but I haven’t lost that much weight in forever so I stick to being strictly paleo. I know my body is functioning the way it was meant to and I have more energy than ever before. I just can’t wait to hug my doctor in a couple of weeks for helping to save my life. Keep up the good work and if you need help in Florida, let me know!

    • Amy Kubal
      October 3, 2011 at 6:22 am

      Get your doctor to join the Paleo Physicians Network! That is AWESOME!!!

      • Jess
        October 3, 2011 at 7:53 am

        Seriously, where in Florida? I would love to find a doctor who preaches the Paleo lifestyle!

        • Tamera
          October 4, 2011 at 5:20 am

          It’s in Lakeland, which is between Tampa and Orlando.

          • HL McConnell
            June 5, 2012 at 12:38 pm

            Who is Lakeland is a Paleo Physician? Thanks!

            HL

      • Sarah Lockhart
        October 19, 2011 at 9:50 pm

        I need to meet some docs like that! That’s very awesome! Hopefully once I graduate from PA school, I will be able to work for a doc that is on the right page. :))

    • Steph Greunke
      October 3, 2011 at 3:33 pm

      Having a doctor that supports you and believes in Paleo is huge! I am so glad to hear that you’re feeling better and it’s working :) Keep it up and give your doctor a BIG thank you from all of us!

    • Sandy
      October 4, 2011 at 6:52 am

      Wow..I can’t believe the Paleo worked for you with your thyroid issues..mind didn’t and I have been gaining weight. Time to check with the doc

      • Amy Kubal
        October 4, 2011 at 7:03 am

        Sandy, it may depend on what the etiology behind your thyroid problem is. Do you still have the gland? Is it Graves or Hashimotos? Diet can definitely make a difference regardless, you may just need a little tinkering… But, in some cases ultimate ‘healing’ may not be possible. Let me know if I can help you! http://robbwolf.com/consulting/amy-kubal-consulting/

      • Tamera
        October 5, 2011 at 10:18 am

        Don’t get me wrong Sandy, I gain weight EASILY! I have kept myself strictly paleo and while the first 8 pounds came off quickly, I’m not understanding why more does’t pour off just as easy. I do everything right and I keep my carbs pretty low by watching my fruit intake. I read a long time ago that people with hypothyroid should be on a low carb diet. Problem is when my thyroid levels are off I absolutely crave carbs, sweets, chips, it doesn’t matter. I actually think about them a good part of the day. I know eventually I will lose the weight I need to, even though I still suffer from an elevated TSH. My thing is, I just want to make sure I keep from gaining as well. By keeping myself strictly paleo and not swaying, I’m at least helping myself to not gain more and I know eventually I will get there, just not as quick as others.

        • Amy Kubal
          October 5, 2011 at 10:25 am

          Tamera,

          I would love to help you figure this out!!! We may be able to get it dialed in! Let me know if I can help! http://robbwolf.com/consulting/amy-kubal-consulting/

          • Tamera
            October 5, 2011 at 12:15 pm

            Hey Amy,

            When I get straightened out financially in the next couple of months I will get with you and see about fine tuning my lifestyle.

            Thanks!
            Tamera

          • Amy Kubal
            October 5, 2011 at 3:30 pm

            I’m here for you when you’re ready!!

  2. mike
    October 3, 2011 at 5:06 am

    nice editing on the cardboard cutout! It sounds like it was a surprisingly successful endeavour; Mission accomplished!

    • Amy Kubal
      October 3, 2011 at 6:21 am

      It’s just one of my many Angel talents… I had to steal tape from the vegan cheese booth… :) How’s that for irony!

      • Steve
        October 3, 2011 at 12:53 pm

        Vegan cheese? I’m afraid to ask what they make that out of…..

        • Amy Kubal
          October 3, 2011 at 1:08 pm

          Soy has something to do with it…. Be afraid, be VERY afraid!!!

          • PaulL
            October 4, 2011 at 5:25 am

            I just read The Whole Soy Story (well, actually, I only read about 3/4 of the story, it was a looong book, and I’m short on time :) But suffice it to say, I’ll never eat soy again. I’m even questioning GF tamari at this point!

            That stuff is just not natural!

          • Amy Kubal
            October 4, 2011 at 5:30 am

            Soy is definitely shady!! It makes great soap and candles though! :)

          • Lark
            October 4, 2011 at 6:16 pm

            Soy was invented as a cheap, mass produced alternative to fish sauce. I’ve purged our home of soy and the gluten free tamari and am using Thai fish sauce instead (ingredients: fish, salt). Soy-free and much, much tastier.

  3. TheFitFatKid
    October 3, 2011 at 5:33 am

    It’s so cool to see that you’re making such an effort to reach a wider and wider audience that would otherwise never discover the beauty of going paleo! I always get so frustrated with the devout objectors though… touting conventional wisdom like it’s the word of God. Props to you all for picking your battles wisely and not letting those people bog you down!

    Keep spreading the good word!

    • Steph Greunke
      October 4, 2011 at 7:13 am

      It’s definitely hard to “let it go” with some people because you KNOW that it works and will help them, but it’s much better to save that energy! Thanks for the comment!

  4. J Oggier
    October 3, 2011 at 5:46 am

    Awesome job! I think it all comes down to information dissemination. You’re always going to have opposition on some scale. But when enough smart people start getting on board, people are going to be looking through their peripherals at all of the good looking, healthy and vibrant people thriving around them, and they’ll want it too.

    Who knows? 10 years from now, you may just be running the show!

    • Amy Kubal
      October 3, 2011 at 6:20 am

      Running the show would be awesome – but in 10 years the Ancestral Health Symposium will be ‘the show’!!! And it’s already an awesome show – only to get better!!

    • Steph Greunke
      October 3, 2011 at 3:44 pm

      Thanks a lot for your comment!! We had a great time and would do it again in a heartbeat. I think a lot of our success came from how passionate we were about the topic. People fed off of our enthusiasm which helped them buy into the idea.

  5. Shannon
    October 3, 2011 at 6:05 am

    Way to go, ladies! I have to say, I’m not surprised you found so much support. I have seen two different RDs in two different states, both affiliated with endocrinology practices, who advocated a very nearly paleo diet for me. I was insulin resistant and a they structured a meal plan where I could chose what I ate, but if I made the choice of complex carbs for every meal, I would likely be hungry because I could only have a little bit. I could eat as many green leafy veggies as I wanted. Things like fruit, corn, peas and milk counted as starches, not just bread. Look like a familiar list? hmmmmmm It made my transition to paleo so much easier after having that mindset for so long.

    I really think some of the questionable things they allowed were more to keep people on the plan than because they thought diet soda or pizza was a good idea. So many people aren’t willing to give up eating the stuff they love even if it will kill them. One told me she thought it was crazy that people will shoot themselves with insulin to be able to eat crap. So true.

    So keep at it! You are closer than you think! I think the RDs like the ones I worked with would be easy converts. I mean, who can argue with eating a ton of veggies? Cookie Monster? A toddler?

    • Amy Kubal
      October 3, 2011 at 6:18 am

      Thanks Shannon! We’re just getting started – and based on our first mission results we’re predicting great success!! :)

  6. Fluffy
    October 3, 2011 at 6:24 am

    Way to go “angels”. I spread the “word” when people notice I,m turning down Grains and dairy at a meal. I send them to robb’s web site and his frequently asked questions and say …….. Try it for 30 days what do you have to loose. I have had several benefits, reduced eczema, better digestion, no more migraine, no more daily sinus headaches, trimmer body ( it looks better naked but still needs some work:).) I can smell my food now ….. Novel! Oh and best of all my sleep is improving. I am a chronic insomniac ( 40 years of waking at 2 and not going back to sleep). That alone has me hooked for life. You guys ROCK!

    • Steph Greunke
      October 4, 2011 at 7:15 am

      Nice!! Congrats on all of your successes thus far! Sleep alone will do wonders for improving your health, but sleep plus a good diet and you’re really in business!

  7. Maryann
    October 3, 2011 at 6:32 am

    Way to go! The ball is rolling… and picking up speed!

  8. Teri
    October 3, 2011 at 6:39 am

    Fantastic news! I would love to see you with a booth at the American College of Rheumatology conference in November. There would be a lot of physician interest, I think, although I can’t imagine the pharma companies would be interested.

    • Amy Kubal
      October 3, 2011 at 7:45 am

      We’ll go where ever Robb needs us! We would likely make some enemies among the pharma’s though… :)

  9. Crunchy Pickle
    October 3, 2011 at 6:53 am

    Awesome! I try to view anything I share with friends or on my blog the same way – help the ones who are interested, don’t let the ones who disagree get you down. Great work with doing that in a truly tough environment!! It is a pleasure to watch you all spread the word with grace and kindness. :)

  10. Summer
    October 3, 2011 at 7:21 am

    Woot! Congrats Angels! It sounds like this was a great success – it must have been amazing to meet other people embracing the lifestyle or who knew others who had ‘gone Paleo.’ I’m so happy to hear you weren’t ostracised and/or accosted too severly by the opponents. I see this as a huge step in terms of pushing this towards the mainstream.
    Way to represent!

  11. Steven Zavalney
    October 3, 2011 at 7:23 am

    GREAT JOB! Thanks so much – Keep up the fight!

  12. Charles Mayfield
    October 3, 2011 at 8:00 am

    ><'s for all those ADA folks Amy. Great work! I've been talking a good bit to Boyd Eaton about this movement lately and he is SO excited about how the awareness is growing. One of his funnier comments about Paleo Comfort Foods was that he thought it was a brilliant way to work around the doctors and get straight to the patients. In his words…"if the patient gets on board, the docs will eventually".

    Awesomeness!

    • Amy Kubal
      October 3, 2011 at 8:38 am

      >< ‘s for sure!! I person at a time! And seriously, there is not a person alive that can resist the shot on the cover of Paleo Comfort Foods. It’s going to convert the masses!! :)

      • Steph Greunke
        October 3, 2011 at 3:41 pm

        No kidding on the book cover!! I think we all stood there salivating for a good 30 minutes looking at your book as well as Make it Paleo. You make Paleo so deliciously easy!

  13. Ana J
    October 3, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Congrats ladies for being out there! I really dont think dietitians are the enemy that many people in the Paleo community would like to believe they are. Many of my dietitian friends (I am also an RD) have been open to the idea of Paleo and even curious about it. Many even have started using some Paleo ideas in their practice with certain patients.
    At the Ancesteral Health Symposium I got a lot of comments (all positive) when people saw the name of the big healthcare organization I work for on my name tag. They were in shock that someone from a “mainstream” healthcare company would be interersted in attending AHS. Just something to keep in mind, people are not as close-minded as you think! Just uninformed! Hope to see more of you out there in the future!

    • Amy Kubal
      October 3, 2011 at 9:37 am

      Thanks Ana! It’s very encouraging to hear that so many people are exploring new ways of thinking! We’re just beginning!

    • Steph Greunke
      October 3, 2011 at 3:39 pm

      Ana you are absolutely correct. We found many dietitians open to the ideas and extremely interested once the myths about what Paleo really was were dispelled. I think we can easily get a good majority of dietitians, especially the younger crowd and students, behind us!

  14. Laura R
    October 3, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Badass!

  15. Patti Jeanne
    October 3, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    I gree Ana J, my neighbor is a dietician and when I told her I was Paleo she says she hasn’t bought bread for her family in 10 years. I was so happily surprised. She said she has to say one thing at the hospital when she is coaching clients but says no grains and sugar in her private practice. Hopefully with the Paleo medical referral service you have all been putting together we will start to get some movement on what is healthy for everyone.
    -PJ

  16. PaulL
    October 4, 2011 at 5:33 am

    Fantastic job, Angels! Way to go!

    I’d love to hear more about how some of the various conversations went, and what were the reactions from the big food-product industry folks like PepsiCo, Kellogs, etc. Did you engage any of them in conversation ? What about the Vegans ? Most of all, I’d love to hear how you approached the average Joe (and Jane), how did those conversations go, and what were their reactions ?

    In short, I’m looking for new ways to approach the subject when the topic of Paleo comes up :)

    Thanks again for all that you do! And never for a moment think we here in the rank and file don’t appreciate you all (and Robb! :) we’ve got your back if you ever need us!

  17. daryl sobol
    October 4, 2011 at 6:13 am

    not sure why you are proud of the Obama figure, he smokes a pack a day.

    • Amy Kubal
      October 4, 2011 at 6:46 am

      Then cleaning up his diet definitely won’t hurt him…

  18. Nom Nom Paleo
    October 4, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    THANK YOU for going to the conference and spreading the word! I’m actually verklempt after reading this post…yay Paleo!

    • Amy Kubal
      October 4, 2011 at 2:39 pm

      It was our pleasure!! More to come I’m sure!!!

  19. musajen
    October 4, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Nice work ladies! Great to see the right message getting more exposure! I went to a personal trainer for some form tweaking and she asked me what I was doing for diet… she cringed when I said Paleo. I didn’t delve into her aversion to it since I was there to train but definitely a ton of misinformation to still wade through.

    • Amy Kubal
      October 4, 2011 at 2:52 pm

      One hurdle at a time!!! We’ll get there! We’re all in this together! :)

  20. Kathy Thames, MS, RD, LD
    October 5, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Congratulations! I was so very glad to hear you went….I wish I could have been there with you! Next year, I will VOLUNTEER with you at the booth to spread the word. I have been an RD for 25+ years, CrossFitter for only 2+ and paleo convert for the same- and been to ADA only twice (as a student- cheap, and when it was in my town) – was insulted by all the big company funding and swaying the health and diet message. I cringe when I see what most RD still recommend- after all we’ve seen what those RX do to us (obesity epidemic etc.) So, if you’re there next year, it’s worth a trip to Phillie :)
    HInt in my practice: works wonders on patients- don’t call it “paleo” and they never “know” just love the results!

    • Amy Kubal
      October 5, 2011 at 11:25 am

      Kathy! I am looking forward to meeting you next year! It’s so great to hear that you are on our side! And I completely agree with your hint – it’s “REAL FOOD”!! Sell it like that and it’s hard to argue! :)

  21. Lisa
    October 6, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Hi Amy -Love to learn that you waved the Paleo flag at the ADA (now AND whatever with the name change) at FNCE. I am an RD too, and I’m a member of the Wt Management ADA listserv. There is an RD authoring an article for the listserv newsletter, “What is Healthy Eating?”. Can I sent the author your contact info? I was interviewed and I know I will be in the minority as I do not beleive that all foods are OK in moderation. I think there are a lot of crappy foods that should be avoided which is a contrary view to most RD’s. I think it would be preat to have another clean eating RD chiming in on this article. Can you post your email? Thanks Amy.

    • Amy Kubal
      October 6, 2011 at 10:34 am

      Lisa! I would love for you to pass along my information! This would be an awesome opportunity to help build awareness about paleo and all of its benefits! My email is amyk.rd@gmail.com
      and THANK YOU!!! :)

  22. Dave
    October 13, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Nice to see Jay bought his son the cookbook. I have often sat in front of the TV watching the train wreck known as biggest losere and wondered what a blowout it would be to see Robb and Greg as a team come into the biggest loser and put their team on Paleo, lifting heavy things and ditching the cardio yet still kick everyone’s ass. Since Anna Kornicovich has been a disaster of a trainer this season there should be an opening next season.

    • Amy Kubal
      October 13, 2011 at 4:24 pm

      That would be awesome!! :)

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