Don’t Be “That Guy” (or Gal)…

This may come as a complete shock to some of you – brace yourselves, seriously, SIT DOWN!!!  Okay, contrary to popular belief in the paleo circle, not everyone is as passionate about the subjects of diet, nutrition, training, and health as we are.  In fact, a vast majority of people are completely oblivious.  Exhibit A: the drive-thru line at Burger King.  That’s not to say that passion is a bad thing, but in some circles you might appear to be a little loony.  Exhibit B: Standing in line at the grocery store, cart teeming with grass-fed meat and organic vegetables, sandwiched between two carts filled with soda, chips, Hungry Man dinners, and frosted flakes.  I know many of you have a goal to convert the entire world to paleo, and don’t get me wrong it’s a great thought.  But, and that’s a BIG but(t)…  it’s not going to happen overnight.  Exhibit C: McDonalds is currently selling about 20 Big Macs every minute.

So, what am I driving at here?  Well, as with anything we’re passionate about – sometimes, we get a little too caught up.  Exhibit A: PETA members and their crazy protests.  This sort of ‘passion’ doesn’t necessarily make a case any stronger and it often sends people running in the opposite direction.  Now granted, we ‘paleos’ aren’t out on the streets and on billboards; and honestly, it’s likely better that way.  That being said, there are some of us that are maybe just a little over-the-top when we talk to others about our paleo practices.  We know how great it makes us feel and we want to share our experiences by telling others what it can do for them; and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  Where it gets out of hand is when your friends, family and coworkers start being turned off by your constant preaching and ridicule of their food choices.  I have had several clients come to me after working with other paleo ‘nutritionists’ saying that these ‘experts’ made them feel like failures for having something ‘non-paleo’ – even if it was just on one occasion.  Now, maybe some of you truly are 100% paleo 100% of the time – but I’m going to go ahead and wager that’s not the case.  And even if you are is it your place to judge the decisions of other mature adults?  (Don’t answer that…)

Not everyone wants to hear about how the bread on their sandwich or morning oatmeal is ‘going to kill them’ – and especially not while they are eating it.  At the office, family gatherings, and in social situations, when in ‘mixed eating company’, try starting the conversation with something about the weather instead of the infinite hazards of the SAD (Standard American Diet).  If the conversation moves to a discussion about nutrition, feel free to pipe up and offer your thoughts and viewpoints.  Really, there is NO NEED to begin any conversation with “that cookie is going to kill you”, whether it be true or not.  It is perfectly acceptable to confront someone close to you that is struggling with health and/or diet about their current habits, see where they’re at and if they’ve even thought about changing.  Provide resources for them to educate themselves and tell them what paleo has done for you and others.  Keep it positive!!  If you know someone that is converting to paleo be supportive and encouraging.  When they tell you they ate some French fries for lunch don’t make them feel like they failed.  Instead, let them know it’s okay and encourage them to jump right back on the paleo boat.  Being militant, overbearing, and annoying isn’t going to further the paleo mission.  Honestly, does it really do that much for PETA?  Or heck, even political candidates and ballot issues.  People can only take so much before they just ‘tune-out’ and this is NOT what we’re going for!

The underlying message here is- be passionate, inform, and educate with solid information not with what you think paleo should be.  Remember, not everyone is going to be as excited or sold as you are.  Let them know you’re there if/when they want to talk about it – give them a copy of The Paleo Solution to read or a great paleo cookbook (Everyday Paleo, Paleo Comfort Foods, Make It Paleo, etc.), let them educate themselves.  Give them control and in time it will happen, it just might not be right this minute.  Being a jerk or jerkette won’t win any fans and overall it’s going to hurt the entire paleo movement.  Let’s work together to educate and inform using constructive conversations and activities.  Paleo sells itself, we don’t need billboards and campaigns all we need is real food and it’s out there!

Whatever you do – Don’t be “That Guy”!

Categories: General, Paleo Diet Basics


Robb Wolf’s 30 Day Paleo Transformation

Have you heard about the Paleo diet and were curious about how to get started? Or maybe you’ve been trying Paleo for a while but have questions or aren’t sure what the right exercise program is for you? Or maybe you just want a 30-day meal plan and shopping list to make things easier? Then Robb Wolf’s 30 Day Paleo Transformation is for you.


  1. Daniel says

    Great post, Amy!

    I have to admit that in the beginning, I was like that myself and really tried to push people to Paleo.

    But I realized that such a behaviour only brings negative reactions and since then my motto is “live and let live”. If someone asks me, why I eat what I eat or what the book is what I read (currently I read the primal blueprint), I tell them about what Paleo is about, but I stopped telling them “what you eat is awful you should eat this and that”.

    This way it works for me, I already converted 1.5 people (a coworkers friend and said coworker, but the coworker is only half convinced atm) since I started this more neutral way of talking about Paleo.

    • Amy Kubal says

      Thanks Daniel! Keep spreading the word ‘positively’!! We need to make friends not enemies! You’re doing great work!

    • says

      Did you speak for me?

      I went primal on April 5, 2010. I felt AMAZING immediately. The first month was my best. Big ass salad every singel day for lunch was key. I was pushing it like crazy on my family. After a couple months I backed off. I no longer push this on anyone. It’s just not worth it. Instead I keep on living this way and have people ask me all kinds of questions.

      Ironically enough, all of my family is moving closer and closer to being 80%+ primal/paleo. Less grains, more meat and veggies. It’s awesome. My older brother is really into it and will be starting a blog soon.

      If you want to spread the word in a fun way then wear your vibrams everywhere. It’s the PERFECT conversation starter folks. Especially in the airport and on the plane. Because I was wearing my vibrams I talked to an older lady on the plane ride from Grand Rapids to Chicago for 45 minutes straight. Literally non stop. She asked me about my vibrams and off we went.

      In the end she asked me to write down my blog.

      Wear your vibrams – get weird colors and start a blog. Sure, their are a thousand or so blogs but I want one million. GO! I’ll be helping others start blogs soon… if you want help now the just visit mine and contact me in the nav bar – Primal Toad.

  2. Niall says

    Solid post. I found myself becoming “that guy” and when I realized, I backed off. Now I only answer questions when i’m asked. I wish my boss would read this post though. He watched one “pro-vegan” dvd and is now convinced that meat and fat are the cause of every disease known to man and his own type 1 diabetes. Every time I eat he comes over and makes some snide remark about how my meat is going to kill me and then off he goes to eat his box full of vegetables. He is convinced his plant diet is going to save him from every disease and fix his diabetes. His diet consists of fruit and veg and nothing else. I’m going to laugh when his muscle fades away and he can’t get an erection….

  3. Elenor says

    “not everyone is as passionate about the subjects of diet, nutrition, training, and health as we are”

    Oh darn. Well, that explains why everyone runs when I approach…. {sigh}

  4. Rafik says

    I needed to hear/read this…I was that guy most of the time and I was able to tone it down to “that guy” some of the time but now my plan is to not be “that guy” any time.
    There’s no point…it always ends up in negative emotions because it makes people defensive bout their poor choices.
    From now on, ONLY MENTION THIS SACRED LIFESTYLE if probed about how amazing your results are and what the road was to getting there…thanks again!

    • says

      Heehee! My husband did exactly the same thing for exactly the same reasons! :-) I don’t know if he reads mine, though – he hears me rant enough IRL. 😀

      And thanks for the reminder – things have been busy enough that I need to get back to it.

  5. says

    Maybe we need to go in the other direction and keep it a conspiracy, refuse to share information unless greeted with the secret handshake, and claim no knowledge about nutrition and weight loss;-)

    • Sandra Brigham says

      In behavior modification, in order to stop one behavior, one has to replace it with another equally reinforcing alternative behavior. And the organism with the problem b. is the one who gets to decide if the replacement is reinforcing or not. I like the idea of a secret handshake. And even more, I like the fact that you provided a solution to the supposed problem behavior we have. Please let me know what the handshake is. I can see myself scanning your cart and attempting the handshake…

    • Guy says

      This is exactly what I do. I get more questions this way and thus more opportunity to share Paleo with someone actually interested in what’s driving me.

  6. Treefit says

    Thanks, Amy! Great post.

    I think leading by example can definitely be more helpful. I love when people at work look at my lunches and remark on how great they look. Or during staff meetings I just pass the cookies onward without taking one. No need to really say much. :) When the subject does come up, then I can talk about how much this lifestyle has helped me and my family. People can get really interested when there are amazing results. I always offer resources so they can do some research on their own and ask questions about what they find.

    Slowly, we are getting the word out there, one person at a time. :)

  7. says

    One thing I learned very young was to avoid preaching. Evangelize, yes, preaching just throws people off. I also get a double dip of the foo police (as I like to call them) because of my diabetes. “You can’t drink, eat fat, or sugar! You’re a diabetic!”
    Meanwhile, said preacher is digging into the latest 64% fat-free cheese. You learn to live with it, that’s for sure!

  8. Jay Ogg says

    I alienated friends, family, co-workers. And just as I’m sure some of you can relate, the lifestyle became so glaringly obvious, that I couldn’t comprehend why people would willingly shorten their lifespan and destroy their quality of life not listening to my advice. But then again, at one time I weighed 226 myself, and was in a bad place, and had the mind set of “counting calories is stupid, dieting is for people who are sick.” Fast forward 6 years, and I actually did lose most of my weight on a “healthy SAD,” and working out 6+ days / week. Different things work for different people. It’s not ideal. But telling someone that something isn’t working, when it is, isn’t going to go over well. And most people are stubborn on their convictions.

    So, I follow the simple premise: Help those that WANT help. If asked, I offer advice. If they dig deep, I’ll give them reasons. If they want to make the change, I point them to all of the seemingly infinite resources that I’ve used to make up my mind. So far, I’ve converted my father and my wife (who follow the 80/20 rule with discretion and have both read Robb’s book). I’ve also advised people at the gym I work in, and to date, I have one couple who are about 2 weeks in. I have one co-worker who is reasonably convinced of the science and reasoning, but isn’t looking to start (officially) until after the holidays. Small victories are still victories.

    The results will always speak for themselves!

    • Amy Kubal says

      Awesome “testimonial” – your story is perfect evidence of what works and what doesn’t when ‘steering’ others toward a healthy lifestyle! Keep up your awesome new technique!

  9. TR says

    Great post. I was starting to be “that guy” also. I have to catch myself and back off. If I am asked, I will answer. When I order a burger with no bun….friends laugh. I dont explain anything….I just say that I dont like bread. I have had 2 or 3 friends that are starting to show interest though….I will feed them the kool-aid slowly….then there is no going back!

  10. Joe says

    Results speak for themselves. I too tried to push it to a few people with no success. Once I began hitting new PR’s in the gym, my workout buddies would ask about it. When I was noticeably leaner, colleagues and family members would ask about it.

  11. Rene says

    Hey Amy!

    Long time no talk! One of my favorite tactics is to cook something when friends come over. Most of their thought process (at least our friends) is that because of the mainstream “diet” label things don’t taste good. We make something we know they are going to enjoy. We have recipes printed in case they want to know how we made it, and extra ones that they can try at home.

    When we started this lifestyle we were pretty secretive about what we were doing. We started by telling them that we cleaned up our diet and started to do functional workouts with movements that you do through out they day (not in relation to sitting at a computer). The more they asked the more we said. Now some are doing their own research and asking us for advice.

  12. Christo says

    always better and more effective to be for something which is positive(quality food ect) than against something negative(shite food ect)

    You do not want to go around proselytizing like a v*gan, that’s for sure

  13. Brad says

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time.

    I was diagnosed with Celiac in May and have been looking for the “right diet”. After a bunch of research and experimenting, I found Paleo to be the ideal lifestyle.

    I’ve been listening to the podcasts over the last few weeks as I await mu copy of Robb’s book (UPS should be dropping it off today!). And I’ve been sharing a lot of the information with my wife. The comment she gave me the other night was, “I feel like your obsessed and trying to sell me this diet.”. I know she’s skeptical about Paleo, and I’m not trying to sell her on the concept that it truly is the healthy choice. I’m just very excites about what I’m learning and trying to share my enthusiasm. I don’t say “you should/shouldn’t”. I say, “I was listening to a podcast today and did you know that there’s something in wheat that stimulates appetite?”. Too much of that is just ad bad as “that bread is ray poison!”

    I need to make sure I stop that transition to “that guy” and let my health progress speak for itself.

    • Donna says

      Hey Brad,

      Good that you’re having some introspection about this. I’d want to make sure the she doesn’t confuse the Paleo diet (optional) with your need to follow a *strict* Gluten-Free diet (mandatory).

      Celiac is a bad-ass disease and can do serious damage to all systems as I’m sure you know. In any case, hopefully she gets that and supports your GF eating. Anything buy-off in the Paleo realm is a plus. And, yeah, I know these comments could be argued.

      Good luck!

      • Brad says


        No argument from me!

        I’m one of the 20% of Celiac’s that is obese (I read that stat somewhere). When I continue to lose weight and gain muscle, she’ll ask. I’ll tell. She’ll want to either 1. join me, or 2. prove me wrong. Either way, she’ll give it a try!

  14. River says

    I have experienced that living by example works. That it is more fun to have folks be skeptical at my “weird” eating, then have that pride a month later when they ask what I’m doing to change my body so much. Then I get to talk about Paleo and folks are interested!

  15. says

    I’m pretty good about keeping my mouth shut except with my sister who can definitely take it. When she is eating whole wheat bread I just kindly bring up cancer and heart disease. She’s also a doctor so its more fun. I try not to say ANYTHING around my vegan friends. I have 5 and one is a RAW vegan. The saddest part of the vegans is one couple’s sons are ALWAYS hungry and she is very happy to give them organic Trader Joe’s cheezits instead of a piece of animal protein.

    You are very right, you can’t preach you can only live the lifestyle and hopefully your own health will lead the way.

    • Amy Kubal says

      Thanks Patti! Keep working on your sister – she’s a doc, we really need her on our side and like you said, she can take it!

  16. Luke Timms says

    I feel like I’ve just been told off! But its so true, starting off is exciting and feels great, I want to share it with everyone I care about! I guess this is where cults begin…

  17. kberg says

    I always bring tasty paleo treats to events with non-paleo people. It gives me an opportunity to explain things without being preachy and show them how easy it is to enjoy good food while sticking to paleo only options. Homemade almond flour baked goods are so amazing.

  18. tess says

    it’s HAAAAARD, but i’ve already started trying…. but when loved-ones get their “science” from television commercials, it’s irresistable to tell them what the studies REALLY say.

    • Amy Kubal says

      Tell them what the studies you’ve read say – just don’t forget to listen to them too (even if it’s hard). You can state your case without being pushy or overbearing and you’ll be way more successful!

  19. says

    I agree! I hardly ever even mention paleo unless asked. I don’t have to. It tends to come up often, since I am just different from everyone around me. I work with a team of 11 women. Of all of us, I am the only healthy, normal weight person, even though I’ve had by far the most babies (I am on my fifth). I am second oldest, but clients routinely assume I am the youngest. I am the only one who is not constantly sick, or always tired and achy. I am the only one lifting weights while they all keep trying to do zumba with no visible results at all. I snack on hard boiled eggs and fresh veggies while they count Weight Watcher’s points and eat McDonald’s oatmeal. I am not bragging, I am saying I stick out like a sore thumb! At first, I was “the weird one.” Now, they are all reading my blog ad asking questions everyday. Just be a blindingly good example, and you will stand out like a billboard without being annoying.

    • Brad says

      Why do some people not believe the results that are right in front of them?

      I actually had a woman I work with question my diet last week. I explained that I eat a lot of fresh veggies and lean meats and lost another 25 pounds in the last month. Her comment, after she just told me she gained 5 pounds THIS summer, was “that can’t be healthy!” AND she was eating a BEAR CLAW while she said it!!!!!

  20. Jason says

    This is a great thing to keep in mind. We should also remember this is an addiction. We need to treat it as such.

    A good way to go about this is to take a step back and think it through. Imagine your next social gathering. You’re there with friends and/or family and/or people you don’t even know. As is customary in our society, food is most likely involved here. Let’s now replace the things we would typically consume at these gatherings (sugar, wheat, seed and grain derived oils) with another thing (cocaine). So in a world where almost everyone is doing coke and it’s viewed as being okay, would you just flippantly state to someone as they’re snorting a rail “you know, that coke is gonna kill you”. They’d look at you with glossy eyes and say something to the effect of “do you really think I give a sh*t you f***ing ***hole?” That would be a rhetorical question.

    Keep this analogy in your spaghetti squash noodle the next time you have the urge to open your mouth. Oh, and I despise the word Paleo. After attending the AHS I realized it should be tossed.

    • Amy Kubal says

      Well said Jason! Another thing to think about is, how much would you enjoy listening to a vegan preach to you about how your steak is going to kill you and that “meat is murder”? Instead of saying “Paleo” try “Real Food” – no one can argue that!! :)

  21. Laurel says

    Amy, great post
    I find myself doing it once in a while at home. But only after getting bugged and teased enough about ” oh yah, Mom won’t eat that…it’s the devil…! White bread kills…” etc. But alas, I have young adults who think they are indistructable living at home. But when they feel out of sorts… or want to actually ‘know’ something – who do they come to?? hee hee.
    Keep up the great writing and encouragement, ideas, and of course playing the role of a balast as the Paleo Ship picks up speed!

  22. says

    Great article! Love that term militant…’s true with so many things and does nothing but push people further away from what you’re wanting for them. Passion is great but everyone comes to things in there own time, if at all…..I’ve purchased a few copies of The Paleo Solution and The Primal Blueprint for some family members but think the true changes will come (if they do) when they see the positive changes in my health and my husband’s as well as becoming lean and those things will take time. If any want to know I’m happy to share my thoughts, resources and my delicious food! After I’ve gotten those three cookbooks mentioned above, if anyone in the family is interested then I’ll be happy to get them whichever seems best suitable for them too!

  23. Will says

    What perfect timing. Just got off the phone after preaching to my mom about paleo eating. She is reading some paleo literature but isn’t committing. She says, “I have too many stressors and I don’t need one more stressor.” I respond, “I don’t think it’s as much a stressor as you’re making it and it might alleviate some of your stress.” Definitely doesn’t feel good to become “That Guy.” So, thanks to Robb for the nudge.

    Paleo progression seems to work like this:

    1) Paleo starts Paleo
    2) Paleo gets amazing results
    3) Paleo realizes he was Neo from the Matrix and wants everyone to try the red pill.
    4) Everyone is skeptical
    5) Paleo becomes frustrated because everyone doubts the Matrix’s existence

    Thing is, if Paleo gets too big then many of us will need to find alternative ways to differentiate ourselves. Just maybe we should all keep quiet…and smug.

    • Amy Kubal says

      That was exactly my point Will – talking about and sharing Paleo with others feels great, until they start rolling their eyes and avoiding you all together. Like I said, Paleo will sell itself – we don’t need to “beat a dead horse”. Let’s all focus on spreading the word via healthy, constructive conversations!

  24. Steve says

    I’ve had my kids Paleo for five weeks. At a cookout last week we were interrogated as to why we were doing what we were doing to the kids. It’s hard not to get defensive and a little preachy, especially with the ridicule by some people. What shuts them up is when I mention I lost 15 pounds in three months while eating bacon and eggs.

    I think it’s easier for Paleo adults to sneak under the radar. But with the kids, SO many social situations revolve around pizza, cake, ice cream and cookies. It’s mind-boggling.

    • Amy Kubal says

      Steve, I appreciate your struggles. Maybe tell people, “I don’t tell you how to raise your kids, don’t tell me how to raise mine.” I love that you use yourself as an example and just tell people you want your kids to eat real food not food with suspect ingredients and cartoon characters on the package… It might make them think!

  25. M says

    I can definately relate to this!! I used to be “That Guy” to my boyfriend all the time trying to get him to eat more paleo like. Eventually it came around that he was sick of hearing about it and to lay off. Fast forward six months later he eats probably 75% paleo and is leaning more and more towards it each day. Now I’m a resource for him rather than trying to push him into it and he’s getting there much more quickly!

  26. Debbie B in MD says

    I was just talking to a friend last night about this topic. I told her that I feel like someone who just discovered religion. It is hard to keep it in when you felt so awlful and then don’t anymore. She and I were actually comparing notes on our success so there was no pushing. I’ll be careful though. :)

  27. Alexandra says

    My transformation has been very dramatic, from a snug size 20 to a loose size 8. I think many people think I have had gastric bypass so they are afraid to ask me questions… Because I travel all day for work, I never eat my lunch in front of others… if only they could see the big wad of veggies and juicy chunk of grass fed meat, then they would know I still have an intact stomach! My policy has been to only talk about my 120+ lb weightloss if asked… I must say, in four years, only about five people have asked. It is difficult, after battling obesity all my life and then finally f-ing figuring it out to not say anything to the horde of people I see every week in that same battle.

    • Amy Kubal says

      Awesome progress and congratulations on your success! And consider the 5 that have ‘figured it out’ – you’ve changed their lives – this in and of itself is a victory!

      • Alexandra says

        Thanks, the results have been mixed. A stunning turn around for a friend crippled with joint pain… from several prescriptions each day and using a cane in his 50’s to pain free and no medication in 3 months from just the removal of cereal and bread so far. Another is intrigued and asks questions whenever we are alone and his wife is outside earshot… the wife is highly controlling and morbidly obese with a number of illnesses. She worships her doctors and their conventional dietary advice and I see her as a hopeless case that probably will prevent her husband from making any changes… I will keep talking as long as he keeps asking.

        Last year when I turned 50, they asked my how it felt to be a half century old… my reply was that I felt lucky that I am this old, feel great and that nothing hurts…
        the obese wife’s reply to me: (she is 5 years younger)… F**k-you! (it must be the whole grains talking!)

        BTW I just received my first edition of Paleo magazine….great!

        • Amy Kubal says

          The grains talking for sure! Get in where you can and some fights, just aren’t worth fighting! Be proud of yourself – you’ve done AMAZING things! And I’m glad you like the magazine! If others are interested check it out here: Paleo Magazine

  28. says

    Doing my best to not be “That Guy” though something I am passionate about. Though the conversation starter usually begins when I start disecting my hambuger (removing bun) or doing my magical holding the cheesbuger with the bun while easting everything but the bun…

  29. DB999 says

    Thanks, I needed that. I have converted a few, but I have had my militant moments. It’s not like me. I’m an extreme skeptic. I don’t get dogmatized, but paleo has been like a drug for me. Having me feel like a young adolescent again. No better.

    I think that instead of going all out, I want to just nudge people in the right direction. Such as telling them to find ways to cease making processed carbs the staple of their diet. Not fearing fat or meat. Or telling people to forget diets and listen to their bodies. Or just throwing it out there how this way of eating has made me feel. Just plant seeds tactfully.

  30. Dan says

    Excellent post, I was just feeling recently that I may be pushing everyone (my fiance included) away from paleo and fitness because I’m too passionate about it. So I’ve tried to make jokes about it when I’m around them, because they obviously know how I feel, but when I make fun of myself, it makes them feel more comfortable, and less like I’m silently judging them for their choices. I find myself getting almost more passionate about nutrition than fitness (I am a crossfit coach), and I’m constantly looking at ways that I can a)increase my knowledge on the subject, and b) find a better way to help people with diet and nutrition. I wish that I was a registered paleo nutritionist as well! You guys thinking of opening an east coast branch? 😉

  31. says

    Its time to start marketing what Robb mentioned In his book “WYPSTHUAP” on t-shirts!! Ask me (ds3boys on Twitter) or Dana Kamla Post on FB if you need help with the initials 😉 hee hee

  32. Cat Alberts says

    Well, I kinda was that guy when I was vegan, almost raw vegan. It lasted for 6 months until I actually read The China Study and looked at the statistics and realised I had to keep looking for a way out of continuing fatigue and brain fog.

    Everybody gets bombarded with information about health. Paleo is the 1000th new thing people hear about. I guess the best way to influence others is by actually becoming healthy, strong and fit, and staying open to share this information.

    I think getting healthy is a quest, and we are finally given extremely well researched directions that put us on the road to better health. Robb is one of the shining beacons that light it for us.

  33. Rebeccab says

    Thanks for this post Amy….I think I was “That Gal” in the beginning, but now I only talk about it if asked…..I just let my weight loss, fitness level and general healthiness speak for itself.

    It is really hard in the teachers lounge not to say anything to the overweight, exhausted teachers who are eating sandwiches, pasta, chips and sweets, but I just quietly eat my meat and veggies and let them ooooohhhh and aaahhh over my awsome meals. They have even said to me, “We need to have dinner at your house” when they see my leftovers, but none of them have made the switch…..meanwhile, I keep bebopping up and down the halls of my school with energy and enthusiasm and try in a very subtle way to encourage my co-workers and students to make healthy choices.

    Keep up the good work. BTW, I have my family at about 80/20, so I am making progress where it really matters to me.

  34. Cindy says

    I find that some people are offended by ANY talk of healthy eating.
    I had a huge disaggreement with someone at work over the company no longer providing rice krispy treats in the breakroom at my insistence (ok, so I threatened to throw them away if they showed up again. a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!). Basically, some people feel threatened and angry that someone doesn’t want to eat all the junk they do because it’s so unhealthy. Most people shrug it off with the whole ‘in moderation’ crap and ‘I want to enjoy life’ story. They don’t want to be faced with what they know they should do but don’t have the willpower or desire to do themselves.

    I’m just trying to not have company sponsored junk food and make slightly better food choices for our snacks. it’s baby steps, but the greek yogurt over yoplait change got 90% positive reviews 😀 Nuts and trail mix instead of pretzels and chips is well accepted, too. By no means am I perfect, and I fall off the wagon more than I’d like, but it’s about changing your normal eating habits and making it easier to eat healthy instead of falling back into bad habits. And no Rice Krispy Treats calling to me at 3PM from the breakroom!!

  35. says


    Having said that, here is why I like to give myself a pat on the back and rationalize my efforts:

    1. When people like Dr. Jampolis, Dr. Oz, Dr. Drew, or any celebrity doctor makes claims against a Paleo lifestyle I feel like it is necessary to plant that seed of doubt about the competency of those making the statements. And when they start to argue back and delete studies and posts, etc. then the other non-paleo followers will see that they have lost composure (a true sign of insecurity) they will take notice. “What’s Paleo” they ask? “Well, we will tell you” we say.

    2. When Whole Foods asks about trends we like, I am ever so compelled to answer. Why? The more they see our movement growing and organizing, the more apt they will be to getting off this vegan kick. I mean seriously, Whole Foods is a business. And if they want our money they will have to play ball. All these posts and all of this cultish nonsense still has it’s beneficial impact. Some of us are more even keel in our approach, there are some fringe Paleos too. I support both.

    3. Our rantings and ravings, however annoying they are, also do a number of things for us as a movement. For one, our cult-like love for paleo pushed the votes on the U.S. Health Report of top 20 diets and caused them to respond on national TV, calling us a bunch of techies. Which means, they know we are watching, and that the controversy is getting them better ratings. I dunno, but I think that is awesome.

    4. This passion, this outrage, this feeling of abandonment by our government and need for a complete upheaval of our industrial agricultural system is unifying. PETA, however misguided, is well-organized. It’s why all of us KNOW who PETA is. They did something right. Even if we detest them wholeheartedly, they are a force to be reckoned with. Loony fringe followers pouring red paint on people got them somewhere. Hell, their misguided “experts” even have a documentary like Forks Over Knives out… and now the world is vilifying red meat and saturated fat and eating bagels with tofutti cheese.

    5. I know I annoy the hell out of people on the internet but I am FAR more tactful in real life. This comes out of a knowledge that I am being counterproductive with up-close and personal attacks on someone’s food choices. Having said that, I have a deep desire to help people. For those people that I love and that I care for, the desire is even more powerful. For people like my brother, that still eats stacks of pancakes, he has known my me whole life and expects to hear it from me. But I always end it with a kiss and an “I love you. Stop eating that shit.” I have been “THAT GIRL” my whole life 😉 and I embrace it.

    This entire movement will be filled with people that will take a passive role, and that will take a more proactive and vocal role. Both are important. 1 is less annoying, I will agree…. but in the end, the different types of approaches will appeal to different types of people. If we only want to help those who will accept the passive role, then all of us taking a passive approach would make sense. I for one, have to be hit over the head to have something really impact me :)

    <3 You!!!

  36. says

    This is a terrific article. Once you live the paleo lifestyle and feel and see the incredible benefits, after a time it becomes difficult to relate to others living according to the SAD. It’s a shame that paleo gets pushed to the “fringe” despite the obvious fact that it improves health for almost everyone. It’s tempting to look at people around you in supermarkets and scream “you’re feeding yourselves poison!” so this article is a nice reminder to restrain ourselves. :)

  37. says

    GREAT post!! More people need to hear these kinds of things. My brother and i are both HUGE ancestral health people and when we both get going in a conversation with a non-ancestrial health person it’s like a pack of savage dogs ferociously ripping a squirrel apart! We both realized that verbally attacking people with science does not send the message correctly. It’s like talking about religion and science, a lot of times people are firmly set in their ways regardless of what you can show them as fact. Needless to say, we both have toned down our “PDP” or, Public Displays of Paleo. We find that people really start to listen when you display that you are well informed. We listen to every podcast, we read every blog post, we read as many books as we can, we read as many ancestral health forums as we can. I can’t urge the ancestral community enough to educate yourself as much as possible, and when you do get into a health conversation, empty your knowledge tank in a respectful and enthusiastic way. When people can have a regular conversation with someone who is enthused and really believes in what they are saying, people are much more likely to listen. I think it’s great that this post is necessary because it shows that we as a community have a bit of a (good) problem in wanting to HELP everyone! We may get into some hot debates and we may be over the top at times but i think it’s amazing that so many people, at the end of the day, just want to make this a healthier world. I think it’s amazing and i think that we are in the process of something really great.

    On a side note, I’d like to share a thought on something that i have been experiencing myself. Many times when i get into a discussion with someone who doesn’t know anything about ancestral/paleo health, and i tell them i follow a paleo diet, i often get a funny look, which I’m sure most of you can relate to. After i explain that i eat like a modern hunter gatherer or a ‘cave man’, that funny look doesn’t go away. I often get dismissed right off that bat because the ‘cave man’ aspect is funny to them. I then get asked questions like “how big is your cave?” or “Do you plan on doing a commercial for Geico?” Needless to say, it was getting annoying so i decided to change my approach. When people would ask me what my diet is like, i simply tell them, i eat natural foods like grass fed meats, wild caught fish, Omega-3 enriched eggs, lots of veggies,lots of coconut, some fruits and nuts i generally get a much different reaction. People often say something like “that makes a lot of sense”. People want to hear that they can eat a lot of bacon, steak, hamburgers, pulled pork, ect. and be healthy!

    The point of my rant here is, in the on coming years as the ancestral/paleo community continues to undoubtedly grow, i think shying away from the Paleo/Caveman aspect will really help people digest this stuff. I really feel strongly that it’s more likely that the average person will dismiss the ‘caveman’ approach simply because of the connotation with cavemen. The average person generally doesn’t have a desire to read scientific studies, or even read multiple books on obesity or other diseases that don’t affect them. I say we should shy away from the paleo/caveman moniker, but unfortunately i don’t have a real alternative to put in place. I think Ancestral health is a great start, people seem to respond better to that.

    Disclaimer: I personally have no issue with the terms ‘Paleo’ or ‘Caveman’. I actually love being a modern day caveman! But i think for the future, shying away from these terms will give us more credibility.

    Sorry for rambling :/

    • Amy Kubal says

      Awesome ramble Nick!!! You are so right, it’s hard for people to snub bacon, meat and fat!! And then all you have to do is convince them that vegetables are a good idea and Holy Caveman!! You’ve got ’em!! Keep up the great work!

  38. Mike B says

    If I forward this to all the people I was “That Guy” to as an apology would it be considered being “That Guy”?
    I think I may have to do that and find out :)

  39. Rock says

    as someone who is just staring out, I find lunch to be the hardest aspect of this. I work in a corporate environment, and go to a lot of dinners/ lunches where paleo friendly isn’t exactly easily accessable… anyone care to point a newbie in the right direction for working lunches? good things to make, or eat out?

  40. Curmujeon says

    I’ve learned to be quiet when I see them eating their Lean Cuisines and Fiber1s. Fixed Mom bacon, eggs and the obligatory toast(Sis’s WW bread). She separated the fat from the bacon so the dogs got a treat. But really, if they want to hear about eating healthier, they’ll ask.

  41. says

    So guilty of this, although ive been a lot better about being a paleo N@azi I really, really needed to see this.

    My co worker is a 58 year old man who eats 2 corndogs, 1 chiminichanga, a can of vienna sausages and gatorade everyday.
    Oh wait… he takes his pack of vitamins everyday, he will be fine.

  42. Kurt says

    I just finished reading ‘Paleo Solution’, and though I’ve been eating a high-protein low-carb diet for three years, I still eat a lot of things that aren’t Paleo. The science is compelling, so I’ll probably start a 30-day trial after my next blood test.

    I gave a talk at a software conference earlier this year about fitness for programmers (nutrition, posture, exercise, sleep; all things that programmers are bad at!). One person (who just published a vegan cookbook) told a friend of mine that he wanted to punch me because he didn’t want to know that much about his food. I had to laugh, because my friend was the one asking me to tell him how the food on his plate would affect him. So I was ‘that guy’, but only after someone else got me started.

    The conference promoters asked me to help them plan the food for next year’s conference. I actually kind of worried, because they’re veg[etari]an/inclusive/tolerant/ideological, and I prefer science. I’m thinking that I’ll put up posters to document and explain the food that’s offered, since I don’t think they’ll take any of my suggestions.

    I’d appreciate any tips…

  43. Shannon says

    I have always had a hard time trying to convince my family to eat paleo.. which they still don’t. BUT… what I’ve learned is that all you have to do is be a role model, it’s the easiest way, and you’ll stay happy in the process knowing it’s the best you can do.

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