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Thread: Convincing your friends page

  1. #1
    Hedonist's Avatar
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    Convincing your friends

    Primal Fuel
    "How do I convince my husband/wife/father/etc. to become primal?" We see posts on Mark's Daily Apple about that constantly. It is painful to watch people we love, or even strangers, suffering from ailments that could easily be eliminated by primal.

    The short answer is that you probably can't.

    The most important thing is to live the blueprint yourself. If you do, people will eventually notice changes and ask you how you do it. No amount of persuasion will work unless you walk your talk. If you haven't had any dramatic change, e.g. you just lost 10 lb., have noticed lots of minor positive signs, and feel a lot better on the blueprint, you could point the person who want to sell to success stories.

    Don't rant. Unless you are trying to convince someone in desperate need of primal (e.g. with a life-threatening illness), don't be a missionary. Don't get on a soapbox. It almost certainly won't work. Even if you think 99% of the food in a typical grocery store is poisonous, frankenfood crap, don't say it. Don't tell the person that their favorite comfort food is tasteless, disgusting crap.

    Do not tell the person you want to convince that cauliflower is a good substitute for rice or mashed potatoes. Cauliflower is delicious, especially roasted. Maybe you think it is a good substitute for rice and mashed potatoes. To the average person, saying things like this just makes you look like a nut case.

    Don't go off on not shampooing or using deodorant. That isn't going to make a good impression on most people.

    Wearing barefoot shoes, or going barefoot, is a wonderful concept, which I follow. It is not core primal.

    Observe how Mark goes about promoting primal. No rants, sense of humor, plenty of information to back up what he says, reasonable and forgiving of human nature.

    Catch people when they are receptive. This is the time of year when they will be making New Year's resolutions. Those will probably involve signing up for a years gym membership with the intent to do aerobics every day, eating an unsustainably restrictive diet, and otherwise setting themselves up for failure. How about saying "It seems like you do this every year and it never works." (They nod.) "This year, how about trying something you can live with?"

    This is also the time of year when people have miserable colds and flus. How about saying "I rarely get a cold/flu anymore, and when I do, it is mild." "How?" they ask. "I get lots of vitamin D." Be ready to back this up with facts.

    In general, catch people when they feel hopeless about everything they have tried or realize they have let themselves go to pot.

    You might make people feel receptive with tough love. Not my style but it might work for you. "If you are not going to take care of your health, hurry up and die of a hearth attack while I'm young enough to date other men."

    If the person (usually male) is an ex-combat soldier, college athlete, watches extreme cage-fighting or similar, and has a good sense of humor, you might try guy insult humor. "WTF, what's with the spare tire?" Actually, if they are receptive, you might as well introduce them to the whole balls to the wall Grok thing.

    For most people, forget cavemen! The caveman theme may highly motivate you. If so, great! It won't motivate 95% of the people you want to convince. They find it lame, gimmicky, obnoxious and irrelevant to their lives. They have images in their minds of Flintstones, old B movies, and cartoons. There are more accessible images of paleolithic hunters and gatherers, like American Indians, whom nearly everyone admires.

    Another way to make primal accessible is to say it isn't very different from how most people lived 100+ years ago when most people lived on family farms. Aside from eating grains, they lived very primally. The person you are trying to convince probably has or had an elderly relative who ate bacon and eggs every day and saved the grease to cook with, and lived to be 90.

    Focus on the key tenets of primal. Eliminating junk foods, sugar and wheat. Getting enough vitamin D. Becoming more physically active. Getting more saturated fat. If the person does those things, they will start to feel better.

    Make a really delicious primal food for them. I am cautious about sneaking primal foods into someone's diet, especially if they have told you they do not want to eat something, but there are plenty of ways to do it in an ethical way, e.g. shifting from using vegetable oil to coconut oil and butter.

    Invite the person to do something active with you. Going for a walk, shooting hoops, dancing, whatever you think would engage them.

    Do not refer the person to other experts with slightly different takes on paleo, not even Cordain, Wolf, Eades, until the he or she solidly understands the blueprint and has started living it. You will only cause confusion.

    Do not refer someone directly to MDA directly, wonderful as it is. Refer them to specific posts that will be helpful. If you refer them directly to MDA, they may be freaked out by a post by Mark about how to cook a goat's head.

    Don't just hand someone a whole stack of research, such as Grizz's excellent list, UNTIL the person has shown serious interest in primal and has questions. Same with the Primal Blueprint itself.

    Even if you try all these suggestions, they may not work. Let go.
    Ancestral Health Info

    I design websites and blogs for a living. If you would like a blog or website designed by someone who understands Primal, see my web page.

    Primal Blueprint Explorer My blog for people who are not into the Grok thing. Since starting the blog, I have moved close to being Archevore instead of Primal. But Mark's Daily Apple is still the best source of information about living an ancestral lifestyle.

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    kennelmom's Avatar
    kennelmom is offline Senior Member
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    um. yeah. what you said!!

    The goat head comment made me LOL and is spot on...that probably would have frightened me away in the early days!
    Heather and the hounds - Make a Fast Friend, Adopt a Greyhound!

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    AWESOME post Hedonist! I've been known to sneak primal/paleo stuff into normal conversation. I realize how evangelistic that would have sounded. I like your suggestions and have to incorporate them in my everyday life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kennelmom View Post
    um. yeah. what you said!!

    The goat head comment made me LOL and is spot on...that probably would have frightened me away in the early days!
    Goat Head is my favorite, something that my mom would make often while growing up until the doctors scared her about cholesterol and such.

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    Very well put, Hedonist.
    Sometimes you need to be told the truth in order to be able to see it.

    My journal

    I see grain people...

    Exist in shadow, drifting away.

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    As you said, Hedonist, ultimately, it is always their choice. I agree. It is well put =)
    I did not quite like the "tough love" thing, though. I think emotional blackmail is no wise suggestion. Was it really what you had in mind ?
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    Exellent post Hedonist. Thanks for taking the time and putting so much into it.

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    very well said, Hedonist, and something I need to hear! (as noted in my rant thread, lol!)

    I remember a university lecturer I once had who was concerned about the state of the world (mainly from a cultural point of view) and we would discuss all sorts of things during our coffee break. Once I said to him "Well what can you do, how can you change things?"

    And he said that' all you can do is live your own life as well as you possibly can'. That is all you are responsible for and all you can change. It's a bit like that popular maxim 'be the change'. (wonder where that came from?)

  9. #9
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    Perfect, Hedonist! I haven't read your post all the way through yet (got babies climbing on me), but every sentence I read I found absolutely spot on. What you're saying is true no matter whether you're talking food, exercise, educational pedagogy, religion, or anything else you think someone else might benefit from a new outlook on. Live it. Be kind and gentle. Respect where they are. Be open to learning from them. Give them the essence, not the details (they can go for details when they're sold). Keep to the essentials and avoid the fringes (goat heads, lol).

    Well done!! Should be bumped every day in perpetuity!
    5'4" 36yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
    Starting: 185 lbs (March '10)
    Current: 132.5 lbs
    Goal: 135 lbs (Hit Jan '13)
    Beating bingeing since 10/31/11 on my Leptin Reset journey

  10. #10
    Hedonist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Furan View Post
    As you said, Hedonist, ultimately, it is always their choice. I agree. It is well put =)
    I did not quite like the "tough love" thing, though. I think emotional blackmail is no wise suggestion. Was it really what you had in mind ?
    Like I said, not my style. That is an actual quote from my water aerobics instructor. Despite having an aerobics instructor for a wife, he was way over weight, not getting any exercise, smoking and eating junk food. What do you do in a situation like that? Watch the person die?
    Ancestral Health Info

    I design websites and blogs for a living. If you would like a blog or website designed by someone who understands Primal, see my web page.

    Primal Blueprint Explorer My blog for people who are not into the Grok thing. Since starting the blog, I have moved close to being Archevore instead of Primal. But Mark's Daily Apple is still the best source of information about living an ancestral lifestyle.

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