Primal Minded Practitioners?

I know what many of you are already thinking: where do I sign up? Let’s face it: we organize much of our lifestyles contrary to CW specifically to live healthier and feel better. When it’s check up time, however, we find ourselves back in foreign territory. If it’s just an annual ritual, we can grit our teeth through the usual advice and make the best of it. On the other hand, if we’re receiving care for on ongoing condition and using the Primal Blueprint to get on top of our health – or if we’re just looking for more from our health care – it’s harder to skirt the Primal issue. Some practitioners will listen and offer gentle, cautionary advice. Others will agree to give your approach “a chance” before going back to their prescribed route. A few will unfortunately fly off the handle and tell you they will need to sever the treatment relationship if you continue on this ill-advised course. It can be a tricky, awkward situation to handle: living out your Primal principles while trying to garner benefit and help from your conventional (a.k.a. insurance covered) health care providers. A less explored question is this: what is it like to be on the other side of the fence? What is it like to be a Primal-minded medical practitioner swimming against a wholly un-Primal mainstream?

It’s one thing to swim against the current in your own personal life and quite another to openly navigate a professional career devoted to Primal health. What is it like to live one way but feel held back from sharing the truth with one’s patients and clients – the very people whose care is entrusted to you? Is there a place for Primal yet in the medical field?

The establishment, as we know, sticks with the same old, same old in rampant fear of litigation. (I’m sure Primal-minded practitioners are forever conscious of this anvil over their heads.) Ironically, for the establishment it doesn’t matter if conventional results themselves are lacking or even fatal – as long as the treatment regimen coheres with accepted CW. If the majority agree to uphold the same message, it’s the prisoner’s dilemma, I guess.

For many practitioners and health care students, however, the incongruence between common practice and they’ve come to know as common (Primal) sense becomes a source of continual stress and even fundamental questioning about their career trajectories. Here’s just a sampling of the mail I get:

My question is, what kind of careers are available to a B.S. in Nutrition with a primal/paleo methodology? I imagine I will have to forge my own path; despite the fact that the paleo/primal community is growing, it still isn’t generally accepted.

I’m dreading the idea of doing a year long ADA dietetic internship (despite being called in internship, I pay tuition and do not receive pay), followed by a state licensure exam in order to become an RD, when I disagree with the majority of the ADA’s positions! Unfortunately, opportunities seem quite limited without that RD after my name.

I’m an MD just finishing up my first year of family practice residency…, and I am going crazy!! I have had it up to here (my eyeballs) with modern medicine and how it exists basically to manage disease and not promote health. …My dilemma: I’m an MD who wants to do paleo, paleo, paleo! I’ve even toyed with the idea of getting out of residency after my intern year. I would if I could find gainful employment that would help me pay off loans and get on track to starting my paleo-centered practice.

Currently, I’m in my last year of school … studying nutrition and can honestly say the best thing I have gotten out of it has been the biochemistry classes I’ve taken. I’m going to get my RD credentials within the next year, but definitely don’t want to be stuck in a hospital treating sick patients and (for the most part) making them sicker or not helping them to my fullest potential. To me, that’s against my morals. I’m considering starting up a private practice that focuses more on the paleo lifestyle, but I was just wondering if you had any thoughts on other options for those of us with nutrition backgrounds.

The conundrum becomes this: how does a Primal practitioner maintain gainful employment and fulfillment in his/her chosen health care field? Sure, there are a few big names: Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades, Loren Cordain, cardiologist and blogger Dr. William Davis, and geneticist and researcher Cynthia Kenyon. Other than Dr. Davis, they’ve all gone the route of teaching, research, and publishing. They’re high profile, effective messengers for a better health approach and those who would follow and practice it. Nonetheless, barriers still remain in the day to day practice of health care.

The right path will ultimately be different for each practitioner. Some will choose to head out on alternative tracks in research, publishing, or less conventional health domains. Others will add their unique and needed expertise to change the system from within the heart of the beast – however slow and small (yet significant) their steps toward progress. Obviously, it’s not a black and white issue, and my point here isn’t to stand in judgment of anyone as they navigate the murky waters. It’s not about who can both live and “work” the most genuinely Primal. Rather, I think it’s a chance to further explore – and support – the opportunities of Primal minded professionals.

For those who choose to go out on their own, don’t underestimate the power of networking – virtual and old school. Get your name on the full array of low carb, paleo, and Primal directories. Get connected with local professionals and centers that cater to people who already view wellness (and health care) outside the restrictive bounds of CW: chiropractors, osteopaths, naturopaths, midwives, and even doulas (trust me – these women can network!).

Then there are the semantics. While paleo or Primal raises eyebrows, something like “functional medicine” (which approaches health in terms of nurturing the whole or “holistic” system rather than treating isolated conditions) can perhaps fly more effectively under the radar if you’re working in a more traditional health care setting. As a more widely recognized philosophy, FM can also garner you attention from more alternative/open-minded clients. The Institute for Functional Medicine is a pretty established and expansive organization with some serious networking clout. Granted, it’s more than just tomato-”tomahhto.” Functional medicine is a pretty big umbrella (one that might present its own conflicts), but it might be an area to look into.

For those of you looking for a Primal minded practitioner (or want to see how – and where) others are navigating the medical field with their alternative principles, you can check out Robb Wolf’s new directory (under construction as we speak) as well as Jimmy Moore’s catalog. You’ll find a lot of chiropractors, acupuncturists, osteopaths, and naturopaths. However, you’ll also find a few pioneering family physicians, cardiologists, bariatric specialists, and even a neurosurgeon! Folks, they’re out there. I think we’re just on the cusp of making these pivotal networking connections.

With that, let me open up the issue for lively discussion as a good old Primal community – a resourceful, thoughtful, informed lot if there ever was one, I’d say. Share your thoughts on connecting with Primal minded practitioners or seeking out professional networks that support Primal physicians. Thanks for reading today.

TAGS:  Big Pharma

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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186 thoughts on “Primal Minded Practitioners?”

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  1. I found a cardiologist who’s very much on board with paelo principals. I see him once a year for a full work up… full blood work (including vit D), ecocardiogram, etc. Good stuff.

    1. You are so very lucky! A friend of mine sees a cardiologist who has him on a strict CW diet. His wife recently posted in FB about how she was cooking bacon for his birthday – the one day a year he’s “allowed” to have it.

      Ugh! I just wanted to scream through the computer, but I’ve discovered that’s not a positive way to help others 😉

    2. I don’t have health insurance, so… ya. I prey that I am healthy. And why I live primal. Apple and bacon every day keep the doctor away!

  2. great topic! we are definitely out here, but having directories and networks will definitely help. The ADA still considers Paleo a fad diet, so they aren’t likely to help us reach people who are trying to find us any time soon.

    1. Yes we are out here! As a well read, primal-paleo-evolutionary-registered dietitian here in Manchester, New Hampshire, I am lucky to work with a physician, Dr Catherine Shanahan, who practices Deep Nutrition, focused on the roots of medical issues at a cellular genetic level. Marks carbohydrate curve is a great tool.

  3. The primal community had substantial growth over the past year. I know this because I have been primal for 13 months. I sense a MASSIVE growth over the next year.

    I firmly believe that it will not be long at all before more and more health related professionals begin giving advice based on primal principles. It will grow too much to not see this happen and primal living is simply logical living.

    Let us all keep spreading the word!

    1. If we all spread the word there isns’t enough meat to go around for everyone.
      Then we’re right back to square 1.
      Also, I think that the grass-fed community has grown, but not the primal one. People showing up at farmer’s markets may buy grassfed everything, but also march right over to the ‘organic’ soy and wheat and gluten free rice stand and make that their biggest purchase.
      Also, every year I’ve noticed people buying fruit out the yin yang..but ignore vegetables.
      I was the only 1 that purchased most of the diff. kinds of lettuce everyone had, the farmer’s told me so. I am also the only 1 that buys bones and organ meats…my meat farmer told me so.

      At least people are catching on to the whole factory farm meats = bad….grassfed/finished meats = good, thing. The grain/fiber community is higher than ever. I see it every 3rd day I go to the local supermarket. Also see more young people trying the vegetarian way of eating…I look at everyones cart! lol

      1. There’s definitely enough meat to go around… if we redefine the concept. I, for one, welcome our new insect edibles.

      2. Due to government subsidies & insurance that guarantee farmers a profit a lot of farmers have abandoned livestock production. Absent government intervention livestock is probably more profitable than grain production, and a lot less polluting to streams and rivers. You can thank Monsanto & Archer Daniels Midland for government involvement in agriculture.

  4. I have yet to start school, but going for a career that would promote primal health is something I get so passionate about… or maybe opening a primal restaurant. Mark, how did you start your supplement company?

  5. I was hoping to go a nutritionist route, but seeing how hopelessly intolerant with conventional wisdom nowadays, I find myself at a crossroad; in which I’m not willing to compromise.

    1. I’m a few months from graduating as a Family Nurse Practitioner and while I’m disgusted with the current medical system, I’m going to be in a good place for helping give people other alternatives to high-carb low fat. 🙂

  6. Also – if we are vocal about our lifestyle(s) with our practioners. If they see what we are able to accomplish with our own bodies, with our own diets & exercise, one-by-one we can open other eyes and ears…

    1. I wish it were that easy. You have to remember that many in the medical field have been very effectively brainwashed. They are sleep deprived for long periods of time while being fed CW. I’ve had my run in’s.

    2. My best friends husband is a Radiologist. He came down with thyroid cancer. He chose chemo ( came in a pill not a liquid) over surgery or diet. He believes 100% what he practices and doesn’t think that his job or diet had anything to do with him coming down with cancer. He thinks 100% that radiology kills cancer…that’s how brainwashed these medical professionals are!

      And when I told my friend how I eat now and finally lost weight and all my other ailments, all she said was “That’s interesting”. She continues to gain weight and b*tches about it, but won’t give up her eating out daily, sometimes twice, her soy milk and bran muffin in the morning and her margarita consumption in the evenings.

      It’s ironic.

      1. I’m sorry to disagree with your statement, but radiation therapy IS an effective means to kill cancer cells. It works. It kills the cells. But the problem with radiation and chemo is they generally target the healthy tissues too. There are also some well-known hereditary syndromes that have thyroid cancers as part of the constellation, so to assume your friend’s job and/or livestyle “game” him cancer is inaccurate. I am a physician myself. I’ve seen patients cured by allopathic medicine. It works. The problem is that its not the absence of disease that indicates health, and that’s largely how we are taught in medical school. Wait for the disease to pop up, then try to kill it.

        There are many emotional reasons why people can’t give up their bad habits too. I think some people are genuinely afraid to take control of their lives because they open themselves up to the perceived possibility of failing.

      2. My husband had thyroid cancer last year. Experts are increasingly finding solid links to environmental toxins. Although we’ve always practiced non-toxic living and eating, he grew up next to a farm that used pesticides. Although diet and a low stress lifestyle certainly can increase your overall health, it’s a mistake to assume they’re the only influences. More and more of us are living in a chemical soup (no matter how hard we try to avoid it). Industry — agriculture and otherwise — gets the green light to poison the environment and the population.

        1. Including more raditaion now being pumped into our atmosphere. I’m surprised Fukushima has not made it on to a blog about health. If you want to look at cancer caused by radiation, consider that 50% of breast cancer occurs in women living near nuclear power plants but they only account for 10% of the female population.

      3. Your’e an idiot & a retard “primal palate.” Seriously, stop giving people incorrect information.

      4. THANK YOU!!! I’ve had that same problem with MANY people. It edges on offensive the amount I get complained to when I’ve offered an alternative. To one I said: Look, you don’t have to go Primal, but at least try something new for once or shut up about your weight and food.

        She decided to shut up and continue her ways that have gotten her nowhere in YEARS.

  7. With the government certifying and regulating everything relating to health, this could be a rising threat to anyone attempting to practice medicine in contradiction to state dogma.

    Perhaps Primal/Paleo practitioners should create a religion, and all of those practicing health advise can call themselves priests. The government hasn’t attacked freedom of religion to the same degree it’s attacked freedom to conduct voluntary trade for mutual benefit.

    Right now, we have witch doctors masquerading as doctors, so one might need to reverse roles and have doctors’ rights protected by masquerading as religion-protected witch doctors.

      1. It already is a religion from the outside looking in. Even from the periphery looking to the fundamentalists.

        1. Not really. There is a lot of independent peer reviewed research out there that points to this being a very solid diet and lifestyle, overall. What’s more, there are thousands (tens of?) people who are experiencing great success following a simple prescription. Yes it requires that you change your habits, yes it requires that you possibly buck some existing trends, but that’s not a bad thing. Everyone used to smoke, then some people came out saying “Uh, I don’t think this is good for you.” Sure they were laughed at, at first, but now we have government ordinances that prevent people from smoking in public places. People used to think leisure suits were attractive. Again, cooler heads prevailed.

          Just because something is the status quo doesn’t mean it’s right. Just because it’s hard to do doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.

          Yes, I understand that people who have transformed their health and wellness using this method are eager and excited to share their experiences with other people. Same goes for ANY method. You have GOMAD folks, vegans, ultramarathoners, and and they are all the same way. It’s just the way of people. Find something that works and shout it from the rooftops. No, this isn’t something as simple as sprinkling a little magic fairy dust onto food before you eat it, yes it requires some work. But the benefits, for me, are worth it. And in the end, that’s what it’s all about.

        2. It’s true, I’ve had an argument with someone who seems to think I belong to a cult and have been completely brainwashed by it.. 😀 This is despite the fact that I gave numerous bits of research to support my argument, and his only one was “I’m a biochemistry student so clearly I’m the better informed” …

          All I can say is that if this is what people thing of as a ‘cult’, then maybe they aren’t all as bad as they seem!

    1. I think the Vegans already did this (“create a religion”) 😉

  8. I’m a nutritional anthropology major. I’ve found this to be the area I can learn the most from. I’m interested mostly in researching cultures diets in correlation with their common disorders and diseases. Anyone else in this field?

    1. Didn’t know that WAS a field, but it sounds totally fascinating. What’s your area of interest?

  9. When I was finishing up my Nutrition work, it was definitely frustrating! I had to choose the answer on tests that I knew they wanted, rather than the actual correct answer. I definitely tried to work in some primal influence in papers and written assignments, but it was a definite up hill battle. Now that I’m done, I’m able to work with clients from a primal/real food perspective, but getting here was tough.
    One piece of advice for women- look for nurse midwives rather than OB/GYNs. Even if you aren’t pregnant or planning to be, most midwives offer well-woman and yearly care and they are much more naturally minded.

    1. Katie, totally agree on nurse midwives. I wouldn’t trade my nurse midwife group for anything!

    2. Wise words Wellness Mama! When you’re pregnant you have to stick with an OB/GYN for 9 months in a very intimate fashion. If the doctor is against the primal diet, which most MDs are it seems, it’s going to be a battle at a really critical and vulnerable time.

      There are plenty of midwives out there who support the primal lifestyle and diet. In my own neighborhood I think there are two.

    3. I would take that one step farther and say stick with licensed (non-nurse) midwives if possible. I had one for my first pregnancy and she was wonderful. Unfortunately I ended up needing an emergency c-section. During my second pregnancy the midwifery laws and regulations in my state were in flux and it wasn’t clear if she could work with me again. I went to an OB for a VBAC. While my OB was of similar mind to the midwife, the CNMs that were part of the practice were anything but naturally minded. Thankfully I only saw them twice (when the OB was in deliveries) and the OB told me to keep doing what I was doing.

    4. When I told my midwife that I was paleo she seemed to glow with delight. I have been getting praise from them (the midwife practice I go to has 5 midwives) as well. They love that I am already apart of this lifestyle because they recommend it to their clients and they have had great success with those who have followed it 🙂 Midwives are just awesome in general though hahaha

      1. That is so heartening to hear! I’m seriously considering embarking on the path of student midwife and have been trying to pull up any information on midwifery with a primal/paleo sway (an area in which I would consider specializing). I thought this information would be easier to find, given midwifery is holistic, focuses on wellness, and de-medicalizing child birth. But it hasn’t been. I would LOVE to dig into some resources! If your midwives have any advice, please send it my way. I would be incredibly grateful 🙂

  10. I’m starting two years of school this fall to work towards an M.S. in Nutrition and this article couldn’t be more perfectly in tune with my own thoughts lately. I love the biochemistry of nutrition and currently have a B.S. in biotechnology. I see the schooling in my future (which will be all CW based) as a challenge, not a set back. If primal enthusiasts actually plan on changing how the population as a whole views food and fitness, we need to go the source of the poor information. For a career I plan on running my own personal website and opening a private paleo/primal based practice and won’t let down until I see both those things come to fruition. To anyone in a similar situation, all I can say is you’ll find a way to make this work for you if it’s your passion.

    Mark I love how you cover any and all aspects of a primal existence including very specific topics like this post covers. Thanks for all your hard work!

  11. I put my diabetic mother on a Primal diet 5 months ago (I am not a physician). She lost 22 lbs, started sleeping at night, lost a noticeable amount of swelling, lowered her blood pressure and blood glucose substantially, and went of 3 or 4 medications. Her doctor was thrilled! Just kidding, her doctor lectured her about not taking her meds. I was shocked.

    1. Your not alone Gabriel. After going paleo I lowered my triglycertides from 380 to 71 and have HDL and LDL nearly normal while movng in teh right directions sans the Simvastatin. I tossed it out. When my Dr. asks if Im still taking it I smile and say no, Im paleo. He just shakes his head, but cannot argue the hard evidence.

      My brother in law is a type 2 diabetic and has been since he was 11. He recently went paleo and has lost 30 pounds and reduced his insulin use by 50%. His Doctor also voices his concerns but cannot argue the facts.

      Ive just begun working with my parents. They are in their early 70’s and healthy. My father has already lost 20 pounds just by reducing his sugar intake and limiting grains. Breaking the sugar addiciton is tough, but in just a few weeks thay claim to feel better, sleeping better and weighing less.

      Let them scoff…we will save the world from CW

      1. You give me hope. Only my boyfriend has considered Primal.

        My parents are slowly beginning to think more primal, even though they can’t consciously see it. They eat substantially less white rice than they used to (we’re chinese)… but that’s about it.

        And my dad’s a lost cause. He’s the most stubborn man alive and loves his Costco dinner rolls and italian waffle cookies more than me (jk!)

  12. Dr. Davis’ blog and personal help, via email, helped me far more than the 3 CW cardiologists did over the past 10 years.

  13. The easiest way to be primal and employed is likely personal training. I have been barefoot for 3 years and have been doing “functional bodyweight training” with my clients since getting out of school. I graduated from Ohio State with a degree in exercise science. As a trainer I don’t have wear shoes, though I typically don fivefingers, and I can go against CW in both training and nutrition without so much as a raised eyebrow. In fact, I would say it says me apart and opens me up to a whole new set of clientelle.

    1. Wow, I could have written almost exactly the same post, except that I live in the UK!

  14. I am an RD, practicing in Canada, graduated about 20 years ago, in the heyday of the low fat movement. I have become more primal in my personal approach over the past 8 months or so, and am moving my family that way by inches. However, I have not yet had the opportunity to network with other RD’s in this area. From what I know of them, they are all mired deep into CW. As are most of my friends. I gently challenge them when they make comments in my hearing about low fat or low cholesterol and if they express an interest, I will give them a thumbnail sketch of the high fat approach. Only if they really ask do I go into further detail. My professional life is in geriatrics, long term care, where the requirements of the menu are strictly legislated, and of course, are CW-based. I work more on getting people off of excessive grains and processed foods than working at getting them on to “Primal” foods. I’m a big pusher of Vit D, though.

    I’m toying with the idea of some private counselling again, based on Primal principles. But my current work is very lucrative and keeps me very busy. Maybe as a retirement project?? By then, Primal may be more mainstream…

  15. To be fair to CW-minded physicians and other providers, they often get patients who are only willing to “manage disease”. I know several doctors who bang their heads against the wall trying to convince their patients to make even minor adjustments to their behavior, only to see those same patients again six months later having made no lifestyle changes. After a while of that, I might give up and just start prescribing pills, too.

    1. As a future physician, I see this a lot when I am shadowing and talking to docs. Primal-minded people are exceptional clientele who are truly motivated to have a healthy mind and body, while most people just want the quick fix: the surgery, the pill, whatever, as long as they can keep on keepin’ on.

      Plus, you have to consider the structure of the medical system. Most doctors simply don’t have the time to sit down and give a good explanatory lecture on why certain diets are the best way to go, especially because the vast majority of their patients will go home and ignore their advice.

      It’s tragic, really, but once I’m an MD I hope to have a side-job like a separate practice or consulting blog or something where I can really help people with their lifestyles.

    2. That’s what happened to me.
      I kept ‘preaching’ to everyone around me, showing evidence, giving a couple seminars, trying to convince friends…and what I got 99% of the time was a look that meant I should be in a nut house.
      People get annoyed after “grains are bad”…and generally don’t pay much attention to whatever follows those words. They just want me to shut up and move on.

      People are more than happy to talk about their diseases and seem to really enjoy the conversations. I don’t offer any advise anymore…they can all just sick my duck 🙂

  16. I start a program in Holistic Nutrition in the Fall here: I wasn’t interested in going the standard Dietician route for exactly these reasons. While obviously it’s not paleo specific, the education and qualification gives you the freedom to make recommendations based on what’s best for your client, and not what government food guidelines say.

  17. I am a naturopathic doctor and midwife in Arizona who advises all my patients, pregnant or not, to read your book and anything Paleo related. The patients who follow the guidelines do really well and the babies born to these mothers are very healthy!!
    A few of my colleagues also recommend Paleo eating habits/lifestyle, after reading the research and seeing results themselves, it’s hard not to!!

    1. Awesome! I’m glad to see a fellow naturopath here. I am currently attending a 4-year medical school to become a licensed naturopathic physician. We are a small community of professionals, but we are growing. I was always interested in medicine, but I strongly disagreed with the “treat the symptoms” approach. Naturopathy was the perfect fit. We focus on treating the cause and re-establishing the basis for health with the least invasive therapies. Unfortunately, much of what they are teaching us about nutrition at my school is very conventional. I just shake it off and continue to study my own Paleo stuff =) Paleo has worked wonders in my life and the lives of numerous friends and relatives. I know there are a few other ND students and chiropractors at my school who advocate paleo, too.

  18. I can definitely speak to this topic because I will start my dietetic hospital internship to become an RD in July. I fully believe in Primal principles, but I also learned a lot from my nutrition degree. Loren Cordain gave me great advice – learn what you can from your professors even if you don’t fully agree. In applying this, I let the calories in, calories out and whole grain comments roll right off without affecting me. As a result I have a great basis in science and a preliminary basis in medical nutrition therapy (as delivered by a regular RD). I also have considerably more insight into human health than I would have ever had by simply reading blogs (although I learn a lot from you as well, Mark). Ultimately I hope to have a private practice in nutrition counseling, which will certainly focus on Primal principles.

    1. David, from a fellow RD- YAY and welcome!!! You will do great! I admire and greatly appreciate your attitude of learning and taking what you can but not letting the teachings we get become absolute dogma. I take interns every year and will hopefully have one someday who is also knowledgeable about the Paleo diet/way of living (I always teach them a bit about it, some think I’m a wack job, but some listen and are open minded!). Best of luck to you in your internship

      1. Val,

        Do you work at a hospital that does a DI? I’m applying next year – it would be great to be able to apply somewhere where someone knows about the Paleo lifestyle!!

        1. No- I work at a regular old Continued Care Retirement Community in the Seattle area. My abilities to apply paleo diet principles in my work is definitely limited, but I try as I can. I serve a nursing home and 2 assisted living facilities as well as a larger population of retired seniors. There are at least 3 Didactic Dietetic Internships operating in my area- Bastyr, Sea Mar, and WSU (we have I think 4 undergrad dietetics programs in WA). I take interns from Sea Mar every year at my facility- Long Term Care and Foodservice Management rotations. Almost all of the local hospitals participate in the internships, we all have to work together to get all the interns through! And YOU will know about the paleo diet and lifestyle- don’t underestimate your value or expertise. You can teach them. Most RD’s respect that our field is under constant rapid change, and I see my interns as much as a resource of current knowledge as students- I’m constantly picking their brains (especially the Bastyr grads, they get naturopathic elements to their education that few of us have been able to in dietetics).

  19. I am a Registered Dietitian, and supportive of Paleo/Primal diet principles and practices (and live them myself and recommend them to others). Those with similar views and aspirations to become a R.D.- YOU ARE NEEDED. I sat at a RD conference last week in WA where an accepted presenter was an anemic, evangelican RD vegan (Gah!), and in another class the whole group laughed as a RD told of how she quickly turned a client off the paleo diet of her Crossfitter husband in order to increase her fertility (umm, sob.) Please see the fact that the ADA/Dietitians still see this as a fad as a challenge- an opportunity to teach, change, make a difference. Yes, you’ll have to spout the conventional wisdom tenets on exams, etc.- but then you’ll have the credentials to approach and teach doctors, RD’s at conferences, workshops, webinars. There are only so many Mark Sissons and Rob Wolfs around, they can’t speak at every medical nutrition conference- we need more Medical Nutrition Professionals who have had education in organic chemistry, biology, statistics, nutrigenomics, etc. who can stand up at conferences, and present the research, answer the challenges in ways/language that the MD’s and RD’s who are still laughing at the Paleo diet will listen to. Learn to play their game and win, don’t just refuse to play it altogether. The clients and patients of these clinicians need you greatly.
    Another tip- Private Practice. You can make your nutrition practice what you want of it. Dietitians with successful private practices who become specialists in a certain diet type/clientele are very welcome speakers at conferences. Yes, if you work in a hospital or nursing home (as I do) you are literally legally required to follow the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines- for the overall diet of your facilities. But you can tailor it for individual clients/patients. You can be creative with that as long as you are able to back it up with some credible sources and have the MD’s support. Teach classes on “Anti-inflammatory Nutrition” and include a sidebar on the paleo diet (you will get lots of interest if you promote reducing inflammation and pain!). Or teach a class on what’s the deal with gluten problems, the link between lectins and arthritis, possible links between diet and Autoimmine disease… I have success with MD’s and ARNP’s in reducing starches (instead of fat) to reduce calories for patients. Introduce green smoothies to your facility as a fun snack. Work with the kitchens to increase calories with healthy fats and real foods instead of sugar-laden Ensure. Get people onto fresh fruit if they must have dessert. There are ways, if you are stubborn, resourceful and creative, to gradually introduce Paleo principles into even the most conventional of medical nutrition settings. It doesn’t have to be a black/white issue. Change what you can when you can, keep pushing the boundaries and making progress little by little. People including doctors and nurses may pleasantly surprise you and be more knowledgeable and supportive than you think.
    Please don’t avoid a medical nutrition career because the establishment is not yet very paleo friendly- consider being one of the trailblazers who will make that change from the inside out.

    1. I like your way of thinking- made me think and I agree with you as I’m the one who avoided RD schooling because I couldn’t stomach the CW thinking.

      You gave another view I hadn’t thought of and I thank you.

    2. Hi Val, I am interested in becoming an RD and supporting primal/paleo principles. This is sort of a major life change, though, and I have absolutely no idea where to start. Do you have any tips or advice? Is there a way of becoming certified without having to deal with all the CW (are there integrative and natural programs)?

  20. I’m getting my BS in Biochemistry this saturday and will be starting medical school in the fall. Apart from networking, I intend to push against the CW as often as I’m able. I’m sure my professors will hate it, but a few ought to be swayed a bit. This boat is going to rock for sure!

  21. I think Mark’s onto something with the FM moniker. It seems like Kurt Harris already figured out that path himself, rebranding his approach (or at least repositioning) from Primal/Paleo to “Archevor.” The principles are the same, though a bit less dogmatic in general. Could be a nice blueprint for the rest of us to follow to help us make some inroads with beliefs that go against CW.

    Intertia is tough to overcome, and I’ve found that the more drastic the change, the greater the resistance. Putting a softer spin on it is, perhaps, a key.

  22. I’m going into acupuncture and herbs. Primal in my subjective pov is a great lifestyle more should try it.

  23. I am a chiropractor and push the primal/paleo diet on my patients like the CW MD’s push medications on theirs!!! It is the one and only diet that makes sense on a genetic level! Dr. Mark Chestnut actually teaches a version of the primal lifestyle in his wellness certification program for chiropractors!

  24. The conflict between CW & Primal does not even begin to touch the problems that ail the “health care industry.” In my opinion (1980 MD graduate board-certified internist), the very core of the doctor-patient relationship is rotten in many if not most instances. It is personified in a patient’s expectation that the doc is there to fix him/her, either with magic drugs or in some shamanistic bond that essentially amounts to the placebo affect (no disrepect–the placebo affect can be a powerful ally). It is further revealed whenever a patient’s response to advice involving changes they must make shows their unwillingness to be part of the solution. Often statements I make are challenged by patients–they want to know, for example, “if bread is so bad why do they sell it to us?” Try answering that question in a 10 minute return office visit!

    One pre-diabetic patient encapsulates this problem succinctly. She was perfectly happy taking increasing doses of metformin to maintain a near normal hemoglobin A1C level while enjoying her high carb diet and remaining 40 pounds overweight. All advice about inflammation, sugar, carbs, future risks etc. went unheeded. When I asked her finally, “Don’t you want to take your health into your own hands and try to get rid of this condition?” I simply lost her as a patient.

    In essence, many people want modern science to solve their problems. They are really not on board with doing the work involved. Sadly, much of this work is necessary because of the bad information that has been put out there by the health community and entities like the USDA. And doctors that want to make a living cannot bill for routine health maintenance except for the yearly physical (which is not even covered in many insurance plans). We get reimbursed mostly for treating illness, not creating wellness.

  25. I go to a natural healing type doctor that is also conventional when need be. He says he does not give out diets which I found surprising since that is am important part of truly healing. Maybe it is because people don’t stick to them anyway. All he has said is that I should keep my blood sugar balanced. I brought in my Primal Blueprint book last week and we talked briefly about it. I figured he would understand since it does go along with keeping blood sugar even. He wasn’t necessarily against it but did say that in the Bible it says something like “Wheat is the staff of life”. I really didn’t know what to say with that. I wasn’t sure how to argue with the Bible. I said something like “Well they were sprouted grains back then which isn’t eaten much today”. I just told him that low carb has worked well for me in the past and he didn’t say anything more. I think he was ok with it or doesn’t like to get into diet.

    Now on the other hand my chiropractor who I have been going to for 30 years and once told me to do a low fat diet 20 years ago has told me to stop eating grains because it causes my Hashimoto’s thyroid antibodies. I told him I thought grains were highly over rated anyway and I was planning on giving them up anyway. He said matter of fact…….”oh yes Paleo”. So he has changed his tune. I wish he had known this 20 years ago when I needed it but still change is good.

    I also worked with Nutritional/personal trainer guy for awhile that told me he got a degree in his field, tried to help people based on his education, and then found out the conventional way of thinking it didn’t work. So he spent all that money on a college education and then turned around and reeducated himself. How frustrating is that.

    1. How ’bout Cain and Abel, though? God didn’t accept the grain offering–he only wanted the meat. Try that on him!

      1. That approach might actually work on my friends..I live in the bible belt. 🙂

    2. Wellness Mama has an article on her website about the Bible and grains of biblical times and grains today. It is an interesting read. Basically she explains each of the following statements and more:
      1. The Grains of Biblical Times are Much Different Than The Grains of Today!
      2. The Grains of Biblical Times Were Prepared Differently Than The Grains of Today!
      3. Grain Consumption Didn’t Begin Until After the Fall
      Read the article for a complete explanation that makes sense.

    3. > He wasn’t necessarily against it but did say that in the Bible it says something like “Wheat is the staff of life”. I really didn’t know what to say with that. I wasn’t sure how to argue with the Bible

      Quote a different work of fiction. Maybe something from Star Trek.

      1. A few things about meat that stuck out to me, when I read the Bible. In the Old Testament the Jews preform sacrifices. I never remember them sacrificing wheat… It took MEAT! The Bible says that young Christians are given milk… But Strong MEAT belongs to strong Christians, men of EXPERIENCE! It says Christians that continue to feed on milk instead of MEAT are weak, defective, can’t focus on deep things and are not fit for business!! Hows that for PRIMAL!!

        1. Matt- your comment made me think of a funny idea for a paleo bumper sticker.

          “Meat NOT Wheat!” LOL

  26. I related so much to the first quote. I, too, and a dietetics major, and to become an RD, I have to do an internship through the ADA. I hope at some point to be able to forge my own path, possibly even write a book, or at the very least be able to specialize and help people with wheat aversions or celiac disease. I just can’t imagine going against my beliefs and preaching to patients about the “goodness of whole grains” and essentially having all of their blood on my hands, so to speak.

  27. I had a check up with the practice nurser here in England a couple months ago and she asked how I’d managed to lose 20lbs and get perfect blood pressure. I told her I was following the Paleo lifestyle – not only had she never heard of it, but after listening to it she said it sounded fantastic.
    So with luck, she’ll spread the word at my practice!

  28. Yet another reason why licensing cartels need to be eliminated. Florists, dentists, nutritionists, doctors, teachers, interior decorators…if the person can do the job to the standards and practices YOU, the consumer, demand, then pay him/her for his/her services. The practical demand for quality control of medical/decorating/educational/ professionals has created ridiculous bars to entry and a groupthink mindset to which one MUST adhere or become a pariah.

    1. I don’t think this is an entirely reasonable way to look at things. My father needed open heart surgery for a congenital heart defect (bicuspid aortic valve not lifestyle related). When you’re talking about a surgeon opening up someone’s chest, stopping their beating heart and replacing a structural element of their heart, you’re talking about something for which licensure is important. There should be a ridiculous bar to entry there… it’s a ridiculously difficult thing to do.

  29. Thanks for posting this, Mark. As a primal Neurologist it is certainly a struggle to practice medicine the way I want to. I do think the tide is slooowly shifting, but there are some pretty significant obstacles in our way, including:

    – aligning with chiropracters, naturopaths, etc. isn’t really a viable option. One of the reasons we have chosen a primal approach is because it is based on sound reasoning and science. Conventional medicine has its flaws, as we know, but it’s not because it isn’t science based. It’s that some of it is based on bad science. Aligning with traditions that are reject all scientific inquiry to me would further damage the credibility of primal practitioners, and condemn us to the fringes

  30. All of these comments are inspiring! I am a Family Practice Nurse Practitioner. I am living Paleo and find that I want to educate all of my patients….but must do so carefully. When I start going against what their endocrinologist tell them, I may be out of a job. So basically I take the approach of telling my patients that everyone is different and they need to do what is best for their bodies. Which could include the Paleo way and I advise them to read about it, try it and then form their own opinions. I try to live by example. So when my patients see that I’m feeling and looking healthy and energetic, they always want to know how I’m doing it. 🙂

    1. I too am a Nurse Practitioner and just starting eating paleo because I was having chronic morning hand stiffness. I was told by a rheumatologist I may possible have inflammatory arthritis. Paleo has literally STOPPED my hand pains and made me feel fabulous. I, too, try to encourage my patients to eat a “cleaner” lifestyle but it is difficult. Thanks for this post–I’m glad there are people out there that practice medicine and paleo living 🙂

  31. Thanks for posting this, Mark. As a primal Neurologist it is certainly a struggle to practice medicine the way I want to. I do think the tide is slooowly shifting, but there are some pretty significant obstacles in our way, including:

    1. Mandated “outcome measures”. In an attempt to assess health outcomes, the government has created outcome measures to assess a hospital or physician’s effectiveness. One of these, for example, is number of stroke patients discharged on a statin – the idea is no stroke patient should leave the hospital without them. And if I don’t discharge every patient hospitalized with a TIA or stroke on a statin, then the hospital can lose its stroke certification and a sizable chunk of money. And I could jeopardize my own hospital priveleges. Though I agree with universal health coverage, this situation is only going to worsen under the new health care system, which wholly embraces this concept.

    2. Patient apathy – I encounter so few people who legitimately want to make meaningful changes in their lives. The number of folks who are willing to make any meaningful dietary changes is miniscule.

    3. Our medicolegal system. If I advocate a high fat, low carb diet to a stroke patient, and then a year later they’re in the hospital with a stroke or MI, guess who’s at risk of legal action? It is very risky as a health care provider to make recommendations that are counter to the “standard of care”, regardless of what the evidence supports.

    Anyhow, I do remain optimistic and am very thankful of folks like yourself who lend a lot of credibility to this movement. With that in mind, I don’t think that
    aligning with chiropracters, naturopaths, etc. is really a viable option for us. One of the reasons we have chosen a primal approach is because it is based on sound reasoning and science. Conventional medicine has its flaws, as we know, but it’s not because it isn’t science based. It’s that some of it is based on bad science. Aligning with traditions that reject all scientific inquiry to me would further damage the credibility of primal practitioners, and condemn us to the fringes

    1. Amen! The lists of “primal” practitioners are littered with all manner of quacks, charlatans and phonies. It is to the point that as a physician, I almost want to avoid the terms “primal” or “paleo” to avoid being painted with the same brush as chiropractors, “naturopaths”, accupunturists, and other purveyors of woo.

      The reason to adopt a “primal” approach to life in because it is based on the best science available. Unfortunately, some people confuse the rejection of conventional medical approaches to health and disease with the rejection of science as a whole.

      1. I am so glad you have brought this up. There do seem to be a lot of quacks hanging on to the primal/paleo movement, which is frustrating for those of us who find the rigorous scientific approach one of the strongest aspects of the lifestyle.

    2. Yes. “Get With the Guidelines” is driving my neurologist husband crazy, for exactly the reasons you say. He is trying to find CME conferences that are coming from a primal perspective. Do you have any ideas?

    3. As a family doctor who is behind the low carb higher fat / protein approach due to its scientific basis, I also struggle with the risk of being labelled with alternative medicine. I am sceptical of medicine and CW (sceptical meaning I question it and look for the evidence), however much, but not all, of modern medicine has a great deal to offer us all. I just dont buy all of it. I am sceptical of alternative medicine and unfortunately I see little evidence for most of it. Once it has a scientific basis it ceases to be alternative. For example, schools of naturopathy include homeopathy as a valid treatment modality. I cant agree with that and do not want to be associated with it because it undermines my credibility as a sceptical, scientifically based practitioner.
      Some of my patients have been very receptive to a primal approach and the benefits have been huge, however many see it as a step too far. CW is very persuasive, so Mark keep up the great work and keep shouting loudly!

  32. Reading the comments, I’m really surprised the RD world is so anti-paleo! I’m insulin -resistant, and have worked with different RDs that worked for the endocrinologists treating my disease. They all advocated a primalish lifestyle, although not by name, and put me on meal plans that greatly minimized grains, milk and cheese, and were very, very anti-sugar and sugar subs. For example, I could have no more than a slice of bread with a meal, but 3-5 oz protein, few oz of fats, and as many green leafys as I could eat. They were very much anti-grain for people with insulin issues. So much of what I’ve seen on the no lists for paleo have been on my no list since I first got put on a diabetic mealplan. I see paleo as, rather than choosing between a slice of bread or a bigger bowl of blueberries, just taking the bread out of the equation.

    I felt like the 10 years I spent following their advice was was a great prep for paleo/primal. I have a friend with rheumatoid arthritis who was put on a gluten-free diet by the Mayo Clinic, and my son’s doctors agreed that pulling gluten out of his diet and going primal could have a beneficial effect on his seizures. Perhaps these good experiences were because they were in fields where sugar/gluten have been viewed as harmful for a long time? No one is going to argue a diabetic should eat pasta every day or that a ketogenic diet doesn’t help hard to treat seizures. If so, I’d tell RDs to look for jobs with neurologists, rheumatologists or endocrinologists!

    1. Thank you for the props for the RD’s you worked with- I’m so glad you had good experiences and they encouraged you in the right direction. We’re not all evil CW-spouting grain pushers (ha) 🙂 I agree, perhaps the RD’s you worked with were more comfortable with grain avoidance because of the fields they worked in. If you say “eliminate grains” most RD’s will immediately respond negatively. But presented as replacing grains with fresh whole veggies, greens and fruit, it’s not as alarming and pretty obvious (or should be) that vit/min/fiber intake could actually increase.

  33. Hi, I’m an avid Primal/Paleo lifestyler and a Cardiovascular ICU Nurse.

    Mark, this post couldn’t have been more timely!

    Since going primal a year and a half ago, and watching the amazing transformation in my own life, I have felt a tremendous disconnect between my personal primal beliefs about health and the beliefs that are espoused by the established cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons with whom I work.

    When patients ask me how they should modify their diets after open-heart surgery, I will discuss with them (in the quiet of their private rooms) the need to reduce their carbohydrate/sugar intake (including reducing their intake of whole grains!) and the need to increase their intake of grass-fed meats, fish, veggies, etc.

    However, when I pull out my lunch filled with lamb or beef or veal and later munch on some nuts and have a piece of 90% dark chocolate, all I get from the MDs or my fellow RNs are rolled eyeballs and the frequent, “I can’t believe you can eat all that stuff and stay so thin!” If they only knew that it is exactly *because* I eat all that stuff that I stay so thin…

    Anyway, just this morning, I decided that I’d had enough and filled out my application to a Master’s in Nursing Program to complete my Family Nurse Practitioner license with the intention of building my own primal (functional medicine) practice built around serving the best interests of my patients and society and not those of the insurance companies or the establishment.

    I can’t tell you how much I appreciate reading this post today, as an affirmation of my decision to finally align my professional practice with my personal values. This has been a long time coming…

    Thanks for everything you do!


    1. Anna, my post is right below yours. Sounds like we struggle with similar issues, just a different patient population! When I finally applied to and got accepted to school to be a CNM I finally felt like I was on the right path. Good luck with your application, I’ll cross my fingers for you!

  34. I am currently a nurse-midwife student, and have just discovered the primal lifestyle in the last 6 weeks or so. I could not help but notice that the things that have drawn me to this lifestyle are the same things that have drawn me to midwifery – what I like to think of as essentially a belief in the wisdom of mother nature. I also believe, very much so, in the power of science and research, and have thus taken great joy in reading Primal Blueprint, Perfect Health Diet, Kurt Harris’ blog, and the Healthy Skeptic blog.

    I had to leave my job as an L&D nurse in a typical hospital unit beacause I couldn’t stomach the farce of taking these poor moms and subjecting them to unnecessary “treatment,” essentially creating problems for them only to then fix them and say “gee, so glad we were here to save you and/or your baby.”

    I’m so looking forward to the day when I can practice as a nurse-midwife and truly feel that I am helping my clients.

    Thank you Mark and company! I just bought my pull-up bar to get started with those essential movements. : )

    1. I was a L&D nurse for 8 years. Most of the practice should be considered illegal. I can’t believe how we try and control nature and then act suprised when it backfires. Congrats on the midwifery!

  35. Wow! I’ve been thinking and thinking about becoming primal for weeks.
    I have celiac disease and have been gluten-free for 16 months, but still have on-going gut issues.
    I talked to my GP, who it turns out, is a big fan of the ‘caveman’ diet!
    Five days in, and I can honestly say I’m beginning to feel really good.
    We need more GP’s like mine.

    1. I have a good friend who has Celiac & therefore gluten free. for about the same amount of time as you Janet.
      I just got her to do a whole30 with me last month. In just a few days she noticed a huge difference. Now she’s been off for a few days & is ready to go back at it hard core. for good.
      Yes, we need more gps like yours

  36. I wish the medical folks and my insurance provider were on the same page…my provider wont pay and they wont accept my insurance because of it…So I torment my regular doctor. LOLOL
    Pretty sure that some day they will all realize that this way of life saves lives and saves money too…and then we can provide for all..from rich to poor…
    GROK ON>>>

  37. I’m lucky. I started seeing a new doctor who focuses her practice on people with diabestes. I told her that I follow the Primal Blueprint and when I went back in to dicuss my blood results, she told me she purchased the book, read it and approves of it 100% and will be sharing with other patients.

  38. My partner and I are both traditional herbalists (and she is a nutritionist as well.) We support our clients in moving toward a more primal lifestyle — meeting each where they are at and building from there. While Weston Price and vegetarian perspectives still dominate the herbal community, there are more and more primal herbalists out there.

  39. Just thought I’d chime in on this as it is right up my alley! I am an advanced practice RN in BC working in a remote First Nations community and have embraced the primal/paleo lifestyle.

    The incidence of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity in First Nations populations is disproportionately high. I am glad to report that many of our physicians, advanced practice RNs and nurse practitioners are proponents of primal-esque diets. It is essentially just advocating that our communities return to eating ‘traditionally’. We have had great successes in our communities with this approach.

    While CW still has a stronghold in much of modern medicine, this way of living is gaining ground up here in the frozen north 🙂

    (for those interested, this is a link to some info about a CBC TV special that follows one such community & a pioneering physician, Dr. Jay Wortman: or his blog

  40. I’m an epidemiologist and have many friends in the health sciences and public health fields. Here is what I would suggest:

    If you want a career where you don’t have to feel like you’re recommending a lifestyle that you would not advocate to a friend, then focus on the massive areas of medicine and health that are not about those things.

    Infectious disease is a perfect example, infectious diseases have been with us since paleolithic times, and the advent of medications to treat bacterial infections has genuinely been of benefit to human health and well being. Emergency medicine is another option, trauma was also a paleolithic threat.

    There is also a huge opportunity for compassionate primal health care providers to “meet people where they are” in their journey. Get off the couch. Eat more vegetables and eliminate false fats and sugars. Relax and destress. These are recommendations that are non-controversial.

    I work in research around drug abuse issues (particularly injection drug use). The neurology behind the pursuit of pleasure and the ways in which that goes very wrong in modern society is absolutely fascinating to me personally.

  41. It’s kind of like medical marijuana ,in a way.
    Yes there’s a history of safe use.
    Yes there’s clinical evidence.
    Yes it’s effective.
    But do we personally make much money off it ?

  42. I’m halfway through my doctorate in physical therapy, and fully plan to incorporate primal/paleo principles into my treatment plans, consultations, and education of patients. When you truly understand how the human body was built to move, you can go a long way in rehabilitating injuries and promoting real fitness.

    I just wish I had a physician near me who was primal-minded. It’s definitely frustrating trying to be healthy by basically doing the opposite of what CW doctors try to tell you.

  43. “Sure, there are a few big names: Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades,”

    Dunno about the others you mentioned, but the Drs. Eades are way too busy peddling their high-dollar precision slow-cookers to do anything as mundane as practicing medicine. I’m guessing selling stuff is more lucrative.

  44. It is inspiring to hear all the professionals out there who are having a ripple effect on spreading the word about paleo/primal.

    I just wanted to mention…..someone here had something negative to say about the Weston A. Price Foundation. I assume because they don’t totally follow the recommendations we believe in at first glance. Yes it is true that they promote eating sprouted grains and beans that have been soaked first before cooking. But I have been following them closely for years now and I over and over again also hear them tell certain people to eliminate grains for health reasons. To cut carbs for losing weight and cut grains for digestive diseases. They also promote eating raw dairy which seems to be a personal choice/option in the paleo/primal world. There are different ways of looking at that subject and I believe Mark isn’t totally against it and that is why he is Primal instead of Paleo right? I have heard many Paleo/Primal people still respect the Weston A. Price Foundation. They do a lot of good work fighting for sustainable farming and helping farmers being picked on by the government. They promote the eating of fermented foods which doesn’t get talked about enough in the Paleo world. On there website I have seen them embrace Paleo/Primal sometimes depending on the specific book. They give “thumbs up” for some and not for others. I think there is much to be gained by our coexistence.

  45. I liked this post a lot. I am going to medical school right now to get my MD and have had this on my mind a lot. I’ve been primal for awhile now and have enjoyed the health benefits this life style brings. I have also been studying the detailed science of the functions of the body 80+ hours a week for quite some time and I can see the sense in this diet. I think many of you would be surprised to know that the Primal/Paleo movement is even being heard in the MD schools. I have spoken with several MDs about it, had several several MDs start randomly talking to me about it, and have seen family practice MDs referring their patients to this life style. The science is there and the newer generation of MDs is starting to see it. I have already spoken with many patients about the health benefits of this life style. The crux of the problem is that many people don’t want to change. They don’t have the willpower, they don’t care, they just want a pill to fix their problems. They don’t realize that it’s only covering up the symptoms and not getting to the base of the problem. Primal/paleo living isn’t difficult, it gives more freedom. But for people who can’t even give up drinking their 120 ounces of coke a day along with their fastfood lunch and their donuts for breakfast, it’s a pretty far stretch. People are addicted to our societies tastey poisons. I would say only about 5% of the patients I see each day are willing or have even tried to make life style changes. I know I will do what I can in the future to try and help patients see that this life style is easier than they could ever imagine and they could be as healthy as they were when they were in their 20s, or possibly ever in their lives.

    1. I think that what often gets missed in the discussion about the problems with “conventional” medicine is that many times health care providers are simply providing the care their patients ask for. Like you rightly say, less than 5% of the patients we see (I’d put it under 1%) are actually willing to make lifestyle changes. The rest expect a quick fix, usually in pill form, and will walk out disgusted if instead they get a discussion about the value of lifestyle changes. And they’ll just move on to the next doctor. Unfortunately, the health care system we have, which is without a doubt subpar, is the one consumers are demanding. The system will change if the consumers demand it.

  46. I had a fantastic doctor when I lived in New York. But I have yet to find anyone who comes close in the L.A. area. I keep scouring Jimmy Moore’s directory, but the only one who is located even remotely close to where I live (and not really) is some dude who is pictured with his shirt off! Not exactly what I’m looking for in an MD. Why can’t I find a doctor who is natural/primal/paleo/low carb and also professional? Where is this person? I am going to keep an eye on Robb’s directory and hope for the best.

    1. There may be an independent nurse practitioner in that area. Moore does not like to list NPs, only MDs – but for primary care and many other specialties the NP (I am one if you couldn’t tell)delivers equal quality care. So ask via word of mouth and I’m sure you’ll find one!

    2. On a completely unrelated note, what is it about Paleo/Primal that makes guys insist on being photographed with their shirts off? I love the lifestyle, but I could do without all the blogs featuring shirtless dudes.

  47. Thank you for posting this. As a PA I have been having some of this dilemma as well. Do I go against the establishment or do I tell my patients about Paleo/Primal? I have lost 20 pounds and have another 80 to go but I feel that as the weight comes off and my patients begin to ask me about how I’m losing weight then it’ll be easier because I can say from experience, “This is how I lost it.”

    It would be nice to work for someone who is also Primal, so the links to the networks may be very useful here in the future.

  48. Thanks Mark, for all the helpful information you provide to those seeking a life of better health and wellness. I’ll try to keep this brief by simply confirming that there are options for those who feel they belong in the healthcare system, and yet are not sure where or in what position they can be of most aid. In my mind (and yes, I’m biased), earning a Doctor of Chiropractic degree will likely give them the most flexibility when it comes to helping others restore their health with conservative, evidenced-based care including nutrition & exercise recommendations.

    DCs are in short number compared to MDs & DOs, but are the next largest group of physician-level providers in our country, meaning that they can legally diagnosis and treat a variety of conditions and disorders. And compared to our more conventionally-minded colleagues, the DC’s philosophy of achieving maximum health and wellness in the safest, most efficient way possible is about as close to The Primal Blueprint’s goals as you can get. Are all DC’s there on every issue presented on your site? No. But, I’ll bet that many are in close agreement with the 10 primal blueprint laws, and as a recent graduate (2007), I can confirm that we’re only getting closer as we gain the layers of supportive research to back it up. Often times while I’m reading your posts, I even feel like I’m right back in advanced nutrition class, which was based in part on the works of Weston A. Price, who emphasized the importance of whole-food nutrition after his observations regarding the effects of modern food and lifestyle on a specific group individuals compared to their close relatives who still lived very primally. At other times I feel like I’m back in advanced physical therapy and rehab class, which focused on the science of using full-body, functional exercises to achieve meaningful strength and balance.

    In the end, we’re getting closer. In fact, I’m sure that the President of the American Chiropractic Association will have finished your book within the next month or so – I actually just put it on his desk today after getting it back from my sister Lindsay (the best yoga instructor in Ohio and fellow dailyapple reader). My twin brother and I will often refer to The Primal Blueprint in our clinic for those patients who want to learn the basics at a faster rate than what we can provide at periodic appointments. So, just to be clear, I put the book on Dad’s desk and told him to check it out.

    Thank again Mark, for helping people find a better path!

  49. One of the huge advantages of a primal approach to health is that you no longer need conventional health care practitioners. Why try to convert them with arguments and evidence when it’s much easier and cheaper simply to ignore them? Trying to conquer the system from within is a losing battle, because it really is about money, not health outcomes — and frankly, there’s comparatively little money to be made by putting people in control of their own health.

    Personally, I see a chiropractor once in a while and he’s able to adjust my spine and refer me for blood tests, which are the only two health services I’ve wanted since going primal. Prior to that, conventional health care practitioners were doing their best to destroy my health. Absent some major trauma, I don’t expect to seek their services ever again.

    1. I second you on that Timothy. I hardly ever go to the doctors. I’ve never been a big fan of having your doctor take care of you, ya know, depending on them. I’ve begun my primal journey very recently. The hardest thing for me is cutting out the sweets, but it’s getting there. Rather than argue or try to convince family, friends and doctors, the benefits of this lifestyle, what better way than to LIVE this lifestyle and walk in a primal body.

      1. I know how you feel, Jeremiah. When you first start the primal program, the results can be so amazing that you’re motivated to convert all the people around you who are still stuck in the CW cage. Truth is, a word to the wise is sufficient. But for those who don’t quickly recognize the logic of living as our ancestors did, all the arguments and evidence in the world are unlikely to make much difference.

        Hang in there on cutting out the sweets! The cravings take a long time to go away, but eventually they do. Make sure you get plenty of good fat and protein from whole food sources, avoiding the temptation to cheat, and you’ll break the sugar habit as quickly as can be.

  50. Timely post. A gluten sensitive individual with Hashimotos’s thyroiditis, hypothyroidsim, and familial hypercholesterolemia. since going primal in January, I have effectively conquered a nasty autoimmune colitis, and lost weight (on 2000-2500 cal A DAY!) to the point that I may have to decrease my thyroid medication. I see my integrative doctor for my routine visit next week. We’ll see what he’s really made of. This should be good…

  51. I’m just starting down the road to a joint degree in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition. The program I’m hoping to start Fall 2012 is offered by a leading Naturopathic University so they’re already leaning heavily toward the alternative side, and are well enough established to be able to help with placement on graduation.

    That said, I’m looking forward to starting a career where I get to help people remember how to play and eat like we were designed to!

  52. As a final year medical students, I have to agree that primal/paleo-thinking doctors are in a difficult position. Every exam I write, every presentation that I do has to be reworded to fit the mold. Don’t get me wrong, I want to shout my views from rooftops. But I also want to pass. I need to bite my tongue for the next few years until I can open my own general practice (i’m from Australia).
    But then other issues will arise.
    1. I can’t afford to be aligned with complementary medicine, because too much of it isn’t based on solid science.
    2.I have to avoid the “alternative” moniker to maintain credibility within medical community.
    3. I have to be wary of litigation. If I take somebody off statins and tell them to eat saturated fat and they go on to have a heart attack from years of eating CW, I am in the firing line of their relatives.
    Sounds like things are a little better in the US. Among my Australian colleagues, I am the weird one.

    1. With all due respect…medicine as it is currently practiced is not based on solid scientific research. The “lack of scientific research” is what most med folks fall back on when they want to discredit a modality other than their own. Examine vaccine “research”…the sacred cow of medicine. There are no double blind studies showing that vaccines actually work and are risk free. CW tells you they are but the research doesn’t exist.

      1. Please tell me you’re joking about vaccines.

        If not, you just made Anastasia’s point for her. (surely you’ve heard about smallpox, polio, etc. – they didn’t disappear because everyone got their necks cracked)

        There’s a huge difference between the Primal Blueprint, which is based on solid science and understands what that means, and chiropractic, which is the antithesis of science. (

        1. You said exactoy what i was thinking, Josh, I just decided to hold my tongue because these sort of discussions invariably end in medical doctor vs alternative therapies and subsequent “doctor ignorance” bashing. Many medical professionals are just as frustrated with the system as paleo community is, but we are the ones who have to deal with it on a daily basis.

      2. I totally agree Tracy. Lipid hypothesis comes to mind. I’m just trying to make a point that there is a danger in rejecting science altogether. I believe in medicine how it should be. It makes me sad that paleo community seems to be rejecting doctors en masse. I think there is still hope for us 🙂

  53. I discovered this site after a chiropractor gave me a WAPF pamphlet. There is hope out there!

  54. Or one of the Drs in training could get a grant and monitor a bunch of us as “test subjects”
    They could run all the standard tests – vitamin uptake, weight, muscle vs. fat, depression, etc…
    so it would be an “official” study

    And I wouldn’t mind being a test subject.

  55. I go to a chiropractor and also seek out osteopaths rather than MDs in hopes that I will find more “holistic” health care when I need it. My husband and I differ on this. I was at the doctor with him yesterday and the MD talked about this ‘specialist’ she had who would work with my husband on a diabetic-friendly diet that would also get his triglycerides in good shape. When we were leaving I got a glimpse of this specialist as she was sitting at her desk – over 300 pounds and could barely get out of her chair. OH boy, I may have problems keeping my mouth shut about all the good fat (and no grains) in my diet. I mean, I can’t believe that more people aren’t accepting of the whole Primal/Paleo lifestyle – I was skeptical when I first heard about it but when I started reading article after article (and great books too), it ALL MAKES PERFECT SENSE!!! And I know it works because I live it. Great article as usual, Mark!

  56. Primal living has been the Chiropractic standard for many years…while not recognized by CW, it has long been the standard for good health. This standard is one that has been promoted by PRINCIPLED chiropractors for more than 100 years. We straight, vitalistic, principled chiros are swimming against the tide in our own dysfunctional profession.
    Research studies at Cal Irvine Medical School have shown that Network Spinal Analysis improves a persons quality of life in over 100 different areas. There is no research like this in chiropractic or any other wellness profession.

    1. Gotta say…I’m thrilled to see so many other DCs on this forum.

  57. I am a board certified Family Physician 21 years now. Late fall 2009 I committed to the Primal Blueprint approach for myself and lost 42 pounds in the ensuing months and have maintained the weight loss and my health since. I am very close to most of the patients I care for and my own transformation usually gets the dialogue started. The CW approach has failed many/most of these patients and the primal approach is an easy sell. As a physician I have NO problem recommending the primal diet as well as Mark’s approach to lifestyle and exercise. I find no flaws in the scientific rationale for the primal lifestyle and really have no problem integrating these principles into an otherwise traditional approach to family medicine

    1. Let me know if you need a PA. 😉 I also have been sharing my experience so far and the science behind why I feel this diet works for me and will work for them. I’ve also handed my patients notes with this website, as well as paleo and primal websites so they can research it themselves and make an educated decision. Yes, I am a practitioner and so they may take what I tell them with more credit than it should receive, but I also want them to look into it and not just do this because I told them to. We are in their healthcare together, not just me telling them what to do. That can be a hard thing to remember with our current healthcare practices/environment and with certain patients who just say, “just tell me what to do doc.”

  58. That’s it. I’m going to go for a degree in Naturopathic Medicine and open a private buisness to help the primal community!

  59. how nice it would have been if all the practicing/aspiring health pracitioners had made note of what city they’re working in (hint, hint…).

  60. I’ve never commented before although I’ve been an avid reader of this blog for a long time. I am an RD and am so thrilled to see the comments from other RDs. We need to just keep doing what we’re doing and quietly (or maybe not so quietly depending on your situation) push concepts of paleo/primal when we have the opportunities. I recently taught a class about insulin resistance and introduced some primal concepts (but didn’t call it that!). People seemed to love it and want more of that kind of information. Keep up the good work and good luck to you who are just getting started. You are lucky. I spent too much time mired in the CW to the detriment of my and other people’s health!

  61. I own a fitness studio in New Zealand and we live and breath primal/WAPF here. I think it’s much easier, and also much more accepted, to be alternative in the fitness community. There are some good MDs around here, I personally don’t ever see a dr unless I have a burn or something, which is not generally a common occurrence!

    1. What’s the name of the fitness studio and what city? The wifey and I are thinking about moving to New Zealand so I would like to be around others of the same feather.

  62. Fears of legal action are often greatly exaggerated. Does anyone know of an actual lawsuit in which a doctor or other health professional was successfully sued for using Paleo principles in his or her medical practice?

    I’m not saying it could not happen, but medical practices that diverge from the common wisdom do exist in every field, and not all of them are being sued.

    1. You obviously don’t live in fear of this everyday. While the first Paleo-related lawsuit probably has yet to materialize, a doctor was successfully sued for telling a patient to lose weight and she claims she felt discriminated against. It’s reality for everyone in the medical field.

      1. Wow, seriously?
        So a doctor can’t tell a patient anymore that they’re overweight and need to lose weight?

        I wonder if the judge was fat, too.

  63. My husband is an ED physician and unfortunately, our Primal lifestyle has little relevance to his line of work. By the time they get to him with their chronic diseases, the best he can do is manage their symptoms. The ED is just not the place for lifestyle lectures. Although he will speak up if they ask directly, like the diabetic who needed something to drink and got a Dr. Pepper (!). He’s beginning to consider bringing it up for the many, many cases of anxiety he sees.

    This is really an issue for primary care, and down the line, the endocrinologists, cardiologists, oncologists, etc. I will say that my husband knows someone who opened a weight-loss clinic and they had never heard of Paleo/Primal. Ugh. So much progress to make.

    On the other hand, Mark is right, many in the naturopathic realm have taken this up. I know several folks who’ve gotten off gluten and sugar that way. Maybe someday the rest of medicine will catch up.

  64. Best doc I ever visited was a osteopath in the Navy while I was in the Marines. I had some serious depression going on from a “Dear John” I got from the ex that manifested in weigh issues and drinking. He gave me the most uncomfortable survey of about 100 questions that, at the time, seemed very invasive. He was trying to get to know me as a person before treating. While other specialists were trying to give me drugs (still have the unsubmitted script for Prozac somewhere), he treated me as a person. I always said that I would go to osteopathic medical school one day…when I grew up.

    I live in Korea and visited an international clinic. The Korean doctor reminded me of the Navy doc. However, when it came to food, he gave me the CW rhetoric with an asian slant that included tofu and rice. Since going fully primal about three weeks ago, I feel great and have lost weight. I plan to get some blood work done this summer as part of my yearly check. I would love to find a doc that understands the lifestyle and isn’t brainwashed by CW, USDA, and others.

  65. “Someone was once sued for something” is a poor argument for the idea that it is more likely that you will be sued for giving “Paleo” advice and using “Paleo” principles than if you don’t. Americans are petrified of being sued. I know that. The question is this: Has anyone ever been sued for using Paleo principles?

    Also, the truth is, if you are a professional, you do what is best according to your reading of the facts. If you don’t, you are not a professional, you are just a money-grubbing hack. So, stop using “someone might sue me” as an excuse for making and keeping people sick.

    If you can’t do that, r get into advertising or something equally amoral but at least less pretentious.

    1. It’s great that you feel that way, but when it’s your livelihood and career on the line, you might feel differently.

      There is something called “The Standard of Care.” A lawsuit is judged worthy based on how far your treatment deviated from The Standard of Care. How far do you think Paleo/Primal principles deviate from The Standard of Care? When there are other doctors willing to be paid by the defense to testify against you and how incompetent you are, how much are you willing to stick your neck out? An argument could be made that Paleo falls outside that standard. And juries have shown over and over that it has less to do with facts and reason than it has to do with who has the most dramatic story.

      What do you do for a living? Could you lose your house for a mistake or even something that goes wrong beyond your control? Your savings? Your kids’ college money? Until then, perhaps you shouldn’t tell others what to do with their jobs.

  66. I am a chiropractic doctor practicing with a group of chiropractic doctors, medical physicians (pain management, orthopedic surgery, spine neurosurgery, internal medicine and neurology), physical therapists and an acupuncturist. We specialize in the management of acute and chronic pain. I have a special interest in applying Paleolithic Dietary principles in the management of chronic pain because of the anti-inflammatory nature of the diet. As you already know, patients who reduce inflammation with Paleolithic Dietary changes usually report significant improvements in general health.

    A few post here have derided alternative healthcare as unscientific. This may be true often times but very little of conventional medicine is truly Evidence Based Medicine. Witness the Food Pyramid. For those who want to avoid unnatural approaches to health, scientific alternative practitioners do exist. Be a good shopper and you can find one.

  67. I just got accepted to nursing school and just in my prerequisites I have encountered the CW many times and have just had to hold my tongue.

    As for the comment about not enough meat to go around if everyone went paleo? I actually feel that I don’t eat all that much meat in a day. Probably less than someone who eats the SAD. Just got rid of the grains and sugar. I think there would be plenty of meat if we get rid of the feed lots and just use the old “grass farmer” method. Better for the environment as well.

  68. So pleased to read this article… have never felt better since moving to a primal way of living and the more I learn the more I find myself challenging CW… am passionate about preventative medicine and am suggesting this way of life to all those I see who are willing to take this journey…

  69. I do believe the tide is turning if it hasn’t already turned. The reason is results. A paleo/primal nutrional lifestyle works, period. Friends and professional colleagues of paleo/primal people see the results and many eventually buy in.

    This morning while driving to work a popular morning talk show had a “wellness” expert on. I expected a bunch of BS. Instead I heard about Gary Taubes, the evils of HFCS and carbohydrates and so on. When asked what we should eat his response was protein, vegetables and fruit. Lots of eggs and try for free range. The host asked if this mean’t that he could eat lots of steak and the answer was YES.

    What a breath of fresh air. This “wellness expert” runs a very well known fitness center with many high profile professional athletes.

  70. I would love to network with any of you RDs in the NYC area! Good to know all these people are out there. Thanks Mark for writing this article!


    Find Dr. Hilda Maldonado. She’s in Westlake.

    An MD metabolic specialist, and functional medicine practitioner, with a semi-Primal nutritionist in her office! She’s expensive, but if you can afford it, I can’t recommend anyone more highly.

  72. If they want litigation it’s high time to litigate conventional wisdom and all of the harm that it does. I am all for personal responsibility but i am sick and tired of bad advice being given the imprimatur of government.

    As far as my own personal situation goes, my MD does not need details of my daily diet. He wanted to medicate my high blood pressure rather than ask me to lose weight, he doesn’t have to know I ditched the meds and brought things under control myself.

  73. I fought with doctors for months after my daughter was born, with all those well baby checkups with genuine fools who just wanted to push vaccines and other nonsense. That’s all those checkups are for, I determined. Just to make sure kids get vaccinated. After about 6 months I quit going to receive my new dose of guilt trips.

    As a result of their lack of understanding and refusal to accept the way we are, my daughter didn’t see a doctor even once in 4 1/2 years.

    Finally I went in search of an ND and quickly found an inexpensive naturopathic/acupuncturist educated at Bastyr that is absolutely great for us.

  74. I was very lucky in my former city to have been regularly seeing a family physician (for some digestive issues – ulcers, etc…) who aligned himself with a paler philosophy before I knew anything about the diet and lifestyle. He really rubbed my vegetarian stepfather the wrong way by giving him his patient handout of dietary recommendations (nix the grains, up the veggies, have the meat). I wish my stepdad would have co sidered his advice before getting pancreatitis.

  75. My aunt (RN) seemed pretty skeptical of the primal way of life when I was explaining how I was dropping weight and looking healthier, but didn’t say anything.

    I haven’t discussed it with my cousin yet, who is a cardiologist at the same hospital. I’ll be interested to hear what he has to say.

  76. There is no money in a Primal consultant.

    There is money in forcing statins onto people. Lipitor rakes in like 330 billion dollars or something stupid like that yearly.

    The body doesn’t intentionally break itself, the things you do to it do. Eat healthy and avoid stupid mistakes — you may not need to see a doctor until your death bed.

  77. My husband and I are very fortunate! My husband went to a new doctor who was 38 years young and thinks outside the box. He is the one who recommended a Primal/ Paleo diet to him to loose weight and for his high cholesterol/high blood pressure. We immediately ordered the books and jumped in with two feet. We’ve never looked back. We both lost weight and feel great! My husband’s cholesterol dropped 50 points and his triglycerides dropped a whopping 175 points! The doctor was so impressed that a patient actually stuck to it and had successful results! Most people just can’t commit permanently if at all and it’s frustrating for the doctor. He said most people just want to be given a pill for everything. Very sad!

  78. I actually stubmled onto Paleo after being diagnosed with gluten intolerance as well as battling Hashimotos/thyroid disease. Funnily enough – a good place to network with like minded MDs etc are by googling “thyroid good doctor list”….treating thyroid disease is actually somewhat controversial and I’m obviously onboard with docs that advise patients to avoid gluten….Integrated Health Docs I think they are called. Anyway, my current MD def is about lifestyle changes/diet as opposed to purely medicating. Worth a look.

    Apprently Gluten Intolerance and Hashi’s are very much linked

  79. While only tangentially related, I find hope in today’s comments. I am a PhD Sociologist sometimes working on public health issues. It can be trying in meetings to bite my tongue while epidemiologists and hospital practitioners talk about diabetes, obesity, and so forth.

    I first came to low carb with the Eades around 2000 and was astounded at the implications that the food and health system was actually at the root of many of the problems they purport to help. I thought for certain that science would win out. Especially, as one person after another added their anecdotal successes.

    But alas, it turns out the forces of darkness are stronger than I thought. Now I enjoy my better health, better weight, and bite my tongue as my vegetarian colleagues struggle with health issues. This includes, perhaps not ironically, at least one vegetarian epidemiologist who is over a hundred pounds overweight. Without picking on her – I never wanted to be overweight when I have been – I just can’t imagine how she is processing the evidences of her successes and failures regarding diet and body management. How can her n=1 empirical experiences resonate with her scientist’s mind? Cognitive dissonance? Or in more colloquial terms – How’s that working for you?

    I do also think that it’s important we remain openminded too, so as to avoid the rigid and unempirical closed-mindedness with which we charge the vegans. We must remain willing to challenge our own assumptions in the paleo movement.

    1. You are right that your credibility as a proponent of public health depends on your own example. Good on you for practicing what you preach. You are regrettably in the minority.

      It is mind-blowing how many physicians are overweight or otherwise obviously unhealthy. Even the surgeon general is obese. The cognitive dissonance is unbelievable. One would have to be blind to take health advice from these people.

      Would you trust your finances to someone who couldn’t get out of bankruptcy? Would you take music lessons from someone who couldn’t play a note?

      Physician, heal thyself.

  80. Well – I am a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner with a private practice and I have been prescribing primal nutrition and lifestyle measures of sex/sun/laughter/move your body etc for the past 8 years. Clients refer via word of mouth and the bulk of my new clients are consistently middle aged pre or post menopausal women who have put on weight, developed anxiety, poor sleep maintainence and low energy. To them – the primal lifestyle is miraculous. Their PCPs do voice dissent sometimes (well, often) but generally quiet down when triglyceride levels plummet, HgB A1C levels plummet and mood and energy issues resolve. It does seem like nearly every day I have to dissuade a woman with a total chl read of 170-200 not to accept the statin her PCP prescribed…But this population is highly motivated and most of them even finish the homework I assign them of reading Taubes GCBC – and I know that is asking a lot. I tell them not to simply take my word, but to read and become owners of this health information so that they can firmly advocate for themselves (such as when that statin is pushed their way).
    And I have the greatest practice, filled with people willing to work hard for their health who want to know why they were never told any of this before…

  81. Since I have a panel of experts at my disposal, I’ll repost a question I had asked a few months ago but received no reply to.

    Right now, I’m not interested in losing weight. I’d estimate my body fat at 17-18%, though it may be lower. BMI is around 18.7-19.0. I’m very active and work out daily, including strength training every second day.

    It sounds like the people who went primal did so because they had a lot of weight to lose. I think it would be dangerous for me to lose fat, right? I’m really just looking to stay as healthy as possible, since I’ve never had blood pressure, blood sugar, or cholesterol problems. (I actually have low blood pressure!)

    My diet is close to primal; never been a big meat eater, but I love chicken and fish, so I have those regularly. I’ve never had a problem with carbs, but as I said… just looking to try something new, but not sure if it’s really for me. Any comments would be appreciated. 🙂

    1. Well…consider yourself your own bio-lab test steak..Go with the Primal Diet and some of the more Primal type exercises that you cant get in a gym. Go find a rock to move or roll along. A log to carry..things that fire neuro-muscular connections of the “no handle” type. Do you climb?..trees/rocks/boulders are fun and increase strength and agility. See if this process improves your functions or you in any way..And dabble in a few different kinds of fat, remember that man eats many things and I think an occasional adventure into a different food cant hurt might clear the pipes at worst..but that’s not so bad after all. Try it for a Month solid..after even one month you may see changes…or not..but then you have a baseline to use that your brain is ok with.
      GROK ON>>>

      1. I DO climb trees! It’s fun… not so fun when you miss a branch and break your ass falling out of it, but hey. I mainly use the gym for free weights and occasionally treadmill during the winter when I can’t walk outside. I do primal inspired exercises with them.

        Thanks for the reply. I’m normally adventurous with my health, but when it comes to fat loss I’m a bit hesitant for the reasons above (Where would I lose it from? lol.) I’ll give this a go and see what comes of it.

  82. I have degrees in Exercise Science, Nutrition, and Nursing. It was a mental struggle the entire way. I’m so tired of rx of aerobics for hours and hours and eating high carb even for diabetic patients. Most of my acquaintances think I’m crazy. I do love to see there eyes light up, when I say I can eat an entire pack of bacon and never gain an ounce, sleep like a baby, and have so much energy I feel like I’m going to explode! In the end, they always think its some fad. Their eyes dim in disbelief. I wanted to further my career and get my NP, but I don’t know… I can’t stand the thought of learning more useless information. Branching out on my own to educate the public would be so much fun, but I fear no one would listen.

    1. they listen….not all, but then again you cant ever expect 100% from humans..they are all too different…
      And remember that using your brain is a wonderful way to burn energy and information is only a platform..the delivery and modification of this information is for you to develop and deliver in your views….Use the medical base as a base…and then show & tell what a modification can do..
      GROK ON>>>

    2. If you get your NP you can go private (in most states anyway) and have this health teaching as your specialty. That’s what I did. People love it because I understand their medical histories and have nonmedical interventions to offer them. I have hundreds of patients. They listen. They work their butts off. And the majority get relief and feel stronger and healthier. Even if their diet and lifestyle changes won’t cure a chronic condition (some things are set in utero or before) they will get some relief.

  83. I will repeat: if you are a professional, you do what is best according to your reading of the facts. If you don’t, you are not a professional, you are just a money-grubbing hack. So, stop using “someone might sue me” as an excuse for making and keeping people sick.

    And I will add that that is apparently exactly what some people do. The CW people have an excuse: they believe that what they are doing is for the best. The others do not. They are cowards and hacks.

    As to whether I put my principles on the line, you bet I do. If someone wants to sue, bring it on. I will sue them back and off we go. If you are such a coward that you are willing to help kill your patient in order to avoid legal trouble, then GET OUT OF MEDICINE. You are a disgusting fraud.

  84. I am a level one CrossFit trainer as well as an alternative minded pastor. I think the definition of CrossFit might be helpful: Constantly varied FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENTS executed at high intensity (or relative intentsity as needed). Primal/Paleo is functional in everyday life-it allows us to function at a higher level of intensity and the food choices are constantly varied, seemingly without limit. If I were a full time health care professional I think I’d look seriously at the functional part.

    1. Dr. Mercola’s insights are very much in harmony with those of the primal/paleo community. I find him an invaluable resource for health.

      1. Agreed. Doc Mercola is my other main source of information. He sells products also, but so far, everything has been the best quality I can find on the market. This guy is passionate about educating “why” also. BTW, if you’re going to do a protein powder, his is the best. I mix in some coconut oil with it and it is quality stuff. I HAVE to do this since I contract in Afghanistan and Iraq, where they feed us mostly filth. His vitamins are top notch, so I consume them like their going out of style. With that combination, and doing my best to be as primal as I can over there, has saved my health while being overseas.

  85. Sherry-Thanks for the referral to the article on grains and the Bible. I’m sending it on to my doctor. It was a great article.

  86. ..whatever happened 2000 years ago does not affect me today.

  87. To Larry Clapp

    I agree with you in many ways. I didn’t want to turn this into a religion debate and I surely wasn’t going to tell my doctor that I have my doubts about the Bible being totally on the up and up since I know he does believe in it. I may very well annoy him eventually as time goes on with just me challenging him. I didn’t think I needed to do it over religion too. Ha!

    And Matt- I did like your extra tip bits of Bible info……those were good ones to use in a debate.

    1. > I didn’t want to turn this into a religion debate

      That was probably wise. 🙂

  88. My doctor has been taking care of my family for 40 years. He’s always been a proponent of alternative medicine and low-carb, though he’s never called it that. Just always told us that the best way to lose or maintain weight was to watch starches and to keep the fat moderate, not too low. He agrees that fat has been unfairly villified and encourged us to include things like olive oil (duh, we’re Italian, not much prodding needed there) and grassfed meat. We’ve been lucky.

  89. It’s unfair for some medical professionals to belittle complimentary and alternative professionals as being quacks and not interested in scientific evidence. Just as with conventional medicine, there are good and bad within the complimentary and alternative therapies. As a massage therapist working within the confines of medical practices not only did I provide evidenced based care but I also had to have at hand scientific research supporting everything I did or said to provide to both patients and physicians. Many of the practitioners I know in other fields did the same as well. Just as there are some MDs who don’t research studies beyond what the drug reps tell them as they drop off samples and lunch, there are good MDs who are on top of the research out there. The same holds true for any health care profession. In the end we have the same goal, giving our patients the best care they are willing to receive while maintaining our license.

  90. *sigh*
    I wish it was easier to be a paleo-doctor. I am a doctor aspiring to become a general practitioner. Can’t wait to get my own practise so I can start relating real health to my patients.

    At the moment I’m employed and have been told (repeatedly, since I’m a bad listener) that I should stick to the guidelines. The warning “or they will take your license away” have been hung over my head more than once. I hate it.

    I keep telling my patients, in roundabout ways, about paleo and it’s benefits. Tell them to dig up some research and try it for themselves.

    I have tried to sway my colleagues by talking about “good calories, bad calories”, Robert Lustig, all the great blogs (you’re all great guys 🙂 ) and by showing them the awesome results I’ve had. But to no avail. So now I have to do it the old-fashioned way.

    I’m planning to write a PhD about paleo and diabetes type 2. Researching for it now so I just hope I can make it come together. Maybe that will sway some opinions. And maybe people will keep being pig-headed and afraid of change :S

    We’ll see.

    1. I realize this was a long time ago, but did you ever write your PhD?


  92. My uncle lives by the paleo/primal lifestyle and introduced it to my dad, who introduced it to me. He is an OBGYN and counsels many of his patients with good paleo/primal nutrition. He’s even had some “success stories” of women who have lost weight using his nutrition advice. I think the more we spread the word- the more widely accepted it will be. I work in Labor and Delivery at the hospital and many of the other nurses have seen my success and want to give primal living a shot for themselves!

  93. I think finding a doctor that agrees with the primal lifestyle would be wonderful. My dads doctor actually told my dad this was a diet he needed to be on because his Health was so bad, he ignored her at first but once my husband and I changed our lifestyle he decided to try it out and has been doing great since. I thought it was cool that his doctor was the one who first introduced him to the lifestyle.

  94. As a doctor practicing in a massive public hospital, going against the mainstream can be very difficult. When you consider the shear volume of sick patients that need urgent medical intervention, just getting these unfortunate persons well enough to survive is a challenge. Most times, even conventional diet advice is ignored, much less advice that goes against everything they have heard about health! Many times we simply don’t have the time for a prolonged discussion of diet. This sickens me, because it is glaringly obvious that these people never had to get this sick in the first place. The convention places so much emphasis on treatment (absolutely necessary and lifesaving in many cases), but primary PREVENTION is ignored. Unless the message can be gotten out to the masses, this will be a never-ending cycle of illness and death. People need to know that there is hope. Illness is not inevitable! Practically though, this seems an impossible issue.

  95. Well in 3.5 years, guys, I’ll be added onto this list of primal/paleo docs. First year of medical school and our curriculum is VERY nutrition based, with top notch explanations of ketosis, the benefits of high fat, low carb diets that induce lipolysis and inhibit lipogenesis, eating a rainbow of vegetables, etc. It might just be that my school is very modern, but we constantly get the message pounded into our heads that nutrition plays a key role in health and that we as physicians will have the role of helping our patients realize this.

  96. I have a situation kindof adjacent to this, I’m a longtime social worker looking into starting nursing pre requisites, and of course am dreading whatever nutrition class i’ll have to take, as well as likely bring the odd person out in general in terms of my views on disease care vs health promotion. So I’m thinking about pausing for a bit and doing some more general foundational science classes. So my question is, which direction would best suit me, I have seen Robb Wolf say to just start learning the basics of biochemistry and go from there. To try and put more clearly, How can I start learning about the basics of nutrition and science in general, and would I be better suited getting into biology or biochemistry or something else? (And as well, of course supplementing those classes with my own online following of all of the doctors and etc. that we all follow and read.)
    Thank You.