I'm not talking converting everyone in the world to Paleo (lovely as that would be) but how do we fight against the tide of poor dietary advice we've all grown up against? Some of the UK people who are 'in the know' give their thoughts here ...

In my previous post I asked how you can get kids, partners and other family members on board with Paleo. Now I'm going wider and deeper ...

How can you convert the general public,loved ones,friends to a Paleo/healthier way of life? 

Most people who fall into Paleo (imho) do so because they break (health-wise), or want to heal naturally, or are desperate to lose weight or want to muscle up (correct me if I'm wrong there!). Those who don't 'do Paleo' often see it as too big a jump from their modern western diet, think it's too expensive, too much meat (!), or think it's dangerous(!), or don't think the family will support them (the list goes on) .... can they be converted, should they be converted and if so, how?


Below are the thought-provoking comments from some of my favourite UK health folks who are 'in the know':

Jo Romero, Comfort Food Bites


I've found that when friends saw the changes in me after going paleo (mentally and socially as well as physically), they started to ask questions and became interested in diet and nutrition, because they could see what it had done for me. My psoriasis disappeared, I became a normal, healthy weight for the first time in ages, had fewer skin breakouts and I was just generally more relaxed and happy. 

If they're interested and want to know more, I tell them to just make a few changes to begin with, if that's what they're more comfortable with. Avoiding processed food, refined sugar and adding in more veggies are usually the first things they'll try. Then I've found that often they've started to see results in themselves too and they might take it a step further into full paleo if they want to.

There's never any pressure, they have to want to do it for themselves if they want to. I'm often told that this way of eating must be more expensive, but I always say that it's evened out really because I'm not buying all the starchy, sugary junk food I used to and going for veggies, seafood and meat instead.


Izabella Natrins - Food Health Lifestyle


We are SO ingrained with 'there's a pill (or operation) for every ill' culture, that getting the message over that food-is-medicine, that it will likely take generations to change mindsets. In my experience, most people only really start listening when they break (and some don't, even then) but they struggle to take committed inspiration.

And (and it sounds a bit cliched now) by actually walking the talk yourself and quietly demonstrating the change you want to see. I'm hoping to live well into a vital,energetic 90s as proof of the pudding.... tho' I don't particularly want to look like one! :) As for kids - maybe the only thing you can do is stick to your knitting 80% of the time and make it clear that the other 20% are treats!


Donna Crous, Eighty 20 Nutrition


I believe that as much as we need to lead by example within our family for our children, we also need to show friends a more positive approach to eating. I initially started off telling everyone about Paleo and became almost evangelical but soon realised that if I pushed nobody would listen.

We are bombarded with diet information all that time and I feel that if friends and family can see that we have been eating the same "diet" for six years and we look and feel great, then there is no pushing required, they will eventually come and ask for the details when they are ready. We all need to be mentally ready to take on a big lifestyle change.


Mark Whelan, Paleo Castle


For the every day person, the Paleo paradigm represents a huge change in so many ways. So how do we help others to make a change? I think that if the initial motivation is there, people need to focus on doing it one step at a time. I didn't just go cold turkey and start spending a fortune on grass fed meat. I experimented with cutting out grains, and lowering sugar, and kept taking steps advocated by influencers I had grown to trust.

Eventually, when you're ready, making the more "extreme" switches, like eating just grass-fed meat, just happens naturally as the next step in your progression. So to summarize, I would say that less is more. Let's try and help people to take the initial steps - to cut out grains, sugar, and vegetable oils, rather than bamboozling them with the science as to how they should eat some phytates but not too many, or how GL differs from GI.


Vanessa Woozley, The Life Sutra


You have to find what works for you family, I can only tell you how it works in ours. I'm a strict Mamma, we have a paleoish way of eating and she has the rest of her life to rebel but I want to put down a good foundation that will help her to understand why we eat a certain way. I focus on how foods can make you feel and I try to always make substitutes so she understands it's not about deprivation.

Minna Wood


I don't think we can (or even should) try to convert other people to paleo or any other diets. It has to come from their own desire to change, so for me it's about educating and showing a good example which may eventually inspire them. They will take action whenever they are ready but we have to accept that some people - unfortunately - may never get there. I've decided not to waste my time and energy for people who aren't interested. 


So, there you go, that's what they think, how about you? Is it just about education, education, education and setting the right example for others to follow? Can we rewire our thinking (or the thinking of the current and future generations?).