My buddy Frank has been on the side line for a quite awhile. He outwardly supports many Real Food bloggers and is very active in the paleo/primal community. He has been watching, observing, learning and taking it all in. Frank is ready to take the plunge as a blogger! Frank just graduated from IIN and is now an Ancestral Health Coach.
We were recently discussing some of the ups and downs of blogging. Frank decided to to a guest post for me on some of the recent negativity going on in the paleo community. Not because he wanted to focus on negativity…but because he wanted to open the doors to discussing better ways for people to work together rather than attacking. This is true in this small community, but also in life. We do so much better when we support each other and work together, rather than trying to tear each other down. I believe that you truly gain the most respect and admiration by promoting your philosophies rather than attacking the philosophies of others. This is true in all aspects of life!
“Labels are for Jars, Let’s Just All Get Along”, by Frank Hults
You know what I love about Paleo? The community. It is such an open, helpful, loving, caring and interesting group. These health seekers come from all over, from all sorts of backgrounds and from all walks of life. This community has been extremely supportive of me on my Health Journey. Friendly advice, kind words of support and encouragement. Just good old-fashioned nice.
Paleo has caught some media attention and is now a common gym-hold name. I have noticed a parallel rise of trash talking, nay-saying, and denying of the paleo/primal movements validity. I see tried and true principles of health and nutrition (like the real stuff guys, not that USDA food politics) poked and bullied. This is not at all unexpected, nor is it enough to weaken my spirits, save that the offending spouters of this ridicule are indeed paleo people. It appears that as the paleo movement gets more and more popular and less and less the underdog, it falls out of favor with some of its one time supporters. You have the same people who have fixed themselves metabolically with real food and a paleo lifestyle, find one little non fundamental piece that they have an issue with, and they completely disregard the entire paleo movement. It seems to me if you support the underdog, just for sake of it, you separate and alienate yourself from any core value or meaning. Now that the paleo/primal/real food movement is gaining in popularity and getting some notoriety, its less and less of an underdog. Some paleo advocates whilst technically still overall supportive of real food and paleo, outwardly attack other bloggers. Some turn their back on it outright and rail against it, even as they continue to reap the benefits from it.
I once looked to the future and wondered if this was the beginning of new world of truth in dieting and lifestyle recommendations, nutritional theory, general human wellness. I had visions of paleo eaters and Vegans, together, skipping and frolicking through organic kale fields as grass fed cows and pastured chickens played at our vibram covered feet. Some, not all, not even most but some of these real food bloggers needs a healthy dose of civility, respect and dignity with a side order of compassion, support and open-mindedness like Ryan Gosling needs Curtains after a matinée showing of the “notebook” during a bird watching convention.
I understand the use of humor as a tool to get your point across more than most, but I can’t help thinking there must be a better way to voice a difference in paleo, than attacking other’s philosophies. The difference between funny and being an ass is NOT a fine line. Particularly if fueled by jealousy, ignorance, close mindedness pride or ego. When a person in the nutrition and wellness realm stoops to infighting about differing ideals or slight variant of views, it contributes to the dogma, confusion and hard earned credibility. That is the exact thing we are all working against. This is the stuff that got us here to the crossroads of “unhealthy” and “confused” in the first place. The message and the coaching then cease to be about truth and pursuit of knowledge and end up being about some silly little detail, or the argument itself. Did Robb Wolf start a 30 pieces of bacon a day blog and get all “militant paleo” on Paul Jaminet over his recommendation of safe starches? No. because they are both adults and they act like it. They are humble professionals, with mutual respect, open minds and in control egos.
I would rather spend my time building something up that I believed in rather than tearing something down I disagreed with. I think we would get a lot further in this pursuit of nutrition, wellness and truth if, as whole, we spent more time building and nurturing than attacking and reacting.
There is no shortage of work to be done or people to help. There is however a shortage of wellness practitioners that can help. The more we tear each down, the less effective we become and less professional we appear. The more we work together the greater our reach and positive influence and more powerful the benefits to our clients. There is a limited number of wellness practitioners and even fewer alternative and holistic practitioners. However what there is no limit or rationing on in this world is love, kindness, teamwork and respect. I think Jerry Seinfeld said it best when he said “Look To The (glutenfree) Cookie”. And still, somehow Foodie harmony eludes us.
🙂 Cheers, Be well my friends! and be well to each other. May your way be green and golden!
Frank Hults CHC
Frank Hults is Certified Health Coach.