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Paleo Marketing 101: How people make money using shameless megadoses of self-promotion

15 Aug

Hi! Kamal¬†here, with some commentary about the business of paleo. There are only two kinds of people in this world: those that make a living off of paleo, and those that don’t. An increasing number of people in the latter camp want to get into the former camp. In the past year, several paleo books have cracked the top 10 nutrition best-sellers on Amazon. It’s a good time to get in the game.

Do you want to cash-in on the “paleo” concept? If so, I’ve got just one question for you: how good are you at schmoozing?

Don’t hate the player, hate the game

The paleo industry isn’t quite like big pharma, tobacco, or oil. It’s an industry where the “leaders” often got there because they discovered substantial health benefits from this way of eating and living. Enthusiasm for nutrition can lead to desire to help others, and the natural desire to make a living off of it. Heck, I briefly considered this path to help pay the rent during my nutrition PhD program, until I realized how bad I suck at networking. Although the market for “paleo” isn’t greasy and disconcerting like the aforementioned industries, you should follow these steps if you want to succeed.

Step 1: Make friends in high places

See this list here? Make at least two friends from people in the top ten of the list. The list is old and subject to change. For example, Paul Jaminet was busy writing a book, so he dropped much lower. And you don’t want to make friends with him anyway, because he is too nice and genuine and soft-spoken, which combined makes him a terrible self-promoter. Thatpaleoguy, aka Jamie Scott, is way down there. He’s very smart and is a funny dude, but he will not help you get customers or book sales. And he doesn’t live in the US, which makes it MUCH harder to use him for networking purposes.

Step 2: “Use” social media

Why is that in quotes? Well…there’s “using social media” and “USING social media”. The one in caps seems like this to me: post things on twitter and facebook every day. Repost things from your archives. If you don’t have something new or creative to tweet, retweet a bunch of shit. A little disclaimer: if I were trying to make a living by being a nutrition coach or author, I’d probably do the same thing ūüôā

Step 3: Don’t get too sciencey or controversial

First off, don’t write posts like this one. Also, don’t get too into complex issues. You know that online battle between Stephan Guyenet and Peter from Hyperlipid? Or Guyenet v. Taubes? Or Lustig v. Everyone? Total waste of time. You gotta spend that time marketing yourself. This only half-joking though, because your target market is just trying to get healthy and maybe lose some weight. They don’t care so much about Neuropeptide Y or Glucagon-Like Peptides. On the flip side, this means you’re likely not bringing anything new to the table. Maybe a mishmash of recipes and paleo guides. So I guess you pick your target: helping the average Joe or informing the curious already-paleos.

Step 4: Don’t ever, ever say you don’t know

You can’t put stuff like this into your book “I haven’t done a systematic review of the effect of omega-6 on autoimmune disease, but I suspect that for some people this may be an issue.” Or “Perhaps, for some people, this may aid weight loss. But for most, weight loss is complex and prone to failure, and even paleo dieting may fail.” You have to sound like you know what you’re doing. Don’t show weakness–you’ll get killed in the Octagon. Personally, I’m a fan of books that cite every single thing, and not just with a reference list at the end. The mass media doesn’t like that kind of thing, so it won’t help book sales.

Step 5: This is not a step, but a gratuitous list of non-marketing smart nutrition bloggers

If you’ve been “paleo” for a while, your thirst for knowledge might take you out of the mass-market territory and into the subtle and technical territory. My first online exposure to paleo, in 2007, was to Big Daddy Sisson and Chris Masterjohn. While Sisson can market for sure, he is smart as hell and has churned out an amazing amount of helpful information. And is anyone really smarter than Masterjohn?

Well, these three guys are right up there: Paul Jaminet, Prof. Dr. Andro, and Lucas Tafur. ¬†In case I somehow get called out for not listing any women, let me say that Melissa McEwen’s site is loaded with practical info, science, and social observation. ¬†And obviously Denise Minger with her insightful study tear-downs.

Even though Jaminet has a book, and Denise will have a book, I’ll just say it flat out: the most interesting blogs are from people who market themselves very little or not at all. That’s just the nature of the beast, since they address different audiences and can blog about whatever the hell they want to blog about. For more information about this post, please check out my linkedin profile. (kidding! how dumb is linkedin?)

Weekly Round Up

23 Apr

Here’s a recap of links and photos from the HBP discussion group. (Note: Meredith is fully aware that “Roundup” can be used as one word but separated it into two the first time she used it on this blog. Therefore she is stubbornly sticking to this incorrect version. Suck it if you don’t like it!).

Dennis has some nice purple kraut going!

Thanks to Pat (@nutritionator)¬†Highbrow Paleo has a newspaper based on some #Paleo tweets. It’s a neato idea and you, YES YOU can subscribe if you’d like.

Supplement with red meat for your health.

Paleo Republic has nearly all your Paleo food ideas covered (except for thedomesticman.com). Check out this meatza.

It’s been badmouthed for years, but caffeine is making a comeback. So many interesting uses – treating dry eyes for example.

Some members are tackling this list of 45 foods to never buy again but dreaming up Paleo versions.

Light pollution is now considered as carcinogenic as smoking.

Julia's egg salad, Bubbies pickle, some local bacon & U.S. Wellness liverwurst

Superhuman Radio interviews Loren Cordain.

Should kids go vegan? 

Who else out there is having this issue? Lately our bulk turmeric is VERY dark. And this is from those of us who live on totally different sides of the US. Some think it's a soil PH think other attribute it to copper. Anyone else seeing this?

J. Stanton gives us something more to think about in terms of food reward.

Ancestral Momentum tackles the controversial (who knew??) subject of cold thermogenesis. 

Need a cookbook devoted to insect recipes?

Our buddy Tony was on Low Carb Conversations, a Jimmy Moore podcast.

The diet world is getting weird, or weirder.

Cholesterol just may be the thing to help us fight cancer.  

People who eat a lot of flavanoids, particularly blueberries, have lower rates of diabetes and mortality and they raise adiponectin levels. Hear more here.

Aspirin increases AMPK.

What‚Äôs crazier: eating plants and animals (aka ‚Äúpaleo‚ÄĚ) or eating beaver anal gland secretions?

Russ's lettuce chips.

Another variable to add to the pointless chase for eternal life we are all compelled to partake in.

Why are Asian rice eaters thin? 

Shift work and diabetes.

Hunger and it’s ability to help partition your calories where they need to go – away from fat and into lean tissue.

Stabby’s Corner (direct quotes from the Raccoon itself in response to this article about science failing us):

¬†“The scientific method is great, it is just that when there’s lots of money involved it kind of disappears out the window. Clinical trials are great and teach us a lot, and people just need to have a view of the context of things. There are too many myopic specialists and not enough generalists to put the whole picture together.

I think that a bunch of passionate people who can read and think without bias, like Highbrow Paleo, yay, is the best way to use science to get to the truth of the matter. Couldn’t we slash cardiovascular risks using science if we came up with recommendations? I’d like to hope so.

Most epidemiology should just restract itself and go home. Give the money to people who are going to do clinical trials that are smartly conducted and based in evidence.”

Carly's wild smoked salmon fillet with ginger, garlic, lime, gf soy sauce and chilli flakes, kale pan fried in butter and rice with butter. ūüôā

Fire Adaptation: Activate Your Ancient Pathway for Optimal Health!

7 Apr

“Like a moth to the flame, burned by the fire. My love is strong…can’t you see my desire?” ¬†–Janet Jackson, “All 4 U”, April 21st, 2001

Why is fire so important?

Hi, I’m Kamal, from paindatabase.com. For as long as I can remember (meaning this morning…it was a rough night last night), I’ve been obsessed with fire. Last week, I was excited to see that researchers have found evidence of humans using fire one million years ago. So don’t TELL me we’re not adapted to fire. Nuh-uh. I will burn you.

So that’s the con of fire: it can burn you. The pros? Let’s do a “Being John Malkovitch” and enter the mind of an early caveman using fire. We’ll call this specimen “Brendan Fraser” for ease of discussion, or Fraser for short. There likely weren’t quite as many websites around back then, so Fraser would be really into obtaining food and having sex, but not always in that order. A popular viewpoint among researchers is that Fraser would have been able to eat more delicious, grilled meat and tubers than he would raw foods, leading to all kinds of changes with brain size and other physiological characteristics. At night, Brendan would be sitting around a campfire under the stars with his lovely, natural, hairy-legged better half. What next? Sex. I hypothesize that there would be even MORE sex than before fire. Spoon when it’s cold, copulate when it’s warm. That’s my motto.

Okay, let’s get serious. What are the physiological benefits of heat?¬†

Let’s talk heat shock proteins. First, let me admit that all I know about heat shock proteins is what I could gather from half an hour of research. Next, let me tell you that they are quite interesting: when cells are exposed to elevated heat or certain other stressors, heat shock proteins do all kinds of cool shit. Like regulate tumor response, prevent cell death from excess stress, and influence aging through hormesis. Is this important for humans in warm vs cold climates? Ehhh…as you can imagine, our internal temperatures are quite well regulated, although environment/diet/hormones etc do play a role in core temperature. And you can influence heat shock proteins through other things such as exercise and fasting. But all this is pretty interesting nonetheless.

Infrared saunas to the rescue?

A regular sauna heats your body by circulating warm air. An infrared sauna transfers heat more or less directly to your body using special lamps or bulbs. It’s like the sun, but in a smaller, closer package that doesn’t provide you with vitamin D. Did you know that there is actually a decent amount of evidence supporting the use of these heaters for chronic fatigue, chronic pain, high blood pressure, and some other stuff? It’s actually quite a good adjunct treatment for dialysis patients, to boot. The mechanisms are up for debate. Sweating out toxins? Maybe. Increasing core body temperature? I dunno. But yet again, something to think about.

Core body temperature, lifespan, and everything else

So now that I’ve convinced you of nothing, but maybe given you something to chew on, let me wrap this up with a couple more thoughts about heat and humans. Will living in a warm climate, let’s say Hawaii, make you live longer or kill you a few years earlier? If hypothetical effects of ambient temperature on lifespan are a driving force in your life, well, that sucks for you! Hawaii is awesome, and I’m 82% certain that living in a balmy climate would extend my life through not having to deal with cold weather (but to each his own, as always).

Creating mutant mice that have much lower core temperatures leads to a 20% longer life. Great! But I try not to base my life on studies of mutant lab mice. I found a bunch of weird studies supporting the opposite argument, like this one hypothesizing that babies gestating in warm years suffer health consequences when living in cold climates. But really, study-battles can only get you so far. It doesn’t take a formal study to show that people generally like warm temperatures. Brendan Fraser certainly tried to avoid the cold, by huddling near the fire, using blankets, and having hot hot sex. And you can live to 121 years of age living in the sweltering Amazon, eating bananas, grilled meat, and tubers.

So while the historical roots of the human genome are fascinating, I personally strive for happiness over hacking influenced by potentially¬†erroneous¬†hypothesizing. Sure, the Earth’s temperature has fluctuated wildly¬†up and down in the past few million years. But just because it was sweltering hot when mammals began to diversify, doesn’t mean I’m going to wear an infrared sauna suit three hours a week. And while I’d use cold baths if I get neurotic about burning a few more calories, or as an adjunct experiment for difficult-to-treat conditions, I’m not going to do four hour ice baths to get in touch with my single-celled ancestor from two billion years ago. Keeping things hormetically fresh by changing up the temperature…fine. But I get a pass on this one, because of my Indian ancestry. My predecessors haven’t seen snow in (???) thousand years. So to emulate my ancestors from Gujarat, India, all I have to do is keep the thermostat between 75 and 101 degrees. (!) Now it’s time for me to resume dreaming about living on the beach. Until next time…stay thirsty, my friends.

Word Vomit – Episode 1

5 Apr

I’m Pat from¬†nutritionator.com.¬†I suck at blogging.

I need to write more often. It’s the only way I’m ever going to get better at it and reading as many blog posts, articles, journals, updates and tweets as I do these days, I need to up my game.

Of course I googled “how to be better writer”. I google¬†everything.¬†One of the suggestions was to just sit down and write whatever comes to mind. Deal.

Word vomit is a very fitting title for what this post is probably going to end up resulting as…

There is some drama going down in the paleo community.

And it needs to stop for things to move forward.

The Jack Kruses and Richard Nikoleys (intentionally lacking links since enough people find their way to these guys anyway) of the paleo world just need to be ignored because they are lost causes at this point. Every movement has its crazies and these are just two of them that have unfortunately had their names branded along side the paleo, whole-food, back to nature, mindfulness movement that has been helping so many people get healthy. Why some people have to go at it from such an ass backward direction I will never know but I think all that time and energy should be put to better use. I honestly am not smart enough to comment on what these guys are talking about most of the time but thankfully I have¬†friends¬†that are. But I do know that lying about massaging yourself with MRSA before surgery or calling women the C word are things that I’m doing my best to avoid on my journey through life and I think everyone else on the planet could benefit from avoiding those things also.

There’s just no reason for such outlandish claims and extreme behavior and we’ll have a much easier time selling people on whole food and proper exercise if we don’t approach it so radically. Yeah it’s cool to be popular, and maybe that’s what the Paleo¬†Jersey Shore¬†folks are going for. Do and say whatever it takes to get more fans, more devotees, more $$$? It’s sure starting to look that way with how some people behave.

I do my best to avoid needless drama and I think I might be fighting a losing battle. Is this just human nature? People eat drama up, they love it. Teen Mom and any other show on MTV feed this craving and all these shows are about is people that have messed up their lives. And millions of people watch for¬†ENJOYMENT! There’s something seriously wrong with the human condition if that many people enjoy watching men degrade women and women degrade each other i.e. Jersey Shore and any Real Housewives show.

Drama sells and I think some people are just smart and soul-less enough to make a profit off it. I guarantee Nikoley’s most recent post is one of, if not the most popular post he’s ever done and it’s because of the religious talk, name calling, accusations and flippant use of curse words in the comments section.

That post is¬†Jerry Springer. Somewhat staged starring a bunch of trash people while a few Jerry’s try to talk people into slowing down and actually think about this stuff before they come out swinging. Too few Jerry’s and too much trash make for an entertaining show but it’s not going to make anyone any smarter for watching. Time to turn the channel back to that documentary you were watching or better yet, get off the couch and go outside. The drama doesn’t stop if you stop watching, it just has one less person feeding into the viewership, and this is a very good thing.

Remember what you do to really get on someone’s nerves or show someone they’re being ridiculous? You ignore them, and that’s what we need to do here. Ignore the crazies. Take them off your blogrolls, friends lists, twitter feeds, email lists and contacts and just ignore them. That’s all we can do.

It’s scary. SO much time and energy is wasted by and on people that are just out to make a buck or see their name in headlines and will do whatever it takes to do so. WHY can’t we focus this energy on ACTUALLY helping people instead of knocking what the general public thinks of a whole food, ancestral lifestyle back down a step or two so often?

I guess I’m just asking people to really evaluate what people are saying.¬†Mark Sisson,¬†Robb Wolf,¬†Chris Kesser,¬†Paul Jaminet¬†and so many other super knowledgable people have free resources available and don’t curse at women or require 6 hour ice baths. Read and promote these people, not the drama generators.

This is just my plea to decrease the crazy. We already have to deal with governments run by grains, doctors funded by pharmaceuticals and unimaginable things like raw, pastured dairy being illegal. Let’s put our energy into remedying those problems, not the he said, she said BS that keeps popping up the paleosphere.

I’m going to do my best to avoid, ignore and disprove the crazies and I think you should too.

Now, someone that actually knows how to write needs to put something up so this isn’t HBP’s featured post for too long…

Weekly Round Up

2 Apr

A weeks worth of links and info from the “pool of idiots” (we’re really very nice but very human people thank you very much).

Matthew's motto should be "Always Sit Down to a Pretty Plate." Nice work here!

Kids like to get dirty, and it looks like they NEED to get dirty for good health.

This taco shell idea just may be the worst, or best thing ever?

April is Best Your Stress Month Рso try some of this for free. 

H. Pylori, ulcers and diabetes.

Julia's lamb burger with feta and zucchini.

Whey protein may not be on the top of many “Paleo” shopping lists, but we discussed the many benefits of both whey and casein in the context of a healthy highly active person’s diet. Also, dairy in and of itself probably won’t “make you fat.” ¬†

Can Talk Therapy benefit Chronic Pain? 

Cooking with Olive Oil doesn’t HAVE to be totally off the table.

Don’t totally freak out…but there are some demonstrated benefits to ingesting your encapsulated placenta.

Beef and green veggies to treat subclinical hypothyroidism.

BPA accumulation in fat is another underlying factor to obesity – when will we just make it illegal already! ¬† Oh wait…the FDA rejected that petition.

Correlation between chocolate consumption and lower BMI (correlation does not equal causation…who cares! Pass the fudge!)

Matthew eats da foodz.

First of a series of how to implement your own workout routine based on your personal goals. Follow the series, its worth it!

Paleo women + body image +fear of judginess = excellent rant.

Speaking of excellent rants, who does it better than Mistress Stumptuous?

This is a VERY odd exercise phenomenon.

Our very own Russ gets picked up by Free the Animal with this guest post.

Getting in tune with out biological clock can be as effective as pharmaceutical avenues.

Buttah!

Raw milk will make you super human! Okay, maybe not, but it does awesome stuff for you glutathione production.

Melissa McEwan’s first in a series on Evolutionary Biology, complete with informative comments from industry experts.

The Honey Guide blog has a menu of John Hawkes lectures posted. Soooo interesting. Don’t miss the one on enamel!

A new FREE paleo links and resources site dedicated to all things free. Submit your free resources today!

Beef and bison stew with a big 'ol marrow bone by Julia.

Weekly Round Up

26 Mar

Here’s a sampling of just a few of the things we’ve discussed in the HBP group this week, oh yeah, plus some food porn:

Londoner Carly's lunch: Smoked bacon with homemade guacamole.

Matthew says, “I don’t have a problem with any of these foods and its great to make tasty gluten free stuff if people want it. It just doesn’t have anything much to do with how our ancestors ate and is probably quite capable of tripping out your food reward circuits,” in reference to this post.

Use your slow cooker to combat chronic pain!

Elizabeth shares the fact that 110 new fake meat products were introduced in 2010/11.

Matthew might be a student bachelor, but he sure doesn't eat like one!

Mash wants to start a barefoot running program. We gathered some great tips and fails: start slowly, consider minimalist runners instead of going fully bare and run on just grass or sand first.

The New York Times hosted an essay contest titled, “Tell Us Why it’s Ethical to eat Meat.” Our rants are just too long to post here, but rest assured, we tossed this one about.

Matthew shares this novel therapy,¬†CLA for Crohn’s disease.

Mal shares this Suppversity article that delves into some of the possible mechanisms for why gastric bypass surgery has such powerful metabolic effects, and how you can perhaps mimic these results through diet, (hint…GLP-1).

Pat's fish head stock.

Lucas shares some interesting findings about the effects of music on the brain.

A new blog with but one post, but a good read: The Leptin Marketing Miracle.

The BBC aired a special titled “The Truth About Fat” for those not in the UK you can see it on YouTube.

Andrew has been planning this treat all week. He didn't get sick, but overall it was meh.

Our supplement fetishist club led by Stabby endorses Astaxanthin! Just 2mg are shown to have benefit.

Dr. BG talks about the effect that pesticides has on our mitochondria, which we should ALL know by now are those little energy producing organelles.

Giulia shares the four things you should never buy at Costco.  Bad news folks, shrimp tops the list.

Lamb shanks.

JuBa has a new web presence that she launched this week.

Russ composed a great post right here on this blog about the difference between “being” Paleo and eating Paleo.

Devika shares some good news regarding red meat and depression.

Russ's BBQ setup. Catching the goodness of drippings.

What? Popcorn has more polyphenols than fruits and vegetables?

This Friday, March 30th is our group’s deadline for submitting our first HBP Iron Chef Paleo Challenge. This round we must use egg, kale, mushrooms, onions and a tuber. No more than three unpowered kitchen gadgets and no more than three seasonings. Future rounds to be announced via our facebook page and here. Be on the lookout because we are looking for submissions from outside of the group!

Bree's eats up some birds (duck). She better be saving that rendered fat!

Weekly Round Up

18 Mar

This week was #paleoFx or #pfx12 or #paleoFx12, so many of us were busy gossiping about the great tweets coming out of that conference in Austin, TX (not surprisingly, Paul Jaminet’s talk was well received…but someone brought some TNT to the party…sounds like an interesting time). Anyway, here are some of the other things we discussed in the Highbrow Paleo group.

Julia's carnitas.

We have had our first HIGHBROW PALEO BABY! Welcome to the world Elwood!  Congratulations Barb, and great work! That is one beautiful baby!

 

Elizabeth shares this YouTube of a kid telling Monsanto to shove it.

 

Pat cooks fish heads and loves eating the EYEBALLS. He illustrates this adventure on his blog.

 

Adam shares this article about the evolution of the taste for sweet – use it or lose it may be a good thing in this case.

 

Carl shares this photo of ants eating the real butter and shunning thetwo other globs of margarine.

Ooooh the red meat scare this week. Just in case you haven’t heard about it, here are a few links for your reading pleasure: original journal article, here is what Zoe Harcombe has to say, Gary Taubes says this, Anthony Colpo weighs in here, ¬†Dean Ornish does his thing here, Mark Sisson hires a Minger to weigh in here, the savvy J. Stanton preaches it here¬†and finally, Chris Masterjohn brings us some sanity here. ¬†Stabby sums it up for us with this comment, “All in all I’m not impressed. The lady who wrote the critique suspects bias because one of the authors is a well-known vegetarian zealot and Dean Ornish peer-reviewed it. Before they did the multivariate analysis red meat up to the 3rd quintile was actually protective against mortality, and in my view the multivariate analysis was biased because it ignored important factors, only controlling for enough to get a statistic that the authors wanted.

 

Amanda shares this interesting story about Stoneage written communication. “They seem to have found evidence that some form of written language was being attempted by our Stone Age ancestors, an idea that ‚Äď if substantiated ‚Äď would push back the recognised birth of writing from about 6,000 years ago, as produced by the first agrarian societies, to an incredible 30,000 years ago.”

The very beige looking UK "sustainable" diet.

Mary offers up this story that explains that most research findings are actually FALSE!

 

Despite our pro-red meat stance, cooking meat at high temps does not look to be a great idea. Matthew shares that liver and eggs do not form these heterocyclic amines when they are fried, however there may be other chemicals formed.  Stabby shares that rosemary has been shown to reduce these chemicals in grilled meats. Yum!

 

It looks like babies are exposed to beneficial bacteria while still in utero, which is interesting since the common belief was that only babies born via vaginal delivery were exposed.

Party food.

 

Kamal has launched his new website: paindatabase.com.  Add it to your feed to get frequent informative and funny updates!

 

Chicken Nugget Paste. (Click for article on this subject. Frickin' grody!)

Stabby reminds us that even though we don’t hear much about trans-fats anymore these days, it’s still good to add to the pot of knowledge about these toxic fats – they cause increased visceral fat and are highly correlated with Type II Diabetes.

 

Inga shares that honeybee deaths are linked to corn insecticides.

 

Finally, as an answer to all those complicated candy cigarette Paleo cooking blogs out there, we are launching the first Highbrow Paleo Iron Chef! The rules are going to be centered around simple easy to access food, minimal kitchen processing and few seasonings. First up: BATTLE EGG! Keep watching for an upcoming post with our creations. Future battles will involve submissions from YOU, and other Paleo cooks.

 

Matthew's supper - all steamed together.