NRNM: Think For Yourself

In fierce opposition to the ADA’s National Nutrition Month, I’m doing my own advocacy with National REAL Nutrition Month. Throughout March, I’ll post ideas and tips for something you can do to improve your own health habits, along with stuff you can do to painlessly share what you know with the people you love. (All the posts thus far are right here, or click the “National REAL Nutrition Month” label below.)

NRNM: Think For Yourself
One of the things I found most dangerous about the ADA guidelines is that we Americans are expected to digest them as is. An authority speaks, and we’re intended to believe it as Truth.


I have deep faith in the opinions of the nutrition leaders I trust – but it’s also very important to me to stay informed and explore lots of different opinions. Which is why I spend a fair amount of time each day visiting with the online leaders in the paleo/primal/real food world… and why today, I’m encouraging you to explore the opinions out there, too. I love love love that you read my blog – but I want you to question me and push me and read what other people have to say, too.

Tip For You:
Step outside your current community and read a new blog. Pick one, subscribe to the RSS, and read it for a week. Familiarizing yourself with different opinions on this lifestyle – dairy or not, nuts or not, eggs or not, 80% compliance or 100% – can help you decide what YOU think. Yes, trust the experts… but trust yourself, too.

Here are some of the resources that I visit frequently to make sure I can back up my zealotry:
Mark’s Daily Apple
Robb Wolf
Loren Cordain
Modern Paleo
Plus any of the paleo recipe sites I’ve listed here

Or go whole hog and subscribe to Paleo Digest, a new blog that compiles paleo posts every day.

But remember: your assignment is to commit to at least one new blog and READ it. Every day. For a week. Learn a new point of view. Be open-minded, but also very critical and skeptical. Chew on what you read. Then decide whether or not to add the new info to your bag o’ tricks.

Which brings me to…

Tip For Your Near & Dear:
If you’re a dino-chow devotee, you’re probably pretty passionate about the way eat. And you’re probably accustomed to co-workers and friends and family raising curious or somewhat judgmental eyebrows. And you’ve probably wondered how to convert them to seeing the light.

To me, the easiest way to open the door is not to kick it in with a hard sell, but to grease the hinges with a gift and kind words. We give greeting cards and gifts for holidays like Valentine’s Day and birthdays, but what’s more crucial than the food we eat? Give a real gift on this totally made up holiday month.

Buy a copy of the Whole30 Success Guide or The Paleo Solution – or even better, lend them YOUR copy with the dog-eared pages and highlights – and as you place it in the recipient’s hand, tell them, “March is National Nutrition Month. I love you, and I want you around – feeling great – for as long as possible. I really learned a lot from this book, and I’d love to know what you think of it, too.”

Then drop it. Make yourself available to answer questions, but take yourself out of the equation and give your near and dear time to learn and think for themselves.

Onions 101

Last summer, I told Farmer Chuck — the king of everything delicious at our CSA Sunrise Farm — that the onions we'd been getting in our basket were...

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Coconut 101

I was working on updating a classic American recipe for my Paleo Magazine column this weekend and realized I had no idea how to properly prepare...

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  • Jim Friend says:

    Great idea for this month. I'll definitely be following each day.

    The "think for yourself" tip is a great way to start off the month. It amazes me how so many of the smart people in my life blindly trust everything they hear from the USDA, ADA, government, etc when it comes to food guidelines ("You don't eat whole grains?!?! What?!").

    I'm also fully behind the "give a book as a gift" idea for gently explaining what and why I eat what I eat. Let the results speak for themselves (your loved ones will see how great you look and how much more energy and happiness you have), and then when they're "ready" hand them a book so they can make decisions on their own. That's how I got both of my parents (classic midwestern SAD diets) to switch to Paleo.

  • Michele says:

    I love this idea! Thanks for posting it.


  • Sara says:

    This is a great idea! As a student in dietetics at colorado state university(yes, that of Dr. Cordain himself) i seem to always be the odd man out in nutrition classes and discussions. After being graded down on assignments for my paleo eating beliefs and having many a discussion with people not even willing to consider eating habits that are not dictated by the ADA guidelines, i suppose i will keep my meat eating mouth shut until i have my credentials to back me up 🙂 I will most definitely be tuning into your tips this month!

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Jim –> I feel like it was such a rude awakening for me to learn about the funding behind our generally accepted nutrition "science." It's very distressing because I think there are people with good intentions out there — but they're basing their advice on "official" guidelines that are flawed.

    Michele –> Let me know if there's a particular topic you'd like me to cover!

    Sara –> I can't imagine the head-exploding frustration of being in a class that adheres to ADA guidelines. Ouch! Hang in there, sister!

  • Marcy says:

    When you mentioned giving a gift, I was thinking food. I have shared a bacon explosion, pulled pork, and other saturated-fat-laden treats with my co-workers. I'm slowly greasing the wheel that fat is not bad for you.