A few months ago, I started the paleo diet. Also known as the “caveman diet,” the paleo diet is gluten-free and based on the food humans’ ancient ancestors likely ate, such as meat, nuts and berries, eggs and vegetables. The diet excludes foods that our ancestors likely didn’t have in their caves, such as dairy, legumes, grains and potatoes. I’m sure many of you think I am crazy, but it actually has many health benefits.
Now that I’ve fully committed myself to the diet, I’ve learned a lot—and I’m bringing some of that knowledge to my professional life. Here’s what the paleo diet has taught me about public relations:
- Know When to Take a Break: The longer you stay on a paleo diet the harder it can be to stick to, especially if you’re like me and love pasta and cheese. For me, it was important to commit to the diet but also to let loose and enjoy a hearty pasta meal with a glass of wine on a Friday evening. In PR, it’s important to be fully committed to our clients and their needs. But on weekends, unless a crisis is happening, there’s no need to be glued to your phone or email. To have a healthy balance in our lives, we have to remember to stay on top of our work and priorities during the work week, but must also enjoy time with friends and family on Saturday and Sunday.
- Be Positive: When I first started Paleo I was really excited. As time went on, I was sometimes discouraged, especially when I walked into my apartment and it smelled like the delicious pizza my roommate was making. I still sometimes have to remind myself of all the great ways my diet is affecting my lifestyle. While working in PR, I’ve found that if I stay positive my projects are better and more people enjoy working on a client team with me.
- Set Goals: The paleo diet can be intense if you exclude every food group at once. I set goals for myself by slowly cutting food groups out of my diet rather than plunging right in. In PR, it’s critical to set goals for your clients. By developing a clear plan, you have a clear path forward and know where you want to be at the end of a campaign. This makes it much easier to measure success and manage client expectations.
- Be Innovative: When I found a few Paleo foods that I liked, I got stuck enjoying the same meal or snack over and over. So I make a habit of finding more complex and fun recipes to help myself enjoy what I am eating. With PR, it can be easy to focus on the day-to-day activities for clients. It’s essential to get the creative juices flowing by having brainstorms with different people in the office and thinking outside the box so you can come up with fun and unique story and campaign ideas.
Partaking in the paleo diet has been challenging and rewarding, just like my experience at Solomon McCown. If you’re thinking of trying the paleo diet, check out some cookbooks or recipes online.