20 October 2013

Our meetup group and why we created it

We created the Sunshine Coast Paleo/Primal/Real Food Meet-up Group back in November 2012 after Clint had said a couple of months earlier "I reckon we should get a paleo meet-up group happening on the Sunshine Coast". So we did! 

At that point he was very much into 'paleo' and I was still very new to it all. I think I was still like "You want me to leave the fat ON my meat? Are you kidding? That's crazy!" because I was so used to cooking lean meats and using very little fat in the kitchen, as so many people are. But as he was getting more into the lifestyle, I enjoyed learning about it and soon started to implement many aspects myself, so I was totally on board with the idea of creating the group.

When we decided to launch the meet-up group we chose to include the words "primal" and "real food" in the title because we didn't want to label it as strictly "paleo" and possibly exclude people who don't follow a 100% paleo lifestyle. We're really glad we made that decision because as our own health journeys have evolved we now call ourselves 'real foodies' and use paleo as more of a guide than as a specific guideline, and we know others do also. We understand that we're all at a different place with our health and how we live and that no one 'diet' is right for all of us, including paleo. Paleo isn't usually classed as a "diet" but it does have basic rules and outlines. However out of all of the diets out there, we feel it's definitely one of the most beneficial and useful. So basically we made sure it was obvious that the group is there for anyone interested in paleo, primal and real food.

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If you're familiar with what paleo is then you'll be understanding and nodding your head as you read this. If not, feel free to read this post from legend Mark Sisson of Mark's Daily Apple about the differences between paleo and primal.

By the way, when we talk about 'primal' it extends into movement and general lifestyle and isn't solely about food. We personally implement primal methods into all aspects of our lives, so we're happy to share with others not just the food side of things but also movement and mindset. It really allows for a huge variety of people to be involved in the group which is great! 

So who can be a part of this group?! Basically it's for anyone wanting to learn about and share information on...

* organic, spray-free, chemical-free, clean produce
* organic, grass-fed, chemical-free meat
* natural foods, fermented foods, fats etc
* where to buy good quality food from
* connecting people to local suppliers and farmers
* sharing recipes and kitchen successes (and failures!)
* where to eat out
* how and where to exercise and move more
* natural and alternative therapies; educating on the benefits and connecting to good practitioners
* health concerns, remedies, ideas etc
* different illnesses, eating plans etc
and basically anything else that's relevant! 

We enjoy hosting this meet-up group but it's been a bit quiet lately. We originally chose to base the group on Facebook as a Page and more recently a Group and not use meetup.com because it has a monthly fee that we can't justify paying. We're happy with the success and reach of the Page but it seems there's been a lot less interaction lately, in general from Likers and also notably from our local members. We've started to wonder if maybe Facebook isn't working in our favour and that followers just aren't seeing our posts. Or maybe people are simply losing interest in the meet-up group.We hope that's not the case! We've held a few successful meet-ups this year, have met some really lovely people from both the Sunny Coast and also Brisbane and hope to continue hosting events and catching up with the people we've already met and newbies as well.

We've been wondering if the slump in group interaction is perhaps partly due to members and followers finding their own journey is heading away from paleo and in other directions. If that's the case and that's you, then we want to let you know that we are still here for you. If you're still interested in anything relating to real, wholesome, healthy, nourishing foods that are positively imnfluencing your health, then you're absolutely welcome to interact and be a part of the group!

We have a sneaking suspicion it's also partly due to the Facebook Page posts not showing up in everyone's news feed because there's just so much on Facebook now, making it harder and harder to keep up with posts from the Pages we like.

So the Group page is the best place for interaction. Members of that page receive notifications of new posts, events etc, it's not busy in there and the posts can't get lost because it's a separate section in your Facebook account.

If you're not already a member and you live locally or nearby and want to interact with others about all things paleo/primal/real food then please feel free to join HERE. Please read the page rules! If you're already a member of the main page or the group page please feel free to chat to us in either; about foods you're making, troubles you're having, movements you're doing, questions you have, ideas you have... anything, just go for it!

Moving forward, what are our goals for the future?

Clint and I are very passionate about helping people become more educated on how they can improve theirs and their family's health and well-being. We'd like to keep organising meet-ups for fun, education and interaction between like-minded people. 

If we can connect folk to information, people and places that somehow positively influence their lives then that's brilliant!

We're planning a Farm Tour in November at CGL Beef, another picnic because they're easy and popular (probably Peregian like we tried to do once but cancelled due to bad weather), and we'd like to include fun things like park days where we play games, bush walk and things like that. But we need interest from people in order for us to keep organising events. If you have any suggestions for meet-ups please let us know. Also if you know anyone who's even remotely interested in learning about this stuff you're welcome to bring them along to doos :)

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Thank you to everyone who's interacted on our pages, attended meet-ups, told people about the group, and who has supported is. We really appreciate it! We hope to catch-up up with you at a future meet-up or at least in the Facebook pages.

Click here to visit the Facebook Group
Click here to visit the Facebook Page
Click here to visit the Primal Influence page including the newsletters we made for the meet-up group and photos from past events

One of the next blog posts will be about the meet-up we had today, so stay tuned!


My 5 gratefuls today are:
1. spending time in the hinterland today with lovely people
2. shopping spree with mum yesterday
3. picking kale and herbs from my garden
4. country music (do I always add that one?!)
5. receiving help from Gavin Heward for my health goals

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