As part of the book-iverasary celebration, I wanted to introduce you to a few Paleo peeps I think are doing incredible things for the real food/whole health/Paleo movement. Our first piece is an interview with Cain Credicott, the creator of Paleo Magazine. Cain and his family are shining examples of the Paleo lifestyle. He is constantly seeking an exemplary balance of diet, sleep, and play, and sharing insightful perspectives that capture the full Paleo lifestyle in the Paleo Magazine. In part I of my conversation with Cain, we talk about his journey to Paleo, creating the one and only Paleo print magazine, and taking the magazine digital.
Amber: Thanks for joining us Cain. We all know you are the Paleo Magazine guy, but how did you get to Paleo? What brought you to the movement?
Cain: I was diagnosed with celiac years ago, and I thought, ok, fine I’ll just avoid gluten. Then I went to the store and bought a gluten-free pizza crust, and I tried it that night. It was terrible and I thought well this is gonna suck. Luckily my wife (Tammy Credicott – infamous author of Paleo Indulgences) is a good cook, and an especially good baker. She played with new flours to create new recipes I could eat. Despite having access to better tasting gluten-free choices, I still wasn’t feeling as good as thought I should. Something wasn’t right. That’s when I stumbled around online and found Paleo. Within one month of losing the grains and cutting the sugar, I felt better and I worked to get my family on board with the diet too.
Amber: A lot of people come to Paleo out of necessity. They are looking to resolve a heath-related issue in the same way you did. How did you translate this new-found feeling of wellness to the need for a magazine?
Cain: We started the magazine with no experience. On a whim, more or less, I reached out to Sarah Fragoso, and asked if she could help spread the word that we were starting a magazine. At that point in time she had like 12,000 Facebook fans. We decided to measure the interest in the magazine by the number of people who responded to Sarah’s message. So when we went from 10 to 1,000 fans in a few days, we knew there was an audience for this type of publication. So we jumped in! April 1 we started selling subscriptions online, then the first issue debuted in May 2011.
Amber: Why print? Why not a blog?
Cain: I wanted to do a magazine instead of blog because there were already so many great blogs. I wanted to reach regular people who may not know about Paleo, those Safeway shoppers with carts filled with boxed foods. I wanted to provide great content that even the hard-core crossfitters would like, but the magazine was for anyone who wanted to know more about Paleo. It introduced the Paleo diet and supported people who need to find ways to feel better through food. The major advantage to print is you don’t need to know the exact keyword to pull up good information from the internet. It’s not like you’re going to type in eat gluten-free to feel better and be shown Paleo pages. With print, you’re on the shelf and hopefully the cover is appealing and draws you in to find out more. People like reading paper, I enjoy reading paper. I mean if I have a choice I read paper, unless I’m traveling then it’s more convenient to use a digital reader because I can take more content with me.
Amber: Speaking of e-readers and digital content – what’s next for the magazine?
Cain: We are working on improving the digital version of the magazine and updating the free content available on our app. In the fall, you’ll be able to use the app to pull down a free issue of the magazine and get a couple freebies too! But I really don’t want to encourage reading digitally, especially at night. The effects of screen-light on melatonin are well documented and you just can’t get the best sleep if you have a light in your face in bed at night. And better sleep is part of the Paleo lifestyle – Paleo isn’t just about the food. You’ve got to incorporate all the components.
Indeed, Paleo is a lifestyle. Diet is a key component, but we must consider the effects of technology, sleep, and stress on our overall health. Check back tomorrow as we continue our conversation with Cain Credicott. He’ll disclose his most admired Paleo leaders, his best kept exercise secret, and leak a little information about the upcoming Reader’s Favorite Cookbook.