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071: Starting a Paleo Movement with Michelle and Keith Norris

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Our guests today are experts at many things, including starting a Paleo movement.

Michelle Norris is the owner, co-founder and CEO of Paleo f(x)™ the largest Paleo platform and event in the world, which has been featured in the New York Times, The Huffington Post, and Men’s Health; Michelle herself has appeared on several TV shows like Good Morning San Diego and Good Morning Austin and as a guest chef on The Paleo Kitchen TV Show.

Keith Norris is her husband and fellow co-founder of Paleo f(x); he’s also a military veteran who became a serial entrepreneur in the health and wellness world. To boot he is an expert on changing habits as well as an elite strength and conditioning specialist with 40+ years of real-world experience.

Today on Awesome Health, the Norris’ tell us about the origins of Paleo f(x). It all started with the loss of their daughter when she died in a car accident. On what would’ve been her 23rd birthday, over 700 people came to celebrate her life. So many of those people shared the ways in which Brittany had changed their lives. Michelle and Keith were deeply touched, and wanted some way to honor their daughter and carry her legacy forward.

For two years they asked how to do so. And then one day it became apparent. After attending the Ancestral Health Symposium, which is an academic conference focused on the science of the Paleo lifestyle, they realized people needed a way to implement that same science into their everyday lives. Keith and Michelle decided to be the ones to do just that, and so Paleo f(x) was born.

Paleo f(x) is in its ninth year and will be a virtual event this year, returning to in-person for their 10th anniversary in 2021. I asked them how they both found Paleo and what it has meant to them. Michelle shares that she had been suffering from numerous health issues; she’d been diagnosed with IBS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome among other conditions.

When she tried the Paleo diet, her health complaints disappeared within a few weeks. She felt better than she had in a very long time, and she was a convert! Soon she also realized following this lifestyle could benefit others and she began shouting it from the rooftops. Keith took a while longer to get on the bandwagon, but eventually he did too and joined Michelle in embracing the Paleo lifestyle.

As they went deeper into Paleo living, they developed the seven pillars of health in Paleo f(x). They explain what those seven are and why they need to all be in alignment in order for people to feel and live at their best.

We also talk about the challenges the event industry is facing because of the pandemic, why questioning what we are told is necessary and how to get involved with Paleo f(x). Join us for this illuminating discussion with Michelle and Keith Norris on this episode of Awesome Health Podcast!

Episode Resources:

Read The Episode Transcript:

Wade Lightheart: Good morning, good afternoon and good evening. It's Wade T Lightheart from BiOptimizers with the Awesome Health Show. And we have got a very special set of guests today. It is Michelle and Keith Norris. And for those of you who don't know who they are, they are the founders of Paleo f(x), one of the biggest health events in the entire world coming out of Texas. And of course, as we know, all of our events in the health industry are all blown up and sideways, but that doesn't stop Michelle and Keith, because they've got some creative ways that they're dealing with it. We're going to talk about that in a little bit, just a little background on Michelle. She is the owner, co-founder of CEO of Paleo f(x), the largest paleo platform and event in the world. If you don't know about the paleo diet, you need to find out about it.

Wade Lightheart: She has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, The Telegraph, Men's health, and Michelle has been featured on Good morning, San Diego, Good morning, Austin. KRV, Houston Healthwatch, and a featured chef on the paleo kitchen TV show and not to be out done her partner, Keith Norris is a former standout athlete and military veteran. Thank you to all of our veterans listening around the world. He has an elite strength and conditioning specialist, and habit change expert. That's an important thing, cause' you are dominated by your habits with over 40 years of in the trenches experience, as a serial entrepreneur in the health and wellness space, he is a co-founder and chief development officer, again of the largest paleo platform in the world Paleo f(x). Michelle, Keith welcome to the Awesome Health podcast.

Keith and Michelle Norris: That was quite the introduction. That was. I don't think we've ever had a, you know, a fanfare like that. We can wrap this all up now, before we fail to meet expectations.

Wade Lightheart: Right. You know, I know these are crazy times and I want to go into though, because we're excited, we can't wait to go to paleo effects whenever that happens. I know you've been doing some online stuff in the inter, making trends. Can you talk about paleo? It's one of the big, what I call diet channels or philosophies that have really caught the world by storm. And you guys are like literally the leading edge pioneers of one of the biggest events in the world. How did that all happen?

Michelle Norris: Well, let's see… The backpack story is, 11 and a half years ago, our daughter Brittani was killed in a car accident and she was killed three days before her 23rd birthday and a week before her college graduation. And she was a music and worship ministry major and had planned to be a minister and work in the mission field. And obviously we were planning to celebrate her birthday. We were planning to celebrate her graduation and mother's day all at the same time. And we ended up celebrating her life on what would've been her 23rd birthday. And her first memorial service had about 700 people at attendance and they held a receiving line for us so that these people could pay their respects and repeatedly all through the night, they kept telling us about how Brittani had really changed their life. And it was very profound ways.

Michelle Norris: It was not like the superficial or she changed my life. It was, she said this, she did that, she took me here, we went and did this, whatever it was. And it was by the end of the night, you know, we were a little bit numb and on autopilot, but by the end of the night we realized that she had really created this incredible legacy of changing people's lives. And we wanted to make sure that didn't die with her. So we were trying to. She was like I said a music and worship ministry major. So she was a very gifted and beautiful musician and singer, and that is not our gifts. So we were really struggling about how we were going to carry on her legacy when that's not what we do. And our gifts are food, nutrition, fitness, health, wellness, haven't changed that kind of thing.

Michelle Norris: And so when we were just trying to figure out what that was going to look like to carry on her legacy fast forward two years. And in 2011, we were at the inaugural Ancestral Health Symposium. And for those of you that are not familiar with it, it is a very decidedly academic symposium that discusses the science of paleo. And we at the time had, we were owners in a gym, a very small gym chain here in Texas. And we have lots of clients we were helping through, you know, the process of losing weight, doing all of those things. And what we recognized was there was a bit of a disconnect there. And when we were sitting on the runway at lax, getting ready to leave from the Ancestral Health Symposium, I was talking to Keith. I was like: you know what, what would really be great is if they could do demonstrations, they could show people how to do the cooking. They could show people how to do the movement, how to do the fitness, how to do all of those things.

Michelle Norris: And Keith was like: well, they're an academic conference, I don't think that they're going to do that. Well, we saw that that was the disconnect, because at the end of the day, our clients are happy that there's science that exists that you know, supports doing this type of lifestyle. But if they don't know how to use that science in their daily life, they don't care. That's, their kind of indifferent to it. So what we realized was what was needed is somebody that could come in and put the science into daily practice. Theory to practice. So we Keith was like sitting there: well, you know, they're not going to do it, but I think we should. And so that was the beginning of Brittani's legacy. And so her legacy was born on that runway and tens of thousands of people later, is still changing lives. And so is Brittani. So that's the backstory to the Paleo f(x) story.

Wade Lightheart: It's a powerful story. And what a beautiful way to celebrate your daughter. I know my sister died at 22 from cancer. She was four years my senior. So, I had to work for the American Anticancer Institute later on in my career, as in helping people in the cancer area. So it's really powerful. When you have faced with such a tragedy to find some meaning out of what seems so meaningless and destructive. And I think that's a really beautiful thing, cause' it's the worst thing that can possibly happen to a parent and to keep that legacy going is a beautiful thing. I didn't know about that. I didn't know that that was the foundational component. So how long has Paleo f(x) been actually running now from this thing?

Michelle Norris: Because we're in our 9th year, next year will be our 10th year. And so we have held eight events, obviously this year, our ninth year, we were not able, because of COVID-19 not able to hold the ninth event. So we're working on a virtual event for the 2020 season and then going into a live event for April of 2021 for our 10th anniversary. So it's been an interesting ride this year so far. We keep going really, this is 2020. We were like, you know, I'm sure we were not alone in this, but at the beginning of the year, it's the beginning of the decade where like 2020s our year, you know, 2020 vision, all of these things. And I keep laughing that there's this meme out there that says like: let me get this straight, not a single one of us got this right five years ago when we were asked where we would be five years from now. None of us got that right. And so it's been an interesting transition in time to pivot our business.

Keith Norris: In a way, being in event production business is a bit like the end in the military where you train, train, train, and you understand when you go into theater, whatever you train for is not going to happen. It's going to be something only different. So you just have to prepare for the unexpected. And we do this every year because every year something unexpected comes up and except for covid, we did not expect that one to come down.

Wade Lightheart: Yeah, absolutely. It's been a real game changer. Let's talk a little bit about the paleo philosophy, shall we? For our listeners, they might not be familiar with the nuances. How did you guys gravitate to that as a dietary philosophy, maybe some of the tenants that you could share for our audience, if they're not familiar? And then, you know, I love the fact that yes, the research is wonderful. It usually is behind the on-hands experience and validates what, you know, obviously you probably learned in the field. So was that something that you guys noticed about running gyms and maybe getting interested in this movement and then eventually, like, can you explain how that journey went?

Michelle Norris: Yeah, so it's interesting. So Keith and I have been now paleo for 16 and 15 years. It took him an entire year to get me on board. So, and then what's hilarious is there was this one moment of, you know, aha moment, and Keith says that, that's the day that a paleo evangelist was born. So it did, it took awhile for me to climb on board, but it worked, it just made me feel better. It got rid of lots of symptoms. I had been diagnosed with IDs, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia. I had chronic migraines, from the time I was 17 years old. I had this really strange, low back pain that I didn't even realize was there until it was gone and then it wasn't there anymore. So it's like this whole thing that you just start kind of becoming accustomed to and believe this is just a normal part of what's happening to your body as you age.

Michelle Norris: And so when I tried the paleo diet and all of these symptoms, and then the, I also had some issues like constant just really having brain fog and not feeling good in my stomach and having this constant feeling of bloating and all of that. All of that was gone and relieved in three weeks. And then once I realized that this was information that could really help people is when I really climbed on board and then started, you know, shouting from the rooftops. And so as far as how for us that the paleo lifestyle has progressed and how we have brought this into Paleo f(x), is that initially it was really all about the diet and the nutrition. And we realized going our second year in, but it was really about a whole lot more than that.

Michelle Norris: And this is for us, it's a lifestyle. And when we talk about lifestyle for us, there's seven pillars of health in Paleo f(x). And so for the other piece of that for us is those seven pillars really need to be in place and being worked on, on an ongoing basis for you to be a fully optimized human. And so those seven pillars are physical health, mental health, emotional health, relational health, financial health, spiritual health, and tribal health, or your community. Those are so important. And without one of them, you're out of balance and you're going to have issues and then ultimately others will fall unless you get that one back in balance. And so for us, that's what we cover minimum at Paleo f(x) is those seven pillars. And then we cover a whole lot more. We talk about regenerative agriculture. We talk about decentralization of markets. Are we talking about decentralizing, healthcare, education, financial systems, all of those things. And then, w're big entrepreneurs and we believe that everybody, so we talk about this at pillar effects as well, is that everybody is an entrepreneur, even if you don't own your own business.

Keith Norris: Yeah. You got to start thinking like one, because essentially you are an entrepreneur, even if you work in corporate America, because we know that those jobs in corporate America, they switched quickly and that's totally out of your control. So if you have a mindset of an entrepreneur, even if you are engaged in corporate America, then so much the better.

Wade Lightheart: Yeah. One of my mentors talks about being the entrepreneur. If you're inside of a corporation and taking that spirit of understanding both your role, what you bring to the picture and how that contributes to the overall entrepreneurial vision, but also it allows you to be more nimble and to think a little bit more independently. Can you talk maybe a little bit about the foundational dietary philosophies in the paleo program and what are the foundational components for people who don't, who might not know?

Keith Norris: Right. So I think one of the misconceptions of paleo and I start with a misconception because people tend to hear the word paleo and they think, I mean, we hear all kinds of crazy stuff. Like it's all raw meat. I mean, all of these crazy misconceptions. At its root, we are looking to mimic the diet that the human species ate prior to the agricultural revolution. The reason for that is, we can trace many ills, many physical ills to the human race, to post agricultural revolution. And there's many reasons for that. It wasn't just the food stuff, many other reasons, but food was part of it. So when you look at the modern diet, ok, how can we reproduce a diet that mimics a diet as closely as possible to the diet pre agricultural revolution, with the understanding that there are a lot of diets. That diet would change the person you are today to the equator, it would be more plant based, closer to the equator.

Keith Norris: You move closer to the Arctic regions, obviously a plant based material becomes less and less. That's filled in with animal products and fat. So within those parameters we can say: okay, let's look at the modern diet. What are the things that are most egregious within the modern diet that we can, you know, the first step let's get a runner on first base, right? I need to get a kid on first base and we can start the thing going. What are the first things we can eliminate? Well, that would be added sugars. I think whether you're paleo, keto, carnival or vegetarian, whatever, I think we can all agree that sugar does nobody good.

Wade Lightheart: When you are talking sugars for our listeners, are you talking refined sugar, sugars and fruits or sugars and vegetable? Like what are the no no sugars versus what are the okay, carbohydrate base sugars are naturally occurring?
Keith Norris: So in this instance, we're talking about refined carbohydrates, so any kind of flour, okay? Then we're kind of getting away from some, but refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup.

Wade Lightheart: It's a killer.

Keith Norris: Right? It's a huge difference between high fructose. People hear the term fructose. There is fructose corn syrup and the fructose in a piece of fruit.

Wade Lightheart: A lot of people don't know the difference. This is one of the things that drive me crazy. They don't understand the difference between the fruit and an orange or the sugar and an orange versus the sugar in your like corn flocks.

Keith Norris: So we're talking with people who don't want to dive into the science. It's like, you know, they have 24 hours in a day, 10 of those hours a day are soaked up in working, kids and family and yada yada, and you got to get your sleep and everything else. You don't have time for the science. The basic thing that we tell them is eat as close to the land as you can. So to your point, high fructose corn syrup or an orange? Go for the orange. All of these, I mean, very, very, very simple steps. If it comes out of a package, it's suspect if it's the perimeter of the store, you're better off. I mean, all these very, very simple steps. If you want to dive deep further, we got you and we can go down rabbit holes for days. We can go down rabbit holes, but you know, the basics will get you 90% of the way there. If you just eat real food, you're 90% of the way there on the diet side of things.

Wade Lightheart: So real food that was around before the industrialization of the agriculture, which was what about 10 -12,000 years ago or something like that when we started moving to towns and creating grains and all this sort of stuff, right? So we were kind of like nomadic species that would move with dietary components to the seasons and this type of thing. Now, is the paleo philosophy, you talked about like maybe local food to your environment or relative to like, can you talk about the importance of that? Or how does someone stay in a modern city, let's say, I'm living in Venice, California, which has a great array of food, but how would you go and access those type of paleo-friendly foods if you're living in an urban environment?

Michelle Norris: Well, this is the thing and we're very blessed here in Austin. There are 12 farmer's markets that are here in the Austin area. So a lot of times, if you are going into a farmer's market in many areas, I would imagine probably close to Venice, LA that area you would probably have some farmer's markets, that type of thing. Is that you can find what's seasonally appropriate. And that kind of gets away from the initial template, cause' for us, the first thing out of the gate is just trying to get that first win for somebody, to get them the momentum going for them. And so we of course say: let's stay away from sugar. And then the next thing we remove is grains. And then we go a little further and we say: remove soy, and dairy is another thing that's can be problematic for some people and not for others.

Michelle Norris: So that's actually really dependent upon the individual of whether or not. What we will say is that do take it as close to raw as you can possibly get in your area. That's the better thing to do as far as dairy is concerned. And so our belief is if you can get to a farmer's market, if you can't then you're always just going to win and make the best possible choices and mitigate damage. That's always the first line of defense is mitigating damage. So if you have to go to a grocery store, like Keith said a little while ago, shop the perimeter, you're going to want to stay in the produce section, you know, the meat section, the dairy section, if you can tolerate dairy, you're going to want to stay away from the bakery. The deli is another place that you'd want to probably go to because you're going to get less processed.

Michelle Norris: I know that there is some processing in meats and stuff. If you can get nitrate-free, that's better for you. And it's not like a deal breaker because at the end of the day, we create nitrate in our own bodies. So it's just, again, mitigating damage and making the best possible choices that you can. But if your kids will eat some of the luncheon meats and cheeses and things like that from the deli, then, you know what, that's a good choice for you versus them wanting cereal or crackers or any of those things. So like he said, if it's out of a box it's a little bit suspect. There are really great alternatives now. There's really great gluten free options. There's really great healthier versions of things like crackers and that type of thing, even chips. Really great options for those things, but they're not something that you want on your plate every single day.

Michelle Norris: These are things, they're the little additions when you want to have that little treat or you want to have those things. They're not… Just because they are healthier doesn't necessarily mean they need to be part of your daily diet.
Keith Norris: And I think from a habit change perspective way, a good way to look at this is good, better, best. Good - shop the perimeter. What's better? Farmer's markets. What's best? Grow your own and trade with others who grew their own. Right? And another thing we always say is never let the perfect get in the way of the good.

Wade Lightheart: That's a beautiful statement. I think a lot of people one of the facets that we advocate is action over perfection, Move in the direction that you want to go and then there's a natural inclination as you produce results. It just becomes easier to make those minor shifts as opposed to trying to go like: Hey, I'm just coming out of, you know, the Starbucks diet and now I need to go, no, I need to go all in and I need to grow an organic garden. And then a lot of people go, I can't possibly do that because they haven't built enough positive momentum or the localized resources, because you enter into a whole universe and you enter into… You talk about tribe, like now, what is the group of people that know all of the good farmer's markets, or know the home delivery services, or know where you can get grass fed bison or where you can get organic nuts or whatever it happens to be. And I think there's a lot of friends that cultivate out of these choices and relationships and business arrangements. So maybe you can talk about how you guys kind of moved in from this process? Like, what was that process for you when you said: Hey, let's start doing this paleo thing? And then somehow this got interrelated, probably in your gym or something with your clients and then all of a sudden, now you have like the largest health event in North America. So like, how did that happen?

Keith Norris: Well, at the root, Michelle and I are both synthesizers. We have our areas of specialty, but even within our areas of specialty, we always, how can I say took the Bruce Lee approach, right? To where I constantly in the strength and conditioning realm and in the habit change realm, I constantly ask questions of other people in that realm. I constantly sought out expertise within that realm. I didn't live in my own little bubble.

Keith Norris: It's the Bruce Lee approach. And I created my own system that was built upon the shoulders of other people who were in that industry. Right? And Michelle did the same thing. And we are just natural synthesizers, natural networkers. So in doing that and her doing that, and as it related to food and cooking and me doing this, as it related to strength and conditioning and habit change, we built this natural network of experts. And it just over time both of our Rolodexes were growing. And these were people that we had a question, we could just call, you know? People like Robb Wolf, we had called Robb Wolf. You get it right from the horse's mouth. Biochemists? He's deep into it. Chemistry is not my thing. Believe me, if have a biochemical question, I'm going to Robb.

Keith Norris: I'm not going to keep it, right? And so we just built this network of people and then it was just an organic process after that. Oh, wouldn't it be cool to bring all these people together under one roof? Wouldn't that be cool? I think a lot of people would be interested in that. To be able to meet and mingle with these people face to face. And Michelle probably has a different spin on it, but I mean, really that's how it came together. We're just networkers.

Wade Lightheart: Now, when you started putting on these events, had you had experience in putting events on before, or did you start right from ground zero?

Michelle Norris: Yeah. I had a lot of experience doing events actually. I have been an event planner for quite, probably 20 years. I did it on the side. But I loved it. I loved the organization of it. I loved actually putting everything together. I was the PTA president for my kids schools, so I did lots of fundraisers, lots of galas. That type of thing was part of our youth association, was one of the directors. So there was a lot of, I had a lot of expertise coming into this. So it was actually a really easy fit for me. And then of course I trained chefs, so cater as well. So that's another event side of things. So had a lot of experience as far as that was concerned. And then my expertise, you know, prior to coming into this was, I was project manager. I built Starbucks for a living up and down the Eastern seaboard. So that project management also played a role in how Paleo f(x) was created as well.

Keith Norris: And Wade, she got her PhD in event planning the first two years at Paleo f(x). I can vouch for that. She took it. And she built that whole thing by herself essentially. I mean, we did had volunteers and we had people graciously, thank God they would pitch in when they could to help, but she… It was built on her shoulders and she really took on this whole project.

Wade Lightheart: What are some of the… Cause' this is a really great topic about event planning and stuff. What are some of the lessons learned along the way about creating an event hosting an event, the challenges and also the opportunities that come out of that? Cause' it's a double edged sword. If you overcome any challenge, usually there's an opportunity or every opportunity has a certain challenge. What have you learned through that process? And what would you say to people who are thinking of hosting an event or starting their own event or whatever, what would that be like?

Michelle Norris: Wade, tell them really think twice about that.

Wade Lightheart: I thought you were going to say it.
Michelle Norris: Really think twice. It's funny because we actually have had a number of people who decided that they were going to do an event. So I'm like, I reach out to them, hear about their event and be like: Hey, what do you need? How do you need support? What do you want to do? And there, it was hilarious, because the first time it was really good friends of ours. They had decided they were going to do this a bit. And I had actually kind of heard about it through the grapevine. And so then I reached out to him. I was like: Hey, how can I support you? What do you need help with? And it was another paleo event. And the thing is, I'm of the mindset that Paleo f(x) is not going to beat everybody.

Michelle Norris: It's just not. So the more opportunities that people have to get this information, the more opportunity that we have to grow the movement. And we have to bring people in and get people healthy, because at the end of the day, that was our whole mission. And so I reached out to him and was like: Hey, how can I support you? And they were like: we had no idea it was this complicated and we're going to quietly make that go away. I was like: okay, well, all right. If you change your mind, let me know. I'm happy to help. And so the thing is, what I would definitely say is if you're passionate about something, if you're really really passionate about something and particularly if there's not anything out there that speaks to that do the homework though. So this is the thing. We knew we had an audience. Make sure you've got an audience, somebody that want to attend this event,

Wade Lightheart: How do you determine if you have an audience, what would you say is a sufficient amount of an audience? Because often times, you know, people get on their Facebook, they have, you know, 10, 20, 30 likes and they think they have an audience.
Michelle Norris: Well, it's that whole thing is, do you have a hundred raving fans or do you have at the house and followers? So at the end of the day you had with… Robb Wolf was our first speaker that signed on and in fact, we jokingly tell him that it's his fault that we ended up in this whole thing, because if he hadn't come on board, we wouldn't have done it. But he pretty much launched us, but he had raving fans, and those raving fans ended up ultimately transferring over and becoming our raving fans. And then we had, you know with the first year Mark Sisson and Robb and all of these people. Well they all had raving fans and that would follow them, and that wanted to come see them, and that would come and pay a couple of hundred bucks just to see them for an hour or two at a CrossFit gym.

Michelle Norris: So it was. We knew the audience was there. The other thing is too, is of course, when we went to the Ancestral Health Symposium, which was an academic symposium, wasn't even what paleo effects is. There were about 500 people there in attendance that first year. So we knew there was an audience for this. We knew that there would be, because as much as the whole thing was mostly about the science, there were still a lot of people there that are doing the turning the science into daily practice. They were doing this online. So we saw that there was this clamoring for this information between, you know. Definitely betweenlike Robb and Mark and, you know. And well now I'm less urban, but we saw all of these people had their own little tiny tribes and we thought, well, if we bring all of these tribes together, we have a voice.

Michelle Norris: And that was really the main thing that we were. We just kept saying was if we all have a voice, we maintain our food freedom. And it was another reason why we were like trying to kind of reach across the ILS you call it. Building bridges with beacon friends, vegetarian friends, because at the end of the day, we have a whole lot more in common than vegans and vegetarians than we don't. There is only one thing that we don't have in common. But the rest of it is aboutbetter practices for animal husbandry, getting rid of cap CAFOs combined animal feeding operations, for those that are not familiar with that, getting rid of those, trying to really create better opportunities for us to have better options in our food. And so at the end of the day, coming together, even if we have one thing that we do not agree on, but we have all these other things that we agree on, we have a lot more power and a lot more voice when it comes to our food freedom against our government.

Michelle Norris: And, you know, there's been a lot of challenges in that respect, which is one of the reasons why we are also big proponents and they are one of our charity partners, and have been since the beginning is the farm to consumer legal defense fund. We believe it is your right to choose what you want to put your mouth and that your families, it is not the government's decision. And we're going to probably have that power come down to us here pretty soon and we're going to need to be together and come together, which is one of the main reasons we also wanted to do Paleo f(x).

Keith Norris: And I think one other thing to wait also from a business perspective, being first to market in a category is a huge advantage, right? So whatever your idea for an event is, if you are first in category, you stand a much better chance. And I will say any type of event production is just fraught with a note. I mean, you just simply do not know. I mean, it could be the weather, it could be I can tell you 10,000 things that went wrong, that we had no idea that were going to happen. Things crop up. So the ability to be very nimble and to be able to problem solve and to have a team around you that can problem solve very, very quickly. You have to have that.And having nerves of steel. And any kind of entrepreneur business is a must. And in the event business, it is really a must cause' it will put you to the test right up until the time the curtain goes up on the show. And we always say that the first half day at Paleo f(x), is already getting the plane down the runway and getting the plane in the air. It is something. We'll just put it that way.

Wade Lightheart: Sure is. And I I've spoken that, I don't know, hundreds of events now over my career and I'm always amazed by the level of commitment and dedication and just pure grit it takes to really run these events and to host these events, and create these experiences. And the other thing, one thing I've always been fond of is when I, as much as I love the big glitzy glamorous with lots of people, I love those little grassroots things where you've got one person or two people who are really passionate. They get a couple of A lister speakers in there like you said. There's not that many people at the event. I find oftentimes those are my favorite events getting started. And then you build those relationships and then you see those people 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years later and they're like, they've got it. And you're sitting in the back, like: remember when we didn't have the mic, didn't work and you know, all that stuff. Remember when you talk about the government and stuff, remember when they were like, you know, the police were there because you were over the fire marshal limit. Yeah. But you know, all these things happen, but you bring up something I think is really important here. And you touched on it briefly now, and I'm really a big advocate on this.

Wade Lightheart: Because we in the health industry have been suffering from what I would say, compelled speech for the last 20 plus years. And what I mean by that is that the government has actually taken away our freedom of speech and made it so we can't say this, we can't say that. And that list continues to shrink more and more every year, so that it supports pharmaceutical lobbyists who are offering pharmaceutical solutions to many of the same things that a diet, a proper diet and stuff. And then on top of that, there's all these kind of regulatory bodies that are really pricing out small organic farmers, people who are in that production, who can't get the certification, or can't go through this because the costs are too much or they need all these kinds of regulatories. So these regulatory bodies come in and make the cost of entry too high then the statements make it so that you get on an interview and like: well, make sure you don't say this, and don't say that, and can't say this and carefully.

Wade Lightheart: And said: Oh, you could get canceled now and all this or so. And it's frightening because the foundation of our nation is built on freedom of speech. And that means freedom to be wrong, freedom, to be right, freedom, to be offended and freedom to be offensive. Okay? And I think where we see now cancel culture coming, we're seeing more regulations where you can't hold the event because the government is regulated. It's like, if I want to go to Texas and go to this event, why can't I? And some people will say: Hey, Wade, you're not being responsible, you're going to kill grandma in the hotel, you know, and this stuff. And I really have a problem with this projected moral superiority of people living in fear versus people who are, you know, embracing their health, moving forward and taking action.

Wade Lightheart: How, and this is really affected you guys because, you know, we had the trucks ready, we got the planes, we got the teams come in as are all these hundreds and hundreds of exhibitors coming up and you keep getting this position pulled out from audio. Well, maybe we're going to have it next month, maybe not, Oh, you can have it in the fall. Wow, we going to change that today. And these regulatory people, these government officials are creating havoc in our industry. And how do we fight back? How do we maintain our freedoms? Because you know what, nobody gets out of life alive, right? Like, I mean, this is the part, but like, life is kind of risky. You drive down the road. That can be it, you wake up one day and you get a diagnosis, you got two days or two weeks to live. I mean, this happens to everybody at some point in their life. Death is a part of it. That's part of the condition. How are you handling this as entrepreneurs and this pressure that's been, I would say, unfairly put upon people, especially who are practicing these things and have options outside of the medical model?

Michelle Norris: Well, I'm glad that you asked that question because yes, this is greatly effected the event business. In fact there was an, I can't think of his name right now, but he had spoken literally at the beginning of the entire COVID-19 and he said, and he is like extraordinary entrepreneur in the event space, has put on the largest defense in the world and talked about the fact that this was what was happening. It was going to actually cause it at minimum 25% of event companies to go out of business. And he said that did, it's a multibillion dollar industry. And he said that doesn't even include the hotels or the airlines or any of that, or any of that kind of money. He said, just the events themselves, 25% of us would go out of business. And so it's that being able to pivot and trying to get other things going has been the thing that has worked for us now, as far as all of this free speech, the cancel culture, everything that's currently happening, couldn't agree with you more.

Michelle Norris: And the problem is, and there's this shock I think among a lot of us who believe this is one of the things that has been. I've had a number of people say: we feel like the things that you're saying are really irresponsible. And my thought process around all of this is Paleo f(x) was the whole point and premise of Paleo f(x) was for us to question the mainstream narrative on nutrition and health. We've been doing that for 10 years. That's part of our ethos. That is the basis of all of our ethos. And so we know that the government has been giving us false information, wrong information for 70 plus years. 70 plus years. And so we have the highest rates of comorbidities in this day and age than we've had at any time in history. We have more people with diabetes. We have more people with an obesity, heart disease, cancer unit, all kinds of autoimmune diseases because of the health recommendations that have been given by our government for 70 plus years. We now have record numbers of childhood obesity, comorbidities, diabetes, heart disease in children.

Michelle Norris: And so for 70 plus years, this information is what's driven these comorbidities. And we somehow think that in COVID-19 our government finally got it right? And we need to listen to them? I'm questioning it. I'm questioning all of it. I'm not going to stop questioning it because it is imperative that we question this narrative. It is imperative to the freedom of this country, to the health freedom of every individual. It is imperative just the basis of the United States, still being a free country. We need to question that. Because for 70 years they've gotten it wrong, but suddenly COVID-19, they've gotten it right? I don't believe that.

Keith and Michelle Norris: Let's start with this one question. Why is the government, mainstream media, social media bending over backwards to limit information on hydroxy support? Why is that? Yet, we're going to fast track a vaccine. But it's not going to have full, complete studies, human studies. Why is that? Why?

Wade Lightheart: Very simple, because vaccines, you cannot sue a company who gives you a lag vaccine and there is a consequence. And of course the studies are to put in place to mitigate the consequences of a vaccine. And here we are in this situation that we are supposed to just take it, accept it. We're supposed to take this on. The data has been skewed. The information is skewed. People are getting pulled off the net. I don't know who these quote unquote fact checkers are, but the bottom line is is for a lot of people who… They're scared right? In total fear.

Wade Lightheart: And there's kind of like this nervous system checkout. Maybe the toxins of buildup with some kind of mind control program or media concurrency. And when you question that there's like a nervous system breakdown that happens and they freak out and then now we have these, what I call over responses. I would like to talk to you particularly about this case, because as a military person, you're subjected to the ultimate levels of danger and you train for that and you prepare yourself to handle what happens, how to think clearly in a very highly stress mark, far more stress than what anybody's sitting at the home. What's your take on maybe the over-responsiveness or the projection of moral superiority or people who condemn those for challenging the current narrative? And how does your military kind of training play into that?

Keith Norris: Right? I've been talking about this for quite a while Wade. If you look at the whole, how this whole thing unfolded and the response, how the response is unfolded, this is the mind control. Now let's put it bluntly. When you look at evasion techniques and the schools that I went to in the military, what happens when you get captured by the enemy, what is going to happen to you? Fear and confusion, right? They're going to take you out of your element and put you in an atmosphere where there's fear and confusion. You don't know what's going on. Then they're gonna pull me with disinformation, pummel, pummel, pummel. And they're going to get you wavering, they're going to get you to start to think. Look at the POWs during the Korean war, what they went through.

Keith Norris: Look, this is propaganda. 101. I mean, if it were football Wade, it would be a basic one gap fullback dive. This has been done over, and over, and over, and over throughout our history. It's no different now. So what is the mass is going through right now. You're in confusion, right? They don't know what's up. Wear a mask. Don't wear a mask. Social distance, don't social distance. Can't I go to church? Or can I go, right? Right. They don't know what's up down. Are the numbers, right? Are they not right? The numbers are cooked, the numbers aren't cooked. You test positive. They didn't walk by a hospital apparently. And there's false. You know, the tests work, the tests don't work? Fear and confusion, fear and confusion, fear and confusion.

Keith Norris: They get you to a point where you finally are on the verge of mental breakdown. And you grasp to anything that you can. You grasp for a savior. In this case, that savior is going to be the government, right? You grasp a hold of that savior. Now, most people are crumbling. You see how, you see this it's role with people? How many of the masses right now are grasping to Fauci? Bam, he's the savior. He's got the word. You see this? And it's going to intensify, intensify, intensify, intensify. This is a way to gain this plate. If you've been through this type of training and you could step back and ask anybody in the military, who's been through this type of training… They're standing back going: 101. This is mind control 101.

Wade Lightheart: I think that's important for people to recognize, and I'm not: Hey, look, if somebody wants to stay home and shelter and follow that process, I'm not affronted, Hey, knock yourself out. But please, don't project your fear onto how I choose to live my life and project a moral superiority that's not based in reality. And that's the part that I have an issue with. Particularly as like, Hey, live and let live. And if I'm taking myself at risk and I'm dying, but this kind of associative stuff that somehow I'm killing grandma in New York city, just doesn't hold weight. It just doesn't make sense.

Keith Norris: Right? If we have a 99.98% survival rate, even with all the skewed numbers. Is that justified, strangling the economy? Keeping you from worshiping? Keeping you from gathering? Does it mean a suspension of your civil liberties? None of that's justified. I know why. And a lot of people know and see right through this game. We know exactly what's going on. It's described to get the others to come around. At least ask the question. Does this make sense?

Wade Lightheart: Yes. And I encourage everybody who is listening out there and I do believe that people who follow a healthy diet, I've noticed that they're less susceptible to the programming that say people who are on the standard American diet are. I know that people that are not reliant on pharmaceuticals seem to be less likely to toe the line of what's being fed to us than people who are. And people who are not dependent on government pay, like some sort of security payment that's being paid, not to disrespect anybody, seem to be less affected than the people who are. And so these are kind of subconscious survival mechanisms that I believe have been in place and also influence the decision making process for many people. And what's really fantastic, I think about what the Paleo f(x) movement is, if you look at what you talked about in those seven tribal things is like making sure you get your food security, making sure you're taking care of your health, making sure that you've got a local environment, making sure you got a tribe, you got a support group. In the area of crisis, these are the important standpoints that you need in order to survive a prolonged situation.

Wade Lightheart: Let's ask, before we wrap this up, I'd like to talk about what's going on with Paleo f(x). I know you guys are kind of moving to the digital platform. I was just on a biohacking conference the other day on a platform. It actually worked better than I thought it was. And it was really nice to connect with some other speakers and some other people. It was awesome. So for all you people who were thinking about going to event, definitely check out one of these online things. What's Paleo f(x) doing right now to kind of transition during these, you know, as they quote unquote unprecedented times?

Michelle Norris: Wow. It's so funny because we were anticipating that we would probably hit a recession by the end of this year or the beginning of next year, had no idea that COVID would deliver it overnight. So we had intended to transition the company over the summer period after the event took place. Obviously all of that got shifted forward. So we're working on all of those things. The main thing of course is to be a support to people year round, not just during those few days during the event. And that was one of the things that we were saying as a company. We really started talking about. That's the thing that we really wanted to do is make sure that we're supporting people year round.

Michelle Norris: And so we were going to make that pivot anyway. So we just kind of shifted everything forward. So we're working on that. We are working on a virtual event for the 2020 season. And then we are planning our April live event for 2021, the end of April it's last week in April, here in Austin, Texas. And expect us to be back bigger and better than ever before. For one thing, because there's so many people that miss that in person opportunity. And the thing is like what you were talking about a few minutes ago is that there are going to be people that make the decision that they don't want to put themselves in jeopardy or feel like they may be vulnerable and I am again, so totally in. It's about your freedom, whatever you feel is best for you.

Michelle Norris: I want to support that. I don't want my views to be… I'm not saying my views are right for everybody. I'm saying my views are right for me. And I want the right and the freedom to choose that for myself, not for the government to tell me what that is. And at the end of the day, one of the things that I feel like we've really forgotten as Americans is that the government works for us. We vote for them. And now they've gotten the idea that we work for them. They believe that at their core, they believe we work for them. They believe this is a top down thing. And I am like: no, I'm sorry, this is a bottom up. We get to tell you what to do. We're the ones that pay your salaries. You don't pay us. So I am in support of everyone choosing what they want to do.

Michelle Norris: And the thing is I'm not an anti vaccine either. I believe that there are really some good vaccines out there and that we need to be smart about it. We need to. We have testing and the ability to know whether or not somebody is going to be at risk for taking a vaccine. And I'm sorry, I'm not okay with a 60% efficacy on a vaccine. That is not okay in my book. We're talking about 40% of the population that takes this vaccine is going to be adversely affected. I don't. And this company's going to make billions of dollars, but they're not going to actually have to support these people. That no liability, bullshit. I mean, there is no other industry out there that gets. I don't get to say, well, 60% of people that come to Paleo f(x) are not going to have any adverse effects, but 40% of you that show up at Paleo f(x), you're going to be adversely affected permanently for the rest of your life and I don't have to pay for that.

Michelle Norris: That would never happen. If a 40% of you come and get injured at Paleo f(x), I'm paying for that. So it's shocking to me that everybody seems to be okay with that. I'm not okay with that. That needs to go away. The fact that a pharmaceutical company does not have to pay for damage that they create, because they're in a rush to make billions of dollars off the backs of all of this fear is absolutely ludicrous. So I am totally not okay with us. This works speed bullshit is no. I'm sorry. I think we each need to make the choice of whether or not we feel like we are at risk or not. We are not. We have been directly exposed seven different times to people who have supposedly tested positive for COVID-19 and we're still here.

Michelle Norris: We still here. Nothing's happened. We've not had any. So have we been asymptomatic carriers? I don't know, maybe so. I'm not testing, cause' I'm not getting into their lists rolls on that. Because I don't trust what's happening right now. And that's my right. And the fact that I have been like trying to be silenced on social media, not just by other people, but by Facebook, by Twitter, by Instagram, by Google, all of these things are all happening. We're being censored and it's not just these big, huge names that you see that are, you know, Del Bigtree and Alex Jones, and all of these people that are being deep platforms and everything. It is happening to us, it is happening to Paleo f(x). It is happening to me personally in private Facebook messages. I have been censored in a private Facebook message.

Michelle Norris: I was sending a link to some friends of mine and it basically said, and it didn't have it in the title, because they know better. But it was about protecting yourself from this new technology that's out here that there is an issue with. And I'm not going to name it because everybody knows where it is, but because I don't want it to be censored here. And I was posting this in a private Facebook message. And I got censored and I got a notification that this was harmful information. It was telling you how to protect yourself from this new technology. And I was like, what? Like how is that even happening? And we just think that that's okay? It's not. And this is the thing, I don't think it's okay across the board. So even if you don't agree with me, you shouldn't be censored, I shouldn't be censored. Are what we believe. And that is the premise and what this man went and fought for and millions of other Americans went and fought for, is our right to be able to have free speech and be able to say what we think. But right now that's under attack.

Keith Norris: Here's a fun game for your listeners to play, go to Google and search, I don't know, natural remedy cancer. Then go to DuckDuckGo and put in the same search query and see what you find. Do you think there is not censorship with a big social media companies: Google, Facebook, Twitter? Twitter is just outright. They just shut people off. Facebook is right there too. But in the Google search engines, because we face out with Paleo f(x) or search it, we lost so much organic search through Google in the past year and a half. I mean, there is a concerted effort to keep information out of the masses.

Wade Lightheart: People are going to want to find out more about what you're talking about, Paleo f(x), this online platform, and we can't be there in person, maybe in the near future. We're going to be there as soon as it opens up. And I can't wait to get down there and celebrate our freedoms, health and vitality, and to share in the great message that can transform this nation inside out. Where can they reach you? And where would this platform be? Where can they find you? How do they get access? How do they participate? How do they get into the conversation with you guys about what Paleo f(x) is all about? Please share that with our listeners and have at it. So?

Michelle Norris: Okay. So we are on all the social media sites as Paleo fx, P A L E O, F as in Frank, X as in x-ray. Paleofx.com is our website and platform and you can get signed up to get information about when we're releasing different things. We are currently in. And we have a Ketofx summit that's just now launching. And then if you're an entrepreneur in the health space, and that doesn't mean that you have to be a health coach practitioner or anything like that. It's anybody that's doing something that they believe is a healthier or a healthy option for people. Like, even if it's food or it's a product or anything like that. That's what we're talking about is health entrepreneurs, things that people are doing to create better health or optimized health for humans. We have a health entrepreneur at fx's membership and that's launching here too. And on the Keto fx's side of things, don't think that's all raw meat and animal fat. You can actually do that. Michelle and I are very close. You can do this as a Mediterranean keto. You can even be vegetarian keto, if you so wish.

Wade Lightheart: Yeah, that's great, because Matt, my business partner is a keto guy, I'm a plant based guy and paleo is the bridge between both of us. And we love the value that you guys are offering and how you send this message. And you're drawing your line in the stand for health freedoms, for us to pursue the natural ways that allow our bodies to heal themselves and to get rid of the garbage. Both, that's going to our brains and that's going into our selves.

Wade Lightheart: Michelle, Keith, thank you for joining us today on the BiOptimizers Awesome Health Podcast. I love the passion. I love the energy I want to send from all our listeners, all this power and energy. I know you're fighting the good fight and you're going to make this even better than ever and keep that message going. Thank you so much for joining us today. For folks, thank you for joining us on Awesome Health Podcast. Make sure you check out Paleo f(x), go to their online platform, support their people. And when the event comes out in the physical form, get that plane ticket, because you're going to meet some amazing people like Keith and Michelle.

Wade Lightheart: Thank you so much for joining us today. It's Wade T Lightheart from BiOptimizers in the Awesome Health Podcast. Make every day an awesome day. It is. Your choice. Thank you so much.
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