You stand beneath starry skies, roaming over nature’s sprawling vistas in search of food, a place to sleep, and opportunity to live life. Perhaps you’ve never done that, but everyone has an inner caveman. Lets call this hunter-gatherer being Grok, a sort of Everyman representation of the proverbial “caveman.” Grok likes to live life to the fullest, when he (or she) isn’t fending off the elements or saber-tooth tigers. And he’s in you. In your DNA. Mark Sisson, writer of Mark’s Daily Apple, wants you to realize this, and remember who you are.
Mark Sisson is the neanderthal behind The Primal Blueprint, which, according Mark, is “a set of principles to live by.” The Primal Blueprint isn’t about the latest fad diet (paleo-ish or not) or get-in-shape-quick scheme. It is truly a way of life. Living primally is getting in touch with your Inner Grok. So what does it mean to be Primal?
The Primal Blueprint calls for a unique “diet”- as in the standard way of eating for life, not a quick 90 day diet to lose weight you gain right back.” The diet is inspired by what your ancestors (like Grok) would have available to them. What does this means? If you get down to it, no grains. More Fat.
As in saturated fat. This means bacon, beef, olive oil, coconut butter, etc. Why not grains? Because they’re not good for you. Grok was kickin’ mammoth and taking names far before the Agricultural Revolution (but that isn’t the reason why you should listen to me).
Of course, it means fruits and vegetables (and nuts). If you really need starches, sweet Potatoes/yams are the way to go. But that wheat Asiago bagel you love so much from Panera? Nope.
Making a case that red meat is actually good for you is difficult with on a post of this size, but I’ll add some caveats. When it comes to eating meat, grass-fed beef (or whatever) is much better for you than anything that is grain-fed. Also, over the summer I ate lots of bacon, and it actually helped with my weight.
A feasible lifestyle that you can maintain for the rest of your life. That’s part of what living primally is all about. Thus, your fitness regime shouldn’t be killing ya for weeks and weeks (or months, or years) on end. WWGD? What would Grok Do? He sure went hunting a lot. He hauled meat to camp. H climbed and chased game. Grok lived an active lifestyle. But what can you do in the 21st century?
Instead of taking down mammoths, we can do some lifting. Fitness would be best, however, if it was centered around Functionality (another idea that Mark Sisson harps on). Using artificial weights is better than nothing, but you know what’s better? Lifting heavy things around the yard. Pick up a log. Or a boulder. Or a bucket of water. For all you hunters out there, a deer carcass may be in order.
You should Play. Set up a game of ultimate frisbee. Having fun is important to fitness and your well-being. What else? Get more sleep. Install programs like F.Lux onto your computer, so the blue light from you screen (which resembles sunlight) turns warmer, so it doesn’t trick your brain that it’s still daylight outside.
Most of this stuff is likely new to you. It can seem far-fetched, misguided, or just plain crazy. Saturated Fats are good for you? Cavemen? You may feel that way. My focus in this humble blog was introducing you to the Primal Blueprint, but anything Paleo is going in the right direction. I haven’t fully made the transition to the anything paleo/Primal. I am at a school that makes a bit impossible to eat constant amounts of grass-fed (or even grain-fed) meat. I do well on the weekends, and during the weeks I do eat a lot of salad. But the primal way is about more than diet, it’s a lifestyle. So, look into it.
You may find you have been missing your healthier, and happier, Primal self for all along.