I’ve been quiet lately, but I hope that is about to change as I share the information I’m learning about the new paleo/primal lifestyle I have chosen to adopt.
I made the decision that it was time to get healthier while contemplating if I would be able to keep up with my new born daughter as she grows up. I left things a bit late, being nearly 39 when she was born.
An email from my dad about the apparent benefits of coconut oil for Alzheimer’s kicked off the initial investigation into health. I thought it sounded like a bunch of bollocks, but some of the anecdotal evidence suggests otherwise. That led me to think more about how diet influences health and to a TEDx talk by Dr. Terry Wahls about her transformation from being in a zero gravity chair, suffering from multiple sclerosis, to enjoying a normal life again through her special diet.
I started thinking about the different types of diets/lifestyles out there and just couldn’t contemplate going vegetarian or vegan, so I had to find something that still allowed me to have the meat that I love. Quite frankly when you read about needing to take extra supplements when on a vegetarian or vegan diet (unless you are very careful with what you eat) it is a complete turn off. What kind of diet can be good for you if you NEED to take supplements?
Eventually I ended up reading about the paleo (short for paleolithic) diet. That took me to a video by Mark Sisson who made a lot of sense to me, so I went to his website and was hooked on the Primal Blueprint. It’s relatively easy to follow, includes foods that I like and just makes sense. What’s more there is plenty of proof on the website’s forum of people having huge success in not only losing weight, but in general health improvements.
There are 10 key “rules of living” to the Primal Blueprint:
- Eat lots of animals, insects and plants.
- Move around a lot at a slow pace.
- Lift heavy things.
- Run really fast once and a while.
- Get lots of sleep.
- Get some sunlight everyday.
- Avoid trauma.
- Avoid poisonous things.
- Use your mind.
I’m not too sure on the eating insects part, but the rest of it makes a lot of sense. The reason it seems to work for a large percentage of people who try it is that it mimics the lifestyle of our ancestors and is thus designed around what we have evolved to thrive on. The last 10,000 years or so of human existence have altered the way we live so completely that it could very well explain a lot of our health problems. Thus, to resolve that we just need to change some basic behaviour and get rid of a most of the processed food and drinks that we all too easily consume today.
Changing to a lifestyle like this does take a bit of commitment and requires some sacrifices. No pain, no gain, right? Thankfully the sacrifices are mostly those that you know you should be doing anyway, like more exercise and eating less junk! I’m prepared to make those sacrifices.
Before making such a drastic lifestyle change and to ensure that it does have some positive and measurable impact on my health I talked to my gastroenterologist in April, 2012 and we decided to do a lot of tests before proceeding.
In my next post I’ll talk about the tests, the results and my trip to another specialist! It wasn’t the start I was looking for, but things are looking quite positive now on a paleo/primal lifestyle!