What is the Primal / Paleo Lifestyle? - Part 1

What is the Primal / Paleo Lifestyle? – Part 1

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First things first. I don’t believe in the paleo diet because the word diet conjures up images of deprivation, failure, self-doubt and depression.I prefer to use the word ‘lifestyle’, because that’s what it is. A lifestyle that transports your body to a time and place where things were simpler, you have none of the modern preservatives in your food, food is real and wholesome, you do not ‘workout’ but do physical stuff that makes your body useful, and you sleep, rest, and take joy in the outdoors (or for us Mumbaikars maybe the balcony?)A lot of things have changed for me after I went primal.

  •  I lost a noticeable amount of weight.
  •  I gained leanness and muscle.
  •  I no longer have PCOS or tryglycerides
  •  I no longer get migraines any more.
  • And I connect with my body
In other words, I feel great, I get less mood swings, I am chirpier in the morning, I am sleepy less, and I love myself more. And all this because I am giving my body what it’s been genetically designed to eat and the activity it’s been supposed to do.

So back to the basics for the moment. What is the primal / paleo lifestyle?

It refers to eating, moving, and behaving in a manner that our ancestors did for 100s and 1000s of years before agriculture came into the scene.  So human life for all those years was all about foraging for food (walking lots and lots), hunting (sprints and lifting heavy) and eating real food they hunted, like animals and fish, and plants, veggies, leaves, berries, nuts and seeds.Cut to today. We no longer have to move much; predators don’t chase us nor do we hunt.An alarm clock awakes us, instead of daylight. We sleep much later than we should, because we’ve stayed up to watch a random movie, thus cutting our sleep time by a few hoursWe rush out in the morning to work, grabbing whatever unhealthy breakfast option’s available in the canteen that day. And don’t let me get started on the food. (There’s a whole post coming up on that!)
We sit for hours and hours in front of a computer drag ourselves home, and some of us may even get to a gym where we spend 45 minutes on a treadmill.
Then we ask the question. Why am I getting fat?
Every single activity I’ve mentioned in the last para including the time spent in the gym, builds cortisol. Which in turn makes us fat.  That’s the very very short story.Evolution takes 100’s and 1000’s of years. Our bodies today have just not evolved to the kind of lifestyle we live today.So essentially, the primal lifestyle calls for living a lifestyle as our ancestors lived by giving our body what it genetically needs, by using modern conveniences to the best of our abilities. The lifestyle calls for enough sleep, enough sun (none of that lathering ourselves with chemicals like sunscreen the moment we step out), good real food (lots of it), and a lot of movement.

In a nutshell these are the first steps to embrace the Primal lifestyle

Start Loving fats. Stop fearing them.

Get chronic cardio out of you system. Make it functional.

Less is more when it comes to workouts. Believe it.

Stop eating grains and sugar. They’re doing more harm than good.

Sleep a lot. Don’t belittle it.

And once you sink your teeth into the ‘meat’ it’s not tough. Trust.

In my next installment I’m going to talk about the food (including my rant about stuff they call food these days), then the physical fitness, and then the extras that are important but overlooked.  Finally I’m going to write about how you can reconnect with your body.

With health and fitness, I can be completely over the top anal about wanting to get thin, or have washboard abs. Or I can choose to be healthy, feel good, do workouts I like, eat things I’m comfortable with and have a body I can live with happily.So I’ve chosen to let my body guide me, in a quest for health and fitness, by experimenting and showing the rules the middle finger. And so far it’s been magic!Thanks for reading this ‘back to the basic’s’ post today. Do drop me a comment or questions!