Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Few Primal Points

The Primal lifestyle, similar to the Paleo Diet (short for Paleolithic), was founded on the basis that the mechanisms of our bodies run most efficiently on the food that our “cavemen” ancestors would have originally eaten.  They basically ate anything that they could hunt and gather, including meat, fish, vegetables, roots, nuts, seeds, and fruits.  Grains, legumes, and refined vegetable oils and sugars would not have been viable sources of food for a hominid.  Think about it; when was the last time you went for a walk and stumbled across a vat of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil? 
Up until 10,000 years ago (which is fairly recent in comparison to the 2.5 million year span of the Paleolithic era), our ancestors did not partake in agricultural practices and were not able to cultivate and process grains into the infinitely praised “sliced bread” that we know today.  

The primal way of life (as advocated by Mark Sisson on his blog, Mark's Daily Apple) does allow for some foods to be eaten in moderation including dairy, dark chocolate, and alcohol.  I am a huge cheese fan, not to mention a self-proclaimed chocoholic, so these occasional indulgences fit my lifestyle exceptionally well...which is why I follow the primal lifestyle as much as possible.

Another aspect of primal living is being physically active while utilizing the benefits of nature to do so.  There is nothing I love more than some fresh air and a good, long hike to work up my appetite for some wholesome, primal foods.

Primal Proof:  
After adapting to the primal lifestyle myself a few months ago, my mom (who was recently diagnosed as “pre-diabetic”) became interested in the subject, as well.  After scheduling a blood test with her doctor, she decided that she would do some self-experimentation and attempt to eat somewhat primal for a week beforehand.  She cut out bread and refined carbs and stuck mainly to eggs, meat, veggies, and a little fruit and cheese.  She also decided to stop taking her cholesterol medication to see if it would have any impact on her blood test.  If you know anything about the benefits of eating primal, it shouldn’t be very surprising to you that my mom’s doctor reported that her cholesterol levels were excellent, even though she had stopped taking her medication.

For me and many others, the primal way of life is the “greatest thing since sliced bread,” which ironically isn’t so great, after all.  I could go on and on about the details and benefits of primal living, but I’ll get to that another time.  For now, I would rather focus on everyone’s favorite part: the food.