Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
10 Jul

12 Easy Ways to Primalize Your Everyday Life

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We can’t return to the paleolithic. We’re not cavemen. This isn’t about reenactment, and it never has been. We’re all here because we recognize the value in viewing our health, our food, our exercise, and our everyday behaviors through an evolutionary lens. The evolutionary angle is simply a helpful way to generate hypotheses, hypotheses that can then be tested and, if successful, integrated. At the very least, it’s interesting to think about what might be the “right” or “biologically appropriate” way to do something. We have the luxury of trying these things out to see if they improve our lives, so I think we probably should try them.

I’ve been thinking of some easy ways to Primalize everyday life. Basically, I think we can “get more” out of our days without really making any monumental changes to what we do or taking much more time to do it, simply by getting Primal with it. With a few subtle tweaks toward the ancestral, we can enhance everyday activities, foods, and drinks that we take for granted. Mundane stuff might suddenly become enriched. Let’s get to the list so you can learn my 12 easy ways to Primalize your everyday life:

1. Add a dash of sea salt and mineral drops to your drinking water.

Modern water purification processes typically remove minerals from our drinking water, particularly calcium, magnesium, iron, and manganese. Coincidentally, these are all essential to human health. Before water purification was developed, most water was “hard” – full of minerals. Bad for sudsing up your body with soap, good for overall mineral intake. That’s the water our bodies “expect,” and a large part of the magnesium deficiency epidemic, I suspect, is due to removal of magnesium from our drinking water. There’s certainly considerable evidence that the hardness of water can impact a population’s health:

You could buy expensive bottled mineral water to replace the lost minerals, but I prefer adding a dash of sea salt and using trace mineral drops to remineralize my regular water. It’s cheaper that way and you have more control. Instead of adding it to each glass, it’s easier to keep a large jug with a spout in your fridge and add the mixture to the jug. For a two gallon jug of water, I add about a half teaspoon of sea salt (colored or white, your choice) and a little over a teaspoon of these trace mineral drops.

2. Take better baths.

If modern water is so different from ancestral water, doesn’t that mean we should attempt to tweak the water in which we bathe, too? See the recent post for ideas on how to Primalize bathtime.

3. Work on mobility during routine oral hygiene.

Do you really need the mirror to know what to do when you brush your teeth? I don’t, which is why I try to practice my Grok squat every time I engage in oral hygiene-related activities. Flossing, brushing, swishing – I figure I might as well work on my full squat as long as I’m just standing there. Since you (probably should) brush your teeth twice a day for a minute or two each time, that’s two to four minutes of squatting each day.

Without a reference point (like “whenever you brush your teeth”), it’s easy to forget to practice squatting. You’re not likely to just spontaneously remember to squat, especially with chairs everywhere. This way, you have a “rule” that you have to follow and there’s an end in sight.

4. Camp/sleep out in the backyard.

If I could, I’d sleep outside every single night of my life. It doesn’t matter the circumstance – camping in Yosemite, falling asleep at the beach – because whenever I sleep outside, it’s the best sleep I’ve had in a long time. Is it the fresh air? The forest bathing? The natural light cycles? I don’t know. I just know it works.

Obviously, you’ll need a backyard for this, and I don’t expect you to do this every night. But – especially if you have kids or a significant other – sleeping out back can be a fun little “staycation” (told myself I’d never use that term, but it works so well for what I’m trying to convey). It’s not as good as a campsite at a national park or anything. And unless you live in a rural area, you probably won’t get much wildlife encroachment. No bears, no deer. Maybe a cat or raccoon or two. But you’re still outside, and you’re still getting fresh air and (hopefully, depending on light pollution) seeing the same stars our ancestors marveled at.

You may have missed the Great American Backyard Campout. But it’s never too late to give this a whirl.

5. If you can get to where you’re going and back in a mile or less, walk.

I love walking, and I’m constantly recommending you do it as much as possible. For some odd reason, though, it’s hard to just get up and walk for the heck of it. I have the same issue; I need a destination, like a summit, a trail, a beach, or a store. I need some external reason to walk. Maybe it’s hardwired in us. Maybe walking to get places was so standard that walking for pleasure never entered the equation. I can see that.

Why a mile? A mile roundtrip isn’t all that much to walk. A half mile there, a half mile back. That’s fifteen, twenty minutes, tops. Driving will get you there quicker, but only by ten or fifteen minutes – not a whole lot. If you can spare that much time, you can walk.

6. Sweep instead of vacuuming.

To this day, I prefer sweeping to vacuuming. Now, I don’t “enjoy” sweeping, per se, but I do find it rather meditative when I have to pick something off the ground. The whisk of the broom, the physical displacement of the dust and dirt occurring before your very eyes in real time, the fact that you have to squat down to get everything into the dust pan (unless you have one of those fancy dust pans with the long handles). It all adds up to a peaceful, mobilizing experience. And yeah, vacuuming’s faster, but who likes that raging whirr of the motor? Certainly not your pets.

Besides, sweeping doesn’t take that much longer than vacuuming.

I draw the line at hand washing plates and utensils, though. Dishwasher all the way.

7. Making a sauce? Blending a smoothie? Add egg yolks.

Egg yolks really do make everything better. They are incredible emulsifiers, helping smooth out sauces and smoothies. They taste great, providing a nice creamy mouthfeel to dishes while smoothing out any bitter tastes. They’re incredibly nutrient dense, containing ample amounts of choline, folate, vitamin E, selenium, iodine, vitamin A, healthy fats, and biotin. And raw yolks are usually very safe to eat. There’s a small, small chance of salmonella, but it’s very small (did I say “small”?).

Toss them into anything that’ll have them.

8. Eat dinner on the ground, outside, and/or with your hands.

This is all about getting closer to your food, your environment, and the people for whom you care. Instead of sitting around the living room, plates on your laps, eyes trained on the TV, take your food outside. Throw down a blanket (or not) and plop down on the ground with your food and some friends. Sit around and hang out, trade stories, laugh, and share food. If you’re really adventurous (and you didn’t make soup), eat with your hands. Keep a few heads of romaine lettuce around to grab food with. It won’t take much more time than setting the table, and you’ll be able to enjoy your food and company in the (marginal) outdoors.

If you’re a bachelor(ette), call up some buddies and set up a weekly picnic-for-dinner thing. Grab a bottle of wine, pack your food, and meet up at a local park or someone’s backyard.

9. Take the stairs.

This is an easy one. Short bouts of stair walking have been shown to improve cardiovascular fitness and blood lipids in women. And these truly were short bouts. Week one, they walked up 199 stairs once per day for five days. This continued until week eight, where subjects were doing five 199-step ascents per day for five days. Each ascent took about two minutes. So, between two and ten minutes of walking up stairs per day was enough to improve their fitness.  I see no reason the same wouldn’t occur in men. The best part about this is that they’re just stairs. You can easily take the stairs wherever possible and continue your regular workout regimen without missing a beat.

As to how to take the stairs, it depends on what effect you’re after. Going two steps at a time expends more energy per stride, but going one step at a time results in an overall higher workload. Taking two steps at a time should provide more stimulus to your musculature.

Oh, and arrive to places on time, or early. That way you won’t have to take the elevator to make your appointments. Or if you are late, get to know stair sprints!

10. Crawl around your home.

Okay, maybe this one is slightly more disruptive to your regular routine than the other ideas, but c’mon. You’re indoors (no one can see you). You’re limited to distances spanning the interior of your domicile. If you have to go check the status of your bone broth simmering in the kitchen, get on all fours and crawl there.

Crawling is excellent for shoulder and hip mobility, core strength, and overall body control. You won’t just get better at crawling by crawling on a regular basis, you’ll also improve your overall athleticism and body awareness.

11. Keep a weight at your office or around your house, and carry it around with you.

This may sound silly, but it’s really good for general overall toughening up. Have a kettlebell, dumbbell, or any other easily-graspable weight that you don’t mind carrying around with you. A big heavy sandbag that you sling over your shoulder would work, I guess, if it weren’t for all the sand dust getting everywhere.

12. Use a sunrise alarm clock or black out shades timed to rise with the sun.

Anyone who camps knows how nice it is to wake up with the sun, feeling incredibly refreshed. You can’t replace the great outdoors, the sun above, and the birds in the trees with an appliance that fits on your bedside table, but you can give it a pretty good shot. The Wake-up Light from Phillips wakes you up by gradually increasing the intensity of the light it emits while playing nature sounds to make waking up a smooth, energizing experience.

Another option is to install black out shades in your bedroom timed to rise with the sun. So, you get total darkness when it matters – during sleep – but get to wake up with the natural morning light streaming into your room.

That’s it: 12 simple, basic ways to make your everyday life a little more Primal and a lot more healthful. What did I miss? How do you Primalize your daily routine?

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Don’t forget to crawl around the office too

    Marty wrote on July 10th, 2013
    • Just in case my colleagues had any doubts about my sanity…:-)

      Primal-V wrote on July 10th, 2013
      • Even better combine the crawling with your sex play (I shall take my coat and go….. we English are very kinky)

        EnglishRose2012 wrote on July 10th, 2013
        • Lol – Welcome across the bridge anytime!

          WelshGrok wrote on July 10th, 2013
        • When my grandchildren are over, I’ll crawl around with them. I’ve come to realize I get quite a work out doing that. Wrestling with my 5 yr old grandson is a great cardio work out too.

          Kelly wrote on July 12th, 2013
      • Like mine have any doubts! They’re convinced that at best, I’m slightly eccentric. I mean, I stand most of the day at work, walk to the mail room 1/4 mile down the road, am seen on the trails around the lake near my office walking barefoot, do yoga in the conference room after work, have salads most days for lunch, have a bunch of plants in my office…. And if that weren’t enough, there’s Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell’s fantasy calendar on my wall. And I readily agree that the only reason I can get away with it is that I’m female and that no, it’s not fair. (When one guy complained to me too much [about the lack of fairness] I told him he could shut up and enjoy the calendar, or keep complaining and I would take it home.)

        b2curious wrote on July 10th, 2013
    • Crawling in the office is genius! You will at least get noticed at work doing that right. Sleeping outside sounds great to me also, thinking hammock.

      Tom T. wrote on July 10th, 2013
    • …and the grocery store….

      Patrick wrote on July 10th, 2013
  2. Mindful list. Small things here and there which can make a ton of difference in the long haul.

    I have been doing #3 for a quite while now – you automatically tend to brush your teeth more mindfully while squatting down and enjoying the process. :)

    Also, squatting down and staying in that position in a full train with no seats available has earned me the weirdest looks from people around me who prefer to be standing.

    Stephan R wrote on July 10th, 2013
    • Love doing #3 as well.

      I began doing it by balancing on one leg while brushing my teeth. Now, I alternate nights between squatting and single-leg balancing. I still can’t get into a pistol squat while doing it, though… My friends do enjoy making fun of me while I squat down in their rooms when there’s no chair available.

      And #7 is great. I’ve shared this with the people on MDA before, but egg yolks really do make for awesome smoothies. http://www.brainbodybelly.com/2013/06/17/recipe-paleo-protein-shake/ People don’t think my recipe is half-bad. I love it. Yummy.

      Mark P wrote on July 10th, 2013
  3. Is it bad that the main take home point for me in all this is that its ok to use the dish washer?

    Also… It’s too bad that sweeping just isn’t very effective on carpet… Looks like I’m still tied to our vacuum!

    Bjjcaveman wrote on July 10th, 2013
    • I always hand wash. It takes longer to rinse dishes and put them in the dishwasher than to actually wash the dishes themselves.

      Nocona wrote on July 10th, 2013
      • Gotta disagree here. First, rinsing isn’t necessary most of the time, unless the plate has large chunks on it (in which case rinsing generally only takes a second or two); and second, unless your dish volume is small enough to fit into a drainer, you’ll have to dry and put away dishes in mid-stream to make room for the rest of them.

        Anyway, I use the dishwasher for what I can, and handwash the rest.

        Jay Gloab wrote on July 10th, 2013
        • There’s a lot less reason to have a dishwasher if you’re rinsing them before throwing them in. Scrape yes (you’d do it anyway to hand wash), rinse no. The absolute only time we rinse is to take tomato sauce off the plates because it messes with the chemistry of the detergent.

          Other than that, the dishes go in pretty dirty. (Which is the point, right??)

          Amy wrote on July 10th, 2013
      • I’m in the hand wash camp too. I fill up the sink with hot soapy water halfway. As I cook, I throw in the used dishes. I don gloves and wash them with a cloth letting the rinse-water continue to fill the soapy water. Gets my dishes much cleaner, much sooner than a dishwasher can. And if it turns out I need a dish again, it’s already soaking in soapy water — it’s nothing to wash, rinse and then put the dish back into commission.

        I use my dishwasher as a giant dish rack.

        Toaster for sale! wrote on July 10th, 2013
        • Yes! And I thought I was the only one who used the dishwasher as a giant drying rack!

          Delta Dave wrote on July 15th, 2013
        • I used to be a dishwasher person myself until mine broke last year…I got used to washing by hand quickly and now actually enjoy the 5-10 minutes of washing after making a meal. There’s only 2 of us at home, so maybe that makes it easier than if we had a large family, but I love the feeling of cleaning the dishes and then letting them air dry on the counter (on a dish towel…don’t even need a rack if you stack properly). We could have fixed or replaced the dishwasher at any time, but now I don’t even see the point of it…maybe if we decide to sell our house we’ll put a new one in there for the next owner.

          Brandie wrote on June 10th, 2014
      • When using a dishwasher, you should not rinse the dishes before putting them in. It wastes so much water. Just scrape the dishes to get large chunks off. I usually don’t have to scrape, because of all these fabulous primal recipes, I lick the plate clean!

        Sheri wrote on July 11th, 2013
        • Rinsing doesn’t waste that much water if you only open the tap a little and scrub instead of using water pressure to remove food. Does your dish washer actually clean off food when it’s been sitting with dirty dishes in it for several days? Because we don’t fill it up that fast and don’t put in big stuff, only run it when full. Ours doesn’t clean well and leaves residue, maybe we buy really cheap soap. I don’t know because I prefer hand washing. I like to remove all food first with just a wet scrubby cloth then kind of like someone above said only fill up the sink a little bit but I catch the rinse water to throw outside. I might use more water than a dish washer but most of the water gets used twice! Now washing clothes by hand… I haven’t tried that. I only do it once in a while when I need something right away or it’s been stained.

          Damian wrote on July 15th, 2013
    • Ditto. I have no dishwasher but my own two hands – so washing by hand it is . . . . and I do have carpet (and bad hay fever) so I’ll stick to vacuuming. I only sweep hard surfaces.

      Amy wrote on July 10th, 2013
      • @Damian, I use cascade platinum and my dishwasher still can’t be trusted to do the work! Haha.

        Nenad wrote on March 22nd, 2014
    • I sweep carpet when I can’t be bothered dragging vac out. It does a cosmetically acceptable job. :-)

      Jane britton wrote on July 10th, 2013
      • Is that like sweeping a problem under the rug?

        Nocona wrote on July 10th, 2013
      • It certainly picks up all the hair my dog and I shed :)

        Katie wrote on July 13th, 2013
    • There are lots of old fashioned (non-electric) carpet sweepers. They do a fairly good job.

      Harry Mossman wrote on July 10th, 2013
  4. Put graffiti on the cave walls!

    Groktimus Primal wrote on July 10th, 2013
  5. If you are lucky enough to live in rural area, your backyard may be WAY more relaxing and secluded than a campsite in a National park. If you must take the National Park route, look for information on “back country camping” if you are really looking to get out into nature.

    PhilmontScott wrote on July 10th, 2013
    • I agree with this. Camping at most campgrounds these days (National parks included) is fraught with so many annoyances, it’s barely worth it. My biggest issue is that the campsites are typically right on top of each other. From a business standpoint, it makes sense to pack people in like sardines. From the standpoint of someone going out to get back to nature, as it were, it sucks.

      Sharon wrote on July 10th, 2013
    • Am lucky to live in New Mexico rural area. We have a sleeping porch where you can sleep under the stars and listen to the coyotes. Also, don’t have curtains on east windows of bedroom, so I rarely sleep in. If I do; the chickens clucking to be let out wakes me up. The one thing I try to do is carry a pedometer and make sure I get 10000 steps in, every day.

      bamboo wrote on July 10th, 2013
      • “where you can sleep under the stars and listen to the coyotes” <–This.

        That sounds like the coolest thing ever (as I sit at my desk here in Australia). Man, that sounds awesome!

        goodzilla wrote on July 10th, 2013
      • I’m jealous!!! Sounds wonderful.

        Bev wrote on July 11th, 2013
    • I live on some acerage and removed the body of an ambulance, repainted it and put a single bed above a full size bed in it. Deck in front, with outdoor kitchen on the deck. My wife still does not understand “why you sleep at the river when a have a perfectly good house on the hill”. Of course, the family joins me each morning by the river for breakfast. Veery relaxing…

      You can see this @ http://www.marksdailyapple.com/grokfeast-in-virginia-2/#axzz2NziJhHJU

      Patrick wrote on July 10th, 2013
    • Alas, we camp only as a means of cheap travel. We have 3 kids, so it’s a whole lotta work, and that’s car camping even. Backyard camping offers plenty of space, no loading up the car, and private bathrooms.

      Amy wrote on July 10th, 2013
  6. It’s hard to sleep with natural light cycles in Northern Europe (ie the UK). At the moment, it gets dark at around 10pm, and starts getting light around 4am. In winter, it gets dark around 5pm, and light around 7am. I know Grok was in Africa… but did his Northern European descendants sleep for different amounts at different times of the year??

    Scott UK wrote on July 10th, 2013
    • I’m British and wondered the same thing… also I’m not sure about the total blackout stuff, I suspect even in Africa once Grok discovered fire, he’d sleep by it at nights to keep the large carnivorous animals away, and even at the equator it gets dratted cold at night. I can’t believe any tribe significantly north or south of the equator extinguished their fire at night, especilly when lighting it again could take time and be a bit hit and miss.

      At night, I like to use candles or tealights in a safety holder, they don’t as far as i know emit the UV range that halts melatonin production, but that’s just me.

      Patrick wrote on July 10th, 2013
      • Oh and PS, having slept outside with no tent a few times myself – that moon? Bloomin’ bright as anything on a dark-adapted eye for most of its cycle! So the total-darkness thing doesn’t seem credible for that reason either.

        Patrick wrote on July 10th, 2013
        • Moon? – Oh you mean that bright blurry thing we sometimes see through the clouds – I guess those al-fresco nights must have been on foreign holidays Patrick (unless you you were wearing a fur coat & an aqualung ;-) )

          WelshGrok wrote on July 10th, 2013
      • They probably didn’t actually have a flame going all night – just embers. Easy enough to get it going in the morning by adding more fuel. I think the black-out curtains and such are just to block out all the artificial light common in urban living.

        Mantonat wrote on July 10th, 2013
    • Agreed, here in western Washington state in the US our sun is running about the same. I would imagine my neighbors to the north in Canada-only about 7km from my house- would be even more effected. It is wonderful for camping though, even if my six year old son wakes up at the crack of dawn at around 4 to 4:30am. I think our northern European ancestors did take some advantage of the extra daylight. I have a sister in Alaska where in the summer there really isn’t a night but a couple hours of twilight. She says she ends up staying up too long to get things done and gets exhausted during the summers if she isn’t paying attention.

      Ingvildr wrote on July 10th, 2013
    • Actually, there may have been different sleeping cycles. I’m not sure about the geographical differences, though. From what I understand, people went to bed when it got dark, and often, when the moon was bright, got up again and did stuff while there was light. So maybe they went to bed at 5 and got up again at 10pm then went back to bed at 3 until morning. I will look for the article I read this information in and if I can find it, I will post it here.

      Jenn Heart wrote on July 10th, 2013
      • Mark talked about that in one of his posts–bi-phasic sleeping or something…

        Darcie wrote on July 10th, 2013
  7. I must really make a confession that before now, I had virtually no idea as to what primal living was all about. However, just taking time to go through Mark’s piece shed enough light on the topic. I most say that this is one really wonderful and outstanding piece. What I like most about the post is the way the steps have been listed out sequentially and carefully explained. Not so many writers take their time to do that, especially on ‘obscure’ topics like this one. It is now left to readers like me to make the best of all that has been written – for a better life.

    Allan wrote on July 10th, 2013
  8. last week we tried sleeping out back- worst night of sleep between late night neighbors slamming car doors and dogs barking- other peoples AC’s kicking on and trains going by -by 3am we called it quits and went back to bed

    lockard wrote on July 10th, 2013
    • I was exhausted reading this…LOL

      Patrick wrote on July 10th, 2013
    • That sounds like my yard too, sadly. Just moved (due to job change) to suburbia after a lifetime of living very rural. I miss the space & peace of my old yard in the country. Someday….

      Lora wrote on July 11th, 2013
  9. Bonfire in your backyard!! (BTW I live on the beach)

    Lucylu wrote on July 10th, 2013
  10. In regards to raw eggs, the stats referenced indicate 661,663 human illnesses out of the 69,000,000,000 (69 billion) eggs consumed annually. That’s 0.0000096%. Of those illnesses, 94% recovered without medical attention, barely 5% saw a physician, etc. In a recently acquired Paleo Cookbook (Pratical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo, http://www.amazon.ca/dp/1936608758), it mentions that approximately one in 16,000 eggs have this type of contamination. As I started eating 2 raw eggs per day I thought out the math: chances are I will encounter one contaminated egg every 22 YEARS. That’s 4 eggs from birth throughout the end of the average life expectancy.
    Nutrient packed, and super fast jump start in the morning.

    Isaac wrote on July 10th, 2013
    • My friend’s family must’ve been part of the lucky 0.0000096% :-/

      Darcie wrote on July 10th, 2013
    • Those numbers are reduced drastically if they are not industrial eggs, but rather local farm, free-range eggs.

      stevenr.f. wrote on July 14th, 2013
  11. It’s 100+ degrees here in the summer, no way I’m walking anywhere.
    I don’t even leave the apartment until the sun goes down.
    I’d love to live somewhere more foot friendly, but it’s not financially feasible until next summer at the earliest. :-(

    SusynK wrote on July 10th, 2013
  12. I am privileged to work on the 5th floor of the hospital at work with 4 flights of stairs per floor. I never take the elevator. It is an awesome workout though. Sometimes I even sprint them. Love that HGH.

    Erin wrote on July 10th, 2013
  13. If sleeping outside isn’t a nice option, getting up at the same time as the sun and having a relaxing quiet (and quite early) morning in the still, quiet fresh air before the rest of the world wakes up is almost as good.Most of the world is pretty quiet at first light; the late-nighters have gone to bed, and no one else is up yet. My favorite time of day is between first light and when the sun breaks the horizon (definitely easier in the summer, BC has pretty short days come winter).

    Isaac wrote on July 10th, 2013
    • agreed this is when i walk my dog – or go for a jog- its nice to watch the sunrise

      lockard wrote on July 10th, 2013
  14. This is over the top. I’m all for eating right, but crawling around the house? Eating with your hands? Primalizing your bath water? If anyone brings this up around the water cooler, I’m going to laugh at them. Riotously.

    S wrote on July 10th, 2013
    • Eating with your hands is a foreign enough concept to you that you mock it? LOL. Okay. I guess you’ve never had Indian food, or Ethiopian food, or lettuce wraps, or buffalo wings, or any other finger food? If you laugh around the water cooler, I’ll be polite, but will probably be laughing inside at your sheltered life.

      SJ wrote on July 10th, 2013
      • I used to eat pizza, chips (fries) and burgers with my hands, nobody batted an eye.

        As for crawling, if someone invented a £/$1,500 “Crawlmaster deluxe” where you use equipment to make the exact same motions, nobody would bat an eye, and plenty of people would be happy to pay up!

        Babies seem to have almost no muscle tone in their torsos when born, crawling seems to strengthen their core enough to start walking upright, so mock it if you must but it’s probably the first exercise (movement with the purpose of devloping muscle) any of us ever did.

        Patrick wrote on July 10th, 2013
        • I have a six year old boy. I can crawl on the floor and chase him as ‘mommy monster’ and he has a blast.

          Ingvildr wrote on July 10th, 2013
        • Got one of those in my local boxing gym! I haven’t used it but it looks like torture equipment. Lol

          I’m a Kung-Fu teacher & have used crawling & “Wheel-barrow” exercises for decades, (The Shaolin Monks have been crawling up & down steps for more than thousand years!); essential for fighting from the floor – nothing improves your agility like it!

          WelshGrok wrote on July 10th, 2013
      • It’s not that eating with your hands is a foreign concept, it’s the suggestion that you should do it to the exclusion of fork and knife. Or sit on the ground, to the exclusion of chairs.

        It feels like these things are pointless. Yes, they’ll make you more like the mythical Grok but to what end?

        Minerals in your drinking water or bathwater, OK, I can see the point there.

        Jay Gloab wrote on July 10th, 2013
        • Sitting on the ground means using more muscles and flexibility to get up and down. Kids do it all the time. I don’t think anyone suggested excluding chairs, just using them a little less. Same with silverware. I don’t really see the point of eating everything with bare hands, except that it might be fun. I know I always enjoy eating roast chicken parts with my hands rather than trying to carve off all the meat with a knife.

          Maybe some of these things are just a matter of giving yourself permission to be a little silly sometimes.

          Mantonat wrote on July 10th, 2013
        • If you have kids, getting out of chairs and sitting on the ground is to be at their level. We’ve had a lot more fun recently as I tried to get out of the habit of always sitting in chairs.

          Eating with your hands can be fun, but it depends on the person. Forks and knives keep your hands clean, if nothing else.

          Amy wrote on July 10th, 2013
      • I’m so going to try the weekly picnic with my friends. I am fortunate to live in a city that every Wednesday night they show a movie out on the lawn of the Myriad Gardens. So next week we are going to make it a picnic and movie night. Can’t hardly wait!

        Paula wrote on July 11th, 2013
    • I take it you’ve never had a hot dog, sandwich, pizza, tacos, nachos, drum stick or any other food that it’s common to eat with your hands then? Much less eaten traditional foods that are often consumed sans utensils.

      And nothing wrong with crawling either. I don’t make it a daily habit to go crawling around my house – but I do get on my hand and knees to play with the kids at work or to play with my dog at home – and it’s useful to maintain that range of motion for times I need to crawl to get to something in a tight space, or if (God Forbid) I was ever in a house fire or needed to crawl out of debris after a tornado or something.

      I find your scoffing at the ideas rather ignorant and short sighted I must say.

      Amy wrote on July 10th, 2013
    • …I always eat with my hands…in the middle of the night…in the dark…in the bed…in my sleep…with no plate…’n no napkin. I do. Now that’s over the top :)

      Jeannie_5 wrote on July 10th, 2013
  15. I enjoy the articles and try to use what I can…The style makes me want to click and read on!…

    Richard E. wrote on July 10th, 2013
  16. One of the simple daily things I have done to primalizing my life is only having a few days of food in my fridge (freezer is different). Think about what you really want to eat the next day or two, buy fresh, buy local, buy in small amounts. It is a fantastic feeling to open the fridge and see lots of white space – it inspires the imagination.

    Anne Habiby wrote on July 10th, 2013
    • That would inspire panic in my household. ;)

      Amy wrote on July 10th, 2013
  17. I already do a few of these things quite regularly since we live and travel full time in an RV. The thought of crawling or squatting in my RV is pretty funny since there is barely room to turn around in my bathroom or crawling from one end to another would be about 10 feet. I suppose I could crawl around the campground go. People already think we are crazy traveling around with 2 kids, 2 dogs, a cat, and a turtle. Why not crawl around with those guys. :-)

    Jenn wrote on July 10th, 2013
    • awesome …what kind of profession can support full time RV travel – this would be a dream
      (yes we have 2 dogs and 2 kids as well)

      lockard wrote on July 10th, 2013
    • opps read your girl hero – found out how you make it happen

      lockard wrote on July 10th, 2013
  18. If shopping at a box store or mall, park your vehicle at the outer most end of the parking lot.

    Marc wrote on July 10th, 2013
    • Not always the best option from a personal safety point of view, especially if coming back laden with stuff, so one to proceed with caution, I think.

      Patrick wrote on July 10th, 2013
      • That’s what the spear and club are for.

        Mantonat wrote on July 10th, 2013
  19. I already do walk to most places – even more than a mile. If it takes me less than 30 minutes to walk there I will do it. The stairs may prove more difficult – there are no stairs where I work (single story building). But I am going to start incorporating some of the other suggestions.

    salixisme wrote on July 10th, 2013
  20. Foraging for my food every day or two, has made my life more primal. The grocery store is a mile away, so I walk it and carrying those supplies home pleases my inner hunter/gatherer. It also means my food is fresh as possible and there is less waste.
    Farmer’s market is only one block, but I do live on the second floor!
    Great post, Mark!

    rose wrote on July 10th, 2013
  21. I just added an egg yoke to my smoothie this morning for the first time (before I even read this), and it really did make a difference, delicious.

    Amgino wrote on July 10th, 2013
  22. Now why didn’t I think of crawling around the house!?
    I watch my kids do it all the time. And they’re not babies either (7 & 9 yrs old), but they ARE often puppies, horses, escaping danger, or spying on each other! Oh, to be a kid again! They think of all the greatest exercises, and they don’t even know they’re doing it! Guess that’s why “Play” is written into those rules somewhere, lest we forget.
    :-)

    Beth wrote on July 10th, 2013
  23. Don’t knock the crawling. Something like half of the ambulance calls in retirement places are to pick up people who have fallen… and can’t get up?

    How do they get that way? I think it’s YEARS of not getting down on the floor and getting back up again.

    WereBear wrote on July 10th, 2013
    • I just recently read an article about a new health test where you sit on the ground and someone observes how you get back up. The fewer body parts that touch the ground when you stand up, the better your overall health. There was a strong correlation between people who had extreme difficulty getting off the ground and people in the study who were dead within a year.
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2247402/Can-floor-using-hands-If-heading-early-grave.html

      Mantonat wrote on July 10th, 2013
      • Great! Something else to be fearful of, LOL.

        Carla wrote on July 10th, 2013
    • Yep. My Mom is a “fall” risk in her early 70’s. She’s significantly overweight, spent most of her life avoid any physical exertion (including walking), and has a terrible gait. I don’t think I’ve *ever* seen her even sit on the ground, let alone crawl around. She literally can’t get up any more if she falls. (She’s in assisted living now, so at least she’s watched.)

      Amy wrote on July 10th, 2013
  24. I carry a weight around the office all the time. It’s called a MacBook.

    Jeremy wrote on July 10th, 2013
  25. Ever since our daughter was born I carry a kettlebell with me when walking the dog (if Ava isn’t already strapped to my chest). It makes carrying her around in an infant seat so much easier. People look at me crazy when I have the infant seat in one hand and the grocery basket/bags in the other. I highly recommend soon to be dads carry a kettlebell the entire 9 months that mama is carrying the baby. It’ll make the transition so much easier!

    Ham-Bone wrote on July 10th, 2013
    • I wish I had thought of this before. My little one is 18 months. I always carry her in my left arm because I’m right handed and so it’s easier to fumble for keys or whatever with that hand. When I started a Body Pump class a few months ago, my left arm was significantly stronger than my right. You can’t tell by looking, but wow, there is a big difference.

      Jenn Heart wrote on July 10th, 2013
  26. I do a lot of these. I’m lucky enough to live on an island where the town is one square mile and I walk everywhere and on my morning exercise walk (30 minutes up a steep hill and down again, I stop and do 30 pushups) I’d like to add that we should be striving to obtain soy free produced eggs. It’s made a huge difference to a health concern I was dealing with. You can get them at Whole Foods or order them from Tropical Traditions. They’re expensive, but I’ve found them very worthwhile. There are so many ways to get exercise. I call myself an opportunistic exerciser. When I get some groceries, as I walk home I do curls with them or arm lifts.. When I wait in any lines I do calf raises. So many opportunities…and then you don’t have to stop to go to a gym. No expense and your body is constantly being called on. Weights for triceps are really good when watching t.v., too. It takes a while to get into the habit of doing this but once you do it’s like you never really “exercise”. You just live your life like that. I’m in better shape now at 64 than I was at 30 and worked out in a gym!

    ellen wrote on July 10th, 2013
  27. I put my recumbent bike in the den where I watch TV so I can pedal away, slowly, instead of just sitting on the couch.

    shellyann wrote on July 10th, 2013
  28. I’m an office gal so I ditched the chair and got a raised standing desk 1.5 years ago. It was the best move I’ve made. Circulation is better and I”m more mentally alert. I started a trend as several co-workers have now gone this route as well. They feel great too! But ladies, you do need to ditch the heels obviously.

    On a side note, I read the PB on advice of a friend and went paleo six weeks ago. It’s doing amazing things for me. I’m really grateful for the book and these tips. Also, your search engine on this page is fantabulous!

    You’ve changed my life. I feel indebted!

    Cheers,

    Lauren

    lauren wrote on July 10th, 2013
  29. Just turn the TV off! Then sweep the floor and then crawl around looking for a place to sleep while looking at the stars.

    Debi wrote on July 10th, 2013
  30. After recently being diagnosed with Lyme’s disease (which probably caused my MS) I’m a bit timid when it comes to being in the woods let alone sleeping outdoors (I don’t have a yard anyway). If I have to spray my body up and down to prevent more bites, its not going to be that relaxing for me.

    Carla wrote on July 10th, 2013
    • The bug issue is one of the first things I thought of when he suggested sleeping outdoors. That’s a not so fun moment.

      Amy wrote on July 10th, 2013
      • Asian Tiger Mosquitos are spreading in the northeast – unlike native bugs they bite any time of day – makes sleeping in the backyard a bit hazardous these days.

        framistat wrote on July 12th, 2013
  31. I bought that exact Phillips Wake-up Light several months ago, and I have to say it’s one of the best investments I’ve ever made.

    James wrote on July 10th, 2013
  32. Bahaha, Mark, I totally crawl around my house everyday. It freaks my parents out. I always tell them to shush, I’m getting “Grok-y”. I don’t think that comforts them any. Oh well. XD

    Cassidy wrote on July 10th, 2013
  33. Excellent post, and what I like most is that the approach is so sensible. Sensible! No need to buy into any big belief system, no need to revolutionize your life or attempt big things that are hard to sustain. You can just do the ones that make sense for you and feel good, and be pretty sure you’re contributing to your wellbeing, even if in modest ways. Maybe it’s true the “devil is in the details,” but it’s even more true, and certainly more important, that the angels sing in the small things in life. I go places by a slightly longer route that’s more beautiful. Walk outside your door the minute my feet hit the floor in the morning. Take a few really deep breaths and feel my life tingling inside of me, whenever I think of it. Play with my pets more.

    Kay wrote on July 10th, 2013
  34. I have to admit, I like Perrier and it does have magnesium, among other things. No where can I find how much you need to take. Perrier by the way: All values in milligrams per liter (mg/l)

    pH 5.46
    Calcium (Ca) 147.3
    Chloride (Cl−) 21.5
    Bicarbonate (HCO3) 390
    Fluoride (Fl) 0.12
    Magnesium (Mg) 3.4
    Nitrate (NO3) 18
    Potassium (K) 0.6
    Sodium (Na) 9
    Sulfates (SO) 33

    Tim gortner wrote on July 10th, 2013
  35. The mineralized water part reminds of this. Sole therapy or brine therapy. People think I’m nuts when I tell them I use this. http://himalayancrystalsalt.com/sole-therapy.html

    Corey B wrote on July 10th, 2013
  36. Standing desk (makeshift-computer on top of a step stool, on the counter-what a difference in my back pain!), sitting on the floor (criss cross applesauce!) and most importantly, growing my own herbs and vegetables. Can’t get more primal than going out back and harvesting your own dinner!

    kate wrote on July 10th, 2013
  37. Get a puppy and you WILL walk more. XD

    Having a puppy has done wonders for getting out and walking and spending more time in nature. Because if I don’t, I’ll regret it later when she hasn’t gotten enough exercise and zooming around the house, trying to chew on electrical cords.

    A tired pup is a well-behaved pup, and if I get a little exercise in too I can’t really complain. :)

    I have trouble sleeping outside though… >_< When we go camping, sleeping outside is the worst part of it for me, even in a tent. It's hard to get comfortable and I'm always still tired in the morning.

    Noni wrote on July 10th, 2013
    • I feel your pain about camping. I take two sets of foam pads (about 2 inches thick each) because l am a “sissy-la-la” about all of that. Still not as comfortable as my own bed but better than nothing. I suppose to be primal I should take a feather mattress but foam pads are easier to hunt and gather for me. I won’t mention the electric blanket I take, shhhhhh.

      2Rae wrote on July 10th, 2013
      • Shh…don’t tell anyone: put one foam pad under an air mattress and another on top. They sell inflators that plug into car jacks. A beautiful thing, air mattresses, and I’m sure extremely primal. ;)

        Amy wrote on July 10th, 2013
    • There is a saying — if your dog is fat YOU don’t exercise enough!

      dkd2001 wrote on July 10th, 2013
  38. Love this! Backyard camping and eating on the porch, enjoying the birds chirping are a few of my favorite things. I didn’t know that automatic window shades existed.

    Bev wrote on July 10th, 2013
  39. I never tought of camping in my yard haha but i definitly want to try it :D

    adriana wrote on July 10th, 2013
  40. I haven’t camped out in the backyard since I was a child.

    The Himalayan pink sea salt does wonders in the morning.

    Braden Talbot wrote on July 10th, 2013
    • Hi Braden, what do you do with the salt? and what ‘wonders’ are you talking about??? Just curious…

      :)

      LTS wrote on July 11th, 2013

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