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15 Primal Ways to Savor the Holiday Season

This past summer I did a slow living inspired guide to enjoying summer [1]. Those lazy days feel long gone now, but I’ve heard from a number of readers lately who are looking to fill their winter and holiday seasons with the same Primal inspiration. Besides the amazing recipes [2] and great winter workouts [3], what food for thought can the Primal Blueprint offer this time of year? What can we do to make the most of these shortest, darkest days and busiest holiday weeks? What does it mean – in practical as well as broader terms – to apply a Primal lens to the season?

Let me actually reframe it in terms of the Primal Connection [4] – the concept that our evolutionary roots have something to teach us in creating a contented, fulfilling life – because I think it most aptly addresses the question. In making the Primal Connection, we’re motivated to embrace the full potential and pleasure of our physical as well as intuitive selves. We’re moved to reconnect with the natural world and our innate rhythms. We’re drawn to explore deeper, more essential dimensions of social relationships [5] and expand our practice of creative play [6].

The modern dilemma is often untangling ourselves from the distracting and distorting cultural baggage attached to these fundamental inclinations. Look at what we too often put ourselves through this time of year. As much as we’re driven to fit in with our surrounding culture – a complicated instinct of its own – there’s a certain irony in the fact that these weeks are often our most unhealthy. While nature encourages us to lay low, rest more, and keep life casual, many of us are burning the candle at both ends. We sleep less, eat more junk food, rush more often, overspend more frequently, and then wonder why we’re so tired and cranky by the end of it.

A lot of great blogs and publications encourage us to slow down during the holidays. By all means, the slow movement is as applicable now as it was back in August. In the spirit of those readers’ inquiries, however, let me take it a step further. If slow suggests a pace for living and a subsequent winnowing of priorities, what practical cues can the Primal Connection add to that deliberation? What can our Primal roots remind us to prioritize in the midst of the commercial blitz? And how do we put the holidays in perspective and give the winter season it’s celebratory due? In short, beyond the buffets, what does it mean to keep it Primal this time of year?



Inner Life




Thanks for reading today, everyone. Share your own thoughts and suggestions on enjoying a full Primal season. Have a great weekend.

The Sequel to The Primal Blueprint Releases on January 8

In a few short weeks I’ll be releasing The Primal Connection, the long-awaited sequel to The Primal Blueprint [29]. As friends and colleagues within the ancestral movement have so generously described, The Primal Connection offers the first really new dimension in the paleo/Primal space in years. Is there any better way to start the new year – not to mention the fact that we all survived the Mayan apocalypse? In all seriousness, I’ve been pumped about this launch for months now.

Like The Primal Blueprint [29], The Primal Connection is both a culmination and expansion of principles I’ve first introduced here on MDA. It picks up where The Primal Blueprint left off, by extending the primal theme beyond the diet and exercise basics. In it I present a comprehensive plan to overcome the flawed mentality and hectic pace of high-tech, modern life and reprogram your genes to become joyful, care-free, and at peace with the present. Inherent to The Primal Connection is the concept that we can use the model of our ancestors to create not just a healthier existence but also a more balanced and fulfilling life. My hope is that upon reading it you’ll emerge with a renewed appreciation for the simple pleasures of life and our most precious gifts of time, health, and love.

Just as I did [30]for Primal Blueprint Healthy Sauces, Dressings & Toppings [31] earlier this month, I’ll have something special put together for devoted Mark’s Daily Apple readers when this book is released on January 8th, 2013. So mark your calendar and be ready to jump on the offer while it lasts.