I’ve been getting a slew of emails lately from marathon runners and other endurance athletes among our group, many in response to our 30-Day Primal Health Challenge. Questions have run the gamut but generally get at how to combine endurance training and Primal Blueprint methodology:
How do I combine a low carb diet with marathon training? (Hint: you generally can’t)
What would you recommend for carb refueling post-race?
Can I even do the PB challenge if I have to adapt the diet for training purposes?
I get emails every day from people who are changing their lives for the better by following the guidelines I outline on this site. But many are looking for more of what the Primal Blueprint has to offer. That is to say, they want a comprehensive break down of the elements that make up the Blueprint; a Primal primer if you will. In coming weeks I will be going into detail – anthropological evidence, modern research, etc. – regarding this health philosophy, but I first want to offer up this summary of the Blueprint. I think it is a good starting point for what is to come.
In this extended article you will find the basic building blocks needed to discover the Primal side of your life. What does this mean? It means learning and understanding what it means to be human. It means using this knowledge to help you make important lifestyle choices. It means modeling your life after your ancestors in order to promote optimal health and wellness. And, most importantly, it means taking control of your body and mind.
If this article intrigues you be on the look out for a much more thorough explanation of how we can learn from our past to shape and mold our future.
My basic premise is this: The Primal Blueprint is a set of simple instructions (the blueprint) that allows you to control how your genes express themselves in order to build the strongest, leanest, healthiest body possible, taking clues from evolutionary biology (that’s the primal part).
We’ve always been dear friends, staunch allies, and devoted advocates for our edible friends in the plant kingdom. Whatever craziness descends upon our lives and our society, there’s sanity, indeed healthful respite in a bountiful, brimming, vibrant dinner plate of vegetables.
And now there’s even more reason for veggie veneration. Research from Tufts University funded by the Agricultural Research Service suggests that potassium-rich plant foods can help older men and women maintain their lean muscle mass.
“What?! Well, I’ll be damned.” We know! We said it too!
We’ve always loved vegetables (and their fruit compatriots) for their antioxidants, their minerals, their fiber. But this had us bowing down at the cornucopia, we have to say.
Although pierced meat doesn’t sound like a very appetizing menu choice, chances are that if you’ve ever dined at a Japanese restaurant, you’ve eaten just that.
If the Wikipedia Gods are to believed, sashimi – that is, the slivers of raw fish popular in Japanese cuisine – received its name as a result of the culinary practice of pinning the fish’s tail and fin to identify the type of fish being eaten.
In many restaurants, the terms sushi and sashimi are used interchangeably, often occupying the same menu pages or mixed together on “sushi” platters. However, it should be noted that sashimi refers only to raw fish, whereas sushi – which does frequently include raw fish – is defined by its inclusion of vinegared rice.
It’s about the most primal, albeit not necessarily attractive, image you can conjure: dirty, disheveled, muscular cavepeople in rough animal skins and furs partaking of the uncooked prize from the latest hunting endeavor (or perhaps another predator’s leftovers). Fast forward to today. Our more “civilized,” better dressed, contemporary selves follow the maître d’ and sit down to intricately painted dinnerware and linen napkins to partake of, you guessed it, raw meat. And then pay big bucks for it, to boot. Sushi, steak tartare, carpaccio: they’re considered delicacies of sorts. And while sushi has caught on in the last twenty years or so, Saveur still calls steak tartare a “forbidden pleasure.”
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