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20% of what?

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  • 20% of what?

    From the most recent PB Insider

    Originally posted by Mark Sisson
    From the very start of my exploration of the Primal experience, I intended to establish a set of principles. You know these as the Ten Primal Laws - the foundation upon which the entire Blueprint rests. Everything I ever discuss on the blog or in these PB Insiders, whether it's a particular recipe, workout, de-stressing technique, hint, tip, trick, or body hack, can be traced back to those ten essential principles. If you don't believe me, go back and check. Everything matches up.

    For that reason, mastery of those Ten Laws is absolutely vital to your long term success with living Primally.
    We see a lot of chat on these boards about the 80/20 "allowance" yet I don't recall it being discussed in any context other than Law#1/Law#9 (Eat plenty of plant, animals & insects/Avoid poisonous things). The quote above got me thinking that when considering how far we may stray from being purely primal, we should consider all ten laws.

    For example, if one doesn't get enough sleep and no play (how few of us haven't been there at some time?) then is that your 20%? Should you then be vigilant about the other eight laws?

    How many of us really make 80%?
    Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

    Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

  • #2
    i tend to think of it as a loose allowance rather than an actual calibration. if i want to have an ice cream, it's ok. have the ice cream. it's part of the allowance. i had ice cream yesterday. one scoop of high end, all natural ingredients, fig and honey ice cream. sweet as.

    but, i eat ice cream, like, once a month at most, and i ahven't had it in about 3 months, so, you know, it's like .0023% of my diet.

    then, like, my friend visited us this week, and i totally stayed up late (until 10) with her, and like, i do that about 4 times a year, so, like that's gotta be something like .0000045% of my lifestyle, you know?

    i mean, i'm probably not even touching 20% per annum (so far), and i'm likely reading like, 8.67% per day--if that--so, ifor me, the measurement side of things is just funny.

    but as a principle, an idea that there is some flexibility for special occasions, for the occasional thing that i might want to do. you know? like, i'm invited to my friend's yacht later this summer for a meal and fishing (fishing!), and i know she's going to serve up some delicious dish, and i'm going to eat it. it will probably be 50-70% primal. but oh yeah, i'm going to nosh, and i'm gonna fish, and i'm going to be on that yacht and enjoy a good time with friends.

    because, you know, that's primal too.

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    • #3
      that's a pretty good question. i keep my diet at about 95-100% primal on a daily basis, with one free-for-all day every few months for celebrations. but i also know that there are days where i'm not getting enough sleep, or enough moving slowly or play in a week. i'll actually feel a little bad on weeks like that--not because i'm not following the PB, but because i'm letting work or some other stress get to me that much--and it's probably a good idea to take a look at the 20% in regard to things other than food.
      i imagine my wife would tell you i use up my 20% in the 'avoid stupid mistake' law...sliding down icy mountain trails in soccer flats, leaning my face in close to the light the grill--things like that.
      http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60178.html

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      • #4
        I think it has less to do with measuring what you eat or how else you are compliant with the Primal Laws than it does a certain mindset.

        If Grok could have eaten X amount of food, every X amount of hours, would he have? Given his probable experience with hunger, probably so. It was not an option for him.

        Our lives are different than Grok's. No one is supposed to measure their choices by What Would Grok Do? It's about making choices that benefit you with optimum health. But health is not only physical ... it is mental, emotional and spiritual, as well. If you have certain traditions that connect you to your history, culture, the people that you love ... and it's not just about a particular food but a whole culture of who you're with, the game on tv, the same conversations about sex, politics and religion (um, or not ... ) than, for heaven's sake ... do what is right and good for you.

        I interpret the 20% as an allowance for inevitable deviation ... not permission to defy what someone else says is the right thing to do. One of the reasons people journal about their food intake is to discover the correlation between food and symptoms of disease ... between emotional and mental states with food choices ... It's certainly not about documenting each morsel that goes into your mouth and keeping some kind of scorecard.

        What does 20% mean to you? Is it alright that the definition is going to change, as you change? Do you give yourself permission to learn and incorporate new things which, by default, may infer that you made choices in the past that were not in your best interests? Don't be so focused on the goal that you miss the process or, more importantly, lessons.

        It's like that ol' saying: "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."

        Shoot for 100% and accept that you will miss, and if it's only 20% of the time (or better), you'll still do very well.
        Last edited by Debbie; 11-27-2010, 07:52 PM.

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        • #5
          i just try to do the best i can. i don't cheat, and i don't want to.

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          • #6
            i think it begs the question, though--what is a cheat?

            because there exists an idea that 'indulgences' are allowed 20% of the time (or less), then is it really a cheat? is it about being 100% primal or is it about being 100% healthy and happy, even if the diet/exercise/sleep isn't 100% perfect all of the time?

            On the flip side of this, of course, are those people on this board (and in the Grok lifestyle not on this board) who are working to reclaim their health. For those individuals, it is important to keep as close to the lifestyle as possible in order to create a baseline of health and fitness. once that baseline is reached, then perhaps the allowances will be ok (and perhaps they will not, depending upon the individual's needs, constitutions, medical situations, etc).

            I think it also allows for a certain measure of emotional freedom, the allowance to say to one's self "ok, self, today i was off base in these ways, but it's ok. tomorrow is another day, and i can fine-tune this and do better." as opposed to, and as what happens to so many people on a new lifestyle (diet) path, the downward spiral of "omg, i broke my diet! oh well! might as well keep going! AHHHH! i can't stop! that diet obviously is not a lifestyle! no way. i can't do it!" and so on. It allows for human error, it allows for those moments when we aren't making the best decisions for ourselves, and to say "it's ok, i can eat primally at the next meal, and i'm back on track." it allows it to be . . . just a moment and nothing more.

            and that, i think, can make a huge difference towards success.

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            • #7
              Obsession is a toxin. The PB will NOT ruin my life.

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              • #8
                true, that.

                it's supposed to make life better. it's been about two weeks for us, and seriously, my life is already better. good place to be.

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                • #9
                  It is NOT the idea that "indulgences are allowed" - anything is allowed, do whatever you want to do. What Mark is saying is that if you end up getting it 80% right, you'll still be in great shape. It's another way of saying, "Don't sweat the small stuff."
                  It's written not to be an "escape hatch" when the pressure of being Primal is too great, but as a way of making it easier to avoid weird eating disorder-type attitudes. I think it's a very healthy and carefully thought-out way of doing things. The Whole 30 people take just the opposite approach, which might work well for different types of people.
                  If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tfarny View Post
                    It is NOT the idea that "indulgences are allowed" - anything is allowed, do whatever you want to do. What Mark is saying is that if you end up getting it 80% right, you'll still be in great shape. It's another way of saying, "Don't sweat the small stuff."
                    It's written not to be an "escape hatch" when the pressure of being Primal is too great, but as a way of making it easier to avoid weird eating disorder-type attitudes. I think it's a very healthy and carefully thought-out way of doing things. The Whole 30 people take just the opposite approach, which might work well for different types of people.
                    Yep - that sounds just right to me
                    Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

                    http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

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                    • #11
                      This is what makes it hard for me imagining doing the Whole30 program because they say not even a BITE of something bad but now and then I go out with my friends and try to eat Primally but sometimes get surprised when I order dishes with a sauce or unexpected ingredient. How can you not mess up from time to time? Does this have any butter on it? Any wheat at all? Any gluten? Any sugar?

                      The Whole30 people say the only way you would eat something bad is if you fell into a box of donuts. Well, what if you're friends decide to hang somewhere after work with no notice and you're hungry.Primal you could have wings maybe but Whole 30 you can't.

                      I know this thread is about PB and not Whole30 but to me is seems very very hard not to even have a 1% allowance on it.

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                      • #12
                        Good way of thinking about it - I have always thought about it in terms of food. On reflection, I need to pay more attention to fixing my sleep and making sure my exercise fits the PB guidelines, rather than just doing whatever exercise I feel I can manage. I also need more play :-)

                        This has given me a lot to think about.

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                        • #13
                          I know the official concept is to aim for 100% and don't sweat it when you slip. I aim for about 90% and really only slip sometimes with too much dark chocolate.
                          Ancestral Health Info

                          I design websites and blogs for a living. If you would like a blog or website designed by someone who understands Primal, see my web page.

                          Primal Blueprint Explorer My blog for people who are not into the Grok thing. Since starting the blog, I have moved close to being Archevore instead of Primal. But Mark's Daily Apple is still the best source of information about living an ancestral lifestyle.

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                          • #14
                            I understood the 20% part from the book to be - strive for 100%, knowing you will only get there 80% of the time. In regards to diet, you can't obsess over evry little detail to ensure you don't have gluten/wheat/grain in your diet. For example, you might eat out and think you are doing well ordering a salad, steak, and veggies. You might even go that extra mile and ask for no seasonings on said veggies and steak. However, the chef will probably prepare both on the same grill or in the same pan as gluten containing items. The salad might be mixed in the same bowl as another salad that contained croutons. As tfarny said, don't sweat the small stuff. Control what you can to the best of your ability.

                            Carrie

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by AnneArchy View Post
                              This is what makes it hard for me imagining doing the Whole30 program because they say not even a BITE of something bad but now and then I go out with my friends and try to eat Primally but sometimes get surprised when I order dishes with a sauce or unexpected ingredient. How can you not mess up from time to time? Does this have any butter on it? Any wheat at all? Any gluten? Any sugar?

                              The Whole30 people say the only way you would eat something bad is if you fell into a box of donuts. Well, what if you're friends decide to hang somewhere after work with no notice and you're hungry.Primal you could have wings maybe but Whole 30 you can't.

                              I know this thread is about PB and not Whole30 but to me is seems very very hard not to even have a 1% allowance on it.
                              The other thing I didn't understand about Whole 30 is only eating fruits and veggies that are in season and local. Well, I live in NE Ohio. If I was to follow this, I would not have ANY fruits and veggies from October/November through June. Is that right? I should go 6 or 7 months with no fruits or veggies in my diet? I listened to the Robb Wolf podcast when they were guests where they basically poo-pooed frozen veggies (robb did not). Their argument seems to be that it is unnatural to eat (for example) strawberries in the dead of winter. And that the toll on the environment to get those frozen strawberries to market is more than their nutrition and availability is worth.

                              Carrie

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