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

How to Tackle the Mini-Challenges

Picture1 5Remember that PDF flyer from last week’s inaugural 30-day Challenge post? If you haven’t already, go ahead and download it (PDF). You may not have noticed, but right along the bottom I listed ten Primal mini-challenges to be completed. They’re technically optional, but not really (you know how I feel about the “optional” small stuff; hint – it isn’t really optional), so you should give at least a few of them an honest chance. Also, you should note that although these are billed as mini-challenges, they are intended to get you acquainted with vital aspects of the Primal lifestyle. Don’t just do one once and never again; instead, take them to heart and realize that these are mainstays. If you plan on living Primally, these will cease to become challenges. They will become ways of life.

Purge Your Pantry

You know about eating more animals, healthy fats, and plants. You know you should be ditching grains, refined sugar, and processed, refined seed oils. You know to favor whole foods that come out of the ground or off some furry quadruped, and you know to avoid things that come in boxes. But to realize all that knowledge, to turn it into action, you have to purge your pantry. You have to remove all the grains, flours, breads, sugars, boxed food, prepackaged meals, processed junk, pastas, cookies, crackers, chips, and candy that occupy both physical and mental space. This could quite possibly be the most basic transitionary action you take this month, for by purging your pantry, you physically remove the temptation to stray and lapse back into old, unhealthy habits.

Easy first step – Get out the Hefty bag and start filling it with the boxed stuff, since that’s never worth keeping.

Relevant links:

Modern Forage

Finding healthy stuff in today’s modern foodscape is arguably more difficult than it was for Grok. Sure, he had to catch his prey, pick his berries, and dig up his tubers, but at least he didn’t have to pick through actively toxic, easy-to-obtain foods being presented as healthy and/or delicious. But we do. Everywhere we turn, “heart healthy” whole grains and non-nutritive, hypercaloric junk food greet us. Staying Primal when you’re out and about (rather than at home, nestled in between your chest freezer full of meat and pyramid of coconut milk cans), then, can be difficult. To do so, you must forage in this modern world. But that needn’t mean trapping squirrels (and stealing their nuts), picking dandelion greens, and processing tree bark into something edible. Instead, you could simply look for the diamonds in the rough, the raw mixed nuts in the gas station convenience store, for example. You know what foods you should be eating and what you shouldn’t; now apply that knowledge. Make the Primal Blueprint eating plan work at fast food joints, chain restaurants, roadside diners. When you’re on the road and hungry, hit the nearest grocery store. You may not have to venture outside of your food comfort zone right now, but this month I want you to do it anyway so that you’re prepared when it really matters.

Easy first step – Go rustle up a ready-to-eat meal at a grocery store, then eat it outside on the curb (or on the bench, I guess, if you want to be fancy about it).

Relevant links:

Prepare a Primal Recipe

Going Primal is about personally controlling your own health, happiness, and well-being, and one of the most fundamental ways to do it is to cook your own food from scratch. See, by preparing a Primal recipe, you are literally controlling every nutritional component of the meal. Nothing enters your mouth, gets digested and incorporated without your express consent. Don’t want to fret about the oils used to cook the meal? Cook it yourself. Worried about the sugar content of the sauce on those ribs? Smoke ‘em yourself. Love gravy, but hate the wheat flour used to thicken it? Make it yourself. Luckily for you, there are thousands of Primal recipes available, on this site and on others, so you really have no excuse not to do it. So do it.

Easy first step – Try one of the quick and easy (15 minutes or less) Primal recipes.

Relevant link:

Go Barefoot

The human foot is unlike any other piece of equipment. It wasn’t like a craftsman put together a blueprint for the human foot based on what he thought would work best for the required job (walking, running, balancing, sprinting, jumping, landing); the blueprint was literally crafted by what worked and what did not. And I’d say that with several million years of ongoing, continuous testing, with multiple billions of subjects, the human foot is proven… so why would you want to stick it inside a shoe? Don’t do that. Let the 15-odd thousand nerve endings in your feet do what they’re meant to and feel the world. It’s not even about running or exercising while barefoot (although that’s awesome, too). I just want you to ditch the shoes and experience the horizontal plane in a new way.

Easy first step – Spend an entire day barefoot.

Relevant links:

Stand at Work

A flurry of recent research has linked excessive amounts of sitting to poor health outcomes; everything from cardiovascular disease to obesity to early mortality seem to correlate with how much we sit. There are tons of possible explanations for the connection, but I know – and plenty of others have confirmed to me similar findings – that I just feel better, more energized, and, quite frankly, more alive when I stand to work than when I sit. Physically, my posture is better. My hip flexors aren’t as tight as they were, and my glutes are no longer turning off from going hours without being engaged. So why don’t you try it yourself? Instead of slumping over in a chair, stack some books and bring your laptop/computer keyboard up above your navel. Stand at work. Stand to work. If your boss looks at you funny, say you hurt your back and need to do this for a few days.

Easy first step – So you don’t have to deal with work, try standing up all day long on your day off.

Relevant links:

Learn Something New

Human brains are plastic, which means they retain a lifelong ability to rewire and reorganize neural connections based on new experiences. Our brains stop growing, but they never stop changing. This is a good thing, especially for hominids living in an environment fraught with danger – stronger, faster, more ferocious animals; poisonous plant matter; rival tribes vying for the same resources; heat, cold, rain, flood, drought. We could rarely rely on sheer physicality to see us through difficult times and situations, so we learned. We observed. We taught each other. We analyzed. We conquered the world using nothing but our brains. Today? Today, things are spoon-fed to us. We can hop on Wikipedia, get any answer we want about any subject at all, and then promptly forget it. We don’t have to think about how to get our food; we just go buy it. We just turn up the AC when it gets hot and turn on the gas when it gets cold. Things are easy, and I’m glad they are, but that means it’s on us to go out and use our brains. So go out there and learn something today. I don’t care what it is. Just learn it, and learn it well.

Easy first step – You know that little thing you’ve always told yourself you’d learn to do? Maybe it’s tying a knot, or fixing a tire. Go do it on your next free day. If you lack curiosity about the world and can’t think of anything you’d like to learn, watch a TED talk (without flipping around to other websites).

Relevant link:

Beat Stress

I suppose it’s good that we come with stress response systems installed. In dangerous situations, they kick in and make us alert. They help us respond and react to life or death situations. Awesome for Grok, I get that. But the problem is that our bodies often interpret traffic or work or bills as life or death situations, thus triggering the stress response. If we only hit traffic once in a blue moon and never had to worry about money, we could probably handle it okay. But most people deal with this stuff daily, so the stress becomes chronic, rather than acute. So stress as we know it blows, but it’s a part of modern life. You probably can’t avoid it altogether, but you can reduce its impact. How? By being replete in micronutrients, by avoiding food toxins, by eating animals, plants, and healthy fats, by maintaining a good exercise plan, by getting enough sleep, by going outside, by shutting down the computer and closing the laptop and turning off the phone every now and again. In short, you need to cover all your bases so that the stress doesn’t become overwhelming.

Easy first step – Take a half hour each day to do nothing productive. Don’t check email, don’t use your phone, don’t worry about work. Just be.

Relevant links:

Be Inspired

What inspires you? A book? A public figure? A family member? The natural world? Everybody is inspired, even if they don’t consciously acknowledge it. Maybe not to “do great things,” but certainly to make it through life with the people you love and the things you care about. Maybe you want to improve the lives of the ones closest to you. Maybe you just want to be the healthiest you can be. Maybe you want a job that you love. These are all valid and valuable aspirations, but they all require inspiration. Inspiration can be “selfish” or “selfless,” internal or external, but as long as it gets you moving and striving and evolving, it’s worthwhile. Get out there and find it.

Easy first step – Visit the Success Stories archive.

Relevant link:

Squat to Poop

Squatting to poop? Now, this may be one instance in which you say, “Whoa there, Sisson! I’m with you on grains, animal fat, bacon, standup desks, and Vibrams… but you’ve lost me. I just can’t imagine myself perched up on a toilet like Gollum. I just can’t.” And that’s cool. I’m not going to suggest this is a necessary challenge to undertake, let alone adopt for life. But just as sitting down all day to work, wearing big bulky shoes, eating vegetable oil, and spending all day indoors are fairly recent conventions to which we may not be totally adapted, the same can be said for sitting on a toilet to evacuate your bowels. There’s evidence that all that straining, grunting, and grimacing some do aren’t just products of poor diets. There’s evidence that sitting actually constricts the passages, thus making evacuation more difficult and time-consuming. Squatting opens up the recto-anal angle (yes, that’s a perfectly scientific term) to allow easier passage. Don’t believe me? Give it a shot.

Easy first step – Next time you use the toilet, sit down and place your feet up on a chair in front of you. It’s not quite squatting, but it’ll give you an idea.

Relevant link:

Dance

Dance is the universal human expression. Not all cultures have or had the written word, a numeric system, or the fine arts, but they all had some form of dance. Well, allow me to edit. Every culture, save for adult Americans who are too cool or embarrassed to do it, has a form of dance. I think that’s a shame. I think we’d be a lot happier, healthier, and more well-adjusted if we danced on a regular basis. For one, it’s movement. It’s simply a way to move your body through the different dimensions and take advantage of all these muscles, joints, and limbs we have at our disposal. You could do a lot worse for your body than dance. Secondly, dancing is fun. You laugh when you’re doing it, even if you’re laughing out of embarrassment (laughter is laughter). Finally, dancing is sexual, especially when it’s with a partner, and there isn’t anything wrong with more good sex.

Easy first step – Dance with your significant others and/or children. No style required. Alternately, take dance lessons.

Relevant links:

I hereby issue the aforementioned challenges. Read them, try them, and report back. How did you do? If you’re already doing them, how would you rate yourself? What needs work and what’s going well? Let me know in the comment section?

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. “Everywhere we turn, heart healthy whole grains and non-nutritive, hypercaloric junk food greet us…”

    Could you edit and put “heart healthy” in quotes to show your sarcasm? I’m about to mail this link but one of the recipients can’t be counted to catch the irony.

    :)

    Bob Carson wrote on September 22nd, 2011
    • Good thinking. Done!

      Mark Sisson wrote on September 22nd, 2011
      • Thanks!

        I immediately imagined my mom writing back or calling and pointing out that even you admit that whole grains are healthy, etc., and felt the beginnings of a nagging headache. You’ve saved me!

        Bob Carson wrote on September 22nd, 2011
    • I find nothing difficult about primal shopping for food. Luckily, I live in Chicago, and primal friendly grocery stores abound in my urban hunting ground. I only shop the periphery of any super market anyway, keeping me a safe distance from all the neolithic poison stocked on the shelves in the middle.
      I enjoyed your section on dancing, aside from my daily barefoot sprints on the beach, I enjoy ballet lessons twice a week, and jazz once, and have never had so much fun. The only concept I have yet to apply is the squat/poop. My toilet is a bit narrow for my Baryshnikov legs, but maybe I can trade the post modern bathroom I use, in for an out house.
      Great site, I enjoy it immensely.
      Joe

      Paleobunga wrote on September 23rd, 2011
  2. Awesome post. Funny because after about 5 months of being primal, I finally cleaned out my pantry last night. I have a big, make that huge, bag of donations.

    samui_sakana wrote on September 22nd, 2011
    • Only donated the canned beans.

      samui_sakana wrote on September 22nd, 2011
      • My wife and I fed a bunch of birds with some of the stuff we had in our pantry…. hope it was all okay for them.

        Bob Carson wrote on September 22nd, 2011
        • Birds and rodents are much better-adapted to seeds and grains than we are. If you weren’t feeding them pure sugar or anything I wouldn’t worry about it. :)

          Plus they don’t live all that long anyway.

          Uncephalized wrote on September 22nd, 2011
      • Samui Sakana, do you have a blog or anything?

        El wrote on September 24th, 2011
  3. I’ve been doing a modern forage quite a lot lately! The grocery store near work is a lifesaver on days I forget (or run out of time) to pack my lunch. They have a great salad bar, rotisserie chicken in the hot foods section (not the flavored ones! ),Lara bars for emergency snacking, grass fed milk products, and fresh cut fruits and vegetables. And I always spend less than I used to on fast food!

    Rachel S wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  4. Barefoot and quasi barefoot: Check.
    I’ve never been a fan of shoes but have conformed in public. first thing I do when I get home is lose the shoes. Yesterday I recieved my new Altra Adams minimalist shoe and am wearing them now – so far so good, they are snug where they need to be but give lots of room to wiggle the piggies.
    As far a squating goes….
    I don’t know. maybe I’ll work up some platforms on either side of the pot to make a more substantial perch!

    DesertTomte wrote on September 22nd, 2011
    • Great job on the barefooting! I love going sans shoes. Have you heard about the University of Delaware barefoot running study, or the NYC barefoot run this weekend?

      I signed up for the study & my girlfriend and I are heading up to NYC for the run. Should be awesome.

      That said, I recently discovered how NOT to run barefoot: http://theprimalchallenge.wordpress.com/2011/08/23/how-not-to-run-barefoot/

      Bob Ewing wrote on September 22nd, 2011
    • seriously, the edge of the bowl is enough. At first you’ll want to grab the sink or something, but then you’ll hop up like a bird to the birdbath. And you won’t be there long enough to lose your balance again!

      Lauren wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  5. Great post! Clearing out all the CW food fringing pantry is so crucial. Not only does it remove any excuse to eat badly but it gives lots more room for great Primal food!

    Suz wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  6. I’ve been foraging in my rural neighborhood. The other day, I found a lot of persimmons, dandelion greens, a puffball mushroom, and tomatoes, okra, and peppers in an abandoned garden. The next day I found more vegetables in that garden, but I still had a lot of the persimmons so I didn’t go back to that tree. The mushrooms have faded away.

    There’s a lot of free food around if you look for it.

    shannon wrote on September 22nd, 2011
    • Our family loves gleaning in our urban neighborhood. There are lots of old abandoned pear, plum, apple, walnut, filbert, and chestnut trees that are in the public right of way or whose branches overhand the right of way (alleys and sidewalks!)

      (there’s a persimmon tree that I’ve been eying for years but I keep forgetting to ask the owners if we can harvest the fruit before the birds get to them all.)

      becky wrote on September 22nd, 2011
      • I wish I lived somewhere where plants just grew with no care and watering from humans…

        But I live in Phoenix :(

        Uncephalized wrote on September 22nd, 2011
        • Yeah, I think you’d get arrested if you picked people’s apples in London!

          Milla wrote on September 22nd, 2011
        • Yes, I live in St George, Utah. Desert here too. But i have found that that in the old part of town there are many old timers with gardens galore, They love to share their crops, a tomato here, a squash or zuchini there and i have come home with bags of fresh greens. the Farmers market works too :)

          writebobby wrote on September 28th, 2011
    • Where do you live?! I have been hunting the puffball mushroom!

      El wrote on September 24th, 2011
  7. Most of these mini-action items are dialed in for me…but,some-no matter that I really, really WANT to, just arent possible. I did real well with the sunlight and barefoot this summer, but now its fall. Getting 15 mins of sunlight isnt possible if you need to be covered or get frostbite. Too bad we cant move to Florida…alas! Barefooting also only works around here when its warm – not everyone can afford Vibrams,and I wonder how they would work with 3 ft of snow and ice on the (sub-zero) ground?

    Hopeless Dreamer wrote on September 22nd, 2011
    • From another cold-climate dweller: VFFs don’t work that great at sub-freezing temps, even with wool Injinjis under. Some folks can do it; I can’t and have the frostbite to prove I tried.

      That said, I bought some Inov-8 Gore-Tex minimalist trail runners. With wool socks, they are great for outdoor winter running.

      Plus, don’t know where you live (I’ve lived in Fairbanks, and from what you’ve said it sounds like you might be in AK?), but I’m in the far northern reaches of the continental US, and the temps are still manageable to be outdoors on most days. Once we’re buried in snow, we go backcountry skiing or snowboarding. Tons of fun and you work up enough of a sweat to be able to have your face in the sun, at least, on all but the most brutally cold days. If it’s below 0 or the wind chill is awful, I use the rowing machine in the basement for HIIT and yeah, just fantasize about sunlight and down vitamin D.

      Lauren wrote on September 22nd, 2011
    • I can easily fit wool socks in my Merrell Pure Gloves but that is only good for cold days – not sloshing through snow.
      I found some barefoot winter boots from Jambu on zappos but have not purchased them yet so I am not sure how “barefoot” they really are.

      FoCo Girl wrote on September 22nd, 2011
    • Try moccasins.

      Jane wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  8. Under “Purge Your Pantry”; do you think you should suggest giving your stuff to a food pantry? Despite the food being less healthy, I feel like they could be better off with bad food over long-term starvation. I’m going to pack up my stuff in a box tonight (my wife is not going Paleo, so I can’t remove everything, unfortunately).

    Matt wrote on September 22nd, 2011
    • When I cleaned my pantry out earlier this year, I donated to a homeless shelter. It also made me want to continue donating to the shelter, but with good food. :)

      Jenn wrote on September 22nd, 2011
      • My wife and daughter volunteer at a food pantry/”soup kitchen” serving breakfast once a week. What they have to serve them out of necessity is awful garbage. Sugared flavored oatmeal, orange juice, pancakes with syrup etc. I can only imagine how many of those people are diabetic or pre diabetic and don’t know it. Then they’ll end up on public medicine dealing with it, further taxing the “system” but making $$ for big pharma.
        I know they don’t have access to any good food to feed them, but it’s just very very sad.

        DB wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  9. When I visited Bangalore, India, about 7 years ago, I saw more than a few squat toilets. I have contemplated installing one in my house. They use less water and are easier to clean.

    Big T wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  10. going to a wedding this weekend…dancing (check)

    Merill Trail Glove…barefoot (ish check)

    Pantry mostly purged but we don’t eat the stuff that not primal.

    I will try the standing at work, just gotta raise my desk back up.

    Dan wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  11. We cleaned out the pantry soon after going primal. I knew having all that masa and flour around would only make it harder. We ended up giving it to relatives who needed the food. I wanted to throw it away knowing it was causing them harm, but sometimes you have to pick your battles.

    Caleb wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  12. The squatting to poop thing is for real. I played catcher during high school baseball. Trust me, squatting definitely “frees up the passages”. Several close calls…

    Jefferson wrote on September 22nd, 2011
    • Hahahaha this made my day

      Robert wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  13. Wow, I was going to come on your site and make a recommendation of squat pooping. And today I see you have done exactly that.

    For those looking to get into squat pooping, this thread will help you out:
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=136590191

    Happy squatting, Mark you are ahead of the curve, I’m glad someone brought this up.

    Just one word of warning: DO NOT SQUAT POOP on an unmodified toilet.

    Recommendation: Nature’s Platform makes a very sturdy squat poop support system I’ve been using for a while.

    ZenBowman wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  14. Yay! I purged my pantry when the Korg ex moved out. I ended up with a whole extra pantry – which I turned into a linen storage cabinet (it’s free-standing)
    I have been foraging every few mornings in the marked-down meat section on my way to work. So my freezer is quickly filling with roasts, steaks, & ribs at a huge savings (food for me & dog)
    I think I need to work on the switching everything off part. So I pledge to multi-task the doin nuthin by laying in the sun on my porch this wknd & soak up some D – before the snow returns…

    peggy wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  15. When I was little and I visited China, I was all freaked about about the squatting toilets (where do you sit???). Now they make a lot more sense, plus they are more hygienic because your butt isn’t touching a seat that who knows how many other butts have touched.

    Jasmina wrote on September 22nd, 2011
    • Considering how many people try to ‘do the hover’ in public restrooms I think we’d probably all be more comfortable with a squat option!

      Noctiluca wrote on September 22nd, 2011
      • It’s easy. Just ditch the pants and stand on the seat. Oh, and as a courtesy, it’s nice to wipe your footprints off the toilet seat afterwards.

        Cam wrote on September 22nd, 2011
        • Please do not do this under any circumstances, my thread covers the graphic consequences of this dangerous act in graphic detail.

          ZenBowman wrote on September 22nd, 2011
    • I would love to see squat toilets in US public restrooms, as long as they were kept clean.

      The main issue is that when you are wearing pants, the whole entanglement issue becomes a real problem. But if you’ve got the luxury to remove them entirely, it’s great!

      Uncephalized wrote on September 22nd, 2011
    • I asked my doctor husband if he’s ever seen anyone complain about something caught or transmitted via toilet seat. The answer is no.

      I’m guessing our hands are far dirtier than anything on the back of our thighs.

      Karen P. wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  16. Thanks for this. “Beat stress” is a goal of mine but I need to break it down into small pieces to make it doable. Much easier to think of taking on a “mini-challenge.” One step at a time can lead to great things! Tonight, my goal is to get to bed before 10. How’s that for mini?

    Anne wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  17. Purge Pantry. Check
    Modern Forage. Check
    Prepare a Primal Recipe. Check (Thanks Chris! Those Pumpkin Pancakes were awesome!)
    Go Barefoot. Check (all over the office!)
    Stand At Work. Check (hurts my lower back so stretching occasionally too.)
    Learn Something New. Check (Thanks to all the great comments, tips and stories from this community!)
    Beat Stress. Check (This one has been fun.)
    Dance. (Does getting caught singing out loud at work count?)
    Ok so I don’t have them all but I’m still working at it. :)

    Coree wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  18. RE: Squat pooping,

    I find something like a chamber pot works much better than perching on the toilet.

    As a side effect you’ll be highly up to date on fecal matters, which may or may not be a benefit depending on your outlook.

    JohnF wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  19. Love the “Try Something New.” I don’t think you can overstate the importance of leaving your comfort zone and allowing yourself to go back to square one of sucking at something until you learn it. Keeps the edge for both your brain and body.

    Graham wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  20. I rate myself a 3 out of 5, I blame the jaw pain- yogurt, applesauce( I made it), are my best friends- but it’s not the best things to be eating I have very little energy- how much fish can a person eat in a week? lol chewy meats are not good right now I should be able to eat cod or mahi mahi though( tmj/ grinding teeth issues) I did manage a small workout so far today and I cleaned the house! I would say that is pretty good for the jaw pain sufferer ( it hurts like hell!!!!!)

    Lexxy wrote on September 22nd, 2011
    • You can eat as much fish as you want, as long as it’s not the big predatory ones with high mercury loads. Fish is a great source of protein and long-chain omega 3s.

      Uncephalized wrote on September 22nd, 2011
    • I had TMJ clicking and cracking for years. Finally, one day, my jaw locked up and 5 days later (still locked) I had to have emergency surgery.

      I then decided to get my bite fixed (which is the reason of getting the clicks and cracks in the first place) by a facial orthodontist. Still wearing the braces atm, but I’ll be done in about 6 months or less.

      I am now close to sporting a perfect, primal bite, which feels amazing in my face/head. You should look into this if your pain doesn’t go away.

      Issabeau wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  21. I got my fill of “squatting” done while I was in China, including on moving trains. I’m good now, thanks. ;)

    Barefoot: Send me a bit of your sunny fall/winter weather, Mark, and I’d go barefoot every day of the year! Places I’ve gone barefoot this past summer: in pubs, grocery stores, coffee shops, banks; on public transit; at the library… and obviously on all the roads, paths, fields, gravel lots and trails in between.

    Standing Desk: Making myself a standing desk next week, modified down (59″x29″ desk top and only 4 legs) from this: http://www.ikeahackers.net/2011/01/wide-standing-desk.html If it works well (which I anticipate), I will build another for work.

    Beat Stress, Learn Something New, Be Inspired: Just started kickboxing, indoor climbing and mandolin lessons. Check, check and check.

    Patrick wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  22. Shortly before the month started, mice showed up and ate holes in my last few bags of dry goods – presto, pantry purged!

    Sara Grace wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  23. My pantry hasn’t contained grains, sugar, or frankenfoods for over a year! Check on that one.

    I’m home most of the day and don’t wear shoes… check.

    I cook meals or prepare salads 3x a day for the family, so I’m doing well in the primal recipe department.

    I try to read a book a day while nursing to engage the brain… check

    Now for the ones that need work…

    My desk is currently a sitting down desk. A new desk is not really in the budget, but I’ve been considering putting cinder blocks or extra wooden legs on my desk to make it higher. This is now on my to do list for the day! Check.

    Stress level remains high and sleep level remains low despite efforts to help these. On the list for the day: take a nap and get to bed early. Might also go outside and play tag with the kids to run off some stress.

    Dance: Don’t do this much either. Been contemplating roping my husband into a salsa class… hmmm

    As for squatting… I will have to contemplate this one more…

    Katie (Wellness Mama) wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  24. What about FASTING! Grock didn’t have a constant supply of food.
    I personally love lasting, I go 14-18+ hours without realizing it, really clears the morning brain fog.

    Rick wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  25. I have been barefoot at the office for most of the day. Beats wearing heels!

    Kate wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  26. Great timing on this post! Yesterday I took a “standing desk” at work and stood all day! I made sure I wore comfortable shoes (and have flat shoes on hand if I wear higher heels and decide to then stand)and stood most of the day. I felt much more energized than usual. The great thing about my workspace, is that we just renovating and a several of us requested “standing table or desks” in the “free address” area we have at work where anyone can pony up to the table with their stuff and stand for the day. It’s pretty awesome that management agreed about putting in more standing table tops for people to work at so we would have an option. I should point out that I am considered a “mobile” worker and don’t have my own desk, so I can go to any free workplace and luckily they did put in standing desks for many of us.

    Janine wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  27. I just wanted to add this:

    A colleague of mine recommended sitting on a large yoga ball (pilates ball? Watchamacallit?) at your desk, as it prevents you from slouching and you have to engage more of your muscles.

    This seems like a great stepping stone.

    Amanda wrote on September 22nd, 2011
    • It doesn’t really prevent you from slouching if you’re really determined to slouch, but it does require more active sitting for sure. Definitely better than a chair.

      Uncephalized wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  28. Purge your pantry: check, did that a long time ago.

    Modern forage: I do this whenever I am away from home. I end up eating a lot of nuts, berries, and jerky. I also like to bring along a container of boiled eggs if I have time to plan ahead. Check.

    Primal cooking: I learned to cook after going Primal. So it’s the only way I know how!

    Go barefoot: every chance I get. I spend most of my workday barefoot, as well as all the time in my house. The rest is either flip-flops (hopefully soon to be replaced by a nice pair of Lunas from Barefoot Ted) or VFFs. Check.

    Stand at work: I’m typing this at my work desk, which is jacked up on concrete blocks. Check.

    Learn something new: I’m currently working on a backyard aquaponics project (in the planning and materials-acquiring phase), as well as a couple other little things. I’m also planning on learning guitar and getting into a new martial art in the near future. Check.

    Beat Stress: I’m pretty laid back in general, my job is varied and not full of crazy deadlines in addition to paying well (for my age/experience anyway), and I have a reverse commute (live in the city, work in the suburbs). I’m sitting pretty. Plus we live within our means and don’t have any debt! Check.

    Be Inspired: MDA does a lot of that for me! Also the books I read regarding evolution, ecology, and sustainability keep me reminded and inspired of where I want to make contributions to the world. Check.

    Squat to Poop: Check. I’ll spare you the details.

    Dance: I fit into the “no style” camp, but I do dance at home with my fiancee somewhat frequently. She loves to dance, like most women. Plus I find that cheerful participation often leads to “rewards”, ifyaknowwhatI’msayin’. Bonus! ;)

    Uncephalized wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  29. Purge Pantry. (I wish. Actually I do have to clean it out. Can’t get rid of everything due to non-paleo spouse, but can ditch alot)
    Modern Forage. (Still working on it. Don’t go out to eat much, so not a big hassle for me)
    Prepare a Primal Recipe. (Made a roast this weekend – just had some more leftovers and will be making Primal Meatloaf tonight – Yumm!)
    Go Barefoot. (As often as I can and when not wear vibrams or flat sandals with room to move)
    Stand At Work. (I got 3 hours in yesterday, but have to sit to do the transcription or I end up killing my ankle with the up/down I have to do on the foot pedal)
    Learn Something New. (Learned my 10 year old thinks he still believes in Santa :D)
    Beat Stress. (Working on this one)
    Dance. (I danced to Dirty Dancing with the boys a couple of weeks ago. Made it through one song at beginning and one at end. And I fondly remember the days when I could dance through the entire movie. Primal Challenge is step one to getting back to those days)

    ShadowKat wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  30. + Purge Pantry
    This was mostly done for me, for which I’m grateful.

    + Modern Forage
    Always…with various levels of success. Making an attempt today…leaving my guilt at home, though.

    + Primal Recipe
    Done and done again. Lots of meat, fish, raw veggies.

    + Barefoot
    As much as possible, even at work.

    + Stand at work
    Working on a solution for that right now!

    + Learn Something New
    This happens daily, from Twitter to blogs to colleagues and clients.

    + Beat Stress
    I’ve mostly been beating stress with a nerf bat. It hits back with firearms.

    + Be inspired
    This comes in waves, from a variety of sources

    + Squat to poop
    It’s…on the list

    + Dance
    No.

    Kyle wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  31. I walk 3-4 miles every day with my dogs.
    My pantries were cleaned out of SAD foods 1.5 years ago.
    I foraged a bucket of wild rose hips and then learned how to prepare them for storage over the winter like american indians used to.
    I walk barefoot whenever my feet burn up. Most of my shoes are wide to give plenty of room to spread and wiggle the toes.
    I sit outside in shorts and let the sun warm my skin, as much as possible before winter hits.
    I squat poop daily or every other day with the help of my little foot stool.
    I stand every day in the kitchen for about 2 hours total to prepare my meals. On days where i prepare a large amount for left-overs it’s about 3-4 hours in the kitchen, I’m a great chef :-)

    Arty wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  32. Stealing food from squirrels.. that might be worthwile. The other day I fed a chipmunk some peanuts (not a whole lot of the precious stash) because it was hanging around my campsite and I felt like doing something nice, but I guess it’s eat or be eaten, per say. I’m sure the chipmunks and squirrels try to steal my food when I’m not around. I woke up the other day to a noise near my head and there was a squirrel about to come into my little junk-made-to-shelter. It was peering through a gap literally less than a few feet from my head.
    I’ve considered trying to trap some animals but I’m not sure how unless I buy a trap, which isn’t possible at present. I’ve got a lot of spare time so maybe I’ll try to learn how to make one and then hopefully be able to put that knowledge to use. Today I’ll go to where I saw a bunch of baby crayfish a few weeks ago (I left them alone because they were tiny and I didn’t have the means to cook them) and try to catch them. They make a good meal. Tasty, crunchy critters. They’re like little lobsters except you can eat the shells.
    There’s some raccoons and groundhogs around. If I get lucky I might be able to rush them or chase a raccoon up a tree and then figure something out. Roadkill is not out of the question either unless it’s rotten.
    I hope I find a possum. They’re kind of dumb and slow so they’re easy to catch and kill.
    I’ve squatted to poop a few times recently and I’ve done it in the past as well when camping or too far from a toilet for comfort. It’s actually fairly relaxing.. a good excuse to basically do nothing but look around and get a bit of exercise. Plus fresh air on the skin feels natural and good. You can do a wall-sit against a tree or use rocks or something as a makeshift toilet and still use your hands and feet to support you.
    I want to want to dance but I rarely get the urge and forcing myself to just makes me feel silly, and not in a good way. When I do I usually end up doing it in private or with my dog on impulse and it’s more of a hop and roll and act like a lunatic session than a dancing session. Still, it’s good. My dog gets a kick out of it, especially when I make strange sounds (growling, screaming etc.) and jumps up at my chest so I grab her paws and do a little circle until she wants down. Moving about in various ways helps your lymphatic system function better as well as getting you exercise. It helps the lymphatic fluid move and keeps your immune system doing its job. Sometimes I roll around or move around and stretch just for this purpose. One of my favourite ways to stretch is to slowly lean back as far as possible until I feel like I’m about to fall and then stand back up again quickly. I like to grab bars or branches and sort of swing under them while doing a similar motion. It’s fun.
    I think Mark might have mentioned chopping trees in a WOW – I know he’s written about swinging sledgehammers and whatnot – but that’s also a good activity. I recently chopped a dead one down and it was great exercise that made me feel proud and sort of ferocious. It can also be a productive activity if you happen to need firewood or wood for construction. I like productive destructive activities.. they’re cathartic.

    Animanarchy wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  33. I have a standing desk at work and kick my shoes off the moment I get to the office.

    Dave, RN wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  34. Wine drinkers might want to read this. It might not be that healthy. (link following) http://www.sott.net/articles/show/235245-What-s-In-That-Wine-Glass-May-Not-Prevent-Aging-After-All
    I’m posting this link under this post because it’s the most recent one.

    Animanarchy wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  35. + Purge Pantry
    I’ve cleaned out a lot of the junk, but some remains because my husband isn’t Primal.

    + Modern Forage
    I try not to have to. My new job is very near Whole Foods, though, so lunchtime salad bar is a go if necessary . :)

    + Primal Recipe
    Every day!

    + Barefoot
    2 pairs of Vibrams, 1 pair of Nike Minimus, barefoot most of the time when not in one of those. :D

    + Stand at work
    Right after reading this article, I went out to the Container Store and bought a standalone bamboo kitchen shelf that’s the perfect height for my keyboard and mouse. :)

    + Learn Something New
    Every day!

    + Beat Stress
    Toughie. Good diet, exercise, sleep, and (yes, I’ll admit it) meds help.

    + Be inspired
    Some days are better than others.

    + Squat to poop
    Not really high on my list of priorities, since I don’t have any trouble in that department, lol.

    + Dance
    Yep! Just yesterday I was trying to talk my husband into starting up ballroom lessons again.

    Christine M. wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  36. A simple DIY setup to test out if squat toilets are suitable for you:
    https://twitpic.com/show/iphone/6ot7eh

    Much safer than squatting on the seat which can lead to serious, serious injury.

    ZenBowman wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  37. RE: poop. Sean Croxton over at Underground Wellness has a great video on youtube called Poopin 2.0. He discusses ways to squat for the modern toilet – IMHO he definitely knows and discusses some serious sh-t. Watch and learn, grasshoppers——-

    PrimalGrandma wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  38. Squat to Poop:
    I’m Forced to do that one once a year on the annual Canoe trip. Not easy or enjoyable. One of few times I would side with the Korgs lol

    Modern Forge:
    As someone who forgets to pack lunch everyday this is almost a daily quest.

    Darcy Guy wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  39. I work from home so I’m pretty much always barefoot. I hate wearing shoes and socks. I only put on shoes long enough to go pick up my son from day care in the evenings.

    I have an almost 4 year old so we dance like crazy in the living room all the time. It’s fun and he doesn’t care how silly we look.

    I’ve had to do the modern forage part since I was diagnosed with Celiac and had to go gluten-free.

    Susan M. wrote on September 22nd, 2011
  40. Squat to poop? HA! I’m so gonna do that.

    Nick wrote on September 22nd, 2011

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