6 Ways Primal Types Can Observe Halloween

Inline_Primal_HalloweenI’ll take the holiday bait today. It’s true…with its emphasis on candy consumption, many Primal types feel lost on Halloween. They don’t know what to do with themselves.

The costumes are fun, and being with friends is always a good time, but how should they react to all that sugar? It’s a hard thing.

Luckily, today I have 6 ways you can observe Halloween while staying true to your Primal roots.

Do Some Ancestral Reenactment

Everyone knows, deep down, that going Primal is really all about re-enacting ancient hunter-gatherer life. Personally, my mode of communication and utilization of Internet technology is a source of deep shame. I’d much rather cite PubMed entries while sitting around a campfire. If I could, I’d smash my laptop, renounce antibiotics, toss my toothbrush. That I cannot find the courage to do so is slowly killing me on the inside.

But I can’t. I’m in too deep. So I use Halloween as the one day out of the year that I can fully embody the paleolithic hunter-gatherer that yearns to burst free. I suggest you do the same. Put on a loincloth. Grab an atlatl. Contract a parasite. Live the dream, if only for one night.

Dress Up As Your Favorite Obscure Ancestral Health Community Celebrity

Sure, almost no one will get your costume. But when you meet someone who does, you’ll know you have a friend or lover for life. A few ideas:

Robb Wolf: Wear a jiu jitsu gi and a big broad smile; refer to everyone as “folks.”

Mark Sisson: No shirt, paint-on abs, and a Frisbee.

Chris Masterjohn: Carry a cup of egg yolks, and hand out vitamin K2 capsules.

Bill Lagos: Blue blockers and a blow torch.

Peter Attia: Ride a road bike while wearing only a speedo and carrying a gallon bag of cashews.

Stephan Guyenet: Wear a peasant’s burlap tunic, and carry around a dinner plate containing boiled cabbage, boiled chicken breast, boiled potato.

Petro Dobromylskj: Dress as a molecule of palmitic acid.

Emily Deans: Doctor’s lab coat made of mammoth fur, stethoscope made of bone; hand out samples of magnesium glycinate and SSRIs.

Michelle Tam (NomNomPaleo): Carry an Instant Pot filled to the brim with Red Boat fish sauce.

Richard Nikolay: Naked, dusted with raw potato starch, with Bitcoin hash emblazoned in Sharpie across chest.

Give Out Healthy Primal Treats To Trick-or-Treaters

There’s nothing kids love more than healthy treats on Halloween. Some options that the kids in our neighborhood just love:

Teaspoons of Cod Liver Oil: Keep capsules on hand for kids with costumes that restrict mouth access.

Raw Liver Shake: Blend up some raw liver (beef, lamb, or chicken) with a little OJ and frozen blueberries. Serve in tiny, decorative Dixie cups.

100% Cacao Dark Chocolate: Everyone knows that kids love chocolate.

Kale Chips: Fill a big serving bowl with loose kale chips and let the kids grab as many as they like.

Mini Bottles of Natural Dry-Farmed Wine: Reduced alcohol content makes it perfect for minors.

Dark Chocolate Covered Brussels Sprouts: Fill snack-sized Ziplocs with 3-4 Primal “truffles.” Tell them to eat it quick before it melts!

Magnesium Oil Spritzes: Spray everyone who comes to the door. Tell the irate parents it will help their kids sleep, so they should thank you.

4-inch PVC Pipe Sections for Foam Rolling: As kids approach, be rolling out your quads as an example. Actual foam rollers are best but get rather expensive.

Single-Serving Kerrygold Butter Slivers: Just cut each stick of butter into 8 pieces, wrap in foil, keep in fridge, and hand out. Tell them it’s expensive and they should appreciate it.

Offer Lessons in Evolved Fear

In this Sunday’s Weekend Link Love, I linked to an article about the evolution of fear. It turns out that most of the things we innately fear, like snakes, spiders, heights, the dark, and deep water correspond to real dangers faced throughout the course of human evolution. Halloween is the perfect time to give a lesson on how it all works.

Gather three tarantulas, three black widows, two scorpions, one snake (ideally not venomous), 1000 fly larvae, two bats, and assorted cobwebs and other bugs. Set up shop on the edge of a rocky cliff. The possibilities are endless.

Rail Against the Sins of Sugar Consumption On the Busiest Trick-or-Treating Corner

Now’s the perfect time to change hearts and minds. Dress in your Sunday best, grab a big sandwich board sign, and scrawl quotes from Gary Taubes and yours truly. Wear the sign and hit the busiest trick-or-treating street near you.

Hand out printed out copies of “The Definitive Guide to Sugar.” Have the article on sugar alcohols handy in case you get into nuanced discussions.

Tell kids that “Sisson saves” and “Gary loves you but hates the sin.”

Burn a pile of granulated sugar in the street. Make sure it burns, rather than turns into delicious caramel.

Hand out stevia packets.

Go On a Candy Bender

It’s Halloween night. Your kids are down for the count, having eaten their nightly allotment. Cleaning up, you come across a Baby Ruth candy bar. It used to be your favorite one. In your heyday, you’d go through five King-Sized bars every week. How long has it been?

You’re doing so well. You just read The Keto Reset and finally beat that stall you hit a few months back. The weight’s flying off, and by the looks of it appears to be almost all lost body fat. Your wife’s even taken notice. You feel her eyes all over you, lingering in the best of ways.

One can’t hurt…. You unwrap it, take a bite. You take another. And another. It’s gone. You’re on to the next one.

You hit the chocolates first. Snickers, Kit-Kat, Milky Way. Then the fruity candies: Skittles, Starbursts, Sour Patch Kids, Sweet Tarts. Then the weird stuff you hated as a kid. candy corn, Twizzlers, Tootsie Rolls. You don’t care anymore. You eat it all.

Your child’s stash exhausted, you move onto the drug stores. CVS is selling fun-sized Three Musketeers for a buck a bag. You don’t even like nougat, but you buy out the store anyway. That’s the last thing you remember.

Three months later, you have no teeth. Your insulin is so high you can feel it. All the weight’s back on, and more. You stumble to a pay phone and dial your house. A stranger picks up. “There’s no one here by that name.”

Well, that’s it for today. If you’ve got any other ideas for observing Halloween as a devoted Primal type, share the joy below.

Thanks for stopping by today. Happy Halloween, everybody.

Primal Kitchen Hollandaise

TAGS:  humor

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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29 thoughts on “6 Ways Primal Types Can Observe Halloween”

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  1. Well, stickers and temporary tattoos go over well with the kids in my neighborhood but we may be kind of boring in the Midwest. Our house doesn’t get tp’d or egged, though, so I think our candy boycott is going okay.

  2. Dress as a “glycogen suitcase.” You’ll have fun explaining that one to the 5-year-olds standing on your porch, along with offering them a teaspoon of cod liver oil. Your house will get avoided like the plague next year.

  3. This might be the funniest blog post I have ever read. Thanks for the chuckle, Mark!

  4. YES!! Sisson Saves!! Love it! I can see this on a T-shirt with you paddleboarding out Baywatch Style! All I ask is 50 cents per shirt for concept design! haha!

    Serious note here… Halloween is one of those could fit into the 80/20 or even 90/10 types of times. Not saying anyone needs to kill the bowl, but showing the kids that even someone with healthy habits can indulge in a favorite or two and get back to eating right the next day is a perfect life lesson.

  5. Great post. Thanks Mark. We don’t do Halloween as much in the UK… Maybe it’s time to get those placards out…

  6. Dress as a Neanderthal (per Danny Vendramini’s reconstruction) — the original horror. And dance to Thriller: “the funk of forty thousand years” indeed!

  7. I try to take my son to all the houses with stairs so he gets in a ton of movement, I do it all with him. We come home after walking easily 5 miles, we watch him gorge for one night, I have a piece of dark choc and a glass of wine and we go to bed. Great day to be a kid!

  8. I had just recommended MDA to Facebook friends. I had to go back and stress that today’s MDA is satire.

  9. You can also hand out all the leftover medications you don’t need anymore.

  10. How I wish I’d thought of chocolate covered sprouts (are they cooked?) before I bought the milky bar ghosts and chocolate spiders! There’s no way I’d ever give my kerrygold away

  11. Dress as a werewolf, act the part sprinting out of the darkness from a squat position and scare the candy corn out of celebrators.

  12. What a great post! My neighbor is paleo and between the two of us, if we both gave out healthy treats, I’d be afraid of the retaliation. Besides, husband insists on “real” candy, preferably chocolate, for the one night.
    I ate my fill last week, after the Costco run to buy a big bag of chocolate ones and sugar/dye loaded kiddie ones. Dipped into the chocolate one a few too many times and felt awful. So now I’m “celebrating” Halloween by doing a 21-day reset, which I started yesterday. Nice timing.

  13. Sorry, folks, but I’m giving out candy from Target. At least I get dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. Which severely limits the options to Hershey’s Kisses and Peppermint Patties.

  14. I don’t get many kids in my out of the way location. However, just in case, bought a bag of M&M mini packs. Held off until this morning. Figured less time the better. Damn, should have waited until this afternoon.

  15. Haha – I love the costume ideas. You’re right though, most people wouldn’t get them, which seems to defeat the purpose somewhat.

  16. You forgot to mention egg your own house in the “Give Out Healthy Primal Treats To Trick-or-Treaters” ……..

  17. Yesterday here in Portland there was about 2 dozen people dressed up as witches stand up paddleboarding along the Willamette. Seemed pretty primal and it looked super fun!

  18. Actually, we retired from the Trick or Treat scene as of last year. I figure we helped rot enough teeth over the years, plus the dog gets too stressed out. The number of kids coming to the door has dwindled to a couple dozen in recent years. I think more and more parents are either deciding all that candy is a bad idea (duh!) or are opting for one of the many organized Halloween functions instead.

  19. Haha! I love the costume ideas!

    We haven’t had a single trick-or-treater since we moved to our cabin in the woods eight years ago. I love not buying candy, especially because the description of the candy bender was definitely me pre-primal/keto! So grateful to be free of sugar.

    We celebrated Halloween with grilled lamb ribs, chimichurri, roasted bok choy and Stranger Things.

  20. Michelle Tam (NomNomPaleo): Carry an Instant Pot filled to the brim with Red Boat fish sauce.

    I have a feeling she will appreciate this as much as I did.

  21. Hilarious! My kids and husband already think I’m crazy. Next year I can take it up a notch by handing out liver shakes while dressed in my instant pot costume.

  22. Probably my favourite holiday (I really don’t care about holidays in general but I get a kick out of Halloween). Railing against sugar reminds me of a time I was sitting in a McDonald’s to relax and be warm and told a kid that the fries there have 17 ingredients and only 2 are real. I don’t know how true that is. I heard it somewhere. The kid was like “Eww! I’m never eating McDonald’s again!”
    I felt mighty pleased and amused with myself. I wouldn’t normally spout out stuff like that to strangers in public, but I was happily hydrating, let’s say, and had reduced inhibitions. You could call it public indoctrination.