Primal Blueprint Law 1: Eat Plants and Animals

The 1st Primal Blueprint Law is the basic description of everything our ancestors ate to get the protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phenols, fiber, water and other nutrients necessary to sustain life. But it was a huge list of individual foods—some anthropologists say it may have been 200 or 300 food choices at a time depending upon the geographic area. The net result was a dietary “breakdown” of fat, protein and carbohydrate that was far different from what Conventional Wisdom considers optimum today.

This diet provided all the necessary fuel and building blocks that, along with specific exercise, prompted their genes to create strong muscles, enabled them to expend lots of energy each day moving about, to maintain healthy immune systems, to evolve larger brains and to raise healthy children. They ate sporadically, too. When food was plentiful, they ate more than they needed (and stored the excess as fat). When times were scarce, they survived on fat stores. This random or “non-linear” eating pattern kept their bodies in a constant state of preparedness.

Today we can focus on quality sources of protein (all forms of meat, fowl, fish), lots of colorful vegetables, some select fruits (mostly berries), and healthy fats (nuts, avocados, olive oil). Observe portion control (calorie distribution) week to week more than meal to meal. Eliminate grains, sugars, trans- and hydrogenated fats from your diet.

What To Eat

The first Primal Blueprint Law is about real food our ancestors would’ve recognized. In other words, we eat the animals, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds our bodies are adapted to thrive on.

Eat animals: beef, lamb, bison, pork, poultry (and their eggs). Favor grass-fed and pastured animals, which have better fatty acids and contain more vitamins and minerals (and taste better!).

Eat animals from the sea: salmon, sardines, trout, mackerel, crab, shrimp, oysters, mussels, clams. Wild-caught fish are best, though farmed shellfish are usually raised exactly like wild shellfish and thus are fine.

Eat unlimited produce: leafy greens of all kinds, colorful plants, berries, cruciferous vegetables, assorted fruits, roots, and tubers.

Eat some nuts and seeds: macadamias, walnuts, cashews, almonds, pecans, brazil nuts, pistachios, hazelnuts; pumpkin, squash, and sunflower seeds.

Use healthy cooking fats: butter (especially grass-fed), coconut oil, olive oil, red palm and regular palm oil, ghee, and animal fats (lard, tallow, duck fat, etc.).

Stock spices: keep plenty of herbs and spices on hand. Cumin, coriander, thyme, rosemary, sage, chili powder, mint, turmeric, and cayenne are a few of my favorites, but you can use anything else you like. Spices and herbs add flavor to dishes and prevent the breakdown of vital nutrients during cooking so that when you add spices or herbs, your food tastes better and is actually healthier for you.

For a handy Primal grocery list with the above (and more), click HERE.

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