Tag: Primal lifestyle

Common Misconceptions about the Primal Blueprint

Here we are, closing in on 20 years of indulging this “fad” called the Primal/paleo movement. And the critics said we wouldn’t last. Ha! I find it extremely gratifying that new people are jumping on board, questioning conventional wisdom, configuring their own Primal practices, and, in doing so, remaking their health. It’s a testament to the fundamental soundness of the Primal Blueprint if I do say so myself.

Although I like to think that we are mainstream at this point, the reality is that I still get as many questions as ever highlighting the basic misunderstandings and confusion that continue to surround the Primal/paleo/ancestral health movement. That’s fine with me! I truly welcome all questions and comments. They mean that new people are finding us and are open to learning about how the Primal Blueprint might help them. Even when they challenge me—“What’s up with those weird toe shoes, Sisson?”—it’s an opportunity to plant a seed that might one day bloom into a new, healthier lifestyle.

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Ask a Health Coach: Getting Your Parents and Kids to Go Primal

Hi folks! This week, Erin is here to help you get the non-primal eaters in your life onboard with your way of eating. From carb-crazed kids to aging parents, she’ll be sharing her own personal strategies for finding balance, while transitioning away from the Standard American Diet. Got more questions? Post them in the comments section below or over in our Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook group.

Maggie asked:
“My kids love bread. Is there any bread that is good for you? As they were eating their 3rd slice at dinner last night, I read aloud the long list of ingredients shaking my head. Any suggestions?”
I hear from a lot of my clients that, now that they know the ills of grain-based foods (among other things, grains contain lectins, a toxic substance that can reduce the body’s ability to absorb nutrients), they’d love to get their kids off of them too.

The young, resilient bodies of kids don’t often suffer the consequences of eating grains as immediately or as noticeably as we grownups do. In a sense, they don’t have as much skin in the game; they have less immediate incentive to make a healthier choice. They may not develop IBS, eczema, or PCOS ‘til they’re in their twenties or thirties which, for a kid, is a lifetime away.

That said, if you really want to steer them in a different metabolic direction (and it sounds like you do), the time to start is now.

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How to Recover from Holiday Overindulgence

So, you overdid it…or just ate something that doesn’t work with your body. Maybe you didn’t binge per se but you abandoned the original plan and now you’re feeling the pain. You ate, maybe more than you intended, maybe differently than you intended.

Non-Primal foods were consumed – perhaps many of them or just a few in larger than planned quantities. Non-Primal and sub-Primal drinks were imbibed beyond the point of intention. And now the consequences are playing out. You’re stuck in a bloated, sloth-like, catatonic state. You’re nursing a major headache with every shade shut and the covers over your head wishing in a rather non-seasonal mindset that your children would take the noise to some distant corner of the neighborhood. Maybe you’ve taken up residence in the bathroom.

In a less dramatic scenario, perhaps you’re just pushing yourself through the day because you notice your energy is off, your digestion not up to full speed, your mood not quite as equanimous as usual. Whether you feel it was worth it or not, who wouldn’t want to reverse the course of misery itself after the fact?

Think of it this way: with health comes sensitivity to what’s unhealthy.

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Getting Back on the Wagon

Things are going great. You’re eating well, moving your body regularly, lifting heavy things, getting good sleep. Then wham! Something happens, and all your best laid plans are out the window. Maybe it’s a crisis at work, the loss of a loved one, a vacation, or, I don’t know, a global pandemic that changes everything. Sometimes it’s nothing memorable, you just sort of… stop trying.

What do you do when you realize you’ve fallen off the wagon?

It’s simple. You pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and climb back on.

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8 Ways to Deal with a Difficult Partner (Who Doesn’t Eat Like You Do)

One of the biggest challenges of going Primal (or Keto or anything that goes against the norm of the Standard American Diet) is dealing with people who have no clue why you’d ever do such a thing. Even though there have been tons of studies on the risks of eating processed foods, grains, and industrialized oils, there are just as many folks panicking when you pass on the rolls. It’s even harder when those folks are your spouse or significant other. If you’ve ever heard your partner say… “I’d die if I couldn’t have bread.” “One cookie isn’t going to wreck your diet.” “Your body needs sugar!” “You’re having bacon again?!” …then you know what I’m talking about. As a health coach, I see this more often than I don’t. One half of a couple decides they’re done feeling foggy and carrying around extra fat, while the other feels “fine” and finds no reason to change how they’re eating — even though they’re pre-diabetic and their blood pressure numbers are sky high. Signs You’ve Got a Difficult Partner As you take steps toward improving your health and growing as a person, you might find that, instead of support, you’re suddenly on the receiving end of someone who’s sabotaging you, acting irritated and jealous, or just not willing to grow with you. Your partner may come home with armloads of chips and cookies and refuse to eat anything that resembles a vegetable. Or make you feel bad when you ask for your burger lettuce wrapped. Or look at you like you’ve got two heads when you grab the full-fat yogurt off the grocery store shelf. Sound familiar? These are all signs that you’re dealing with a difficult partner. Here are some other indicators: They’re quick to blame you for their actions They seem to try to sabotage you They’re controlling They avoid or resist conversations with you They minimize your wins or your progress They judge you based on their beliefs They use guilt as a way to control the situation Here’s the thing though. You can’t change other people. I don’t care how right you are, how much progress you’ve made in your own health journey, or how much time you spend cooking epic protein-forward meals. People only change when they want to change. That said, you don’t have to let someone else’s resistance derail your own goals. How Difficult Partners Affect Your Health Aside from it being downright frustrating to live with someone who refuses to take responsibility for their own health, it can increase your risk of certain health conditions. One study from Montreal’s McGill University Health Centre evaluated the environmental factors, social habits, and eating and exercising patterns of couples and found that participants had a 26% higher chance of developing Type 2 Diabetes when their partner had the disease. The good news is, it works the other way too. In a trial funded by the National Institute of Health, researchers looked at the ripple effect of … Continue reading “8 Ways to Deal with a Difficult Partner (Who Doesn’t Eat Like You Do)”

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What to Say When People Ask About Your Eating Habits

Ever make excuses for why you don’t partake in grains? Wondering the best way to pass on processed foods at a party? And how do you eat healthy when there are no healthy choices available? In this week’s edition of Ask a Health Coach, Erin is here to answer your questions about defending and maintaining a Primal lifestyle in a SAD world. Keep your questions coming in the comments section below or over in our Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook Group. Maria asked: “How do you deal with relatives who totally buy into the dietary guidelines? I think my siblings actually believe I’m harming myself and my kids with my ‘crazy’ diet. What do I say to make them see my side?” Trust me, I know how frustrating this is. And honestly, I don’t typically engage with anyone who tries to shame me for my choices (just like I don’t shame anyone who hasn’t realized how detrimental a Standard American Diet can be). That said, when it’s family, it’s hard not to engage. It’s also hard to not let it rile you up. Hearing someone say that canola is one of those healthy oils or “I can’t believe you don’t eat bread” or “this soy burger is so much better for you” can make a sane person scream. And no amount of citing nutritional studies or forwarding Mark’s Daily Apple links will convince them otherwise. Our food choices have become as controversial as talking about politics or religion. And most people have a hard time seeing that their diet and their health issues are connected. They just go about their day, slurping down their ginormous sugar-laden coffee drinks and processed convenience foods and then running to the doctor when a health issue arises (which it always does). Unless they’re paying a lot of attention, people become so disengaged from their bodies that they don’t realize eating certain foods is causing them to feel like crap. They don’t realize that being bloated or having indigestion all the time is fixable. It’s not your job to fix them. But it is your job to stand up for what you and your kids believe in. Eating high-quality protein, healthy fats, nuts and seeds, and fruits and veggies is how our ancestors ate — before chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease became staples in our healthcare system. You know that eating this way works for you and your family. That’s why the best advice is to lead by example. As your siblings see you indulging in red meat and big ass salads and forgoing grains and processed desserts, they’ll also start to notice that your weight is staying stable (or you’re losing weight) and you’re avoiding the typical illnesses that plague Standard American Dieters. Whenever you get together with family, keeping eating like you always do without making it a big deal. Who knows? Maybe one of these days you’ll notice they’re slathering up their dinner with real butter instead of spraying on the … Continue reading “What to Say When People Ask About Your Eating Habits”

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Primal Provisioning For Staying Home

How’s everyone doing out there? I hope you are all doing your best to protect your health, including your mental health. These are wild times to say the least.

I don’t know what it is like in your neck of the woods. Where I live, a lot of people saw the writing on the wall at the end of last week and prepared to self-quarantine. Stores were suddenly packed as people stocked up with the necessary supplies to stay home for several weeks. (Yes, and dozens of rolls of paper towels and toilet paper, too.)

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Should You Track Sleep?

Tracking certain things makes sense, if you go for that sort of thing. Tracking step count is hard without a device. No one’s going to count every step they take in their head. You’d quickly go mad doing that. Same with pulse rate and heart rate variability—you could count the number of beats for 30 seconds and double it to get BPM, but that gets unwieldy after awhile and HRV requires a special device. But tracking sleep? On the surface, sleep tracking seems futile and pointless. If there’s anything you should know intuitively without having to measure, it should be whether or not you got a good night’s sleep. You wake up and see how you feel.

Are you groggy? Irritable? Did you just crack an egg into the coffee maker, brush your teeth with light roast beans, kiss your dog good morning and let your spouse out to pee? You probably didn’t sleep very well.

Are you rested? Full of vim and vigor? Can you perform basic bodily functions without requiring a mug of coffee first thing? You probably slept fine.

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Why We’re Missing Out on Real Life

Over the past couple weeks, I’ve identified two deficits in our modern lives — the lack of sprinting and the lack of walking – and proposed a series of corresponding challenges to address (and hopefully fill) those deficits. Judging from the responses, I think these articles were  successful. Today, I’m trying my hand at highlighting another problem, this time one that has nothing to do with physical fitness. In fact, it deals with perhaps the most physically inactive activity you’ll ever do: staring at a smartphone as the world gets on around you. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti-technology (duh), or even anti-smartphone (got one myself). I have the accumulated knowledge of the world in my pocket, and that’s pretty darn useful. I can find out where to get the best Greek food within five miles. I can bank, I can order flights to far off lands, I can check traffic, I can check shopping lists, read email, text, tweet, friend, defriend, like, oh, and make phone calls – all from the comfort of my 3.5 inch touch screen. That’s incredible. It also makes it really, really easy to get too comfortable and avoid actually experiencing the real, physical world.

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