How about some unconventional methods? You may be stepping outside of your comfort zone a bit, but that’s a good thing. Though I’m a big proponent of baby steps, sometimes (and especially for certain personality types) a massive change is precisely what we need to make progress. Besides, there’s not a whole lot about us that’s conventional in the first place, so I figured it wouldn’t be too drastic a leap.
Carry a Big Rock
This may sound harebrained, but I’m going to go with it. While out for a customary evening neighborhood walk with the wife last week, I happened across an enormous rock hidden in some bushes. It appeared to be of ornamental ilk, but since it had been abandoned to the elements, I felt no guilt in heaving it up to my shoulders and continuing on my way. I made sure to use proper form, of course – setting the back, keeping the core tight, lifting with the hips – without any issue, but getting the damn thing back to the house was a feat. In fact, I felt no compulsion to hit the weights as previously planned; my trek back to camp, rock in tow, was sufficiently grueling and my entire body was exhausted. Throughout the walk, I was constantly shifting it around from shoulder to shoulder. Its weight was such that keeping it in a single position for the duration wasn’t possible, and I think the constant movements made it all the more dynamic.
Next time you’re out on a walk, keep your eyes peeled for heavy objects. Rocks, tree stumps, truck tires, whatever’s bulky and difficult to carry home. Make like Grok and carry it back to camp for a great Primal workout and a decidedly Primal activity. Even better, you’ll always have an unconventional (and totally free) piece of exercise equipment to use.
Kick Off Your Shoes
If you’ve been reading about others’ glowing barefoot experiences with some envy but no will to try it yourself, perhaps it’s time you jump in. Lose the shoes for a day. Whether you’re off to the grocery store or the woods for a hike, going without shoes (without exception) is one way to force the Primal transition. Now, going shoeless at the mall is a little different from strolling through a dewy meadow with the blades of grass between your toes (you might step in deer droppings in the meadow, but at least you won’t have a surly security guard on your case), so a few adjustments can be made. Only wear socks. Pull on a pair of Vibrams. Or flout convention and bare your toes for all to see – avoid the sticky floor of the food court, though.
Try to spend at least an entire day without shoes to really take you out of your comfort zone, but be prepared for strange looks and offended sensibilities. A single barefoot day should be enough to convince you of the benefits, and your “sink or swim” introduction will make switching over to minimalist shoes and ditching the clunkers altogether a cinch. Your feet will thank you.
Catch a Bug
No, not the flu. I’m talking about those miniscule, multi-limbed creatures wearing exoskeletons. The average person may look at them in disgust and horror, but luckily for us (not for the bugs, however) the average MDA reader isn’t exactly average. To the modern arachnophobe, those eight legs scuttling across the ceiling bear pure evil; to the modern Grok, that’s just a mobile morsel of protein and fat. We’ve mentioned eating insects in the past, but how many of you merely read it, enjoyed a chuckle or two, and closed the window? How many actually took us up on the offer?
The fearless, after reading this post, may find themselves rooting through rotting trees for termites (60% MUFA) or raiding bee hives for the bees (rather than the honey), but for the squeamish, I recommend a more gentle introduction. Try chapulines, a Mexican delicacy of stir fried grasshoppers in garlic, chiles, and lime. If you like those last three ingredients, you probably won’t even notice the fact that you’re eating grasshoppers.
Disclaimer: Don’t worry. You don’t have to eat bugs to get Primal. Far from it. Primal foods are delicious and, well, much more ordinary than insects are for most people. As I alluded to earlier in this post, sometimes all we need is a way to force ourselves out of our comfort zones. What better way than to make like Grok and go bug hunting?
How about you, readers? Anyone got any unconventional tips for going Primal?
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.