In the search for a lifestyle better suited to the natural order but still functional in modern times, at least one author seems to have achieved the perfect balance.
The Primal Blueprint Diet
If you are looking for a Paleo-lifestyle primer, one of the very best is Mark Sisson’s book, The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy (Primal Blueprint Series).
Primal Blueprint is a compendium of Sisson’s fitness philosophies and diet practices. He is an advocate of a diet and natural fitness regimen that is based on our ancient ancestors’ lifestyle.
Sisson, a marathon runner and Biology degree holder, is the blogger behind Mark’s Daily Apple. In a way, he could be considered a healthier and more athletic Dr. Atkins—the man behind the once popular “Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution”.
In the book, Sisson not only states the modern day equivalents of Paleolithic fitness and diet, but also advocates a lifestyle of positive mental health and general well being.
For those who appreciate executive summaries, here are some of the book’s key points:
Eat Lots of Fruits, Veggies and Meat– Fat is not even an issue here. Simulate the Caveman Diet by decreasing your carbohydrate intake. The goal is to promote ketosis by burning fat, instead of sugar, for fuel.
Do Natural Exercises– Sisson promotes low-level exercises through daily routines like walking or weekend hiking, simulating the foraging activities of ancient man.
LIFT– Doing brief overall weight lifting at least twice a week. No overdoing it. Just imagine a hominid carrying the week’s kill back to the cave.
SPRINT– Run! As if you were being chased by a tiger—high intensity workouts a few times a week and for relatively short periods.
Get Some Quality Sleep– Rest ensures proper functioning of the mind and body.
Get Out and Play– This is important for the psychological benefits more than anything. Playful activities, when done with others, enhance bonds with fellow humans. Our ancestors developed and evolved to what we are today partly due to the fellowship and social bonds they created with the members of their group.
Get Some Sun– Vitamin D is usually underrated. The sun can be your friend, so get a substantial amount of sunshine everyday. Just make sure you have some sun block on, too.
Avoid Physical Trauma– Although this may often be beyond your control, try to be more careful for your own sake. Be extra wary of potential accidents and abstain from activities that could physically harm the body.
Be Toxin-Free– Avoid the ingestion of toxic substances (like drugs, tobacco and alcohol). Lay off the artificial stuff sold off the rack and go organic.
Exercise and Develop Your Mind– The final step encourages us to develop our mental health through creativity, mental tasks and socializing. After all, what good is a great body without an even better mind to go with it?
Alfablue, March 2013