Skip to main content

What is "Paleo?"

One of the biggest buzz words in health and nutrition these days is Paleo, or Primal, or Ancestral, or Caveman.  All of these tend to refer to the lifestyle of trying to emulate the health-related behaviors of our ancestors.  Primarily, we're referring to our pre-agricultural ancestors.

What? You want to act like cavemen?  Hunter-gatherers?  Stop living in houses and start roaming the earth in search of roots and berries to eat?

No, of course not.  The Paleo movement looks to customize the lifestyle of yesterday's hunter-gatherers into today's world.  It's not some sort of role-playing type thing.  So don't give up your house and start stocking up on loincloths, but think about what our ancestors did as they evolved.  That's right, this is largely based on what Homo sapiens evolved eating and doing.

One thing we didn't do was eat a lot of grains and sugars.  Those foods didn't exist before agriculture for the most part, and our bodies are not well adapted to handle such stuff.  It's not just a matter of being gluten intolerant, it's a matter of being glucose and fructose intolerant (and these are really the only two worth mentioning since all carbohydrates that we're capable of digesting eventually get broken down into these two).  Too much of those two sugars sends our insulin rate sky-high, and that sort of sustained insulin high is what leads to the massive weight gain and increase in such deteriorating diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and even neurological issues such as ADHD, Autism, and Multiple Sclerosis.

So the basic foods of Paleo eating are meats (grass-fed and organic if possible), fish (wild-caught if possible), vegetables (again, organic if possible), some nuts and seeds, a little bit of fruit but not too much (to avoid too much fructose), and healthy oils and fats.

What about exercise?  Less than you might think.  Without all those carbs racing around in your bloodstream looking for an outlet other than adding body fat, you won't need to be a constant treadmill slave.  In fact, that's not really good for you either.  3-5 hours of low-impact exercise such as walking, hiking, or easy cycling a week.  A couple sessions of full body high impact weight or resistance training - 15-30 minutes a session.  And a session of sprints.  That's all you need.  You'll keep stress hormones out of your body and optimize your body's natural method of keeping fat off.

Anything else?  Sleep.  Get the best sleep you can.  Keep active and healthy - get out and play on occasion! And keep your health in mind as you go about your day.  Don't stop thinking about it, a mindful life is a successful life!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Caffeine and Cortisol - a 30-Day Experiment

No Caffeine for Me! Today, I began upon a 30-day experiment to reduce my cortisol levels by removing coffee from my diet. The goal is to see how it might be affecting my cognitive function and my belly fat. Cortisol is a hormone that is related to stress .  At a very basic level, cortisol is created as a response to stressors in our environment.  Back when we were still chucking spears at deer and chasing down antelope, cortisol was helping to preserve our lives by giving us quick energy by signalling to our livers that it was time to engage in a process known as gluconeogenesis. This process is basically the breakdown of amino acids, the building blocks of protein, into glucose - one of the two monosaccharides (the healthy one) that our bodies use for fuel. Picture this - you're walking across the street, enjoying the day, when suddenly some inattentive driver tries to turn and doesn't see you.  Your heart rate speeds up, and you get a little burst of speed to quickly sprint o

More on Journaling: So many tools...

Journaling was long a habit that I wanted to pick up but just never did.  And it was never because I didn't believe in its worth, it was that I just never built the habit or found the proper method that worked best for me.  I'd start it for a while, be enthusiastic about it, and then lose the habit when something else came up and interrupted me.   That's all changed for me now, as I look forward each morning and night to journaling in my newest tool I've found.  But that search has clued me in to a ton of great journaling tools that might help you as you're looking for that great push to get you into the journaling habit!   The Five-Minute-Journal:    This is obviously   the one I've adopted .  It's simple, it's quick, and it does the trick.  I won't expand into stuff I've already talked about with this in the two posts I've done on this fantastic tool.  But let's talk about some of the other aspects of the Five-Minute Journal.

Ditching the Chair Update: Lack of Use Raises Its Head

I'm just starting day three of my standing desk experiment and so far I really like it - though a couple of challenges are showing up. As you may recall, I pulled one of my cubicle cupboards off the wall a couple days ago and am using it as a standing desk platform.  It's wide, deep enough, and more than sturdy enough for the limited use I put it through up there.  Also, I keep all that storage.  So win-win-win.  I'm fortunate that it's at exactly the right height for my purpose.   So here's how it's developed over the past couple of days.  My monitors are set apart about 16 inches and that's nice because it gets my neck moving back and forth more.  I was having some issues with my neck/back between my shoulder blades being tight and causing me headaches, and that has gone away.  I think that having my attention locked onto one place all day was not helping there, and setting them apart more has made me move it more.  Granted, I tend to lose my mou