Remember this TV commercial?
“It’s so easy, even a caveman can do it”.
In reality, they are talking about insurance, but we can apply that same slogan to a healthy lifestyle.
Over the years, living healthy has become very confusing for most. Whether it’s the amount or type of exercise, good and bad fats, supplements and vitamins or carbs and protein, it’s all so confusing.
Living a healthy lifestyle can be quite easy if we simplify our thoughts and philosophy to a more primal way of thinking.
From a genetic standpoint, primal eating, or eating as our Paleolithic ancestors did, is more congruent with our genetic necessities than any possible diet or food pyramid could ever accurately portray.
The following five steps will help you get more primal and in turn get you feeling and looking great for years to come. Cut this article out and place it on your fridge for a quick reference guide.
Variety of exercise
Varying your exercise can improve your bodies muscle response and enhance muscle gains. Muscle confusion is the basis behind all programmes that vary the exercises.
Our ancestors did a lot of walking, hiking, sprinting (full speed running for short durations), and heavy lifting. This variety of exercise maximises muscle fibre usage and coordination.
Here’s some good news, most primal exercise does not require a gym or some other type of machine. However, Cross Fit is one type of organisation that can provide guidance through a primal type exercise programme and keep you motivated.
Meat and fish
When eating time came for our ancestors, things weren’t so convenient as the yellow pages or restaurants. Instead of becoming a hunter for your own entrees, I recommend that you begin thinking about your diet in a way that resembles our ancestral dietary habits.
If you can’t catch it or find it in nature, you can’t eat it. In short, opt for meat and fish and don’t get hung up on the fat content.
Not only is fat integral to health, it will also help keep you feeling satisfied longer and reduce many craving you have become accustomed too.
Berries, nuts and vegetables
Berries taste great and are a great source of antioxidants vitamins and are relatively low in sugar. Raw varieties of almonds, macadamias, cashews and walnuts are excellent sources of essential fats.
Colourful and dark green vegetable provide fibre, enzymes, calcium and other essential elements to our diets.
Although our primal friends didn’t have access to a blender, smoothies made of a variety of berries and almond milk blended are a great breakfast when you’re in a rush, but remember to be prepared for lunch and pack a wide variety of foods found in nature.
Steer clear of potatoes, rice and other high starchy foods.
As with any nutrient, even the best water can be toxic if consumed in large quantities.
Our hunter and gather relatives most likely gained most of their water intake from the root vegetables they were consuming and didn’t consume large quantities of pure water.
However, water should be an integral part of our daily consumption in today’s society. With that in mind, stop reaching for coffee, sodas, energy drinks or juices and watch the pounds melt away.
As much as we would like to wind down in front of a TV after a long days work, our primal ancestors would have most likely been engaging in a dance or some other form of light activity that cleared and relaxed the mind.
Stay active and enjoy a walk on the beach, engulf yourself with the surrounding and enjoy what nature has to offer.
Most importantly, begin to wind down as the rest of nature winds down, just after the sun has set.
Lastly, a good night sleep is essential for many health reasons, so try to keep sleep times a regular routine.
We have a lot to learn from our ancestors and convenience and ease of preparation cannot be at the basis of our lifestyle decisions.
Any choice for eating should be sustainable for a lifetime and not for a defined amount of time as is seen with diets.
Get primal this year. It’s so easy, even a caveman can do it!
Dr. Bouliane is a chiropractor and lifestyle coach practising in the Cayman Islands.