Health. Primal Nutrition. Exercise. Motherhood. Sustainability & Creating various things.

The 'Primal', 'Paleo' or 'Caveman' Lifestyle, What is it?

Before I became a Mother, I was a Personal Fitness Trainer and a Competitive Rower. During the past two years, I have stepped back from the fitness industry and the world of competitive sport in order to raise my children, but I have continued to read and research the subject as it still remains a great interest of mine.

Maybe it's because of my absence from the fitness industry or that I now have freedom to read my choice of material (as opposed to what I was required to study to keep my P.T registration up-dated) or that I no longer have to adhere to a pre-set training plan regardless of my energy levels, but my perspective on what health and wellness is has definitely changed and I am now 100% sure that the majority of what I previously learnt about Exercise and Nutrition is incorrect.

What I now believe to be the most effective way to achieve optimal health and well being is to follow what is known in various circles as a 'Primal', 'Paleolithic/ Paleo' or 'Caveman' Lifestyle. The deeper I venture into the subject the more I am amazed by how intricately our bodies are tuned to the earth and the more I realize I need to write about what I have discovered in order to spread the word about this ridiculously simple way to achieve an abundance of health and energy.

Being such a broad subject, I am going to start off with a brief overview. I also welcome any questions that you may have or suggestions for blog posts that would be of interest to you, you can do this by posting in the comments box below.

So, What is Primal Living?
Once upon a time, us humans only ate what we could hunt for or forage for with our bare hands (or maybe if we were lucky, a stick!) This hunting and gathering was also one half of our physical exercise, the other half was protecting ourselves from larger species that were hunting after us for their food!

The result of our ancestors lifestyle was a body free from the diseases and ailments so common today, a physique that would match that of an Olympian and an energy level unknown to most of us who now live with the malaise that results from the overtired, overstimulated, overstressed world of today. To live a Primal Lifestyle in 2011 is to replicate within our culture the life our paleolithic ancestors lived and thrived on.

What is Considered Primal Nutrition?
In short…
  • Meat 
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit 
  • Nuts 
  • Seeds 
  • Coconut 
  • Eggs
  • Seafood
  • herbs and spices
  • Water
  • Limited dairy
  • Preferably local, organic produce

What is NOT Considered Primal Nutrition?
  • Anything that comes in a Packet
  • Grains
  • Legumes 
  • Margarine
  • Hydrogenated Oils 
  • Sugar
  • Alcohol 
  • Artificial Sweeteners e.g nutra-sweet, Equal 
  • Anything that wasn't around for your great grandparents to eat

What Is Primal Exercise?
Our paleolithic ancestors exercise was purely hunting and gathering for food as well as protecting themselves from becoming food! To hunt, paleolithic man would of walked around looking for his prey and then attacked using his maximum capacity of speed and strength in order to make the kill. To Gather, he would of walked around looking for the produce the current season had to offer by climbing trees and lifting up heavy things such as rocks and branches in order to locate his next meal. Therefore, Primal Exercise in 2011 is replicated by lots of low level intensity such as walking at a comfortable pace interspersed with short maximal efforts that utilize sprinting, heavy lifting and body weight exercises.

What ISN'T Primal Exercise?
Our paleolithic ancestors did not jog or power walk (unless it was a life and death situation) because it was not efficient and would leave them fatigued, therefore more susceptible to becoming prey for the animals who were higher up the food chain. They did not repeat isolated exercises within small muscle groups e.g bicep curls or crunches because it was unnecessary and they did not use exercise machines.

I hope to share with you the things I am continually learning about this way of living, my personal experiences as well as some of the more practical solutions to modern day Primal Living such as recipes (most of the recipes I have previously posted are Primal), what to look for when buying food, dealing with social situations that offer non-Primal food, Children and a Primal Lifestyle and deciphering the way your body tells you if it likes or dislikes your food and/or your exercise regime.

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