Caveman Resurrection

Strategies & Tips for a Primal/Paleo Approach to Enhanced Health

Archive for the category “Philosophy”

What do Kim Kardashian and the St. Louis Cardinals Have in Common with the Primal/Paleo Lifestyle?

I love a good riddle.  So is it true Kim is going Paleo or that someone from the Cardinals is Primal?  I wish that were the case, but alas this is not the case nor subject of this post. Let’s get started.

Before Gaddafi‘s recent demise, even with him hiding under a rock, he had no doubt heard of the famous Kim Kardashian wedding.  We all did.  It was well televised and covered in all the tabloids.  Good looking basketball player marries gorgeous model – and they lived happily ever after.  $10 million dollars and 72 days after exchanging vows, we were all surprised when the news of her divorce got out.  Who would have predicted it?

Enter the St. Louis Cardinals.  As a wildcard team making the playoffs with no faith they would go anywhere, they beat the Phillies and then the Brewers to make it to the World Series against the Texas Rangers.  On October 19, as this image shows, 22 of 26 ESPN experts chose the Rangers to win the World Series.  With odds like that, you’d be a fool to think the Cardinals were going to win.  After one of the most memorable games in baseball where the Cardinals fought back to even the series, they won the following night to take the World Series.  No one would have predicted that – at least not if you work at ESPN.

So what does all of this pop culture talk have anything to do with the Primal/Paleo lifestyle?  It’s simple my friends.  It’s about predictions.

Like those who were shocked at Kim’s divorce and at the Cardinals pulling it off, how many of your friends and family think this Paleo/Primal thing will actually work for you – and for them?

A good friend recently mentioned some struggles he was having with his Paleo pursuits – basic peer pressure.  A buddy at work was making fun of his new Paleo food choices and attempting to convince him he was wrong for abandoning a high carb diet.  His buddy is on a different plan you may have heard of:  Weight Watchers.  In his infinite wisdom and while he was knocking my friend, he was monologuing how horrible the Paleo plan was as he devoured an entire plate of nachos and cheese.  I guess WW’s points allow for that, huh?  My friend is new to the Paleo plan and was caught off guard explaining insulin resistance; as if it would have done any good.  (I hope to lunch with my buddy and this guy in the near future.  Should make for fun conversation, don’t  ya think?)  Do you have friends like that?  Most of us have at least a few.  Or we did…before we snapped back at their ignorance.

If you are one to go with the masses, please read through my metaphors/analogies and understand this simple concept:  just because THEY say it’s good for you, doesn’t mean you have to believe it.  Do the research yourself.  Question the medical community.  Question the health/fitness community.  Question the government and their agencies who were designed to protect our health.  Question the experts and their predictions of your health.  While you’re at it, look at a plan that has been taken from our ancestors – and come to find out it helps to resolve most, if not all, systemic issues our culture is facing at an alarming rate.  Who would have predicted that in an age of technology and the industrialization of food, the real answer is in our past?  (One last question before I end this:  Question your friends and if they are really supporting you or standing in your way?)

Let others stick to the Standard American Diet and here are a few conditions they’ll likely experience:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • System inflammation
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Lack of energy
  • An addiction to Angry Birds that keeps you on the couch
  • And the list goes on and on
Eating Primal/Paleo may not help your addiction to Angry Birds, but I do predict one thing:  you’ll experience a new high with what your body can achieve, regardless of age, no matter what anyone else tells you. For inspiration or proof, look no further than the Success Stories on Mark’s Daily Apple.

Did your friends and family support your decision to go Paleo/Primal?  How did you handle their unsolicited input?

Here’s What Separates You from Success

It’s that intangible part of us that we all strive for.  It’s that one thing we think about on any given day that will make us feel fulfilled.  It’s that choice we make.  We know it can be ours.  But on many occasions, it seems to slip through our fingers like sand.

It’s called Success.

Look back on your life and note the many times you have failed.  Isolate one of those times where you really messed up.  Remember the choice you made – that one choice – and if you had it to do all over again, you could have succeeded.  You remember that one time, right?  I do.  Maybe you had two choices or perhaps you had more.  Did you take the easy road that one time and now you regret it?

We live in a world of choices.  We can choose from millions of songs to buy, places to go and things to do.  We can choose our clothes, our habits and in time, they come to define us.  But, for those who have made poor choices, it’s never too late to change some of those habits and start new ones.  I submit it’s time to eliminate some choices.  Yeah, I’m going there.  Too many choices are what can separate you from success.

I’m quick to point out that I don’t like to overly romanticize the way of the caveman, but considering the lack of choices had many years ago, was that such a bad thing?  They ate to survive.  There was no choice in that.  They lived what some may consider a shallow life.  But I would suggest in a time of no technology, no 9-to-5 job or mortgage, they lived a very deep life that was composed of family and tribal life.  They looked out for each other in hostile times.  They created and worked hard for everything they owned.  Material goods meant something and were of value; there was nothing disposable or easily discarded.  Each day was precious.

When you start your day tomorrow, consider all the choices you have filled your life with.  Make a list.  Then review that list to see what’s REALLY important.  Are all of the choices you make putting you on the path to success or are they keeping you from what you really want?  And when it comes to resurrecting that caveman inside you, that part that knows you need to eat better and work out smarter – what stands in your way there?  What do you allow in your life to stand in your way and to make excuses with?

A favorite quote of mine comes from Yoda:

Do or Do not.  There is no try.

Consider this piece of Star Wars philosophy.  Even if it comes from a science fiction movie, this is a powerful quote.  When you are in your next decision making process and faced with a few choices, keep this phrase in mind.  Whittle it down to the simplistic.  Either you will achieve success by your choices.  Or you will not.  Either you will commit yourself to success.  Or you will not.

When I do my pull-ups routine every other morning, I look at my rep chart and smile at the large numbers I’m scheduled to do.  I close my eyes and see myself doing.  I don’t “try.”  Trying encourages fear to enter the picture.  Wrong choice.  And to borrow from another movie, Point Break, Patrick Swayze’s character says

Fear causes hesitation, and hesitation will cause your worst fears to come true.”

So, let’s break this down to simplistic terms.  Failure arises when you allow too many choices in your life.  Excuses enter the picture.  Push the unimportant choices out of your life and put yourself into a win/no-win situation.  Commit to the outcome.  Succeed.

What Does An Average Paleo Day Look Like?

If there is one question I get from people the most, it is what does an ideal Paleo day look like?  I get it all the time, but truth be told, I enjoy those kinds of questions because it shows interest and gives me a chance to show people how truly easy it is.  So with no real plan this morning about how I would end my day blogging about this, here is what I did today.  Before I go any further, I’m not advocating EVERYONE HAS TO DO IT THIS WAY.  There are  many average Paleo Days and variations.  This is simply how I spent mine, OK?

My alarm woke me at 5 A.M.  OK, let’s start there – that is not ideal, waking up that early, right?  But I choose to do that so that I can get my workout in and start my day feeling productive.  From there I headed to my garage where I have a squat rack and an Olympic weight set.  I did a little stretching and then did my Stronglifts 5X5 program.  That consisted of 5 reps of 5 sets of compound movements; today’s exercises were squats, overhead presses and deadlifts.  I rested a little between sets and then finished up.  Coming back inside, I grabbed my iPod and looked at where I am on the 100 Pushups Program, something else I enjoy doing as part of my workout.  I finished a total of 100 pushups and then got my day started.

One topic that comes into play at some point with Paleo/Primal folks is intermittent fasting.  What that means for me is I typically don’t eat past 8 PM at night, I train fasted which is shown to raise growth hormone levels and then I hold off eating until noon.  This fasting period allows the body’s system to rest and recover.  In addition, like the Paleo Man, it forces my body to turn to body fat for energy versus being the standard American sugar burner.  It works for me, but it may not work for everyone.  If you are new to a Paleo/Primal diet, I’d suggest focusing on that first.  Once you have your diet dialed in, you may wish to fast from time to time as well.  I pick up a lot of my intermittent fasting advice from Martin Berkhan over at LeanGains.

I brought my lunch to work today, which is pretty typical.  I brought an organic yam and some Smokey Pot Roast.  But as lunch time got closer, I felt like chicken.  A nearby grocery store sells rotisserie chickens, so I went and picked one up, eating about half to 3/4 of it.  Yum!  The yam was awesome too, but it took about 10 minutes to cook off in the microwave.  It WAS a monster!  That would be my only carb source of the day.

Once home, I wanted to save some foods in the fridge for the next evening, so I kept it simple.  I made breakfast for dinner and had four strips of bacon, sauteed some mushrooms in my bacon fat, added my eggs to the pan and scrambled them up.  Then I added half of a sliced avocado, grabbed a big cup of water and settled in to watch the World Series (Go Cardinals!).  I also supplemented the meal with 5 fish oil capsules and 5 Vitamin D capsules.

The one thing I miss but I am experimenting with is less coffee this week.  My morning main stay is coffee with heavy cream.  My adrenals get overloaded with my coffee intake, so once in a while I pull back from coffee for up to a month to make sure my system is not overly reliant on it and to change things up.

And that, my friends, is a typical Paleo day for me.  How about you?

Is it “Who Me?” or “Yeah, it was me….”

OK, let’s talk a little caveman today.  This blog is about Primal/Paleo after all right?  And while the term “caveman” is probably used more than “cavemen,” no man/woman is an island unto themselves.  Hunting wild game back in the day, as well as today, often involves coordination amongst the tribe.  And once the game had been and killed, can’t you see the tribe dancing around the fire, drinking some prehistoric, fermented Wooly Mammoth pee and loving life?  Man is a social creature after all.

Sadly, there are those who think they don’t need anyone or they hide from others, but at the end of the day, the result is the same for these individuals.  No support.  And for those with no support, it kinda sucks, huh?

SUPPORT AND ACCOUNTABILITY

Who Me?

Support and accountability is a key component as you begin your Caveman Resurrection.  Once you’ve identified your WHY and your HOW, logged it in your journal and you’re progressing, seek out a friend who will support you and create a process to check in and report how well you are doing.  In this day and age of social networking, you can have several accountability partners instead of just one.  I recommend finding at least one who you can interact with face to face and then find another mechanism online to trade stories or support others.  Start a blog of your own, tweet your workout, update your Facebook status and confess your sins – whatever it takes.  Above all, admit your faults, identify them, journal them, but NEVER deny them.  You’ll only be hurting yourself.

One nice way to hold yourself accountable is through the use of Google Docs.  Construct a spreadsheet where you log your meals and workouts each day.  Include a notes section.  Then share that spreadsheet with an accountability partner so they can see what you are eating and how you are doing.  Give them permission to call you out and highlight in red the areas you strayed but to highlight the areas in green you did great.  It’s easy, it’s real-time and it is one more way you can journal your progress.

An accountability partner is a close friend but one you give full permission to remind you and steer you back on the path when things go off track.  Sign a contract or agreement that you both sign as a formal way that this change/journey you are going down is something you take serious.

No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

When those moments of weakness hit, and they will, remember this quote from George Burns.  None of us got fat overnight, right?  And your weight loss won’t be resolved overnight.  Remind yourself that all of those little steps you used to take created the avalanche you are now cleaning up.  Stop snowing and start melting that fat.  You can do it.  One step at a time.

SPOUSES ARE NOT ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNERS

Spouses do not count as accountability partners.  While they may support your efforts, when push comes to shove they may have a hard time holding you accountable.  Marriage is tough enough; then when you give them the right to pound you down when you have a moment of weakness and they act on it – NOT A GOOD THING.  That stressful day at work that “forced you” to eat that chocolate just got a lot more stressful when your spouse thought they were gently reminding you of your goals.  Before you know it, you not only went back on your word, but you put your spouse in a difficult spot where they came out the loser instead of you.  So, let’s be clear – accountability partners can’t be your significant other UNLESS you can seriously face the critiques you asked them to give you.

How does being accountable feel to you?  Do you see that as a hindrance or a help?  If you see it as a hindrance, why?  Add your thoughts in the comment section!

Not Just Another Blog

Welcome world to yet another blog.  I hope the information you find here is actually useful and not just another person droning on about a topic that has no meaning for you.  So, let’s skip right to the relevance of it all.  I mean blogs are supposed to be about relevant content, so let’s get to it.  This blog is about resurrecting one’s self.  It’s about making healthy choices.  It’s about making quality choices.  It’s about honoring those past mistakes you’ve made – that we’ve all made.  None of us are perfect.  But we’re ready to attempt it again.  We’re ready to resurrect ourselves.

Now, when I use the word resurrection, some people may get a bit uncomfortable.  Is this guy getting all religious on me?  The answer is no.  Resurrection, quite simply, is the re-birth of one’s self.  And, to make that point more clear – you can’t have re-birth until you have allowed a part of you to die.  If you are ready to make some healthier decisions in life, then it’s time to see the error of your ways and close that door.  That person doesn’t exist.  That’s not to say you won’t mess up again.  But let’s not even acknowledge that person is there any longer.  Today is about a new YOU.  Today is about looking back one last time and then turning to the present and future – and seeing a whole new opportunity to be the person you always wanted to be.  It’s about opportunity.  It’s about resurrection.

For some of you reading this, you may have been a past reader of my former blog, Primal Chat.  You can try to Google it, but you won’t find it.  You’ll find a former Twitter account and some other references to PrimalChat or Primal Chat.  But those days are gone.  I have died to that self.  But my mission is still the same.  Helping others achieve the best within themselves.

So, what’s different about this blog than any other?  Well, to demonstrate, I have a great e-book I wrote called Caveman Resurrection.  It is for sale.  But not today.  And not next week.  It’s for sale when I have proven to you, the reader, that this content is actually what I say it is and worthy of purchase.  It’s not about a quick fix.  It’s not about topical decisions.  This work is deep.  It will force you at times to look within yourself to the decisions you make and why.  It may be uncomfortable at times.  But discomfort on this side leads to freedom on the other side.  And who can’t use a little freedom?

Look for more to come – the journey is about to begin.

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