Here are my answers to Mark Sisson’s Share Your Wisdom contest (sorry the spacing is off. I’ll see if I can get Antonie to fix that…):
- In as few words as possible how would you explain the Primal Blueprint to someone new to the concept?
Being primal is about being healthy and happy, by living the way we’re designed to live.
Evolution is a fairly slow process and so our bodies are genetically still very much like our distant ancestors. We are literally designed to eat and sleep and move like cavemen and cavewomen. We are not designed to eat sugar and grains. We’re not supposed to spend all day sitting in chairs and staring at glowing rectangles.Of course, this isn’t a call to re-create exact conditions from long ago. Rather, being primal is about eating foods and living in a way that is healthy.
And simply put, it is healthy for humans to eat human food. Just like zebras should eat zebra food and snakes should eat snake food. And we should move around, spend time outside in the sun, and be a part of a team. The best lifestyle for us, then, is one that replicates the diet of our Paleolithic ancestors, and involves moving, getting some sun, and socializing & playing with family and friends.
- What is the first thing a person should do to kick start their Primal life?Let me suggest three steps for kick starting a primal life:
First off, do a little bit of research. Nothing intense. Do some reading, do some googling, and chat with some folks that are living primal. If you don’t know anyone personally, then just ask around! Be sure to visit Mark’s Daily Apple and even The Primal Challengefor tips and people that will support you.Second, commit to giving primal a shot for 30 days. Keep the 80-20 rulein mind so you don’t have to worry about drastically changing 100 percent overnight. Pick an upcoming day to start so you have time to research, prepare, and clean the bad foods out of your kitchen.Third, figure out your starting point. Know where you are, record it, and then come up with an ideal goal to work towards. I describe this in more detail at The Primal Challenge here.
- What do you think is the most important thing one should understand as they attempt to go Primal? The most important thing to keep in mind is that by being a part of a healthy team you certainly improve your odds of being successful. Follow along on other primal sites and participate in them. Read and leave comments on primal blogs, and even join a community — or start your own. See if you can get family, friends, co-workers and roommates to join you. See if you can do a 30-Day Challenge with them.
- What was the biggest hurdle you experienced when going Primal and how did you overcome it?The biggest hurdle I experienced was coming home late — say after a night at the climbing gym — and not having food ready. But being super hungry. We would just order a pizza and say, “hey, 80-20.” I found the only way I could overcome this was by going 100 percent for a full month.
- If there is something you’d go back and do differently as it relates to diet, fitness and lifestyle behaviors what would it be and why?I’ve been primal for a year now. If I could do it over again, I would have gone 100 percent earlier.
- What do you usually eat for breakfast? For breakfast, I like to have a smoothie and bring along a few other goodies like an egg, avocado and banana. I wrote about this in a post called My Favorite Primal Breakfast.
- What is your favorite Primal recipe and how do you make it?My favorite primal recipe is still probably my primal breakfast smoothie. I love it. All it takes is throwing a bunch of goodies into a blender: frozen mixed berries, frozen raspberries, strawberries, banana, raw egg, whole milk, whole milk yogurt, spinach, whey protein and BCAA powder. Or whatever. You can be creative!Of course, with all the fun recipes being added to Mark’s Daily Apple and The Primal Challenge, I’ve got my hands full testing out new foods and options.
- What is your favorite Primal workout and how do you do it? I love rock climbing. My girlfriend Antonie and I have a membership to a climbing gym and that makes it easy to go. I canceled my traditional gym membership and simply switched the money over. Now I’m always having fun while I’m exercising, and I’m with my girlfriend and other buddies, and we’re also training for exciting climbing trips.I think that’s an important part of primal fitness. Find something that you like to do, and then do it. If you like dancing, then dance. If you like running, then run. If you don’t like being inside of a gym, then don’t have a gym membership.And try to just get outside and play. (Seriously, what’s more fun: running around in the woods with your Vibram Five Fingers on, or clunking along on a treadmill in your Nikes?) Play outside with family, with friends, with co-workers, whoever. Whether you’re climbing a big rock wall, dancing around in your backyard, or strolling through a nearby park, go outside with some buddies and play in the sun.
- What is your best dining-out tip?When dining out, get the caveman special. I blogged about that here. Simply ask for a primal option. See if the restaurant can turn their turkey melt sandwich into a turkey melt salad, their steak and potatoes into steak and asparagus, etc. You’ll likely find that it’s easy to do and I bet that every restaurant you visit will be happy to serve you a caveman special.
- How do you manage to stay Primal when friends, family, coworkers and the rest of the world aren’t?We got around this hiccup by creating a primal community online and inviting all of our family and friends to join! It’s hard to notbe primal when your girlfriend and everyone else in your family is primal.