7

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How far does Paleo resonate through your life?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 09, 2010 at 10:38 AM

Some people just eat the diet, some work-out, some try and live life a little more like a caveman/woman. What I want to know is how far do you take Paleo?

OK, I assume most of you here are eating/want to eat paleo, but how far does/can this thing go?

Do you: Only using candles at night? Hunt game/fish? Follow an earth spirituality? Do not use soap/shampoo? Live a self-sufficient/off-grid life? Live in an 'eco' or 'village' community or in the wilds? Are your children involved? Do you completely re-enact a caveman life?

I am interested to know, as I think Paleo means so many different things to so many people, I was wondering how far the concept resonates with you and if not, is just eating Paleo enough or do you yearn for 'more'?

C1fb8666b1ae085507a76a4c494e4f0a

on July 04, 2010
at 06:05 PM

Agreed (except for the meal-in-a-can thing!). I don't want the way I happen to eat define me as a person. It's just food. Makes the most sense from an evolutionary perspective. But if this WOE brings people to make other changes in their lives that make them happy, great. I just don't like the whole dogma aspect that sometimes rears its head... a la 'paleo man would have done this, therefore so should I'.

97af1caf30f029165abc783a20349c9f

(510)

on April 23, 2010
at 01:03 PM

Great comment Paleo Dave.I hate everything cult-like especially if one looks through rose-coloured glasses. Dogmatism sucks. If someone wants to live the real paleo way first thing to do is turn off electricity. Much fun with this.

Be4b60059db3511771303de1613ecb67

(1137)

on March 10, 2010
at 12:46 PM

Yes, exactly. Grains seem to be the dividing point.

Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 10, 2010
at 07:31 AM

thanks for the links, would love to read 'Wandering God'.

Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 10, 2010
at 06:54 AM

I totally agree, I spend loads of time with a large group of women and it keeps me grounded definitely. But you didn't answer my question lol!!! do you think that bows and arrows really are a way of killing large game, unless you hunt in a cooperative group?

Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 10, 2010
at 06:52 AM

Melissa when I mentioned earth spirituality, I was thinking more about animism/shamanism, I practised Budhhism and Vedanta for a while and I think this is the polar opposite of living close to the earth, it is a very isolating religious practise imho.

Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 10, 2010
at 06:50 AM

I agree with you totally here, Suzan, only thing is that grains have been part of the traditional lifestyle for a long time now, I think that the paleo diet goes one step further that the trad. diet!!!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 10, 2010
at 04:03 AM

"If we really found ourselves out in the wild naked with a sharp stick, 99% of us would die from starvation in a short matter of time (if the bears or poison berries didn't kill us first)." Exactly! Good luck Lucky!

C4d4a9db7ee3b315eae97795555a1177

(623)

on March 09, 2010
at 07:52 PM

No problem, Ive noticed that consistent fellowship with other men has made me much more relaxed, confident and better able to take care of my girlfriend. I also notice that when she spends time with her girlfriends she comes back more energized and balanced. I think this time with same sex friends is built into us. The quality of people you hang around counts of course though.

C4d4a9db7ee3b315eae97795555a1177

(623)

on March 09, 2010
at 07:50 PM

Even though my grandpa was a big hunter I never thought that I had to stomach to hunt before becoming Paleo. Now I see the connection between man, nature and our health and the thought of bringing home large amounts of healthy organic grassfed meat for myself as well as friends and family sounds immensely satisfying. I will look into trapping as well and would only hunt a animal that I know is in overabundance such as a deer (there are so many of them that they starve due to lack of food, being hunted is more humane than starving to death.)

Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 09, 2010
at 07:32 PM

Do you think you will ever actually kill something with a bow and arrow though? I am not into guns but the thought of trapping and snaring is much more valid, but to go for the big stuff, well, ?????????

Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 09, 2010
at 07:29 PM

Thanks for this answer Ryan, you have mentioned things here which I have never even thought of before, I love the make/female bonding time, too much emphasis nowadays is focussed on being with the other halves. And less internet time.....yeah.......

Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 09, 2010
at 07:28 PM

what it would be like to use one?

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 09, 2010
at 06:12 PM

Generally meditation is Buddhist or Hindu, so it doesn't mesh well with my own philosophy. I lean towards less-agrarian spirituality.

587538a2db229b2ec884ea04cc3dc75e

(462)

on March 09, 2010
at 06:06 PM

Melissa, just wondering if you disagree with the conclusion about meditation or just about the validity of the Hazda example? Also, I think your point about the risk of generalizing from the Hazda to prehistoric hunter-gatherers should be kept in mind any time we're talking about doing something because modern / studied hunters do it.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 09, 2010
at 05:20 PM

I, so far, just run around the house and yard barefoot whenever I am at home in Mexico and wear sandals the rest of the time. At home in northern Canada when I wear shoes I have magnetic insoles that I use.

Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 09, 2010
at 03:50 PM

Oh, I really want to try these, thanks for the link! I had sen them on a few websites already they look really interesting, such a shame that we can't just go around in bare feet in places like the city....

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12 Answers

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6
C4d4a9db7ee3b315eae97795555a1177

(623)

on March 09, 2010
at 07:05 PM

I came to the Paleo world for mental health and energy with physical appearance second. Besides diet I also follow the circadian rhythm (just ordered some of those blue light blocking glasses), lift heavy weights to mimic moving logs and dead animals, and go on hikes in the sun a couple times a week and no longer wear a hat and have minimal sunblock (I live in LA). When Im feeling down I might add climbing trees to the hike and get my hands in the dirt (Ive read dirt is has anti-depressive qualities). Ive also been big into thinking about how our ancestors lived in a community and have tried to spend more time doing physical activities with male friends (male bonding outdoors, not just always be around my girlfriend) and have continued to pursue my spiritual involvement as it seems to be hardwired into us.

In summary;

Less artificial light, more real sunlight

Less protection from the sun, dropped the hat and only light SPF

Wear shoes such as Sanuks that basically allow bare foot walking and go barefoot whenever I can

Sleep patterns that are closer to our ancestors (still struggle with this one)

More male bonding time and encouraging my GF to spend time with her friends (males hunting together, women gathering together)

More time in bigger groups of people, instead of one or two of us will invite a tribe

Time for spirituality and reflection

Minimal TV and trying to cut down on internet time

Hope to one day try bow hunting and bag myself a large organic grassfed animal

I find that the more Paleo I become the better I feel overall. I love being Paleo!!!!

Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 09, 2010
at 07:28 PM

what it would be like to use one?

Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 09, 2010
at 07:32 PM

Do you think you will ever actually kill something with a bow and arrow though? I am not into guns but the thought of trapping and snaring is much more valid, but to go for the big stuff, well, ?????????

C4d4a9db7ee3b315eae97795555a1177

(623)

on March 09, 2010
at 07:50 PM

Even though my grandpa was a big hunter I never thought that I had to stomach to hunt before becoming Paleo. Now I see the connection between man, nature and our health and the thought of bringing home large amounts of healthy organic grassfed meat for myself as well as friends and family sounds immensely satisfying. I will look into trapping as well and would only hunt a animal that I know is in overabundance such as a deer (there are so many of them that they starve due to lack of food, being hunted is more humane than starving to death.)

Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 09, 2010
at 07:29 PM

Thanks for this answer Ryan, you have mentioned things here which I have never even thought of before, I love the make/female bonding time, too much emphasis nowadays is focussed on being with the other halves. And less internet time.....yeah.......

C4d4a9db7ee3b315eae97795555a1177

(623)

on March 09, 2010
at 07:52 PM

No problem, Ive noticed that consistent fellowship with other men has made me much more relaxed, confident and better able to take care of my girlfriend. I also notice that when she spends time with her girlfriends she comes back more energized and balanced. I think this time with same sex friends is built into us. The quality of people you hang around counts of course though.

Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 10, 2010
at 06:54 AM

I totally agree, I spend loads of time with a large group of women and it keeps me grounded definitely. But you didn't answer my question lol!!! do you think that bows and arrows really are a way of killing large game, unless you hunt in a cooperative group?

4
5cd18bfcafadc56292971e59f2f1faf6

on March 10, 2010
at 03:45 AM

Let's see if I can make my opinion on this perfectly clear...

  • Being born in a wealthy, developed nation in the 20th century is the human history equivalent to winning the lottery. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.
  • Stuff like the SAD acronym and those stock news videos of obese butts are amusing but science and industry deserve credit for providing us with a cheap and vast supply of the most precious nutrient of them all -- calories. It's a luxury to be in a position to worry about stuff like omega-3 versus omega-6.
  • I love to eat and to cook but I'd be happy to trade that for a cheap, convenient, optimal meal in a can that I could order from Amazon. Even better if it's Coca-Cola flavored!
  • I do all of my hunting and gathering at Whole Foods with the exception of the occasional farmers market, berry picking, etc..
  • I like to go hiking and used to be big into rock climbing but I think we're fooling ourselves if we think it's getting back to nature to go out with our nylon tents, rubber-soled shoes, gas burners, GPS devices, etc.. If we really found ourselves out in the wild naked with a sharp stick, 99% of us would die from starvation in a short matter of time (if the bears or poison berries didn't kill us first).
  • I don't worship Gaia and I think the recent Gaia worshipping trend is bizarre and disturbing.

I'm into Paleo because I think it's the optimal approach to diet and fitness. It's a solution to a problem. Nothing less, nothing more.

I do find it interesting to learn about how humans might've lived in the past but I think I'm just a bit of a history geek so that interest would be there regardless of diet.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 10, 2010
at 04:03 AM

"If we really found ourselves out in the wild naked with a sharp stick, 99% of us would die from starvation in a short matter of time (if the bears or poison berries didn't kill us first)." Exactly! Good luck Lucky!

97af1caf30f029165abc783a20349c9f

(510)

on April 23, 2010
at 01:03 PM

Great comment Paleo Dave.I hate everything cult-like especially if one looks through rose-coloured glasses. Dogmatism sucks. If someone wants to live the real paleo way first thing to do is turn off electricity. Much fun with this.

C1fb8666b1ae085507a76a4c494e4f0a

on July 04, 2010
at 06:05 PM

Agreed (except for the meal-in-a-can thing!). I don't want the way I happen to eat define me as a person. It's just food. Makes the most sense from an evolutionary perspective. But if this WOE brings people to make other changes in their lives that make them happy, great. I just don't like the whole dogma aspect that sometimes rears its head... a la 'paleo man would have done this, therefore so should I'.

4
Be4b60059db3511771303de1613ecb67

(1137)

on March 09, 2010
at 05:50 PM

All of those things you described in your question were around long before the Paleo diet became popular. We used to call it "getting back to nature," or call folks "naturalists," in the 60's and 70's.

We simplified our lives a while back. We haven't used synthetic products in our home or artificial flavors/preservatives in our food, for a very long time. We live simply and we eat nourishing whole foods as unadulterated as possible. We never really put a label on it. There are many people who have lived this same way for a long time. They sometimes call it "traditional living."

Seems like there are many labels one can give this simple lifestyle.

Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 10, 2010
at 06:50 AM

I agree with you totally here, Suzan, only thing is that grains have been part of the traditional lifestyle for a long time now, I think that the paleo diet goes one step further that the trad. diet!!!

Be4b60059db3511771303de1613ecb67

(1137)

on March 10, 2010
at 12:46 PM

Yes, exactly. Grains seem to be the dividing point.

3
A1003bf08b493b791b0bb2470198dc98

on March 09, 2010
at 08:58 PM

I find the areas of sunlight/sleep and avoidance/reduction of technology (especialy screens after dark), the reflection and creation of community and its relation to polyculture and male/female bonding-friendships all fascinating.

On 'spirituality', I remember a book I read about 10 years ago by Morris Berman, 'Wandering God' which attempted to reconstruct a kinda Daoist pre-civilization philosophy of living, while rejecting as a dead end any search for the transcendent/mysticism which he argued developed with sendentarism and agriculture. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wandering-God-Study-Nomadic-Spirituality/dp/0791444422/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1268167431&sr=8-9

In terms of reconnecting with nature and creating a paleo society, I'm intrigued by the work of animist/primitivsts(?) like Derrick Jensen though I'm unsure as to how accurate/useful the environmental critique is.

I've more affinity with the eco-tech supporting social anarchism outlined by the late Murray Bookchin - a good review of his work is 'Bookchin: A Critical Appraisal' (Pluto Press)

I'm buying raw dairy, veg and some meat from local organic farms and I'm interested in one day being able to purchase land to experiment with.

Did Crossfit for a couple of years, now I mix it all up with some parkour and some larking around in trees and playgrounds.

Plan to build up to running and sprinting barefoot in the spring.

Finding the whole paleo online network inspiring and exciting.

Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 10, 2010
at 07:31 AM

thanks for the links, would love to read 'Wandering God'.

2
Fd35eb89073e3a758066b7fcaad63d7c

on March 10, 2010
at 10:20 AM

I am a follower of Jesus. I believe that we were created with magnificently adaptive bodies, but we are pushing their limits with the SAD and lifestyle. I agree with Paleo Dave that it is quiet a luxury to be able to worry about omega 3s and 6s, to eat fresh vegetables everyday and any type of meat at all. So why not enjoy the best of what we've been given, instead of all the crap pumped into our supermarkets?

Also used to be a chronic cardioer, but now i'm enjoying lots of walks, running around with the dog at the park, and lifting heavy weights or sprinting sometimes (and an occasional run too with a friend and our dogs).

Just ordered some five finger shoes too, but i live in asia so mail takes a while.

2
Da9e3c7c4d81dd2c3d84e8b1e0e5cb10

(482)

on March 09, 2010
at 03:37 PM

I'm with Kurt Harris: metabolism first! I like to eat paleo and love the idea of paleo fitness (no more chronic cardio ... big yay!). But I am also intrigued by the idea of barefooting, either with some Vibram Five Fingers or Vivo Barefoot.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 09, 2010
at 05:20 PM

I, so far, just run around the house and yard barefoot whenever I am at home in Mexico and wear sandals the rest of the time. At home in northern Canada when I wear shoes I have magnetic insoles that I use.

Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 09, 2010
at 03:50 PM

Oh, I really want to try these, thanks for the link! I had sen them on a few websites already they look really interesting, such a shame that we can't just go around in bare feet in places like the city....

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 09, 2010
at 02:50 PM

I've always tilted toward organic gardening and healthier foods and I like to keep things simple. I'm quite happy to just eat paleo foods and try to do short bursts of exercise and not go out and kill my own meat, or live by candlelight.

2
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 09, 2010
at 01:53 PM

I'm learning how to shoot a rifle and butcher deer this week! Yay?

In the future I would love to have my own land with a permaculture forest. I would grow tree crops and graze some livestock. I've lived on an eco community before and loved it...might try it again in the future. It totally wasn't like the stereotype, it was clean, beautiful, and the people were rational. I had trouble with the food though...grainy and beany even though some were WAPFers. My stomach hurt so much that I didn't stay as long as I planned to. Communal meals can be disastrous for paleos.

The practices definitely resonate spiritually for me, but I've been interested in arctic shamanism way before I was interested in paleo. They go together very well though. The sweat lodge certainly has great health benefits, though I definitely wouldn't do one unless it was led or supervised by an elder from a tribe that has been practicing sweat lodge for thousands of years.

I think it would be tougher being a paleo Buddhist or Hindu certainly...which is also one of the reasons I don't do yoga. The religious philosophy behind it pretty much completely contradicts paleo and there is good evidence that contorting your body all unnaturally can lead to problems.

Whole Health Source has a post about the paleo mind and meditation, but I kind of don't agree with it. For every nice Hazda tribe there are plenty of warlike tribes (though I'm personally not of the mindset that warlike = bad either). I also don't think the Hazda are representative of our ancestors. They are a marginalized people struggling on bad land.

Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 10, 2010
at 06:52 AM

Melissa when I mentioned earth spirituality, I was thinking more about animism/shamanism, I practised Budhhism and Vedanta for a while and I think this is the polar opposite of living close to the earth, it is a very isolating religious practise imho.

587538a2db229b2ec884ea04cc3dc75e

(462)

on March 09, 2010
at 06:06 PM

Melissa, just wondering if you disagree with the conclusion about meditation or just about the validity of the Hazda example? Also, I think your point about the risk of generalizing from the Hazda to prehistoric hunter-gatherers should be kept in mind any time we're talking about doing something because modern / studied hunters do it.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 09, 2010
at 06:12 PM

Generally meditation is Buddhist or Hindu, so it doesn't mesh well with my own philosophy. I lean towards less-agrarian spirituality.

2
Ce0b5fd94b1034e96cf710b6f138c29d

on March 09, 2010
at 01:24 PM

Let's see. Before stumbling onto the Paleo diet, I'd done an Anthropology BA with a fair bit of human evolution/archaeology content, done a lot of camping and hiking, taken up fishing, archery (including bowfishing) and hunting. I was also throwing tomahawks, messing around with an atlatl and foraging for wild plant foods.

Then I started eating Paleo; since then I've started messing around with flintknapping, ordered some mushrooming books, and picked up a pair of FiveFingers.

The diet rounded out an assemblage of interests, really. I wouldn't call myself a reconstructionist, but I am fascinated by Paleo skills and technology, and wow, is the diet ever doing a number on my weight, diabetes, and blood pressure.

0
485bcefe7f1f7a6df1a293a826bf6137

on April 25, 2010
at 05:17 AM

The bedroom is pitch black at night and we try to go to bed earlier. For activity, I stay consistent with how I believe our ancestors lived--walking, occasionally running across the street, and the rest of the time either in recreational activity or just sitting around. Works great for losing weight, too.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 23, 2010
at 01:27 AM

paleo means to me living as i was designed to live. but maybe it should be how i grew up as well. i grew up surrounded by woods and nature and i want to work to preserve it. that means cooperating with like minded individuals to organize to preserve open space. a lot already has been preserved around where i live, but if i and others don't stay politically active, there's always the possibility that it could all be bull-dozed.

0
64242a1130eb51f4852f78beed38b3d5

(1343)

on April 22, 2010
at 09:27 PM

I got my ass handed to me for asking about where the line on being a cult is. I for one fit in with these folks, less is more and the further you let paleo/primal in the more Human you become in my opinion.

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