4

votes

Suggestions for advancing from Paleo 'diet' to 'lifestyle'

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 22, 2012 at 4:57 AM

I have been more or less paleo for about a year this spring. I got started on the diet aspect after staying up late one night reading the articles at paleodietlifestyle.com. I've finally realized that I'm not getting the point if what I put in my mouth is the only change, so I'm trying to paleo-ize my life.

I started with ditching my bed and sleeping on the floor with only a rug, yoga mat, and blanket between me and hard linoleum. I was getting fed up with my thoracic back pain due to sitting in classes and working at computers all the time, and I came upon an article about natural sleeping positions and materials. I tried out these positions, and I can't say I'm cured, but the floor seems to be counteracting the damage I do during the day. Who would have thought?

I've also gotten started by buying a pair of Vibram's KSO 'shoes' to wear when I have to wear something, and man has that made a difference. I ran my first mile in them yesterday, and my feet, ankles, and calves have never been so sore in my life. But, my usual joint discomfort is no longer there, and I've never felt so free and simply 'present' when wearing shoes. It's also a rage wearing them around campus. I have been told that my feet are 'damaged' since I was a little kid, and I've had inserts, arch supports, etc. in my shoes since I can remember. Should have known it was nonsense after finding out about the food I was told was good for me.

There seems to be so much forgotten knowledge out there that it sometimes makes me sick to find out how simple it is to live so much better. So, are there any more lifestyle changes that I'm missing?

9b0310b623f8ed289c9571ab3a58a142

(384)

on February 23, 2012
at 03:29 AM

All very good thoughts. I wish I could ditch the car, but the midwest isn't exactly the best place for bipedal or bicycle travel in the winter. Things are so spread out that it sometimes isn't even practical in the warmer months. I still haven't run pure barefoot yet, but I do everything else barefoot when I can.

9b0310b623f8ed289c9571ab3a58a142

(384)

on February 23, 2012
at 02:45 AM

I see your point, but to some extent one must intentionally make the change. At first I wasn't so fond of the floor, but now that I have slept there and felt the benefits you couldn't make me sleep on a bed. Same goes for running barefoot or in VFFs. I actually did ride my mountain bike to school several times last fall, but 13 miles round trip is rough when carrying books. Winter weather has bound me to my car, anyhow. I do hope to find a dwelling near my employment and near a good market when I graduate.

9b0310b623f8ed289c9571ab3a58a142

(384)

on February 23, 2012
at 02:27 AM

That would have been me not long ago, but I've "seen the light". I work out with a few non-paleo friends at the campus fitness center, and we run a mile at a conversational pace to limber up before we 'lift heavy things'. A few of them need the physical activity far more than I.

Af3e3615beba642bcafd0f21d64d74f7

on February 23, 2012
at 12:05 AM

I was assuming that this mile would become 2 miles, and then 3, etc. If that was a bad assumption, forgive me.

9b0310b623f8ed289c9571ab3a58a142

(384)

on February 22, 2012
at 06:10 AM

^^ That's what I figured, but was wondering about George's reasoning. I'm sure persistence hunting is far more challenging than a single mile on a track.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on February 22, 2012
at 05:50 AM

Many 'paleo' followers prefer to stick to shorter, higher intensity sprinting intervals. However, running a mile only takes about 7-10 mins which hardly qualifies as the 'chronic cardio' that can be detrimental to health. I'm sure paleo men/women had no problem running for 10 mins.

9b0310b623f8ed289c9571ab3a58a142

(384)

on February 22, 2012
at 05:37 AM

I've been trying to get more in tune, but in the winter it definitely isn't very practical when the amount of time in your day is so greatly reduced. When I worked over winter break I would have had to wake up after arriving to work and go to sleep as soon as I got home. I've also been wanting to get into a more minimalist mindset, but it is hard to break my addictions to the way I thought life was to be lived.

9b0310b623f8ed289c9571ab3a58a142

(384)

on February 22, 2012
at 05:31 AM

Too much or too little? Or...too structured?

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4 Answers

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4
F4d04667059bc682540fdfd8b40f13a7

on February 22, 2012
at 05:18 AM

Getting in turne with nature. Waking up close to sunrise, keeping the lights off after sunset.

Also minimalism - get rid of everything you don't need cluttering up your life!

9b0310b623f8ed289c9571ab3a58a142

(384)

on February 22, 2012
at 05:37 AM

I've been trying to get more in tune, but in the winter it definitely isn't very practical when the amount of time in your day is so greatly reduced. When I worked over winter break I would have had to wake up after arriving to work and go to sleep as soon as I got home. I've also been wanting to get into a more minimalist mindset, but it is hard to break my addictions to the way I thought life was to be lived.

1
8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba

on February 22, 2012
at 02:42 PM

Well, our hunter-gatherer ancestors definitely ran long distances and modern hunter-gatherers still do. So running is more Paleo than buying food with money. But the best way is totally barefoot. You gotta start slow and really listen to your body (very Paleo!), but even VFFs shield you from information that your feet are trying to give and can allow you to make mistakes you can't make when barefoot.

If you cannot follow the rhythms of the sun, at least make sure you get 7.5-9 hrs of sleep a night and in as dark and quiet a space as you can make it.

You can stop using chemicals on your skin and clothes. Many here (including myself) no longer use shampoo or even soap except for handwashing. I'm very attached to my toothpaste, but you can ditch that in favor of baking soda (or a stick if you know the right trees to use). For clothes, you can also use baking soda. You don't need makeup, thousands of types of cream, sunscreen or any of that stuff. I live just north of the Kalahari desert (that is to say, it is very dry) and I use a bit of coconut oil on my skin in the dry season if I need it, that's all.

Oh, also get out in the sun and get some Vitamin D. Let the sun touch your skin, your hair, your eyes (if you feel like you're getting too much sun, find a tree or cover up).

If you have a car, ditch it. As others have said, go minimal. Think about what you really need and whether you need whatever it is you currently have or use.

9b0310b623f8ed289c9571ab3a58a142

(384)

on February 23, 2012
at 03:29 AM

All very good thoughts. I wish I could ditch the car, but the midwest isn't exactly the best place for bipedal or bicycle travel in the winter. Things are so spread out that it sometimes isn't even practical in the warmer months. I still haven't run pure barefoot yet, but I do everything else barefoot when I can.

0
Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 22, 2012
at 02:42 PM

What you're doing sounds so...intentional...which isn't a bad thing.

Paleo life had to be intentional to survive from day to day. I've thought about this a lot, because trying to survive is difficult to emulate. I'd suggest avoiding mechanized transportation and going on foot to accomplish survival tasks. Getting to work or getting your groceries for instance. Work and grocery stores will never be paleo, but travel can be.

9b0310b623f8ed289c9571ab3a58a142

(384)

on February 23, 2012
at 02:45 AM

I see your point, but to some extent one must intentionally make the change. At first I wasn't so fond of the floor, but now that I have slept there and felt the benefits you couldn't make me sleep on a bed. Same goes for running barefoot or in VFFs. I actually did ride my mountain bike to school several times last fall, but 13 miles round trip is rough when carrying books. Winter weather has bound me to my car, anyhow. I do hope to find a dwelling near my employment and near a good market when I graduate.

0
Af3e3615beba642bcafd0f21d64d74f7

on February 22, 2012
at 05:05 AM

Running a mile would fit into a non-paleo lifestyle, so stop that.

9b0310b623f8ed289c9571ab3a58a142

(384)

on February 23, 2012
at 02:27 AM

That would have been me not long ago, but I've "seen the light". I work out with a few non-paleo friends at the campus fitness center, and we run a mile at a conversational pace to limber up before we 'lift heavy things'. A few of them need the physical activity far more than I.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on February 22, 2012
at 05:50 AM

Many 'paleo' followers prefer to stick to shorter, higher intensity sprinting intervals. However, running a mile only takes about 7-10 mins which hardly qualifies as the 'chronic cardio' that can be detrimental to health. I'm sure paleo men/women had no problem running for 10 mins.

9b0310b623f8ed289c9571ab3a58a142

(384)

on February 22, 2012
at 05:31 AM

Too much or too little? Or...too structured?

9b0310b623f8ed289c9571ab3a58a142

(384)

on February 22, 2012
at 06:10 AM

^^ That's what I figured, but was wondering about George's reasoning. I'm sure persistence hunting is far more challenging than a single mile on a track.

Af3e3615beba642bcafd0f21d64d74f7

on February 23, 2012
at 12:05 AM

I was assuming that this mile would become 2 miles, and then 3, etc. If that was a bad assumption, forgive me.

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