22

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The whole package: what do you do as part of a paleo/primal/ancestral lifestyle?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 21, 2011 at 6:50 PM

As I get more into the paleo/primal/ancestral way of eating I look to the same principles to guide my lifestyle. For a few months now I've been doing things a little differently than I used to. I like using things with more apparent ingredients. All the changes I've made have enriched my life in one way or another, and I think it would be really interesting to see what changes other people have made as part of a paleo/primal/ancestral lifestyle.

Food
I eat simply cooked grass-fed beef, fermented foods, leafy greens, some starchy tubers, broths, and offal. I don't snack anymore. Treats are very rare for me now. I eat slowly. My relationship with food has completely changed. It used to be that I couldn't go more than a few hours without eating, and I was constantly hungry. Now I eat when it's mealtime and don't care too much. If I go many hours without eating there isn't a meltdown. I can have chocolate in the house and not eat it, as sometimes I just don't care for it. I am conscientious of whether my food is local and in season, and the majority of my food is.

Bath and Body
I now make my own toothpaste and deodorant. I use coconut oil as lip balm. When I wash my face I use the oil cleansing method or just water, and I wash my hair with baking soda and vinegar. I haven't gone so far as to use a lilypad but I'm thinking about it.

Cleaning
I use baking soda and vinegar, and bon ami, for much of my cleaning, though I have a lot to improve on in this area. I've started using soap nuts for laundry.

Movement
I walk about 25 miles per week, mostly along a creek. I do body weight exercises and run when I feel like it. I got rid of all my old shoes and wear mostly toe-shoes (Vibram five-fingers) or the various zero-drop shoes such as Vivobarefoot. I've been thinking about taking more breaks at work to move a little, and have started doing some of my work standing up for short periods of time here and there. I'm trying to take the stairs and such more often.

Sleep
I use an orange light at night and go to bed early, around 9pm. I use blackout curtains and cover all the electronics' lights in the room.

Social
I suck at this one, especially now that I don't go out to eat with people anymore. I'm trying to encourage more activity-centered outings with friends, but it's difficult to change mindsets.

Has paleo made me a total hippy now? What changes have you made to your life as part of being paleo?

B64b07d4b6cea9e5c3e1c272e6393a0d

(472)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Thanks! I was really inspired after reading Jared Diamond's The Third Chimpanzee where he talks about the upper limit of how many people you can view as your "tribe", which is about 150. I figured that our primal ancestors would never have communicated in a mediated fashion (what would they have used? rock carvings?) for day to day interactions, so I decided to give it a go at work. I noticed pretty quickly thereafter that just talking to people made it much easier to get things done than when I fired off an email into the abyss.

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on May 29, 2012
at 04:28 PM

I would love to hear more about the after shaves that you use. Can you give us any brand names?

8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba

(1724)

on February 24, 2012
at 10:44 AM

Could you expand the communications hierarchy?: face, phone, e-mail, then are FB, Twitter and SMS all the same? (I don't think so, but not sure how I'd rank them).

Bfa1c9eacfc94a1b62f3a39b574480c6

(3700)

on December 22, 2011
at 06:35 PM

That's great to hear Mash. Floorwork is surprisingly very difficult once you start heavily training it. If you really start to get into it, it can get pretty cardio-like, so you have to be careful if you don't want to raise your cortisol levels. If you do get into it, cyphering is a great conditioning. Cyphering is "jumping into the circle," you do your thing, and then you step out. It's almost like "dance sprinting" for your body.

0d83a31f4066514252a2b6fb81f05b48

(907)

on December 22, 2011
at 12:52 AM

Just wanted to say I LOVE this question/thread. Aspiring hippie here so you are an awesome inspiration. I've been investing my time with lots of homesteading, self-sufficiency and "Nana technology" reading lately and 2012 is going to be a year of experimenting and learning to do things with natural materials and my own two hands.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 21, 2011
at 10:45 PM

There is nothing like a girl who enjoys being dirty, or a man who likes a dirty girl. That , my dear, is not an exaggeration!

C796170f6af6f9b9afbf31f4550d1d84

(345)

on December 21, 2011
at 10:40 PM

Also after 40 I decided that I wanted to take Tae Kwon Do. It was on my bucket list. Now I am one belt away from black. (Yahoo) Thats mostly my movement.......

C796170f6af6f9b9afbf31f4550d1d84

(345)

on December 21, 2011
at 10:37 PM

Okay 1,000% might be an exaggeration....

4b911b2e3c5d07e4688ba4c753bc3b3c

(35)

on December 21, 2011
at 08:53 PM

I like your emphasis on the social. :)

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 21, 2011
at 08:52 PM

Well, I never found a shampoo that didn't make my scalp red and itchy. After shampooing in soap nuts water, my scalp is calm and my hair is SOFT.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on December 21, 2011
at 08:20 PM

Erica, I love your office and communication solutions/changes!

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on December 21, 2011
at 08:19 PM

OK, I added a section for "social" stuff in my list to encourage others to include their solutions in that realm.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on December 21, 2011
at 08:15 PM

I'd really love to see what people are doing for the social aspect, too. That's a big weak point for me. We moved across the country from our families and long-time friends, so we don't have quite the support network we used to. I adore my new colleagues, but it's not the same as living near family and people you've known a while.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on December 21, 2011
at 08:14 PM

Nance, your meals sound so delicious! How do you like the soap nuts for your shampoo? So far I've only used mine for laundry.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on December 21, 2011
at 08:12 PM

I was impressed with how well the soapnuts worked. I've only used them for one load so far... I'll see how they do over time. But I think it's worth a try!

Medium avatar

(10663)

on December 21, 2011
at 08:02 PM

Omg @ the lillipad.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on December 21, 2011
at 07:39 PM

yeah, you're a total hippie. Cool! Groovy!

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on December 21, 2011
at 07:33 PM

Bboying, nice! About two months ago I began to incorporate floorwork as part of my workouts. So good for core and flexibility. I haven't quite managed to master jump-rope-toprock but it will come soon. My workout music changed to "The Pharcyde" recently. :)

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 21, 2011
at 07:17 PM

My wife and kids continually refer to me as a "freak". That lily pad looks cool and would certainly lend credence to my "freakiness".

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on December 21, 2011
at 07:03 PM

+1 for the dirty-hippy tag!

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on December 21, 2011
at 07:00 PM

Wow what a great post!! +1 and bookmarked. Thanks!

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8 Answers

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7
B64b07d4b6cea9e5c3e1c272e6393a0d

(472)

on December 21, 2011
at 08:12 PM

Office Life: I have a full spectrum lamp at my desk that I use every morning, as my office is on the interior of the building and doesn't get much natural light. I also have a sit-to-stand desk that I use for 3-4 hours each day. I keep a lacrosse ball under my desk so I can do mobilization on my feet as I work.

Sleep: Blackout curtains, blackout curtains, blackout curtains. And a full-spectrum lamp alarm clock. Never really watched TV to begin with and I don't have cable, so that's not been much of an issue.

The Whole Beast: Pre-paleo I was just starting to explore nose-to-tail eating. Paleo gave me even more incentive to experiment with cooking offal and whole animals rather than the vacuum sealed supermarket cuts.

Bath and Body: No more soap. Oil + dry brushing, so much better especially in the wintertime!

Lifting Gloves and Minimal Shoes: This is a random one, but I've stopped using weight lifting gloves to both increase my grip strength and develop better proprioception. Also transitioned to only running in VFFs

Communication: Whenever possible, I try to use the highest bandwidth form of communication I can for a given interaction. If I can talk face to face, I choose that over the phone; if I can phone, I choose that over email, etc. This seems to be really helping at work.

4b911b2e3c5d07e4688ba4c753bc3b3c

(35)

on December 21, 2011
at 08:53 PM

I like your emphasis on the social. :)

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on December 21, 2011
at 08:20 PM

Erica, I love your office and communication solutions/changes!

B64b07d4b6cea9e5c3e1c272e6393a0d

(472)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Thanks! I was really inspired after reading Jared Diamond's The Third Chimpanzee where he talks about the upper limit of how many people you can view as your "tribe", which is about 150. I figured that our primal ancestors would never have communicated in a mediated fashion (what would they have used? rock carvings?) for day to day interactions, so I decided to give it a go at work. I noticed pretty quickly thereafter that just talking to people made it much easier to get things done than when I fired off an email into the abyss.

8c5533ffe71bd4262fedc7e898ead1ba

(1724)

on February 24, 2012
at 10:44 AM

Could you expand the communications hierarchy?: face, phone, e-mail, then are FB, Twitter and SMS all the same? (I don't think so, but not sure how I'd rank them).

5
Bfa1c9eacfc94a1b62f3a39b574480c6

(3700)

on December 21, 2011
at 07:20 PM

You are not a dirty hippie.

Food Same! Maybe plus some high-quality-high-fat dairy and lots of fermented foods (kimchee win.)

Bath and Body Just hard scrubbing using a comb for hair, and a scrub for body, occasional apple cider vinegar, and baking soda + water for toothpaste. Been doing this for a year now!

Cleaning Apple cider vinegar, baking soda. Although I haven't gotten rid of laundry detergent yet...

Movement Standing desk at work. Can't watch T.V. or use the computer for long (Usually less than an hour at a time, unless I'm sitting. Lots of slow moving. Breakdance/bboying 2-3 days a week, so lots of functional movement . Need to lift heavy though...

Sleep Haven't gotten to 9 p.m. bedtimes, but am getting a good plus minus eight hours. Coffee consumption is sporadic and for enjoyment instead of daily.

Mostly, I feel super calm, and am proud of living well. No dirty-hippies here, just natural living!

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on December 21, 2011
at 08:12 PM

I was impressed with how well the soapnuts worked. I've only used them for one load so far... I'll see how they do over time. But I think it's worth a try!

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on December 21, 2011
at 07:33 PM

Bboying, nice! About two months ago I began to incorporate floorwork as part of my workouts. So good for core and flexibility. I haven't quite managed to master jump-rope-toprock but it will come soon. My workout music changed to "The Pharcyde" recently. :)

Bfa1c9eacfc94a1b62f3a39b574480c6

(3700)

on December 22, 2011
at 06:35 PM

That's great to hear Mash. Floorwork is surprisingly very difficult once you start heavily training it. If you really start to get into it, it can get pretty cardio-like, so you have to be careful if you don't want to raise your cortisol levels. If you do get into it, cyphering is a great conditioning. Cyphering is "jumping into the circle," you do your thing, and then you step out. It's almost like "dance sprinting" for your body.

3
7842808cd699f35741248f8e55c776bd

(218)

on December 21, 2011
at 07:21 PM

Bath and Body I ditched both soap and shampoo after reading Richard Nikoley's post here: http://freetheanimal.com/2009/12/paleo-i-dont-care-i-like-no-soap-no-shampoo.html. I've since ditched traditional deodorant and replaced it with mineral salts via the amazing Thai deodorant crystal. I also gave up toothpaste completely. When I feel my teeth need a cleaning that can't be accomplished through Tea Tree Chewing Sticks, I dry brush (either after a hearty salad where lots of leaves are stuck in my teeth, or every few days rather than the twice a day I was once religiously committed to). I also shower only when necessary, which is still rather frequent during the week, but less so on weekends. I don't necessarily feel any cleaner, rather I feel just about exactly the same in terms of hygiene and general cleanliness. Makes me realize just how useless all those products are.

2
E2735712a1f62eec98335bbad55d5877

on December 21, 2011
at 10:13 PM

Food: I eat a lot of free range grass fed meat, veggies, a ton of butter, lots of fish and have been getting about 3 dinners/week from wild game (ducks, geese, moose, deer, bear, antelope) I have harvested. I also have been eating a lot more of the game like marrow, livers, hearts and even rendered all the fat out of my bear for cooking oil.

Movement: I am a lot more intentional moving around. I always am moving slow, taking long hikes, trying to sprint sometimes, lifting heavy things, playing and running around with my kids.

Lifestyle: I have lost a lot of weight and feel so much better I am able to tackle new things and am trying to find new adventures I wouldn't have tried before. I try to keep the TV off at night and focus on people and spending good time with the family.

2
C796170f6af6f9b9afbf31f4550d1d84

(345)

on December 21, 2011
at 08:59 PM

Well- I have always been a self proclaimed dirty hippie. I think that over bathing just knocks out your natural flora and fauna ...and not in a good way. So bathing 2.5 times a week as usual. (Good thing that my husband likes a dirty girl)

*I do wash my face daily and apply all natural lotion with CoQ10

I have made changes however....some over the years

Bathing- Tea tree oil soap and shampoo, so tingly

Cleaning- I have a Tersano Lotus Machine. I love it. It spins an extra oxygen molecule with the water and makes ozone water. It lets go after about 15 minutes and reverts to regular water- but while in its ozone state it kills germs on contact. It is 1,000% more effective at killing all germs than bleach. It also neutralizes pesticides. All with just water. It's awesome.

Sleeping- No electronics in the room- sleep 9-10 hours

Eating- No sugars- No grains and only meat that is grass fed AND has a cruelty free stamp on it.

Life- No lies- No excuses

Supplements- Cinnamon, B complex Omega 3

C796170f6af6f9b9afbf31f4550d1d84

(345)

on December 21, 2011
at 10:37 PM

Okay 1,000% might be an exaggeration....

C796170f6af6f9b9afbf31f4550d1d84

(345)

on December 21, 2011
at 10:40 PM

Also after 40 I decided that I wanted to take Tae Kwon Do. It was on my bucket list. Now I am one belt away from black. (Yahoo) Thats mostly my movement.......

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 21, 2011
at 10:45 PM

There is nothing like a girl who enjoys being dirty, or a man who likes a dirty girl. That , my dear, is not an exaggeration!

2
Medium avatar

(10663)

on December 21, 2011
at 08:01 PM

Food I never ate grass-fed meat (knowingly) before Paleo. I care a lot more now about where my food comes from. I never ate liver, lamb, bison. I never used coconut oil (because I was scared of arterycloggingsaturatedfat). I started drinking kombucha. I always snacked and always felt like I was hungry after a big meal. Now I eat two meals a day a about 5-7 hours apart. I still scarf my food down though. It's just so hard to eat slowly when everything is so delicious and you just want it all in your mouth now.

Bath and Body Started using mostly organic products (like coconut shampoo/conditioner, and almond oil to moisturize my skin). But I still have my old lotions and stuff that I've used all my life. Although when it comes to washing my face, most days I do just use water. I seldom use cream cleansers. Number one on priority list of things to try/change is to start using some natural toothpaste.

Cleaning My mom buys most of the cleaning products so it's usually some harsh thing. I'm trying to buy my own organic dishwashing liquid but other than that, not much has changed in this department.

Movement Trying to get up and walk around a lot more even if for just ten minutes at a time. I'm a college student so I'm constantly sitting down. But I have started sprinting and hiking more.

Sleep Still sleep pretty late (again, inevitable for college students) but on days I don't have school, I manage to get 8-10 hours of sleep. When I decided to go Paleo, I bought black-out curtains.

And I wouldn't call myself a hippie, but I'm definitely the hippie-est one out of my friends and family.

2
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 21, 2011
at 07:23 PM

I've made many little changes in the same spirit you described.

Food I also eat very simply. I think creative recipes are great but each menu of mine is meat/broth, vegetables and fruit. This morning I had meaty ham-bone stew with rutabaga, carrot and cabbage plus a hint of fennel and a couple lima beans. My lunch will be full-fat home-made yogurt with a fermented fig, ripe banana and 1/2 cup grapes (extra fruit is one of my holiday splurges.) In the afternoon, I'll drink a fizzy grape water kefir and supper--if I choose to have one--will be a salad of dark leaf lettuce, cuke and celery plus another serving of meat.

Bath and Body I use a cinnamon toothpaste powder but not every day. I use coconut oil and baking soda as a deodorant. I use water soaked in soap nuts for shampoo with an occasional rinse of fresh water kefir.

Cleaning I use baking soda and vinegar for cleaning and I started using soap nuts for laundry about 4-6 weeks ago.

Movement I walk about 12 miles per week plus I park at the outside of the lots and walk through big-box stores fairly frequently. I carry loads of clothes to and from the laundromat and groceries to the truck and into the 5th wheel.

Sleep I use an orange light on the PC at night and go to bed when I feel like it, which is between 9 and 10 right now. I wake up between 6 and 7.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on December 21, 2011
at 08:14 PM

Nance, your meals sound so delicious! How do you like the soap nuts for your shampoo? So far I've only used mine for laundry.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 21, 2011
at 08:52 PM

Well, I never found a shampoo that didn't make my scalp red and itchy. After shampooing in soap nuts water, my scalp is calm and my hair is SOFT.

0
A03adfdd71be77f20e07d800bc19e3c4

(390)

on February 24, 2012
at 09:03 AM

My lifestyle is an anachronism anyway, so adding some Paleo doesn't really upset me much. However, I do have a representative job so I have to take into account some minor details.. This whole 21st century sporty ecolook is wasted on me, as I was raised fairly old-fashioned "continental". The always dress for dinner, gloves between October and April type. I follow the rule in my family which states "if it was good enough for grandfather, it is good enough for you".  As I am single and live in a fairly large apartment I recently started sharing it with a good friend who got hit by the recession. This gives him some breathing space economically, and provides company for dinner and evening conversations.

I give you, for your benefit and pleasure, an overview of some of the things I do, which are not that costly and minimize the need to buy, buy, buy. I do not buy into this consumerism idea, and don't see the need to have the latest of everything. Maybe you will get an idea or two inspiring you to go to a simpler way of living.

  • look for natural soaps, ask grandparents, those soaps are still used, and they are cheap and effective. After shaves and such, I usually have types that were in vogue in the 1920s. They are made of herbs and alcohol, and have a refined smell, often eliciting questions about the brand. They are also not that expensive. It eludes me why I should pay a fortune for personal hygiene. This Armani chap must really be strapped for cash looking at the prices.

  • with clothing I ignore current fashion and buy timeless pieces. Go for sturdy natural materials. That means linen in summer, tweeds and loden in winter. Linen shirts are wonderful for the whole year. A tweed sporting jacket can be worn for decades. Leather gloves suit every occasion. Wellmade leather shoes can last me ten years, so I buy classic designs. This gives me an English country gentleman look, which according to others, suits me. 

  • for shaving (beards are frowned upon at the office) I use a safety razor, much cheaper in total than these newfangled razors, and a better result. It also forces you to be conscious of the fact that you are shaving. 

  • for lighting I have bought (don't laugh) replica roman oil lamps. They run on olive oil and give good light. I do have electric lighting, but I don't see the need in lighting rooms you aren't using.

  • for cooking I use modern pans and utensils, but all is served in earthenware pots and dishes. They are also marvelous for baking. I bought antique dishes, which in my mind are quite a bit more durable then modern dishes, and if they break it's off to the nearest yardsale for new ones.

  • in cupboards I use little bags of lavender or blocks of natural soaps. The smell is wonderful, and keep clothing smelling good. The bags were made by my mother, and the lavender I cut myself.  Added benefit: if I am out of soap, I use one from a cupboard.

  • Talk to grandparents and elderly relatives for tips! The amount of knowledge they have for easy and cheap household tricks is amazing. I have a new love for furniture wax, and cleaning soda. 

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e

(3850)

on May 29, 2012
at 04:28 PM

I would love to hear more about the after shaves that you use. Can you give us any brand names?

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