8

votes

Cutting out garbage from the rest of life

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 12, 2013 at 8:26 PM

As I was leaving my crossfit box this morning, I walked past a large, $70,000ish SUV with a couple crossfit stickers on the bumper. It got me thinking: are there principles which undergird the paleo or paleo/crossfit lifestyle which ought to extend to life outside of exercise and diet?

One of the main principles I perceive in the paleo lifestyle is the no-bullshit principle. Paleo people seem to think that a lot of the options available to us in life are terrible, and living life well involves avoiding the 90% of what "normal" people do in order to keep from getting fat, diabetic, cancerous, etc. Crossfit seems to employ the same by using far fewer tools than a conventional gym, as well as by using functional movement exercises.

Do philosophically consistent Paleo people pursue a minimalist, back-to-basics lifestyle, which rejects some or all of the following?

  • Excessive Luxury
  • Inordinate consumption of natural resources, especially fossil fuels
  • Owning unnecessarily large houses
  • Using expendable money to self-aggrandize rather than help others
  • Credit Card Debt
  • Pornography
  • Cosmetic surgery (except in cases of restoration from an injury)
  • Excessive collecting or hoarding

(Obviously this list could go on a while.)

Edit: Also, would doing so ameliorate worries about the sustainability of the paleo lifestyle?

0219fa194c33e06928253fd0ce5032c2

(100)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Fair enough. I'm just not disciplined enough to work hard without something like crossfit.

D1728f99db66ff91d695a6df5cd38b02

(1368)

on January 14, 2013
at 08:29 PM

It is more to do with whether someone appreciates the simplicity and happiness of minimalism I think. I was a consumer when I started doing Crossfit, and for a while into it. I practice a lot more minimalism now but I don't think it joining Crossfit influenced that decision.

4303a65967884e68bfae59817c227351

(1881)

on January 13, 2013
at 07:59 PM

Unfortunately I cannot afford crossfit, which is why I went down the other route.

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on January 13, 2013
at 06:17 PM

I agree with your last paragraph in particular. It is a luxury for me to spend money on pastured chicken and eggs and grass-fed beef. It's not necessary, but I have the money and that's how I choose to spend it. I suppose I could spend all my time raising/hunting animals instead and that would be "simpler" or "more frugal," but eff it.

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on January 13, 2013
at 06:14 PM

Yeah, aboslutely... that's why I worded it the way I do. "Encourages" simplicity rather than "practices"!

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on January 13, 2013
at 02:34 AM

qm -- if you search under the tag "minimalism," I think you'll find a bunch of posts that speak to this. I think there are more people aiming to pare down and simplify their lives here than is indicated by the responses you've gotten so far.

Efba2b071e8f4c54acbc1da52ac91030

(199)

on January 13, 2013
at 02:11 AM

I was thinking more about this, I agree with you about the ethics and the issues of consumption. I think that what you are talking about is improving and cleaning up our lives, which isn't necessarily part of paleo, but paleo can be a part of cleaning up our lives. I think you are addressing a bigger idea than just paleo. And, I have to add, we are all judgmental in one way or another. I wasn't trying to condemn or single you out. I find that Byron Katie's "The Work" is beneficial for this.

0219fa194c33e06928253fd0ce5032c2

(100)

on January 13, 2013
at 12:25 AM

Apparently my post came off a lot more judgmental than I intended. Not shocking, as I am a pretty judgmental person. But I was interested in talking about the ethics of the situation, not necessarily just condemning people with expensive cars.

0219fa194c33e06928253fd0ce5032c2

(100)

on January 13, 2013
at 12:24 AM

Apparently my post came off a lot more judgmental than I intended. Not shocking, as I am a pretty judgmental person. But I *was* interested in just talking about the ethics of the situation, not necessarily condemning people with expensive cars.

4303a65967884e68bfae59817c227351

(1881)

on January 12, 2013
at 11:49 PM

Excessive is having a membership at a crossfit gym. There's nothing there you can't do in your backyard or a park with a jungle gym a $10 jump rope and some big ass rocks. Real budget? rosstraining.com That guy is a beast on about as minimal dollars as anyone could imagine.

4303a65967884e68bfae59817c227351

(1881)

on January 12, 2013
at 11:47 PM

Have you ever seen a video of Mark cooking in his kitchen? He certainly doesn't live in a 2br raised ranch.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on January 12, 2013
at 08:39 PM

$70,000 SUV is very Paleo - it is like the hugest mammoth but from the 22nd century.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on January 12, 2013
at 08:38 PM

Have you ever heard of a movement "voluntary simplicity"?

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7 Answers

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8
Bad4271d6f6ebfe6b893cf6f0de22f2d

on January 12, 2013
at 08:52 PM

This can be a chicken/egg thing for some people. Some come to paleo for weight/health and then see patterns of the same in other parts of their lives. Some, like myself, start looking at life as a whole and what is important, etc. Paleo (or another similar eating style) came about because of that, but it wasn't the first thing.

I think it's natural when you start questioning one decision you start questioning others. To never question is to never grow!

7
4303a65967884e68bfae59817c227351

(1881)

on January 12, 2013
at 08:51 PM

Yes, well sort of. But if I could afford a $70k SUV, I'd certainly drive it. Some people have the money where a $70k vehicle IS downgrading. Being simple, does not mean the same as being frugal. There's no reason not to enjoy the fine things in life if you've earned them.

As far as unnecessarily large house and porn and whatever else. Well, that's just a totally different category of the "lifestyle." I mean. Some people go to church, won't touch alcohol, and live a life without one amenity. Others bask in all of it. Each person has things they enjoy and make life worth living. It's called hedonism. If you want a big house and that's your thing and you can afford it. Go nuts. But I don't think it really has anything to do with paleo per se.

I'm a big fan of quality, and have a fair amount of things. I spend the extra for something worthwhile. But I can't bloody stand having useless things. I do not buy unless I will use it. I will buy excessively nice or unnecessarily nice, but as long as it's used, that's my stipulation. And if you own it and you haven't used it in 5 years, throw it out, sell it or donate it. That's "excessive."

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on January 13, 2013
at 06:17 PM

I agree with your last paragraph in particular. It is a luxury for me to spend money on pastured chicken and eggs and grass-fed beef. It's not necessary, but I have the money and that's how I choose to spend it. I suppose I could spend all my time raising/hunting animals instead and that would be "simpler" or "more frugal," but eff it.

6
Efba2b071e8f4c54acbc1da52ac91030

(199)

on January 12, 2013
at 09:35 PM

I am not at all surprised that a $70,000 SUV has crossfit stickers on it. In my town the main paleo/crossfit gym is $135 - $199 a month, which is financially out of reach of most people in our area (average wage here is $12/hour). I also want to point out, that if you have a family of 6 or more, it is more fuel efficient to drive one SUV than two smaller cars when everyone is loaded up.

I appreciate your points about excessive consumption, and a no BS principle. I don't think that it is beneficial to look at other paleo eaters and point out that they are not being consistent with paleo because of their use or misuse of the items on your list. Do we really need to be that judgmental of others who are trying to improve their lives? Who is the most perfect Paleo person? I understand your points, I just think maybe we should be try to be better people, as opposed to judging others for their perceived non-paleo lifestyle excesses.

Finally, I think that the paleo lifestyle can be sustainable especially in conjunction with the local food movement by using CSAs, and locally sourced, pasture-raised meats.

0219fa194c33e06928253fd0ce5032c2

(100)

on January 13, 2013
at 12:24 AM

Apparently my post came off a lot more judgmental than I intended. Not shocking, as I am a pretty judgmental person. But I *was* interested in just talking about the ethics of the situation, not necessarily condemning people with expensive cars.

0219fa194c33e06928253fd0ce5032c2

(100)

on January 13, 2013
at 12:25 AM

Apparently my post came off a lot more judgmental than I intended. Not shocking, as I am a pretty judgmental person. But I was interested in talking about the ethics of the situation, not necessarily just condemning people with expensive cars.

Efba2b071e8f4c54acbc1da52ac91030

(199)

on January 13, 2013
at 02:11 AM

I was thinking more about this, I agree with you about the ethics and the issues of consumption. I think that what you are talking about is improving and cleaning up our lives, which isn't necessarily part of paleo, but paleo can be a part of cleaning up our lives. I think you are addressing a bigger idea than just paleo. And, I have to add, we are all judgmental in one way or another. I wasn't trying to condemn or single you out. I find that Byron Katie's "The Work" is beneficial for this.

4
532cfd279d793e8fcc23b9f6d91dde5c

(1981)

on January 12, 2013
at 08:34 PM

I definitely find that I am naturally gravitating towards this approach to life. As I have cleaned up my body, I feel compelled to pare down the rest of the non-essentials in my life. I'm in the process of giving away all but what I can carry on my back, and then living a bare-minimum existence for a year to decide what I really don't want to live without.

3
1ea8d17bad42dc54fb7a8a178e3db309

on January 13, 2013
at 12:05 AM

How about us each being the best each one of us can be? It's seductive to look around us but really, if we all just spent that energy on ourselves, being a better person, fixing our own addictions and relationships, the entire world would get radically better.

What I'm saying is, we really don't know what anyone else is going through or has been through. It makes more sense to look ourselves in the mirror with radical honesty and ask what we can do differently to be better in all ways. Being more minimalist may be good, probably is good... but maybe being nicer or better to the people in your life maybe should come first.

I'm just saying that when thinking about priorities, people should usually come before things. At least that's how I see it. YMMV.

2
Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 13, 2013
at 02:24 AM

I'm sure I don't speak for everyone but, we're paleo not vegan hippies. Just sayin'. I can definitely appreciate and strive towards the finer things in life, and anyone who says I shouldn't can go ef themselves. In my opinion paleo is about taking what worked for Paleolithic man and making it work in a Neolithic world, not trying to de-evolve humanity.

2
2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on January 12, 2013
at 09:46 PM

I think you'll see that in some of the big faces of paleo. Mark Sisson, whose diet is not completely "paleo" and is considered "primal," features frequent articles that encourage simplicity as a way of life. www.marksdailyapple.com For me personally, it's a lifestyle thing. Simpler food and cooking has led to simpler fitness, entertainment, vacations, purchasing habits, and daily habits. My medical and hygeine choices are aligned along the "natural" or "hippy" ideal, and it's a direct result of exploring the paleo diet.

I think people who come into paleo by way of CrossFit are less likely to pursue voluntary simplicity. As other posters have pointed out, CrossFit is a luxury item for a lot of people- it's not affordable for a large chunk of the population. That's not to say it never happens, but I think it's less likely.

I think you see voluntary simplicity more often with the paleo crowd that got to paleo strictly for health reasons, or those who got into paleo in their "earlier" years (e.g. teens, 20s, and 30s).

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on January 13, 2013
at 06:14 PM

Yeah, aboslutely... that's why I worded it the way I do. "Encourages" simplicity rather than "practices"!

4303a65967884e68bfae59817c227351

(1881)

on January 12, 2013
at 11:47 PM

Have you ever seen a video of Mark cooking in his kitchen? He certainly doesn't live in a 2br raised ranch.

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