4

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Does paleo represent more than what we put in our body?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 25, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Most of us move to a paleo diet to increase health and longevity and I would say a smaller percentage make the change to increase athletic performance. However, as we all know health, longevity, and even athletic performance is much more than than what we put in our body. Many paleo advocates talk about how we eat, sleep and move, but does this lifestyle represent more? Should we put more emphasis on the mental aspect of paleo living? Does recycling and the "green" movement have any relationship to paleo? Does community activism/volunteering/support possess any paleo characteristics?

22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on January 25, 2012
at 04:52 PM

Wish I could up vote you more than once! Great response.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 25, 2012
at 04:25 PM

There's sometimes a slavish devotion to diet here which nitpicks and demands 100% compliance to somebody's paleo diet guide. But scant attention is paid to compliance to the lifestyle. How do you ACT paleo in a modern world? You can't hunt, camp and fish everyday, but that's the aim. You can at least get outdoors, take the stairs and walk/bike for your groceries.

22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on January 25, 2012
at 03:12 PM

I strongly believe paleo is a lifestyle and represents more than healthy eating. I love technology but get the same feelings you do when I am away from it. I also practice meditation and feel better when I am consistent. I just think this "movement", for a a lack of a better term, can and should be more than a diet. It can teach many to live a lifestyle of health mind, body, and soul. The green aspect of my question has to do more with how we treat our planet which directly effects our health.

22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on January 25, 2012
at 03:06 PM

Many I should have asked does paleo represent more than how our ancestors ate?

22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on January 25, 2012
at 02:46 PM

Sorry... Fat fingers on an iTouch is never a good combination, especially on paleo hacks!

D07a525f9021f8d72bf6aaa52893c795

(1011)

on January 25, 2012
at 02:40 PM

IF this is meant to be a question, it needs editing!

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8 Answers

4
791a3fe72265daf1eba4b9f29d897f8c

(143)

on January 25, 2012
at 03:06 PM

As someone who was raised in a small, agricultural community where people raised a lot of their own food (veg, fruit, and animal), spent time together and in the outdoors, had personal and business relationships supported by trust, crafted (from woodwork to clothing), and generally were witness to the relationship between people and place, I think there is a lot to the idea that being paleo - or appreciating ancestral, mindful, slower ways of being, rather - is much more than diet and exercise.

Me, personally, I recycle and try to buy things with no or minimal packaging, support local businesses, volunteer in my community, spend a lot of time outside, and try to make responsible choices, etc. I'm not old-timey. Far from it - I live in a city and use technology like nobody's business. But, I also believe that I am healthier when I separate myself from technology to engage in supportive relationships and the world around me, and that my diet and exercise are a reflection of a broader ethic.

I'm curious to know what prompted you to ask these questions. What is your view on them?

P.S. - in response to tthq's comment: These are great skills to have and things to do, no doubt. Acquiring or putting some of these skills into daily practice is somewhat harder in today's world. I did not mention my own experience with the things you mentioned, but if it helps to round out my original response to hermanvt:

I started ice-fishing with my dad when I was 4. While I haven't hunted, I used to be pretty good with a bow and have helped prepare game meats after a hunt by family members. I regularly backpack and camp in primitive areas. And, I agree that walking and biking are some of the best ways to get around. I also sew, garden, can, and love repairing and making things with the basic tools I have. Are they everyday things for me? No. But, I am glad I know how to do them and enjoy them when I can.

22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on January 25, 2012
at 03:12 PM

I strongly believe paleo is a lifestyle and represents more than healthy eating. I love technology but get the same feelings you do when I am away from it. I also practice meditation and feel better when I am consistent. I just think this "movement", for a a lack of a better term, can and should be more than a diet. It can teach many to live a lifestyle of health mind, body, and soul. The green aspect of my question has to do more with how we treat our planet which directly effects our health.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 25, 2012
at 04:25 PM

There's sometimes a slavish devotion to diet here which nitpicks and demands 100% compliance to somebody's paleo diet guide. But scant attention is paid to compliance to the lifestyle. How do you ACT paleo in a modern world? You can't hunt, camp and fish everyday, but that's the aim. You can at least get outdoors, take the stairs and walk/bike for your groceries.

2
B9637ddb9a9a5c6a7306e3c804fcd21d

(3217)

on January 25, 2012
at 04:39 PM

Paleo is an identity. That is why it is irritating when people refer to it as a 'diet' - it isn't simply a one-week affair to shed some extra pounds. It is not something to be taken lightly or done on a whim, because when one goes paleo, one takes on a new life.

Jokes about cavemen clubbing eachother over the head aside, pre-agricultural peoples, and even traditional societies today, in the absence of the dense - but fragile - networks industrialised nations tether themselves to, have very different ways of bonding and community-building. I am not saying that a truly paleo identity means we should forfeit the benefits of civilisation by any means, but that while we take advantage of innovation, paleo means getting closer to nature, and to eachother in ways you cannot do through a computer. There is a reason we find images of traditional peoples cooking over and huddling around fires, telling magical stories to eachother and carving art into stone, walking barefoot and feeling the connection between you and the earth, so inspirational...

Innovation is wonderful, a product of the advanced human brain, but nowadays some of these technologies are abused so that we lose the connection between ourselves, and to nature. Paleo is about feeling alive. The over-abuse of technology, industrialised, processed food, inactivity and spending all day staring at a screen; all these things desensitize us. Sprinting, plunging into an icy lake, eating real, natural food, supporting eachother (you mention volunteering) - this makes us feel alive, feel the raw energy and strength that makes us the most advanced being in our ecosystem.

And yes, activism, volunteering, supporting local farms, playing together, is all very 'paleo'. Compassion and bonding releases oxytocin - the 'cuddle hormone' - humans also happen to have tear ducts and can cry emotionally - it is in our physiology to be caring and respectful to other people's lives.

In short - Paleo is Life.

That's my view of it.

Lots of Paleo love

Milla <3

22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on January 25, 2012
at 04:52 PM

Wish I could up vote you more than once! Great response.

1
Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on January 25, 2012
at 03:51 PM

For me, Paleo has always been about more than diet. I was a barefooter (or wearing Vibrams), supporting local organic agriculture, recycling, etc. before going paleo. My family lives on a farm, and I think that certain mindsets about lifestyle can and do mesh with paleo eating. Certainly these things aren't exclusively paleo, but you yourself said it was more than just food, it's also sleep and exercise, which comprise a lot of daily activities.

I think to that some of us, myself included, seek philosophies that edify our lifestyle choices. In my opinion, the two should be complementary. My political and philosophical views on different issues intersect with my lifestyle, and personally I think that's how it should be. For a related discussion, see the thread here that I started a while back: http://paleohacks.com/questions/68009/favorite-paleo-friendly-philosophers-philosophy

Or as another example, think of off-grid living. I'm a big fan of being off-grid, and I'd love to be off-grid myself someday. In my mind, that's very paleo-friendly, as it is a modern iteration of how humans lived. I'm not sure if I've articulated these ideas well, but that's my two cents.

1
D1728f99db66ff91d695a6df5cd38b02

(1368)

on January 25, 2012
at 03:05 PM

Personally, Paleo represents a way of eating to me at this point in my journey. I don't think my recycling has anything to do with Paleo because I liked being green before I turned Paleo. Also, I don't think that learning to hunt or camp has anything to do with being Paleo for me at least. Maybe it depends on the individuals definition of Paleo.

0
Medium avatar

on January 25, 2012
at 05:09 PM

I understand the appeal of expanding the definition of Paleo so that it encompasses "sane" living at all levels. Which broadens the conversation to include philosophy, psychology, spirituality, and other domains of life. Of course, people of good faith can and do disagree about what constitutes a good or exemplary life; the ancient Greeks had a few thoughts along these lines. To the degree that Paleo is pressed to become some monolithic "stance" or position (Hegel's Geist where everything "fits") I lose interest in the conversation. Overly systemized formulations are the bane of life. This of course is an opinion as well as a formulation.

0
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on January 25, 2012
at 05:00 PM

I do think there is more to primal/ancestral/paleo/etc. than just your grocery shopping list, but for me it isn't about hunting, camping, tech/no tech although those can definitely be part--or not--of the lifestyle.

For me, it's about rebuilding a connection between the inner person and the physical systems that support the inner person. How can Nance the person interact with Nance the body in order to best survive and even thrive in today's world? It starts with "listening" after I eat and then expanding into other reactions to environmental factors.

It's particularly important for me as I am an introvert. I'm no longer shy at all, although I was very bashful as a child, but I find the modern world too busy and noisy. My physical person over-reacts (in comparison to other people) to food additives, environmental pollutants and other assaults on my senses such as flashing lights, loud noises and crowds of people.

It makes me feel less "odd" when I realize that until about a hundred years ago many people lived in more quiet and isolation than I achieve through conscious effort today. This lifestyle plays to my strengths and explains my "weaknesses."

0
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on January 25, 2012
at 04:33 PM

For me, it is a mindset of how I interact with my body (barefoot/exercise/play/illness treatment), my food (obviously), and to a limited extend with my environment and people around me. It's not entirely holistic nor do I seek to "limit" technology in my life (I'm in IT engineer that digs video games and popular media).

0
Medium avatar

(10611)

on January 25, 2012
at 02:54 PM

Community activism and recycling are worthy social activities, but have very little to do with paleo, and seem more like modern ways of living. How about learning to hunt and fish? Camp? Live without mechanized transportation? You have to learn to do these things before you can teach and lead others to live in a paleo way.

22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on January 25, 2012
at 03:06 PM

Many I should have asked does paleo represent more than how our ancestors ate?

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