Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A summary of my take on the Primal Blueprint (so far)

As I have gotten older, I have explored ways to better myself: hatha yoga, finding a higher power of my understanding and nurturing my spirituality, being more aware of myself and my surroundings, taking advantage of opportunities to try new things, learn, explore, and play. On this journey of self-improvement, I was introduced to The Primal Blueprint. A quote from the creator's blog describes it as, "This is not your latest miracle diet. This is not something you can do for a week or a month and get back to ‘normal’ food. It is something that will redefine the word ‘normal’. The Primal Blueprint will teach you to live life to the fullest - eat real food, use natural body movements to keep you fit and help you really understand what ‘healthy’ and ‘fit’ actually mean."

(For further description of The Primal Blueprint, head on over to Mark's Daily Apple)

This new approach to health, nutrition, diet (meaning what you eat to sustain your body and having nothing to do with weight loss), fitness and life has opened my mind to many misconceptions and flawed wisdom that I was raised with. Although the general idea that the old food pyramid I remember from grade school with the largest part of your daily food coming from grains was outdated and incorrect, many more complex and deep-seated ideas lingered in my understanding of my body.

In effort to live life with more honesty and open-mindedness, I took in the ideas provided and eagerly read about the low fat craze I was raised in, the habitual over-the-counter medicating I was doing, the misunderstanding of my body's signals (ie a fever being the body's defense mechanism to try and burn out a virus). I found myself astounded with the simplicity of these reminders of the human body's ability to take care of itself and nature's ability to sustain it. Stepping away from western society's tendency to manipulate everything to "make it better" paves the way for a  return to the qualities found in natural, unprocessed, un-packaged, raw and organic sustenance.

Clearly there are arguments and science and articles and tests and trials for every approach to nutrition and health. The thing that blows me away is how easy and thoroughly I accepted and believed what was sold to me through marketed, media, etc- ie formula being a comparable replacement for breast milk, boxed, bagged, and highly processed foods being convenient and substantially healthy, etc). The Primal Blueprint has its controversial aspects, but valiant efforts have been made to research and discuss them. The large community of followers have connected through the internet to share their opinions and successes and failures.

The concept of eating natural, organic food is crucial. Purchasing from farmer's markets, local farms, and locally stocked stores and avoiding hormones, preservatives, and chemical additions is not a new one. Whole Foods, hippies, naturalists, and many others have advertised and thrived on this idea. My sister made all of her own baby food for her son from natural and organic produce and meat. The treatment of livestock is addressed with this approach, as well as the nutrition. A simple strategy of short, comprehensible, natural ingredients in foods is a good practice for me and in my opinion.

The nutritional content of food as well as the body's ability to process it are also considered, and this is where the no grains, beans, or potatoes, and as little sugar as possible come in. The PB takes a look at what a human body really needs to thrive and works to eliminate that which does more harm than help. It identifies a way of eating, exercising, and living that encourages happiness, health, and strength.

This is not about portion control, counting calories, breaking down every meal, excessive workouts, or regimens. This is about finding a way to live that makes you feel satisfied and allows you to truly enjoy eating!

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