Lets go back in time together. We are now on planet Earth in a time where the screen you were reading this on didn't exist, when time only consisted of seasons, lunar cycles and farm time. The sun was our only source of light. There were no sirens, roars of engines or Television sets blaring out nonsense. Instead you heard the laughter of your children, the chirping of birds and the whirling of wind across your face, life was peaceful. Take this time to take a few deep breaths, 4 of them. Breathe in through your nose as you count to 3, hold it, exhale out of your mouth counting to 4 while mentally expelling all stress and worries from your life. Repeat until satisfied. Dr. Weil has some more breathing exercises that everyone can benefit from. Click here to read them, don't forget to report back here or on my facebook and tell us how you feel.
Now that you're calm, don't worry that our way of life is so different than what our ancestors are used to. We have so many blessings that we take for granted, so many things that our ancestors would have loved to have. Think back to just your Great-Grandparents day and how mind-blown they would be at the innovation that we have today. From relatively healthy water available at the turn of a knob, to micro-pocket computers that can perform face to face conversation and many other functions, we have some crazy toys to say the least. It is neat to embrace these items that we've created, but can become a huge waste of time and energy for your own life.
It's important to use things like computers for your advantage and productivity rather than clicking around mindlessly on the internet every night before you go to bed. Create something! We have the opportunity to make websites and spread our research and knowledge, an unimaginable source of power that individuals now have. If you want to make your own blog or site and enjoy the benefits from being a part of this. You can sign up for web hosting and start writing. It's incredibly rewarding. Back on topic now!
Our lifestyle in the 21st Century is different than ever before. We have so many opportunities to try new things. There are also more chances to get distracted from your health than ever.
Here are some of the "healthy" distractions that the mainstream no longer trusts. These are usually marketing schemes designed to paint an image of health, but are actually the opposite.
- The thought that cutting calories will result in weight loss is true, except the quality of the calories you are consuming is more important. If your caloric deficit is coming from items like this, expect fatigue, depression and a host of many other problems. This is what I mean by Paleo is common sense. We will talk about achieving a whole new perspective on food below.
- Another example; light yogurt. The snack marketed towards 30 years+ women who are looking to satisfy their sweet tooth and be healthy! Well, Yoplait markets their products very nicely, pictures of fruit, bright colors, etc. Some would think, "wow there must be real mangos in here, it has to be good for me!" The fact that this product contains Aspartame, an increasingly infamous toxic ingredient that should scare everyone away, run far far away from this product.
- Aspartame is found in many seemingly innocent products such as gum and mints. More obvious items are candy (which shouldn't be in your diet anyways), diet soda and yogurt. My advice on any food item is to be conscious of the ingredient label whenever possible.
- Consuming aspartame can cause immediate effects such as headaches. With long-term exposure and consumption, you can develop more serious problems. Ex-diet soda drinkers should read more from Dr. Mercola and the associated negative health effects of Aspartame.
- Be aware of anything labeled sugar-free, that's usually a sign that High Fructose Corn Syrup has been removed and replaced with Aspartame; two toxic ingredients.
Even good ol' Mott's Applesauce isn't innocent anymore. Almost all of their applesauce products use High-Fructose corn syrup, it is the other infamous ingredient that's snuck into many seemingly healthy choices. HCFS has been linked to an increase in diabetes hunger and can lead to overeating and other problems. Since the use of high-fructose corn syrup has gained popularity by the mainstream food companies, we have noticed a huge increase in many problems such as Type-2 Diabetes.
High Fructose Corn Syrup Usage (Red)
Hopefully this clears up a few misconceptions about very popular low-calorie, office oriented snacks. Since this article is concerned with using common sense when it comes to the Paleo diet, lets go over a few no-brainer replacements for the foods shown above.
- Apples! - As seen below, I was incredibly happy to pick my own apples. Since many are used to seeing 100 calorie items, figured I'd mention apples. Guess what? The typical size Granny Smith Apple is around 100 calories, and is an exponentially better choice than your 100 calorie cookie packs stashed in the break room at work.
- Macadamia nuts - They are the nuts that have considerably lower Phytic Acid that most other nuts. This has been an increasingly popular subject for experimentation and the results people are coming up with make sense. The more Phytic Acid you consume, mostly in almonds and other nuts, are creating more inflammation and digestive issues. This is mostly for the most sensitive of individuals, however. I don't get any adverse reactions from my daily handful of almonds!
[box type="box" width="600" template="Normal" align="left" color="blue"]Besides giving you a list of food items that you already know you should be eating, lets work on changing the mindset towards food to develop a better sense of why we're eating them.[/box]
The main reason the Paleo "diet" is so simple and successful is because it's utilizing foods that are closest to their natural state.
When looking at food during your transition to a Paleo-oriented diet, ask yourself, "is this the way it looks on Earth?" If you can say yes, it's most likely safe!
Some of my examples of creations that you will answer no to are: smoothies loaded with seeds, berries and whey protein powder and almond butter.
Once you start realizing that you are looking for the most naturally-occurring form of food items, this whole "diet" thing gets a lot easier. I have had emails of people confused what to at, but it's the mindset that you must change first to grasp the lifestyle in its entirety. Earth-form, it's the path to health.
To achieve ultimate success, try compounding a good diet with Paleo Lifestyle habits such as:
- Work when it's light, relax when it's not! - Up until the invention of the lightbulb in 1879, we would probably only write and do minimal work with the use of lanterns and candle light after sunset. I'm sure there were exceptions, but our brains natural circadian sleep rhythm is set to start producing more sleep hormones, such as melatonin, once night falls.
- Walk frequently - I fortunately walk miles and miles a week because of my job in a 4,000 acre park. From doing trash runs and walking around on trails to hiking up massive hills to build something or remove invasive plants, I'm always on the move. Don't take the advice from me, our ancestors were the ones who probably didn't cease walking until they made a kill. It's ingrained in you, notice the amount of momentum that you develop when you start a walking routine. I call it the snowball effect, it applies to many things in health and fitness.
- Don't take yourself so serious, laugh as much as possible (even if it's fake) - I recommend even fake laughing because it can be so silly that it turns to real belly-grabbing laughter. Taking yourself, or life itself too serious is a common theme for people today. For good reason, with seemingly impending financial crisis', bills, car repairs, 160 hour a month dedications to others (your career), and many other things, how could we not take life serious? Well, you probably should care about that stuff, but you gotta unwind sometime. We are susceptible to creating vices to relieve our seriousness. That's why I stress the importance of creating healthy vices.
Choose healthy vices:
- Use Herbs for relaxation - Assume whichever herb you would like for this bullet point, but some over the counter herbs for relaxation include Chamomile, Passionflower (which actually utilizes the flower part of the plant) and Valerian Root. I have to remind you of my disclaimer, but these are safe and effective ways to reduce stress, improve relaxation and induce deeper sleep.
- Note: Taking an herb like Valerian Root will make you have very vivid dreams, not a bad thing if you can learn to lucid dream and control everything in them. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want more advice on lucid dreaming, it's unreal once you do it.
- Eat dark chocolate! - Yes, you can eat chocolate if you haven't already figured this out. The labeling of chocolate should tell you the percentage of Cocoa, 70%+ is preferred due to it's high antioxidant count.
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