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Eating Ancestrally: How To Start Eating and Living Like A Human

Eating Ancestrally: How To Start Eating and Living Like A Human

    I have struggled with my weight and body my entire life. When I was young my mom always called me “big boned” while other kids (and myself) knew that I was really just “chubby”. It also didn’t help that my parents didn’t know anything about eating right. My dad cooked all the time, but we sure did eat a lot of processed, sugary, and just generally bad foods while I was growing up.

    So, in the last 4 weeks I have really committed to making a complete life change. I have cut out all processed foods, grains and wheat products, started eating lean, beef and chicken, and have gained a dramatic level of energy that I have never had in my life. I have also effortlessly lost 13 pounds in the process.

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    I’m sure you have heard of it. It’s called eating Paleo or Primal, but I like thinking about it as eating like our Ancestors did. Below I’m going to hook you up with a primer on eating this way and direct you to some awesome resources so you can start your own primal journey. Just like Robb Wolf suggests (a Paleo blogger, nutritionist, author and pundit), just try it for 30 days and see how you feel. You will be amazed.

    The Gist of Eating Like a Human

    The whole basis of eating and living a Paleo lifestyle is to use “scientific evidence and evolutionary clues” to decide how we should eat, exercise, and play. The basics of the diet is as follows:

    • Eat a bunch of meat. Preferably grass-fed and natural. Try to go lean, but it’s not that big of a deal.
    • Don’t eat any cereal grains, wheat, dairy (sparingly), nasty seed oils, processed sugars and processed foods. If it’s in a box or a bag it probably isn’t good.
    • Eat seeds and nuts (sparingly)
    • Overdose on green leafy vegetables or pretty much any vegetables for that matter.
    • Eat some fruit too. Don’t go too crazy if you want to lose fat.

    That’s it in a nutshell. The idea is to eat like our “caveman” ancestors did and with that kind of eating comes a vibrant, natural kind of feeling and health. Like I said before, it is tough to explain but you can try it to feel its full effect.

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    How To Exercise and Play Like a Human

    Next is exercise and play. Mark Sisson has some really good suggestions about this topic. Here is what he suggests:

    • Move slowly. Our ancestors didn’t run a rat race on a treadmill. But they sure did walk and rummage for food a lot. Try to walk around 3 to 5 hours a week. Nothing crazy. Just nice and easy walking.
    • Sprint every once in awhile. About 3 times a week. Just like we had to run to catch our food back in the day.
    • Lift heavy things. Well, after our ancestors sprinted and caught their food, they had to drag it back to their site for eating. And, if it was a big catch it was definitely heavy. So, you can lift weights, climb, do pushups, dead lifts, etc. About 3 – 4 times a week.

    Most people are convinced that they need to exercise and lift weights for hours and hours a week to get “ripped” and be healthy. That’s not really the case, especially if your diet is awesome and you are treating your body right. Just take a look at Sisson’s physique. He is no slouch.

    The Benefits

    Here is a list of benefits of eating and living the Paleo lifestyle. These are things that I have noticed and also things that other people have experienced:

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    • Ability to skip meals without a crash of blood sugar.
    • Reversal of type 2 diabetes.
    • Reversal of insulin resistance.
    • Rapid and effortless fat loss.
    • More energy throughout the day.
    • Less doctor’s visits
    • Loss of allergies
    • Reduction in symptoms of ADD and ADHD
    • Clearer skin.
    • Lowering of bad cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, blood pressure.
    • Ability to lose the last “10 pounds” that you couldn’t do so before.
    • More restful sleep
    • Increased sexiness.
    • And the list goes on…

    Seriously, eating and living this way is amazing. I can’t stress enough how much better I feel and how much more alive I am even only after a little under a month. If you have experienced anything in this list or something else from eating and living this way, share it below.

    The Resource Shortlist

    So, if you are interested in learning more about the Paleo lifestyle, you are in luck. There are a ton of blogs, books, and podcasts out there for your learning pleasure. This is the shortlist of the best resources that I have run into so far.

    That should be plenty to get you started. Also, these sites are great for the scientific evidence that shows that living this way is effective and even superior to what you think you know about a healthy diet. Of course, make sure you question everything. It’s the only way to be sure.

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    The whole idea is to challenge conventional wisdom and find out what our bodies really need to be the best they can. Eating and living like our ancestors is all about learning and gaining a better understanding of who we are as humans. So, if you have been struggling with your physique, your energy, blood sugar, weight, etc., take some clues from our ancestors and become a better human.

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    CM Smith

    A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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    Last Updated on November 11, 2019

    How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

    How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

    Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

    To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

    Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

    1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

    Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

    Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

    To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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    2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

    Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

    If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

    Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

    3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

    Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

    Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

    4. Feed Your Brain

    Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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    This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

    Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

    Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

    5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

    According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

    Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

    Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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    6. Write it Down

    If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

    It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

    You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

    7. Listen to Music

    Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

    8. Visual Concepts

    In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

    Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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    Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

    9. Teach Someone Else

    Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

    Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

    10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

    Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

    So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

    Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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