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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 July 10, 2020

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

    We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

    So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

    Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

    What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

    Boundaries are limits

    —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

    Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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    Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

    Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

    Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

    How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

    Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

    1. Self-Awareness Comes First

    Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

    You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

    To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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    You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

    • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
    • When do you feel disrespected?
    • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
    • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
    • When do you want to be alone?
    • How much space do you need?

    You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

    2. Clear Communication Is Essential

    Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

    Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

    3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

    Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

    That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

    Sample language:

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    • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
    • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
    • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
    • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
    • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
    • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
    • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

    Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

    4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

    Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

    Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

    Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

    We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

    It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

    It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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    Final Thoughts

    Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

    Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

    Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

    The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

    Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

    Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

    They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

    Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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