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The Top 5 Signs You’ve Taken The Paleo Lifestyle Too Far

The Top 5 Signs You’ve Taken The Paleo Lifestyle Too Far


    So you’re on the ancestral health kick. Trying your best to eliminate grains, beans, legumes, and dairy from your diet and embrace your inner caveman or woman. Believe you me, I am right there with you.

    The Paleo Diet allows for good meats, plenty of veggies, fresh fruit, nuts and seeds, and plenty of healthy fats. Plus, the scientific research to back up its health benefits speak for themselves:

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    • Improved blood pressure
    • Glucose tolerance
    • Decreases in blood sugar secretion
    • Increase insulin sensitivity
    • Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
    • Improved cholesterol profile

    The list really goes on and on. But this isn’t a love fest for adopting a Paleo diet template for yourself. This is for those that have already embraced the lifestyle…but maybe a little too much so. For them, I present the top 5 signs you’ve taken your Paleo lifestyle too far — and how you can get back on course.

    1. You now do all of your grocery shopping at the zoo or aquarium.

    You have checked both the fridge and freezer and there is no meat in sight. It’s grocery shopping time. Instead of grabbing your wallet and car keys you decided to snag a fishing pole and spear. The zoo and aquarium are the only places you are convinced you can actually get game meat and unique fish in order to satisfy your primal urges.

    A better option: Whole Foods, Sprouts, and a quick Google search for grass-fed meats or wild fish will allow you to pick up high quality proteins with beneficial Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratios. It’ll probably save your life as well — literally and figuratively.

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    2. You no longer sleep in your bedroom.

    You sold your bed, sheets, and pillow and now insist on sleeping outside on the dirt like your ancestors, bundled up by a zebra blanket you recently created from — you guessed it — a grocery shopping trip.

    A better option: If you are looking to sleep more like your cave brothers and sisters there is no need to step outside. Cover your windows with a heavy dark blanket and wear a sleeping mask in ensure that your sleeping experience is similar to a cave. Use a fan to cool the air in the room and (if possible) do your best to wake when the sun rises and go to bed when it sets. This will allow your body’s natural sleep patterns to align.

    3. You let your dog chew up your shoes.

    Why? Because you no longer need them. You’ve started showing up to work, formal outings, and really anything imaginable barefoot. All of your workouts, runs, and leisure activities are done without shoes as well.

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    A better option: Pick up some five finger shoes. There are tons on the market now and plenty of benefits associated as well. You’ll strengthen the muscles in your feet and lower legs, improve the range of motion in your ankles and toes, improve balance by stimulating neural function, and simply allow your body to move naturally. If you work on your feet most of the day, think about asking your work if you can try it out for a week to assist in lower back pain.

    4. You’ve decided it’s time to decorate your walls.

    Instead of painting your home, communicating verbally with family and friends, or hanging up art on your walls at home you’ve decided it is best to use petroglyphics to communicate. Tiny pictures of animals, shapes, and people drawn in clay litter your walls at home and in your workspace. Although your little cave daughter or son gets a kick out of drawing with mommy and daddy, there are better ways to communicate.

    A better option: When you are with those that you love really be with them. Turn of the cellphone and ignore incoming calls and text. Forget about those emails too. Check in with each other and start talking. See how everyone’s day is going, what’s new, and plan an adventure together. Maybe a trip to the zoo — to view the animals, not shop for them.

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    5. You’re working out like crazy!

    You want that caveman physique, so you are hitting the weights like crazy. Picking up and putting back down the heaviest stuff you can find over and over again.

    A better option: Lifting weights is great but make sure not to overdo it. Two to four weight training sessions per week should do the trick — and make sure to get in some body-weight movements. Cave people used a lot of their own body weight to perform exercise. Do sprint work and interval training, get in your push-ups, pull-ups, and walking lunges. Try swimming, slack lining, and maybe Parkour for some alternative exercise. Strength, balance, coordination, and agility were all a part of the caveman’s workout. Make sure yours emphasizes this too. (And get outside! Cavemen were outdoors all the time. Take advantage of the vitamin D.)

    Embrace your inner cave person…but make sure not to take it too far.

    (Photo credit: Stoneage Hunting via Shutterstock)

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    Justin Miller

    Healthy Lifestyle Architect, a Fitness and Nutrition Coach

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    Last Updated on December 9, 2019

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

    Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

    Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

    1. Get Rationally Optimistic

    Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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    This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

    In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

    The result: no more mental stress.

    2. Unplug

    Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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    How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

    It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

    Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

    3. Easy on the Caffeine

    Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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    Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

    4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

    That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

    How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

    • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
    • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
    • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

    While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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    5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

    This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

    The result: mental stress will be gone!

    So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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    Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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