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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 January 21, 2020

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

      Why You Need a Vision

      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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      How to Create Your Life Vision

      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

      What Do You Want?

      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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      Some tips to guide you:

      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
      • Give yourself permission to dream.
      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

      Some questions to start your exploration:

      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
      • What qualities would you like to develop?
      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
      • What would you most like to accomplish?
      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

      A few prompts to get you started:

      • What will you have accomplished already?
      • How will you feel about yourself?
      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
      • What does your ideal day look like?
      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
      • What would you be doing?
      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
      • How are you dressed?
      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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      Plan Backwards

      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
      • What important actions would you have had to take?
      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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