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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 March 25, 2020

    How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

    How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

    When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

    So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

    1. Exercise

    It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

    2. Drink in Moderation

    I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

    3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

    Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

    4. Watch Less Television

    A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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    Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

    5. Eat Less Red Meat

    Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

    If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

    6. Don’t Smoke

    This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

    7. Socialize

    Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

    8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

    Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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    9. Be Optimistic

    Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

    10. Own a Pet

    Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

    11. Drink Coffee

    Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

    12. Eat Less

    Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

    13. Meditate

    Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

    Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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    How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

    14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

    Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

    15. Laugh Often

    Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

    16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

    Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

    17. Cook Your Own Food

    When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

    Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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    18. Eat Mushrooms

    Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

    19. Floss

    Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

    20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

    Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

    Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

    21. Have Sex

    Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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    Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

    Reference

    [1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
    [2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
    [3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
    [4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
    [5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
    [6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
    [7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
    [8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
    [9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
    [10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
    [11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
    [12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
    [13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
    [14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
    [15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
    [16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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