After a recommendation from a friend, I picked up the book “The Primal Blueprint” (TPB) two weeks ago, and started reading the authors’ website/blog http://www.marksdailyapple.com. And almost right away it was decided: I’m going Primal!
TPB bases itself around the theory that humans have, through the rise of agriculture, removed most of the evolutionary pressures on themselves. Once the need to be extremely fit (in an evolutionary sense) in order to get enough food was more or less removed some 10000 years ago, our evolution has slowed down to a crawl. With the relative abundance of food available once we started herding animals and, above all, growing grains, if you can reach puberty you can procreate. This has lead to most modern humans eating a diet, and living a life, that we’re not evolved for. TPB aims to change that. Through 10 simple laws it tries to help you live closer to what your body is built for, and thus be fitter and feel more content. Mark Sisson, the author, bases his theories on diet, workout and lifestyle on medical and other research as well as his own experience, a mix that is very convincing to me. I geek out over the scientific stuff, and the personal experiences of both him and other readers of the site are enough “anecdotal” proof for me.
So for two weeks now, I’ve been trying to live primally. And let me tell you, it’s… really easy and comfortable. I’ve cut all grains and refined sugar from my diet, living on delicious meat, vegetables, fruit and berries. I walk to work, or into town along the river, do a few bodyweight exercises and a sprint now and again, and try to be outside to catch all the sun I can. And I’ve done my best to regulate my sleeping patterns. Not easy for a gamer, geek and developer rolled into the package that is me…
The new way of life has already done wonders for my metabolism and digestion. I’ve gone from being exhausted if I skip a single meal, to sometimes forgetting to eat lunch because my energy level stays so constant throughout the day. And almost all of the trouble I’ve had with my digestion, that no doctor could figure out despite mountains of tests, has just disappeared. Even the sugar cravings have all but gone.
I also love the exercise, never thought that would happen. But walking a lot is no problem and has become really enjoyable, and even though I’m a bit sore from lifting heavy things yesterday my body feels great. I’ve decided on two goals with the exercise, really:
- I want to be fit enough to do just about anything. Functional fitness, I believe people are calling it. I want to have the strength, agility, energy and endurance to be able to try any challenge thrown at me. Once the snowboard season starts up I want be out playing in the snow as much as I can, and I’m looking forward to starting my second season on a longboard this spring, hopefully fitter than I’ve been in a long time.
- LGN, or Looking Good Naked. I want to see myself in the mirror and not wonder why my girl wants me. (Oh, ok… I’ll probably still wonder, but at least my body won’t be what I’m wondering about.) It might sound a little vain. Hell, it is. But I don’t think there’s anyone out there that doesn’t, at some level, want to look their best. I definitely intend to look my best.
I’ll try to update this blog once a week or so with my progress with this. It’ll be fun for me to look back and see where I started and my ups and downs with this. Right now I’m really having fun thinking up recipes on the fly for dinners that don’t involve rice or potatoes (OK, there is the occasional potato, but only because I love potatoes…). I still have my “beer belly”, my push-up and squat counts are abysmal and I can barely hold a plank without shaking like a plateful of jelly, but hopefully that will change with time now that I’ve Gone Primal. UGH!