Sunday, May 22, 2011 Post By: Grayne Wetzky

10 things you can do today to start your primal journey

Going primal is a great way to reclaim your health, feel good, drop weight (or add weight if that is your goal) and take control of an important part of your life. It all sounds like the greatest thing since sliced bread (as it turns out sliced bread really isn't that great), but how do you get started?

Making a big change in lifestyle is challenging, it requires a lot of dedication and commitment, but most of all it needs to spring from a true desire to change. Still, with all of these factors in place, it's still all to easy to put things off and never really get started.

If you are interested in starting a primal journey of greater health, here are 10 things you can do right now to get under way.

Food raid
Eating primal comes with a few important restrictions. Despite the best of intentions there will be times when you really want a bag of chips or a bowl of ice cream. While the occasional indulgence is not going to derail your new plan, it's all to easy for these cheats to become more and more frequent until you have slid back into the eating habits you want to change.

The best way to curb these moments of weakness is to make them that much harder to do. Minimize your cheating by getting rid of all the food in your house you no longer will eat. Throw out or donate your candy, ice cream, crackers, pastries, breads, cereals and boxed snacks of all sorts. Cleaning out your pantry can be done right now.

If you will be living in a 'divided household' where not everyone will go primal, keep the non primal fares completely separated from the food you will be eating.

Make a meal plan
Planning ahead is the secret super weapon against slip-ups, not just on your primal journey, but for almost anything you set out to accomplish. Going into what will essentially be a full lifestyle change without a solid plan is stacking the deck against yourself.

Your first meal plan should be very detailed and completely primal. Go down the primal food list and pick ingredients that you find appealing and put together a full weeks meal plan. Make sure you plan out every single meal for the entire week down to acceptable snacks if you think you will need that.

Make your list simple, resist the urge to go all out with fancy primal recipes you have found. Making your list basic will make it much likelier that you will stick with the plan.

When you have a solid meal plan in place, stick with it for a few weeks. This gets you into the right habits, will give amazing health results, and will give you a feel for what primal eating is about. Once you've got your plan down pat you can start experimenting more with recipes and ingredients.

Sign up for Fit Day is free and fantastic. Add the foods you eat during the days to make sure it falls within the goals you have for your meal composition. The website will give you a very clear view of what nutrients you are eating, how much of your calories come from fat, proteins and carbohydrates, and maybe the best feature of all: A full breakdown of all the micro nutrients in your food.

Do push ups
While diet is the major step most people take in their primal journey, getting exercise is an important part of a healthy body as well. Getting the motivation to start exercising can be though for many though, but it doesn't have to. Too many people think of exercise as a pain and a chore. If you think the only way to get good exercise is to go to a gym and run on a treadmill for hours, then exesice wouød indeed by a chore. However, there are a lot more effective ways to get fit.

You can get all the exercise you need easily and for free at home. Start by some simple body weight exercises like push ups and squats. Do as many repetitions as you can and you are already way ahead of doing nothing. Add a pull up bar and take a short walk daily and you have a perfect starting point.

Get some sun
The sun is not as dangerous as many will have you believe. If it's a sunny day, get outside and get some sunbathing in. It's healthy and relaxing and comes with the nice benefit of giving you a nice natural tan.

Go outside and play
Modern man does not nearly play enough. In our civilized culture it is considered childish and insincere for adults to play. This is a narrow mindset that does nothing but constrict our creativity and well being. Instead, forget what the conventions tell you and embrace our playful nature.

Pick up a sport you like, go exploring in the backyard with your kids. See how long you can balance on top of the fence in the front yard, climb a tree or play some tag. Just get yourself moving and having fun. If you can do it outside all the better.

Playing is more than just a great way to get some 'free' movement and fun in your life, it also stimulates your creativity, helps build social bonds and is a great way to connect with nature for stress relief and calmness of mind.

Stand up
One of the high risk behaviors most of us partake in without realizing how harmful it is is sitting. Humans sit way too much these days. 8 hours straight at the office, only to sit in a car all the way home, sit down for some food and a few hours of TV or Facebook before bed.

Sitting is not great for our bodies and it can actually have some serious health effects. Most people have heard about the dangers of sitting still on long flights. It's not any better sitting down all day for work.

Luckily, this is problem that is very easy to fix. Just stand up more. If you can get a stand up desk at work, that is great, but making sure to take a break every hour, take a stroll for some coffee or water is better than oversitting. At home it's even easier to get on your feet. Don't sit down while watching TV, do some squats or other exercises instead, or just stand around and weird out your house mates if that is your thing. Also, try to go for at least a short walk every day.

Join a CSA
One of the key elements of going primal is to replace unhealthy refined carbohydrates with more natural sources. Most of your carbohydrates should come from vegetables. A great way of
taking the hassle out of your vegetable shopping is to join a CSA (community supported agriculture).

Most CSA will provide a great selection of supremely fresh seasonal produce. In addition you get the extra benefit of knowing you are supporting a local farm, you have a closer connection to your food source and you are supporting a more sustainable agricultural model.

Find a farmers market
If you don't want to commit to weekly vegetable packs from a CSA you can still support your local farmers by finding a local farmers market. The increased awareness of food quality has made farmers markets more popular and you should have no problem finding a few local markets or produce stands.

Find a grass fed beef provider
Eating primal means eating meat. While eating meat from your local grocery store is better than eating donuts, the best meat for your body will be grass fed. The meat from naturally raised animals has a healthier nutrient profile than factory raised animals, is not treated with the same amount of antibiotics, and is raised under much more ethically agreeable conditions of that is a factor to you.
Grass fed beef is more expensive than conventional beef, but here as everywhere in life you get what you pay for. It is better to reduce the amount of meat you eat to make room in your budget for higher quality meats.

You can find a great list of grass fed beef suppliers here.

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