Tuesday, September 6, 2011 Post By: Grayne Wetzky

Should you go primal?

I have been more or less primal for almost a full year. To me the principles of primal living have been more successful than any other lifestyle changes I have attempted. Be it low carb eating, calorie restriction, cardio workout or what have you. The simple natural approach that I have derived from the primal principles have resonated with me in ways other diets has not managed.

From my personal experience I am a great believer in the benefits of cutting out processed and junk food. I have experienced amazing improvement in my health since I committed to eating natural foods. I also firmly believe that most people would do very well on a diet that is closer to what our ancestors evolved on.

So all this means that everybody should convert to a primal lifestyle right? Not necessarily.

 I am convinced that eating fresh natural ingredients is better for virtually every single person on the planet. I realize that some people have medical conditions that require very specific diets, but for the average semi healthy person I don't think there is any better food than what can be found in nature.

My take on the primal philosophy is to eat only food where all the ingredients could have been found in the wild. That means cuts of meat and fish, vegetables and fruits and any combination I can think of of these components. I aim to eat lots of vegetables of various colors and don't shy away from animal products. When eating this way I find it easy to balance the nutrition I need and the whole lifestyle becomes easy to manage.

So why wouldn't everyone want to live like this? As healthy as I think primal living is, there's no denying that it is a restrictive diet. Before committing to the lifestyle it's important to weight the benefits against the drawbacks of the switch. If you see only a slight value in eating better, but would consider it a huge loss to not be able to eat ice cream it doesn't make sense to start a primal regiment.

Another thing to consider is that eating like the cavemen did means eating the meat of animals. If the concept of killing animals for food is against your personal ethics, primal is not the go to option. While I think that eating the meat of animals is essential for a balanced and healthy lifestyle, I also think it is as important to live in harmony with your own ethical guidelines. It is difficult but possible to live and thrive on a completely vegan diet. It requires more work to get all the nutrients you need, but that will be worth it for the chance to live in accordance with your own convictions.

At the end of the day, eating and living primal is just one of countless avenues towards better health. I have decided to go primal and it has paid of in ways I couldn't imagine. That doesn't mean that primal is the way for everybody else. The most important aspect of a lifestyle is that you are conscious of the style you choose.

If you decide that you derive so much happiness from eating anything you want and never exercising, than make that choice. Go through the benefits and drawbacks and make a clear decision of how you want to live. Never go half in when it comes to your lifestyle. Accept the drawbacks of whatever you chose and live your life consciously.

When you force yourself to make a specific choice about how you live your life, you can eliminate a tremendous amount of internal conflict. Instead of spending your days thinking that "I really shouldn't eat that donut" or "I'll go on the treadmill tomorrow", you will be able to own up to the choices you make. Your decisions should look more like this "I will eat this donut, I know it is not good for me, and that I will probably not feel very good in 20 minutes, but I chose to eat it anyway. I prefer the short term enjoyment of the donut over the long term problems it will cause". If you own up to the decisions you make in this way, you will save yourself a lot of self esteem crushing blame and regret.

So to answer the question, should you go primal? My answer is no, you 'should' not do anything. The key to improved health, physically or emotionally is to consider your many different options, make a decision and own it.

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