10 Primal Choices You Can Make Right Now

10 Primal Choices You Can Make Right Now header

Starting a diet, trying to lose weight or going primal doesn’t need to be complicated. It can be daunting to do this at first but really changing your lifestyle begins with little choices we make here and there. That’s why I put together this list of 10 primal choices you can make right now so that you can understand that going primal, or getting healthy, doesn’t need to consist of making your own broccoli sprouts or locating a local farmer that sells grass fed and finished beef or walking into a gym and using every piece of equipment. Primal is more than food choices, it effects choices we make all day long. So read below and check out how you can start and finish your day by making just a few primal choices.

1. Go to bed earlier

This is a must for anyone seeking to live a healthier life. Sleep is so important and many studies are coming out now showing just how important sleep is. You should be getting 7–9 hours of sleep each night. This will help set your circadian rhythm and get things back on track. Sleep should be our number one priority.

2. Drink black coffee

As your day goes on feel free to start with some coffee, but hold the sugar, cream, butter blah blah. Just drink black coffee. Coffee already has a ton of health benefits and we don’t need to start out our day with a huge blood sugar spike. If all you drink is black coffee in the morning this will help curb hunger and allow you to extend the fast from your sleep the night before.

3. Skip breakfast

For years we’ve been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day or that we need to eat a bunch of small meals throughout the day. That’s just simply not true. Many studies are coming out now indicating that a compressed eating window is better for us. Eating a couple large meals in a span of 8–10 hours. So if you get in the routine of skipping breakfast, or just eating breakfast type foods, later in the day – that would be a great choice for you.

4. Eat simple meals

Going primal and getting healthy does not need to be complicated. Eat real whole food and avoid packaged stuff. It’s better for you and probably cheaper that way. Think eggs, butter and bacon – or salad, olive oil and tuna – or steak and roasted broccoli. All of those can be cooked up or put together so quick and requires very little thought. Keep things simple and buy whole foods and ditch recipes if you have to.

5. Get in the sun

This is another one that the world tells you to avoid. They say stay out of the sun or use sunscreen at all costs. This is ridiculous because we need sun, we need vitamin d. The Vitamin D Council suggests that we have a Vitamin D level of 40–80 ng/ml or higher. If you haven’t had your Vitamin D levels checked you should because Vitamin D is important for so many things and we can supplement it but the sun is free and you get a nice tan doing it. If you’re concerned about getting burned, just go inside or cover up with an SPF shirt like this.

6. Eat a handful of nuts

If you’re getting hungry but don’t feel like a full meal, just grab a handful of nuts. It’s the natural “fat bomb”. I typically prefer macadamia nuts or brazil nuts, but the choice is up to you. Just try not to eat the whole bag. Eat a handful or two – drink some water – wait a few minutes and see if you’re still hungry. Handful after handful of nuts are still a ton of calories so be careful not to go overboard.

7. Cook big chunks of meat

Lets face it – chicken breasts suck. They’re dry, lean and really boring. Stick with eating the best quality meat you can afford, but prioritize big chunks of meat that have fat and cartilage and bones. Big chunks of meat will fill you up and provide you with plenty of food for leftovers or for when you need a snack. I prefer pork shoulder and cooking it in my instant pot. I can get a good 3–4 days of meals out of that.

8. Trash seed oils and use butter and olive oil

A simple way to get healthier and primal is to throw out all you’re fake fats in your pantry. Canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil, etc… and use butter or extra virgin olive oil instead. Industrial seed oils are terrible for your health and we would all be better off not consuming any of them. We have been told that saturated fat is bad but recent studies have shown that to be false once again. Seed oils are polyunsaturated fats which have more of a propensity for oxidation unlike saturated fats. Read more about it here, but tl;dr saturated fat good – polyunsaturated fat bad.

9. Turn on night shift

All that blue light from your phone and computer screen is messing up your circadian rhythm. You need to turn on night shift on your phone if you have it, or some equivalent feature that adds more yellow light back in your display as the night goes on. If you don’t do this and you let the blue light keep hitting your face and eyes from your phone and computer you’re telling your body it’s high noon and day time.

10. Use essential oils

Cutting out toxins is always a good thing. And better immunity is always a major plus! No one likes being sick. We use essential oils a lot in our home, not just any essential oils but specifically doTERRA! Because of their purity and potency they can actually be used for health benefits. We turn to OnGuard + soft gels at the first sign of germs. We turn to our oils for pain, energy, gut health and cleaning too. We diffuse lavender and serenity in the evening to calm down and help us reach those early bedtime goals also. If you take the natural lifestyle leap, a starter set is the best value – here are the doTERRA starter sets

That’s it folks. I hope these 10 ideas can help you progress throughout your day and make little choices to becoming more healthy and more primal. Let me know if you have any more ideas in the comments below. Take care!

Vitamins & Supplements

Vitamins & Supplements

Do hunter gatherers take supplements? Probably not. Why? Well, they don’t have access to amazon.com. Just kidding, that’s not why they don’t need supplements. A hunter gatherer lifestyle naturally consists of all the things a body needs: antioxidants, proper omega 3 to omega 6 ratio, good bacteria in the gut, mineral water, ample amounts of protein and plenty of sunlight.

Since I live in a box, drive in a box on wheels, to work in a box – all to just return to my box and to pay for my box. Getting all the things listed above is pretty difficult – even when you’re eating healthy and exercising. So, my family and I use certain staple supplements to offset the fact that I can’t hunt all day and eat local gathered fruits and vegetables all day. Below are the staples that we include in our diet and these are just suggestions so be sure to consult your doctor before taking any of these, especially if you’re pregnant (which my wife is but we chose to ignore the doctor regarding our 5000 IU intake of Vitamin D).

1. Multivitamin

There has been a lot of stuff in the news about how multivitamins have been shown to be useless or not that beneficial. The study they cite is normally using this data, but that same data was used in another study and found that multivitamins help to prevent cancer in men. Without going too much into it, I still take a high quality multivitamin and my wife takes a high quality prenatal vitamin. Sure, the best way to get all these vitamins is from real food which we try to do, but we can’t always get these in our diet daily – so for that reason we use a multivitamin.
Buy – Rainbow Light Multivitamin

2. Vitamin D

You’re probably Vitamin D deficient. That’s just the reality. We don’t spend as much time in the sun as we need to. If you’re unsure or want to check you can go to your doctor and ask for your 25(OH)D levels tested. The first time I got my test I was just barely in the range of not being deficient (36 ng/mL), and I was already making an attempt to get in the sun more. I then realized that I needed to supplement vitamin D orally to get my levels higher. Sure you can get vitamin D from fish, pastured eggs and raw milk – but it’s still not enough. You need sun to have your body synthesize the vitamin or you take a supplement. I now take 5000 IU daily, as does my pregnant wife, and my levels are now at 74 ng/mL. The Vitamin D Council recommends a range between 50 – 80 ng/ml, therefore I aim for that.
Buy – NOW Foods Vitamin D3 5000 IU

3. Fish Oil

This one isn’t really controversial. We all should be taking fish oil, it’s even one that my pregnant wife’s doctors are ok telling her to take in high doses. Fish oil is important because we should be shooting for an omega3/6 ratio of 1:1. That ratio gets thrown off from things like industrial seed oils and grain fed cattle. That’s why we should be cooking in butter, coconut oil, lard, olive oil, etc… and consuming grass fed meats. The standard american diet’s omega 3/6 ratio is about 1:30! Getting our ratio to 1:1 is pretty difficult but worth it as it reduces overall inflammation, reduces our risk of cancer, lowers our risk for heart disease and many other health benefits that you can google. How much do we need? Mark Sisson suggests that 1–3 grams of fish oil each day is a good way to restore balance.
Buy – Now Foods Ultra Omega 3

4. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is good for boosting your immune system, therefore when I feel like I’m getting sick I take a good amount of vitamin C (2000IU). To keep my immune system boosted, I normally take a slow release 1000IU every day. According to this cancer.gov site there have been lab studies that have shown that high doses of vitamin C may slow the growth and spread of prostate, pancreatic, liver, colon, and other types of cancer cells. Granted those higher doses of vitamin C are way beyond 2000 IU, they’re administered through IV and in the 100,000 IU range. Nevertheless vitamin c is a powerful vitamin that I find essential for my health.
Buy – NOW Foods Vitamin C-1000

5. Probiotics

Maintaining gut flora is essential for health. Now I could get the proper bacteria in my gut by eating dirt but that’s not really an option. I’m never really around dirt to get the benefits of good bacteria present in the dirt and I’m normally around Purell dispensers and antibacterial soap all day. For that reason I take a probiotic supplement daily. Sure you could get some good bacteria from some yogurt, kefir or kombucha but I like to get a good amount of bacteria in my gut from a probiotic supplement to counterbalance the 20 trillion colony forming units (CFU). The probiotic I take is about 25 billion CFU which is only a fraction of what’s already in the gut but it sure is better than the measly 1 billion CFU in the one you probably see on TV most often.
Buy – NOW Foods Probiotic-10 25 Billion

6. Mineral Drops

The purified water we drink typically has the minerals removed. Especially the water from the tap or refrigerator. Therefore I find it essential to add back in the minerals with these drops. I think it makes the water even taste better but you also get the benefit of adding back in the minerals that they normally take out. Things like calcium in drinking water have been associated with reduced risks of kidney cancer. Once again it would be ideal to get these trace minerals from inadvertently consuming dirt from foraging or something, but the produce in my grocery store is sparkling clean. However when I do use herbs from my garden I tend to leave some dirt on there just for good measure.
Buy – Trace Minerals

7. Protein Powder

This one is something the whole family uses and comes in real handy for our almost 2yr old daughter. She needs protein but she really only likes chicken and I can only eat so much chicken before I go crazy. Therefore we have been making this chia flax pudding for her that I wrote about here and we add in Primal Fuel. Primal Fuel is great because it has protein and fat. If you just pick up some other whey protein powder it’s most likely got a bunch of other junk in it and probably “low fat”. Whey protein is a great way to add extra protein in your diet and it’s animal based protein therefore it has a higher bioavailability than say pea protein or brown rice protein. If whey doesn’t work for you, you can always use cricket flour.
Buy – Primal Fuel

The 7 vitamins & supplements listed above are just some ways our family makes up for the fact that we can’t hunt and gather all day and be truly primal 24/7. These things help us get one step closer to living a more primal healthy life. What are some other vitamins and supplements you or your family use to close that primal/modern world gap?

7 Lessons Learned: Eating Primal during your lunch hour

7 Lessons Learned: Eating Primal during your lunch hour

Do you have a hard time staying consistent with eating Primal during you lunch hour? Consistency is the key word here. So often my buddies or coworkers talk about how they’ve gone primal but so often fall off of it because grabbing a burger is that much easier (and sometimes tastier) than a salad. Bleh.

Eat Simple Salads

There’s nothing wrong with eating a big salad every day. The key that I’ve learned is to keep the salad simple. Buying a big box of salad and throwing it together with seeds or nuts every morning before work is what works best. Don’t wear yourself out with trying to do some new extravagant salad every single day. Every once in awhile is ok, but we are shooting for consistency.

Use a dressing that’s nutritious and delicious

This probably should be the first tip because it seems to be the one that that trips up all of us. Salads are so boring if they don’t have a good dressing. But the problem is, all salad dressings in the stores are made with soybean oil or canola oil. Not nutritious. Not to mention they are filled with copious amounts of sugar or high fructose corn syrup. The key here is that you need a dressing that will fill you up, i.e. good fats, i.e. olive oil. Now, you can go the route of making your own dressing every week. Nothing wrong with that. If you’re not into that however I suggest you check out Tessemaes salad dressings. They will make your daily salads nutritious and delicious. You no longer will have to compromise on nutrition or taste. If you want to keep it even simpler: Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar goes a long way.

Find an easy protein you love

I would go insane if I ate skinless chicken breasts every day. One thing I’ve learned is that having an easy protein option at lunch is key to succeeding at staying consistent with going Primal during your lunch hour. An easy protein for me are cans of tuna, salmon or sardines. These are quick sources of protein, they taste good, they’re very nutritious and they are relatively cheap too. At first sardines sounded so gross to me to eat straight out of the can, but after I tried it a few times I got hooked. You may need to step out of your comfort zone on this one to find an easy protein source you love. But remember the goal is consistency.

Think leftovers

Cook extra food for dinner throughout the week. That way you have an abundance of leftovers to take to work the next day. This especially comes in handy when you’re tired of salads and tired of an easy protein source you love.

Find a park near your work to eat outside

Ever think it’s weird that we (people with desk jobs) drive from one box to another box inside a box just to stare at a box? The reality is we spend too much time inside boxes. Get outside the box during your lunch hour. Sit in the sun. Synthesize some Vitamin D. Eat your salad. Maybe grab a couple buddies to play frisbee or try to see who can climb a tree the fastest. Whatever you do during your lunch hour, make sure you get away from your desk and get your skin in the sun.

Don’t freak out when your coworkers want to go to a restaurant/fast food place

This one is where people put an end to going Primal. Claiming it’s to hard to stay Primal throughout the week at work. But check this out, you have two options when you commit to eating out with your coworkers. Take it as a day where you eat whatever you want or do your best to eat Primal. If you eat one off meal you’re not going to be unhealthy, just as one healthy meal doesn’t make you healthy. If you choose to still stay Primal, that can be an option too. What does that look like exactly? Depending on the restaurant you go to most places have fancy salads, just stay away from the dressings and ask for (olive) oil and vinegar. Or get a lettuce wrapped burger and honey sriracha brussels sprouts.

Don’t let perfection get in the way of good

You may not eat Primal all day everyday. Don’t let that stress you out. Shoot for perfect but just know along the way, throughout the week, things might get complicated. Just accept it and move along and pick it up the next meal or the next day. The very fact that you’re thinking about eating Primal and moving more puts you miles ahead of the rest of the population.