Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Primal Blueprint

I just finished reading Mark Sisson’s two books, “The Primal Blueprint” and “The Primal Blueprint Cookbook.” I stumbled across these at Amazon and found that my public library had just ordered them. I’ll cut to the chase: I loved these books and have been inspired to make some radical lifestyle changes.

My doctor had recommended the paleo diet to me four years ago, and at first I expected the Primal Blueprint to be a simple rehash of those ideas. It’s true that the Primal Blueprint closely resembles the paleo diet, but it offers more and addresses some of the problems I had with the paleo diet.

The best overview of what the Primal Blueprint is about is available in this post at Mark’s website.

Mark Sisson advocates a number of things that already been kicking around in my head. Here are a few points that I had already sensed were true, and Mark hammered them home:

  • if you’re eating the right foods, there is no need to count calories.
  • your body will tell you when to drink water, so you needn’t robotically consume eight glasses a day.
  • some people are adapted to digest dairy products. If you are one of these, and you have access to high-quality sources of dairy, these are good foods.
  • fat is not the enemy. If you are eating whole, unprocessed food, the fat is a great benefit.
  • you cannot leave your life and your health in the hands of Big Pharma and Big Agra.
  • body composition is more important to your health than your weight.

I loved the information about the importance of insulin and how the Standard American Diet overburdens our insulin response. The culprits are (refined) sugar and grain, which were not foods that were ever available to people before the advent of agriculture.

Mark’s program doesn’t only deal with diet, but describes a whole spectrum of lifestyle choices, like making sure you get enough sleep, and getting regular exposure to the sun.

As of yesterday, I am giving up refined sugar and grain. To the extent that I can, I am also giving up factory farming, especially grain-fed, confinement meat operations. Although these are not easy rules to follow, I am confident they’re in the best interest of my energy, health, vitality, and longevity.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

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