Know Thyself, Heal the World, Sing Songs, Smoke Pot.

The best side-benefit of the Paleo/Primal lifestyle is the constant, gentle, inevitable nudging toward a life of greater thoughtfulness. The SAD pushers, the low-fat freaks, the whole-grain garbagemen – the Miss Trunchbulls of the School of Fake Food –  set the stage for years of disconnection from my food, my nourishment, and my place in this world; and living TTP (Thoughtfully Through Primalocity) changed that for me.

Yes, Miss Trunchbull!

I didn’t even know there was a such thing as a “Grass-Fed Cow” until around the time I began working out with Coach Rut. Primal? Paleo? Ass? Elbow?

The great thing is, you can’t un-know something like that. Once you’re introduced to a way of eating that’s more than a Diet, and the furthest thing from a skewed morality play (Veganism), you free up that brain-space for actual, obsession-free, gratitude-filled, thoughtful living.

My breakthrough was realizing that I’m part of a perfectly orchestrated Plan. Humans deviate wildly and unknowingly from this central harmony, but it’s there, and bringing myself into alignment with it by nourishing myself properly bonded me to it. Call it Mother Nature, call it God, call it The Force, call it whatever you want. I call it appreciative living. It’s everything that unites us and I’m convinced “it” exists.

Just a quick side note: I own a few pieces of fine leather. I do not smell like marijuana or patchouli. I have several pairs of “skinny jeans” which I tuck into knee-high boots and I enjoy things like makeup, dresses, and being really, really, ridiculously good looking (that’s a movie quote, not narcissism). So no, I’m not a hippie – but yes, I believe there’s a beautiful and systematic interactivity in Nature that we’re well-served by tuning in to.

That's right. I live there.

So I’ve continued to learn and explore. I’ve learned so much from the ideas presented by the Paleo Science folks, the Primal types (this one too), and the Weston A. Price camp (I’m a member). I don’t agree with everything these people say, and I’m prepared to defend that. A few points I believe in that may not be at the top of the Paleo, Primal, or WAP lists:

1) I think food quality is critical to success. Nothing from a grocery store is going to nourish like something from a fully sustainable local farming operation. Sometimes it’s impossible to eat local/pastured and I respect that; but most of us can make the effort to seek out those resources. I’m encouraged to see the Paleo camp leaning purposefully in that direction. (More proof that Paleo + Weston A. Price = Power Rangers of the FoodPocalypse.)

Jennings Farm in Medford, NJ

2) I don’t think fish oil supplementation is a good strategy (I used to, but I don’t anymore) and short-term supplementation is only useful if you’ve got a plan in place for correcting your 3:6 situation through Real Food. I think many folks are too quick to prescribe too much Fish Oil.

3) I think raw milk products like ghee and yogurt are absolutely worth testing and incorporating into the modern diet. Yes, we are “human animals” and we can eat like we’re just hunting and gathering and fighting for life in the wild; but we’ve also honed the ability to think, love, appreciate and create. So nourishing, non-ancestral foods like raw full-fat dairy (if it’s legal in your state, try finding it here) are absolutely useful in a nourishing diet. The work of Weston A. Price convinced me of this. Many traditional, non-westernized cultures thrived because of the nutrients (namely, vitamin K2) they obtained from their animals. Once you’re sure you’re not sensitive to it (and you’re probably not), you should try it out.  You don’t have to like it and you don’t have to use it, but do NOT swear it off without giving it a try.

4) I don’t believe grains have any place in the modern diet, whether sprouted or not. There are no strains of grain left that aren’t hybridized, so there’s no way to replicate the grains of traditional diets with the options available today.

5) I think digestive aids (gut flora) are best obtained and maintained using real, fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and raw milk yogurt.

6) I think knowing where your ancestors “came from” is an invaluable way to tackle proper nutrition for you as an individual. There is no one-size-fits-all (Kitavans vs. Aborigines) but there is a framework (traditional/evolutionary) that’s appropriate for everyone.

7) There are a few tweaks you can make to your food plan depending on your goals – whether they be weight loss/gain, athletic performance, or treatment of psychological syndromes. All of these can be accomplished with a nourishing, quality-conscious, traditional-foods type diet.

I use the word “nourishing” a lot. Because without an eye for what’s making us more fulfilled, more grateful, more connected to our world and our bodies, we’re just dieting. We’ve got to build our intuition, our self-respect, and our connection to ourselves and the world – starting with our food.

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9 Responses to “Know Thyself, Heal the World, Sing Songs, Smoke Pot.”

  1. Amen sister! I must remember to link to this post when I ‘come out’ next month. Perfectly perfectly said. Although I live in WAY northern CA and I grew up in the 70s so there’s really no arguing that I AM somewhat of a hippie 😉 but still and all; we’re doing the right thing. Thanks for the great and thoughtful post.

  2. I wonder how many people will pick up on the writing genius you threw in there with the “really really good looking” bit. Blue steel, baby.

    I love this post.

    YAY DAIRY!

    Um, what? Who said that?

    GIVE ME CHEESE OR GIVE ME DEATH!

  3. I picked up on the “z” joke. Made me smirk. 😉

    Thanks for this post. I love the concept of TTP.

    Rock those knee-high boots!! Woot!

  4. I know this is an older post, but I just want to say that you are the bomb.com! haha, but seriously. I’ve just started out in the Paleo/Primal/WAP way and your blog has definitely been a light for me (“recovering” almost-vegetarian). I’ve been reading all your old posts and wanted to comment on every one. I liked your line in this one, “So no, I’m not a hippie – but yes, I believe there’s a beautiful and systematic interactivity in Nature that we’re well-served by tuning in to.” Preach it, sista!

    I also started the OCM today. I’m excited to see how it goes. Anyway, just wanted to delurk and tell you that I really appreciate all of your knowledge that you graciously share on this here blog! 🙂

    • Wow, thank you so much! I needed this one today 🙂 If I may add one thing to the OCM, it’s to follow up by moisturizing with coconut oil (not that I don’t still love jojoba, but I’ve been putting a layer of CO on my face before bed and I wake up with the happiest skin). I need to update the OCM post with this data! Thanks for your comment and let me know if you come up with any OCM “tweaks” I need to know about!

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