Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ground Rules

Tomorrow, I begin my re-evolution to a primal lifestyle. I'm not going to start sleeping outside and wearing leaves; no one wants to see that. I will be changing my eating habits to only consume whole, natural foods with minimal processing. I will be eliminating foods that contain the bane of modern health, refined carbohydrates (aka sugar and flour).

What this means is lots of protein and fat. A good steak is ok, but a juicy slice of untrimmed tri-tip with plenty of marbleized fat is even better. I would like to say that I will only be eating free range, grass-fed beef, pork, and poultry, but there is no way I can afford that lifestyle on my budget. For now, I will have to look for the best quality protein I can afford on my budget and hope that the changes I am making to my diet are sufficient.

Additionally, I am going to try to stay active. I am not talking about going into chronic cardio overload. I am going to keep myself moving around for as much as the day as possible at a reasonable pace. Throw in some brief moments of furious activity, possibly chasing after a two year old, and you have a head start on maintaining an active metabolism.

To begin with, I plan on using the concept of a 30 day challenge. I am setting a goal of living by these rules for 30 days. I will act "as if" I really am a determined individual with an iron-will to succeed. I'm sure my wife would be completely floored by my sudden change in personality if this actually happens, but it's part of my goal.

To do so, I feel I need to establish some ground rules for myself.

  1. No sugar. This is the most important rule. No soda, no juice, no candy, no cookies, no cake, etc.
  2. No grains. This is secondary to sugar, but should almost be the same rule. Grains and especially wheat are simply not necessary for survival. They require too much processing to be considered a natural food. "Complex carbohydrates" is a fancy way of saying "these break down into sugar and trigger an insulin response."
  3. Move around a little every day. This one is going to be tough, but I was the most healthy when I was in Army Basic Training. I had no control over what I was eating, yet I was able to drop 60 lbs. and feel great. I believe one of the primary causes for my weight loss was just being on the move constantly. I have to sit to do my job, but the rest of the day needs to be spent moving and doing something.
  4. Move really fast every once in a while. This means I will be including sprints into my routine when the situation warrants. Once, maybe twice, a week is sufficient.
  5. Lift heavy things. Right now, this means me. I can get a good strength training workout just utilizing bodyweight exercises. I will work on something every day (push-ups, squats, bridges, step-ups, pull-ups, etc.). Patterns and routines are for civilized folk.

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