This information is based on the Mark Sisson Book – “Primal Blueprint” – I highly recommend everyone pick up a copy and my own personal experience.
I’ve been on and off the Primal/Paleo lifestyle for the last 8 years.In that time I’ve gone gradually begun to live more and more according to the principles of the Primal or Paleo way of living. These principles have helped me to have a framework to pull me out of the depth of feeling like I have no control over my body and my mind.
I struggle with several chronic autoimmune conditions and have an ileostomy and chronic pancreatits. So it has been a challenge to get a handle on all the different variables that play into exacerbating the chronic inflammation which I believe is at the heart of all the pain, fatigue and overall misery I experience when I’m not feeling well. The Primal/Paleo philosophy allows me to have a concrete system to focus on when it feels like everything else is falling apart.
To be honest the last time I got sick in May I was in survival mode. I was eating terribly. But once the horrific pain and fatigue began to subside a little bit I again started following more and more closely to the ten Primal Rules. As I’ve been able to recover from this latest small bowel obstruction and pancreatic attack I am eating and living more and more primally and I feel my strength, my mental well-being, my motivation and my desire to socialize improving.
I used to beat myself up when I couldn’t live 100% primally in the past and that would cause me to chuck the whole deal and start eating Chickfila again. And that’s why I’m writing this blog and sharing my experience. I firmly believe that making small healthier choices today will lead to a better tomorrow. This is what I believe and this is what gets me off the couch to cook when I want to go to curl up and be consumed by the pain and darkness of disease.
The Primal lifestyle isn’t all or nothing. It’s like everything else in life, it’s a continuum. We all can’t be out hunting and killing our own food, growing organic gardens in the backyard, raising our own chickens and pursuing our passions as work all at once. Each of us is on a different part of the Primal Lifestyle continuum.
But that is what is great about the Primal/Paleo lifestyle. It is extremely adaptable to each individual’s personal circumstance. I don’t advocate nor does Mark Sisson living in caves and getting rid of modern technology. On the contrary I look at the Primal Lifestyle as a tool. It is simply a set of rules that help me navigate the extremely confusing and complex world in which we live.
I’m not 100% Primal. I still take opioid pain medicine for chronic pain, I still go to the hospital when I have a small bowel blockage and I still binge watch way too much on Netflix and eat stuff that’s not on the Primal list. But I’ve made tremendous changes in my diet and lifestyle in the last eight years and it all began with these ten simple rules. I am grateful for all the pioneers and those who continue to work to get the word out about this lifestyle.
Here are the Ten Rules for Living Primally by Mark Sission:
#1 Eat Plants and Animals
#2 Avoid Poisonous Things
#3 Move Frequently at a Slow Pace
#4 Lift Heavy Things
#5 Sprint Once in a While
#6 Get Adequate Sleep
#8 Get Adequate Sunlight
#9 Avoid Stupid Mistakes
#10 Use Your Brain
As you can see these are extremely simple. I read somewhere that a good book should remind you of what you already know. This is the stuff that most of us deep down know to be the right thing to do to live a healthier today.
I would also add two other rules for me. Mark does mention socialization and its importance under play and in other places in his many books and talks. Socialization makes a huge difference in my life. When I’m sick and feel horrific I want to just hide from the world. It feels like every social interaction will add pain and obligation on my system which is already weak pain riddled and extremely taxed.
Face to face socialization makes me feel better. It is important for me to share a positive reality with someone I care about. Seeing them smile when I walk in the room or when they give me a hug I feel reconnected to reality. The pain and fatigue are still there but the perception of them takes less of a priority.
The other rule I’d add is Organization. Organize mental internal environment and my physical environment help me feel better. This is a huge struggle for me. I’ve used my illness, chronic pain and overall misery to avoid organizing my life in many ways. I always felt why did it matter? I was just going to get sick again and it would be all be terrible mess again. But the pain will lesson, I’ll become more motivated, I’ll find a purpose, and I’ll endure the misery and commit, at least today accomplish something besides just existing one day. Being organized helps greatly with this process.
I will elaborate more about what I’ve found to be helpful and to be as honest as possible about my struggles. The main purpose of this blog and the classes and meet ups I want to hold is to create a “tribe” of Primally minded individuals who can share their story, offer others support and learn about different ways people have found to live better. I’ll also be writing a separate blog post for these rules and others I’ve found helpful with my autoimmune odyssey.
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