Lifestyle

Never Too Late to Make a Change

Ticking ClockI have come across a number of people in my life whose weight problems are a very real threat on their health and lifespan. Some of these people have chosen to make a change in their lives and make extreme efforts to improve their health. Other people have not changed their lifestyle choices and continued to get heavier, sicker, and more lodged into their ways. I do not know the specific circumstances each of these people are in, but what I do know is that there is never a good reason to continue in an unhealthy.

I know a woman who for many years was around 200 pounds overweight. She had been in the same downward path for over ten years and made the choice to change her life, even knowing that she the journey would not be short or easy. She has worked through emotional trauma, changed her diet, and started going to a local Crossfit gym. She has taken her health and her future in her own hands.

I view this woman as an inspiration.  She has taken enormous strides in changing her life and has regained her health. She has likely lengthened her lifespan, which is very important to her now as a grandmother. She is happier, lighter, and continues to pursue healthy lifestyle choices.

Taking care of yourself should be first priority. Life can get busy, and hard, and circumstances can change… but if you do not take care of yourself, you will not be able to enjoy that life. It is never too late to make a change in your life… the benefits are worth it.

The first step is education. Look around this site to learn about basic nutritional guidelines and healthy lifestyle tips. Start cutting unhealthy items like breads, pastas, and sodas out of your diet and getting more meats, fruits, and veggies in your meals.

Start being physically active every day. Taking a 5-10 minute walk each day around your neighborhood is a great way to start if you are not currently very active. Once you feel comfortable with that, try doing some sit-ups and wall-pushups every other day. Eventually get yourself into a good gym where you can take classes and get guidance on the healthiest way for you work out.

Focus on yourself, reducing stress, and making healthy choices. Don’t delay in your decision to make these positive changes – you could save your own life doing so.

3 R’s: Rest, Recovery, Refueling

Are you thinking, “I wanna get fast. I wanna get fit. I wanna get strong.”?  You start training day-in and day-out. Whatever your training method is, you hit it hard. You work and work and work but you never see the results you want. One of the biggest contributing factors to this is you are not resting, recovering and/or refueling well enough.

Rest is essential to gaining strength and endurance. Your muscular, nervous, and endocrine (hormonal) systems need the time to recharge their batteries, and rest is the best way to do that. Your muscles only rebuild and get stronger on your rest days. It takes 24-48 hours for our muscles to repair themselves. Our nervous system can get fatigued by over training. Only when we rest does our nervous system have a chance to “reset.” The hormones released during training, like endorphins and cortisol, are needed for a successful training session, but without the proper rest and relaxation, these hormones continue to be released, never allowing the body to return to homeostasis. Rest can consist of taking a day off from training, sleeping, or just a low impact day like taking the dog for a walk.

Recovery is often related to rest, but looks a little different. Here, we want to do the proper things to recover the muscles (and our mind) from out training sessions. Most of the time, this means stretching, doing tissue work such as self-myofacial release with a lacrosse ball or PVC pipe, or getting a massage. We always hear that you shouldn’t just lift heavy, train hard, and then go about your business. This is very true. Your body needs some “down time” before going back to your every day business. Try spending 5-10 minutes post-workout stretching, lying in “corpse pose” (flat on your back, arms by your side, palms up, heels touching but feet relaxed), or schedule a regular massage session with a therapist who knows your sport. The body needs recovery to prevent getting overly sore, tight or immobile.

Refueling… I can’t tell you how many times people fail to do this right. After a workout, our bodies are craving protein to rebuild muscles, and quick! Refueling with a small amount of clean food within 30 minutes of finishing your workout will do wonders for your training gains. We are talking primal here so when we talk about refueling post-workout we typically aren’t talking a protein shake with lots of milk or whey, and definitely not soy. The best source of refueling you can find is a great mix of lean, clean meat (turkey, roast beef, burger patty etc.) and a small amount of sweet potatoes. Mixing the sweet potatoes with a little bit of unsweetened applesauce is super yummy. There are some cases where no fuel post-workout can be considered but start with this first and see how you feel.

If you are looking for some gains in your training, especially if you have hit a plateau, remember the 3 R’s and you will see progress faster than you imagine. Rest, Recovery, and Refueling are essential pieces to proper training methods and achieving your fitness goals.

New Year Goals

2012

Happy New Year everyone! Welcome back to work, school, life… and most likely your diet, too.

We have some exciting news: more people have downloaded our Free Paleo Meal Plan in the first few days of this year than ever before! What this tells us is that a lot of people are including dietary changes in their New Year Resolutions. How great!

It’s a new year and the perfect time decide for yourself what you want to include in your health goals for 2012. You have 360 more days in the year to make your goals become reality, and we are here to help you do so.

Some of our own New Year Resolutions are to post valuable content more frequently, improve our meal plan, and provide personalized support when needed. Because of these goals, don’t be surprised if there are updates and improvements to the site, as well as what we offer you!

Let’s start off the year right by asking you right now, WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP YOU REACH YOUR HEALTH GOALS?

Let us know by commenting on this blog post, or sending us an email using the Contact form on the left of your screen.

Best of luck to all of your Primal Healthy Fitters, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Beware Cyber Monday!

Happy Cyber Monday, everyone!

Holiday Sale Tag

I must be really out of the loop, because despite being a bargain hunter, I had not heard of this “shopping holiday” until this year. Apparently a recent invention, Cyber Monday is becoming one of the biggest online shopping days of the year. Unlike Black Friday, you don’t have to deal with the disasters that usually accompany shopping this time of year because you can do everything from the comfort of your own home!

So what’s the bad part? This “shopping day” is provides one more easy way to rack up holiday debt. If you saved all of your holiday shopping until Black Friday or Cyber Monday or Whatever-Sale-It-Is Thursday, then you will most likely save money this holiday season, and good for you. However, saving money is poor consolation for going over budget.

If you still have people to buy gifts for, go ahead and check out the deals going on online today! But don’t get carried away- if you were planning on spending $20 on your 10-year-old nephew, don’t decide to spend $100 on a Nintendo DS because it’s on sale and you know he will love it. Here’s what I always have to remind myself: the person you are giving that gift to will never know which present they ALMOST got.

Why are we talking about holiday shopping and sales on a health and fitness blog? Because the more wrapped up we get in buying holiday gifts the further over budget we can slide; the further over budget we slide the tighter on money we are in the months to come; the tighter on money we are the more stress we have; the more stress we have the more damage we are causing to our health. The money decisions you are making now are determining your level of stress at the beginning of the new year, and hence determining your health!

On our Stress page, we talk about six main causes of stress and how today’s stressors are very different from the stressors our bodies genetically know how to handle. This holiday shopping topic would fall under the “Material Burdens” category. There is also information on how stress effects your health and how to reduce stress, but what is most important for you to understand TODAY, during the cyber sale of all cyber sales, is that by making smarter purchasing decisions TODAY, you can set yourself up for a new year with less stress, more happiness, and more health.

Our next blog will go more in-depth on holiday debt and ways to avoid it- look for it soon!

Sam’s Progress After 2 Weeks of Paleo

Sam at Work

Sam Jimenez is one of the four subscribers currently doing a 30-Day Paleo Challenge together, and gracious agreed to give us an interview yesterday, at the two-week mark of his challenge. His progress is incredible, and I am so excited to share them with all of you to inspire you to take the step back in time with your diet and try Paleo.

Start weight: 214 lbs

Weight after 2 weeks of Paleo: 204 lbs

Weight lost from 2 weeks of Paleo: 10 lbs

After three days of eating Paleo, Sam noticed he was waking up earlier than normal, without an alarm, and with energy! How many of you would like to sleep better after only three days of a diet change?!

Sam also had gastritis and the beginning of a peptic ulcer before starting Paleo, and says that he has had NO acid reflux, or any stomach pain or cramping since the first week! His frequent burping is also gone.

Sam with Pizza

The occasional cheat is OK!

Sam has not been a Paleo Angel, though. He has had three large cheats (ex: Pizza for dinner), and four small cheats (a couple of beers while watch the Marquez v. Pacquiao fight). This just goes to show you that you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to get all that junk out of your system MOST OF THE TIME.

Sam says that he still has cravings, but that they are not as desperate as he thought they would be. He did not remove all of the foods he cannot eat from his house before starting the challenge, so he stares at things like peanut butter (his guilty pleasure), and jelly beans on a daily basis. Despite “not usually having any will power,” Sam has refrained from snacking on these non-Paleo treats… quite a feat!

As for exercise, Sam has done around 30 minutes of cardio 3-5 times a week. We are still talking him into joining Chef Carlos for cross-training in the mornings ;)

The most exciting part is that yesterday his family came to visit him, and noticed that he looked different! Having someone notice a change is one of the most encouraging things that happens during the first few weeks of Paleo, and we are so happy that this happened to Sam so soon, especially from the people he loves most!

We asked Sam if he had any questions for us, and he had a good one:

What happens after the challenge?

We told him that just because the challenge ends doesn’t mean you’re done. It means you get to decide your own commitment level to the diet based on your lifestyle and your goals. However, as Sam’s ideal weight is 180 lbs, we encouraged him to try to stick with maximum two free meals a week. At this level of compliance, he should continue experiencing the same rate of weight loss and other health improvements that he is now, while being able to eat “a normal meal” every few days.

We are so excited to see Sam’s continued progress over the next couple of weeks, and will report back with his final testimonial and results after he completes his 30-Day Paleo Challenge!

Remember, we are a community here, and would love to support each and every one of you through starting Paleo. Feel free to post in the Forum or email us directly using the contact tab on the left of the screen.

Keep up the good work, everyone!

Damage from the Hurricane

Photo credit: Kriss Szkurlatowski at www.12frames.eu

If you have been watching the weather channel at all in the last two days you know that at one point Hurricane Rina was predicted to hit the Yucatan Peninsula at her strongest point. We are operated out of that area, so the last few days have been pretty crazy. Resorts and restaurants shut down and moved all of their equipment into safe storage. People put their storm shutters up or simply nailed plywood to the outside of their windows for protection. Everyone was getting very excited, and last-minute supplies were purchased for the day we expected to be stuck inside.

Well, Hurricane Rina turned into Tropical Storm Rina, and by the time she finally reached us, was no more than a lot of wind and some rain. Not having to deal with a hurricane was such a blessing, and saved all of the businesses here thousands of dollars each in damages. From what I can see, Rina caused no damage here to physical property. However, the storm did cause damage of another sort.

In preparation for the hurricane, I went to the store and bought supplies I needed like candles and matches. I also bought things I very much did not need, like Kraft Mac & Cheese (my #1 comfort food), Oreos, and Dos Equis. Why did I do this? Good question. I supposed I felt like this unusual circumstance (a hurricane) justified unusual action. Is it normal for me to buy candles and matches just in case my power dies on a normal evening? No. Is it normal for me to park myself in front of my TV and watch Pirates of the Caribbean until the power died? Ok, bad example… Is it normal for me to have Mac & Cheese and beer for dinner, followed by Oreos for dessert? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Facing an unusual situation, I made excuses to justify a bad dietary decision. I literally hurt my body by eating those things, especially in such excess. In the last blog I mentioned that I think it’s OK to cheat now and again. One thing I want to clarify though is that the danger of cheating is not necessarily a halt in your weight loss, although that is a result. The danger is that you are damaging your body, preventing it from functioning properly, and making it sick.

Unusual and uncomfortable circumstances often arise in our lives. If we use every instance of this as an excuse to “eat comfortably” and forget the importance of what we put in our body, we will be forever broken. So don’t do what I did when you face a hurricane (whether that means a big test, a stressful deadline at work, relationship problems, or any other situation that tests your resolve). Put things in your body that make you healthy and strong. That way, even in unusual or uncommon circumstances, you have the power to carry yourself through them.

:05

Were you able to do as I recommended in my last blog post and take 5 minutes for yourself one day?   It felt GREAT, didn’t it!?!   Who knew 5 minutes could make such a difference!

Why does 5 minutes help so much? In that 5 minutes you are creating a sacred space for YOU.  You are making a conscious choice to nurture yourself.  You are shutting out the noise of the world to hear your true voice.

What you hear, when you quietly listen, has many names:

  • Your inner voice
  • That still, small voice
  • Superconscious Mind
  • The Tao
  • Christ  Consciousness
  • Superego
  • Awareness
  • Angel messages
  • Infinite intelligence
  • Gut instinct
  • Divine Mind
  • Source
  • The heart of Buddha
  • The Universe
  • Truth
  • Your Higher Self

 

All of these names have meaning and value. They are man’s attempt to name the unnamable. To me, they all represent something greater than our human minds – something beyond the perception of our five human senses.  The vastness of what is available to us is powerful, indefinable and immeasurable and is ours to access whenever we want it or need it.

You tap into this vastness of peace and power through silence. You can try your hardest to listen, but you must quiet your human mind to actually hear it! In Matthew, it says to go into the closet and shut the door. You have to shut out the busyness and noise of everyday life to really hear.

How do you get to that silent place?  You start by making a conscious choice to silence your mind, the human brain part.  You breathe. You Take 5.  You commit 5 minutes to shutting down your monkey mind and sitting in silence.

Do it.  Sit in silence today.  Do it for YOU.

Take 5

Gift yourself 5 minutes today. It could change your life.

In that 5 minutes be still. Breathe. Get quiet. Breathe deeply. Listen. Exhale slowly. Relax your body.

Schedule your 5 minutes into the day. It can be first thing in the morning or last thing at night. It can be at lunchtime, in the carpool line, just before a meeting, during your child’s music lesson, while waiting for the doctor, at half time, or after dinner. It can be anytime, but make a conscious choice about when you want to give yourself this gift.

When it is “time,” set your phone alarm for 5 minutes. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, hold it for a beat, let it out slowly and feel yourself relax. Do that again. Take a long, slow breath in through your nose. Hold that breath for a moment before you consciously release the air evenly from your lungs then your belly. At the end of the exhale, stop. Wait in silence. Begin your next breath in and take longer to fill your diaphragm then your lungs with air. Feel your belly push out as the air fills your diaphragm and feel your shoulders roll back as your lungs expand. While fully inflated, allow yourself to float there, at the top, for a moment. When ready, gently release your breath controlling the slow, soothing exhale.  Feel your body relax at the bottom of the breath.  Continue to breathe slower, deeper and more rhythmically until your alarm sounds.

Sometimes counting is useful to measure your breathing. Count 4 beats for the inhale, one for the hold at the top, 4 beats on the exhale, one on the silence at the bottom. Then increase the beats for each successive breath. ( 5-1 – 5-1;  6-2 – 6-2;  7-2 – 7-2;  8-3 – 8-3, etc.)  This will cause you to lengthen your breath, increase your lung capacity and oxygenate your body.

Focus on your breath. It brings you to the present moment. This is your gift! You are present for yourself: completely present and attentive to your body, your mind and your spirit. Five minutes of peace and quiet, completely in “the now,” can make a huge difference in your stress level and mood.

Do this every day- after all, the present is a gift!

What’s the deal with BOOZE?

Technically, alcohol is not Paleo. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors did not have the Devil’s drink in their daily lives.

HA ok I’m just kidding- I drink occasionally (mostly tequila)… but alcohol is something that, Paleo-speaking, should be consumed in moderation and wisely. One of the main reasons for consuming alcohol in moderation if at all is that alcohol puts physical stress on your body. We also recommend you cut down on your alcohol consumption on the Reducing Stress page.

Robb Wolf thinks that if you’re going consume alcohol, you do it earlier rather than later (I’m talking 2pm vs. 8pm… not having a Bloody Mary with your morning eggs), and do it on an empty stomach. He urges against any beer consumption at all, due to it containing gluten and sugar (for reasons why these two things are dangerous, view the Diet main page), and encourages dry varieties of wine. Robb Wolf has a lot of recipes in his book, The Paleo Solution, but my favorite would without a doubt be the simple NorCal Margarita:

It's not quite Paleo, but it's close enough

  • 2 shots of tequila gold
  • the juice of 1 lime
  • soda water
You’ll notice that there is no sugar-filled margarita mix in this recipe… Following this logic, if you’re going to have a mojito, try it without the Simple Syrup or other sugar ingredient. This will keep your hangovers mild and your deviation from Paleo not so grand. 

Loren Cordain, author of The Paleo Diet, discusses the benefits of drinking a glass of wine before or with dinner: it may help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce appetite! Dr. Cordain also points to evidence from multiple studies that claim moderate alcohol consumption can significantly reduce the risk of dying from heart disease among other illnesses.

If you have an autoimmune disease, you should not be consuming alcohol, period.

From a lifestyle perspective, alcohol is a touchy subject. All I will say here is don’t be stupid, dummy.

Visit the Recommended Diet Products page to learn more about The Paleo Solution and The Paleo Diet, and where you can purchase them for cheap (using the links provided on that page to purchase the books will donate a portion of the sale to this website and it’s maintenance). Thank you, and happy paleo drinking!

Welcome to Primal Healthy Fit!

 

Welcome to Primal Healthy Fit! We are a website made up of regular people of all ages, nationalities, professions, fitness levels, and life experiences who have come together to provide information and support for others interested in improving their health. We recommend specific diet, lifestyle, and exercise choices that are in line with those of our Paleolithic ancestors. The reason? Our genetics have changed very little in the last 200,000 years, however the same cannot be said for the world around us. Therefore, we must eat, be active, and live in ways that jive with our genetics! This produces incredible health, fitness, and HAPPINESS!

The core of PrimalHealthyFit.com’s mission is to provide information about the Paleo Diet and support to make the dietary switch to eating paleo. Along with this central diet aspect, we recommend activity and lifestyle choices that mimic those of our primal ancestors whenever possible. The combination of paleolithic diet, activity, and lifestyle choices work together to bring people to their genetically healthy and fit selves.

On the Diet page you will find information about the Paleo Diet, the #1 recommended eating choice here at PrimalHealthyFit.com. Included in this information is not only how to “eat paleo” but also why this diet is the only one that our bodies are genetically designed to eat! Visit the Paleo Testimonials page to read about the experiences members of the Primal Healthy Fit community have had with Paleo. Also, we provide you with some great resources once you are ready for a diet switch, including a Paleo Action Plan, an easy 7-Day Meal Plan with accompanying Shopping List!

On the Exercise page, you will find information on circuit training, interval training, and how to combine them in a safe and effective rotation. My goal here is to help you stay active no matter where you are or how much time you have. You will find instructions on how to execute some Basic Exercise Movements in a safe and effective way, as well as some great cross-training workout on the Equipment Free Work-Out Routines page!

On the Lifestyle page you will find information on sleep, stress, supplements, and other various topics that can greatly affect one’s quality of life, health, and believe it or not, waistline! Here’s the thing about lifestyle choices: two of the most important ones are diet and exercise! So make sure you get those down before getting fancy with supplements or other products that might appear to be “shortcuts” to a healthy life. There are many additional areas that will be explored in the Lifestyle blog category, including reiki (energy movement), prayer healing, spirituality, and music. Constance Kean, Reiki Master, CS practitioner, and piano teacher for over 30 years has done me the great favor or providing her expertise for many areas in this section.

There are numerous products that I have found make life easier. These have been divided into Diet and Lifestyle categories and can be found on the Recommended Diet Products page and the Recommended Lifestyle Products page.

Feel free to look over PrimalHealthyFit.com’s Privacy Policy. Lastly, don’t forget to visit the Blog, which is constantly being populated with new information, and become part of the Primal Healthy Fit community by contributing to the Forum. Feel free to add comments, connect with other members of the Primal Healthy Fit community, and put in your two-cents about the newest posts on the Blog!

 

We appreciate your visit, confidence, and participation in our goal to help others live a healthy life.

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