I hope you are regularly reading this blog and are getting some worthwhile advice on how and why this lifestyle can be so beneficial for you and experiencing some good results. For those of you who haven't started on the primal path yet it can seem a little bit daunting at first and the question of "where do I start?" comes up. So here are my top priority things to get you going.
1- Ask yourself "Why are you doing it?" Is it general health and wellbeing, weight loss, fitness whatever it may be, write the reason down. Record your starting point along with this goal, take measurements, weight, fitness levels or take a photo. Also note how you are feeling about yourself at this point, unhappy, depressed, unattractive? It doesn't have to be a negative feeling but when you read this back to yourself it can give you a renewed motivation to make the right choice.
2- Food - The dietary aspect of this lifestyle is probably the most important change you can make. I won't go into the do's and don'ts as this information is all on the website under the about - what should we eat tabs. But here are some other ideas to help your dietary transition.
Remove any food from your home that could derail you in a moment of weakness. If your family are all doing this with you then gather it all up and give it to a food bank for the homeless. If it's just you then make a space in the kitchen that is only for you with your foods. All the other stuff is in another area that you will not go into.
As I always mention, as it is probably the most important part of getting the food right, get planning. And stick to the plan, factor in your work schedule, meetings and social occasions so you know what and where you will be eating.
3- Go shopping - Buy all the ingredients that you will need for the week. Get the best quality you can afford, meat, fish, eggs, fresh fruit and vegetable, nuts, fats and oils. Get to know your local butcher and find out where the meat is from and how it was reared, they will be able to advise you how to cook your meat and show you the cheaper cuts to help your budget. Farm shops and farmer's markets are great place to get good quality fruit and vegetables, and usually at a good price. If you do have to use a supermarket then stick to the outside of the aisles, this is usually where the fresh food is kept. Only venture down the others when you know you have to get something specific, this will help you stick to the plan and avoid temptation.
4- Cook - I have done a previous post on kitchen skills so please revisit it for a more indepth look at this subject. But do get into the kitchen, trying new recipes and putting your own ideas together, cooking for friends and experimenting with flavours . The bottom line with the food aspect of all this is good quality REAL food and it does need some effort but with some practise you will become a better cook, broaden your taste buds and even find a new passion for cooking.
5 - Get Moving - This can be as simple as going for a walk in the park or if you're already active start trying some new ways of moving. Full body natural movements can be great for strength, endurance and mobility. Whatever you do, make a note of your fitness at the start, this can be as simple as just your own gauge of difficulty on a 1 to 10 scale or use a fitness monitor of some kind although they are not essential. Keep notes and track your progress.
6 - Sleep and De-Stress - Sleep is vitally important, most recommendations suggest you get 8 hours a night of good quality shut eye although this varies person to person. It's when your body recovers and repairs itself. Avoid electronic devices, caffeinated drinks and alcohol close to bedtime, keep the room as dark as possible as any light source can disrupt your sleep cycles. Take time to reduce stress, take regular breaks at work and let the little issue's go over your head. Take a yoga or relaxation class, or anything else that takes your mind off the stresses of life.
I hope these basic tips can help any newbies get started on the primal path and perhaps I have reminded those of you already working with it of some basics that may of slipped your mind. If you are just getting going then try and use these tips as starting block and If you have any questions or your own suggestions please email me or leave a comment.