Welcome to Primal Blueprint Explorer, a blog mostly about the Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson. Primal is an offshoot of the “paleo” or “caveman” diet movement. This blog is aimed at readers who want learn lessons from paleolithic life without “playing caveman”.You do not have to become a caveman or woman to benefit from the Primal Blueprint.
When I started this blog, I followed the blueprint fairly closely without actually labeling myself “primal.” As I have read stuff from other paleolithic and ancestral health theorists, this blog has evolved into something of a critique of the blueprint. Mind you, the blueprint has worked wonders for many people, including me.
Archevore is probably the best way to describe me, although I don’t eat as high a percentage of meat as Dr. Haris recommends. Archevore differs from Primal in two ways reflected in Harris’ William Munny eats his vegetables.
- Root vegetables over “Big Assed Salad” antioxidants. (Throughout my blog you will see praise for potatoes, which are marginal in Primal.) There is no paleolithic justification for eating as many nutrient dense salads as possible. Our ancestors haven’t done that for millions of years. They have eaten lots of roots.
- Balance over intense focus on “nutrient density.” (I am trying avoid using the word “moderation,” which I hate. But, yeah, you could use that word.)
The Primal Blueprint and Mark’s Daily Apple are still the best source of information about living a healthy lifestyle. If following the blueprint strictly works for you, fantastic. If not, consider some of the options from here, from Archevore and from other ancestral health writers.
Much of this blog still reflects a traditional Primal Blueprint orientation. That will change as I have time to edit.
See About tab above to learn more about Primal.
Photo credit: Little Serengeti in Arusha National Park by Haplochromis July 2009. Our species evolved in this setting.
Posted in Eating, Exercise, General Info, Healing, Music, Play, Recipes, Rest and Sleep, Spiritual, Supplements, Vegetarian | Tagged arthritis, caveman, cholesterol, diabetes, diet, paleo, potato, primal, recipe | 5 Comments »
“Just cut calories.”
Are you tired of hearing this? “Use a little willpower. Push away from the table. Eat fewer calories or get on that treadmill.”
Wrong. If it was that easy, about the only fat people in the world would be sumo wrestlers. There are lots of overweight people with great willpower. Exercise generally won’t result in a weight loss. Fewer calories won’t necessarily either. (Actually, you can increase your willpower, as Mark explains. But that won’t help unless you use it the right way to live primally. Anyway, why use up your willpower pushing away from the table when the Primal Blueprint can make healthy living easy. OK, mostly easy.)
Researchers recently compared the total energy expenditure of patients on four-week isocaloric low-fat, low-glycemic, and low-carb diets. Although activity levels and caloric intake remained the same across all groups, the low-carb group burned 300 more calories per day than the low-fat group. More
Increasing your exercise beyond what the Blueprint recommends will have very little effect on your weight. For one thing, studies have shown that you probably will eat more. Even if you don’t, you will do more harm to yourself than good. If you haven’t done so, read Mark’s Case Against Cardio. And you would have to do a huge amount of cardio to lose much fat.
Furthermore, it is not simply calories in, fat on your waist. For example,
“Researchers found that mice exposed to a relatively dim light at night over eight weeks had a body mass gain that was about 50 percent more than other mice that lived in a standard light-dark cycle.”
“Although there were no differences in activity levels or daily consumption of food, the mice that lived with light at night were getting fatter than the others, . . .” Ohio State University (2010, October 12). Too much light at night at night may lead to obesity, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 18, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2010/10/101011173249.htm
OK, they were mice not humans. I don’t think it matters in this case. See also Gorillas Go Green. Zoo gorillas eat twice as many calories and lose weigh on Big Assed Salads (that’s a technical primal term).
How do you lose weight? The short answer to losing weight is “follow the Primal Blueprint.” The much longer answer is found in Mark’s The Context of Calories.
Here is a brilliant analysis of the “just eat fewer calories” idea.
Posted in Eating, Exercise | 2 Comments »
My numbers did get worse. Now, Mark explains why that might have happened.
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Very thought provoking scientific study on sunlight and heart disease.
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Mardi Gras is on Tuesday, February 21. No need to feel left out just because you are on Primal and don’t eat beans, rice or wheat flour roux. There are plenty of options for Primal Cajun food.
- Try my “Gumbo” Stir Fry. Now that you are off wheat, you may like it better than “real” gumbo. Lots of my other recipes would work just fine for your celebration too. (I like spicy food.)
- Primal Jambalaya sounds good, although I have never made it. Honestly, though, I would use rice not cauliflower. It’s Mardi Gras after all!
- How about Spicy Shrimp?
- Add some greens cooked in bacon fat, with plenty of red pepper flakes or other heat.
- Yams/sweet potatoes with lots of butter.
- Personally, if I wanted red beans, I would have them but considering the above, why?
By the way, in New Orleans and other places with Mardi Gras celebrations, they don’t wait until Fat Tuesday to start partying. Let the good times roll!
Posted in Eating, Recipes | Tagged fat tuesday, gumbo, jambalaya, mardi gras, paleo, primal, recipes | 2 Comments »
Clearly not Primal nor Paleo. OK for Archevore I think. Recipe is adapted from the February 2012 Prevention magazine. (One of the few things I have ever gotten out of Prevention. I was given a subscription.) I served with Cajun spiced fried chicken breasts and sweet potatoes. The fritters, themselves, are vegetarian.
- 1 plantain or 2 bananas, mushed. I used bananas just barely ripe enough to mash.
- 1/2 can Eden black beans, drained and slightly mushed. (Or homemade ones.)
- 3/4 cup almond or coconut meal. (Original uses cornmeal, which I did too.)
- 1 large free range egg.
- Juice from 1/2 lime.
- 2 chopped green onions.
- Salt (optional).
- Virgin coconut oil.
- Stir together beans and plantain or banana.
- Mix in meal, egg, onions, lime juice and salt.
- Heat coconut oil in large skillet on medium high heat.
- Drop heaping tablespoons in skillet and fry until golden on each side.
The image is a stock photo of fritters. I did not take a picture of mine and could not find a bean fritter stock photo.
Posted in Recipes, Vegetarian | Tagged Banana, black bean, paleo, primal, recipe, vegetarian | Leave a Comment »
Ok. It isn’t quite head to tail but it gives you some animal parts you might not otherwise get. Many ingredients are shown as optional. Add whatever you like.
- 2 lbs grass-fed ground beef
- 1/2 cup crushed pork rinds
- 1 packet of Knox gelatin
- 2 free range eggs
- 1 grated carrot (optional)
- 2 stalk of celery, minced (optional)
- 1 onion, minced (optional)
- 1 cup of chopped bell pepper (optional)
- Salt, pepper, herbs, spices to taste
- Some tomato sauce or ketchup (optional)
- Tamari (1 or 2 tablespoons, optional)
- A bit of chopped liver? (Optional. I do not use.)
- Preheat oven to about 375.
- Mix tomato product, tamari and eggs.
- Sprinkle on gelatin. Let sit.
- Saute onion, celery and bell pepper lightly in oil.
- Mix everything together.
- Line baking pan with parchment paper.
- Form meat mixture into two loaves and place in pan.
- Top with ketchup (optional).
- Bake for about an hour (or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees).
Posted in Recipes | Tagged gelatin, Meatloaf, paleo, pork rinds, primal, recipe | Leave a Comment »
I have liked and respected Don Matesz and Kurt Harris for very different reasons. Don makes interesting speculations. Kurt is very analytical. His approach to ancestral lifestyle is pragmatic, without lots of “me grok” silliness. But now they seem to have gone off the deep end and have a war going on between them.
After many years of promoting Primal and Paleo, Don made a dramatic exit in Farewell to Paleo. His presentation to the 2011 Ancestral Health Symposium was quite thought provoking. But now he seems to have completely gone back to the conventional wisdom approach of low fat, high complex carbs. In the process, he infuriated Harris.
Unfortunately, to me Harris’ response reminds me of Richard Nixon’s sad last days in office. The level of viciousness is way beyond anything justified by Matesz’s misrepresentations of Archevore. So, while I still think there is lots of useful information in both men’s sites, and while I still think of myself as close to Archevore with some input from Don’s yin-yang ideas, I am no longer whole hearted about sending anyone there.
Posted in General Info | Tagged 2011 Ancestral Health Symposium, don matesz, kurt harris, paleo, primal | Leave a Comment »